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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

My Antarctic Cruise

This is an animated map of where we went. (Courtesey of Polar Latitudes)

We started at the end of the world. Well, technically, we started in Chicago, meeting at the check-in counter at American Air Lines. Boarding passes in hand, we went through security, meeting on the other side, each with a small carryon and another piece of luggage checked through to Buenos Aires.

At lunch, my app told me that the plane was on time. Twenty minutes later, it was delayed. Fifteen minutes later, we were advised to see an agent about rebooking. We would not be able to make our connection in Dallas. The agent couldn't find two seats from New York, Newark, Atlanta, DC, Miami, or Houston. No seats available on Delta. There were, however, two seats on United through São Paulo. The agent assured us our luggage would be transferred to United.

We settled in. About nine hours after we left Chicago, we were in São Paulo, ready to transfer to SwissAir bound for Bueno Aires. However, our luggage had not arrived with us. By the time we filled out a report, learned that they could not get the luggage to Ushuaia in time for the cruise, and told us they would try to have it delivered to my travel partner's house in Evanston, we had missed the flight, We were rebooked on Air Canada.

Air Canada was also delayed but we had our fingers crossed that we'd make our connection to Ushuaia. We didn't. And it was the last flight of the day. We were again rebooked, this time with a stiff penalty charge, and spent the night in the airport, waiting for our 4:40 AM flight. It was hot in Buenos Aires—height of the summer after all—but on arrival in Ushuaia, it was much cooler and rain was sheeting down.

We were met by Sebastiano who drove us to the Arakur Resort and Spa, up on the outskirts of the capital of Tierra del Fuego province, where we had brunch and tried find out where we could go shopping on Sunday.
Ushuaia, Photo by Sharon Michalove
Nona had some clothes with her, but my carryon bag had a C-pap machine, a laptop, and my pills. The only clothes I had were what I was wearing.

Next Time—What to do at the end of the world


My short story about Antarctica, "Melting the Iceman" is in this second-chance romance anthology, available for preorder.

When Chicago Seabirds star center, Merritt “the Iceman” Alexander, is told his concussion history means he has to retire from hockey, he withdraws from everything, including his fiancée, Heather Cantrell. Five years later, he’s found a new life on the ice as part owner of a company that specializes in Antarctic cruises.

Shattered by his disappearance, Hay has thrown all of her energy into taking her photography hobby into the realm of photojournalism. After a year of covering catastrophes all over the world, she is excited by her new assignment. An Antarctic cruise company wants her to document their newest offering to celebrate the discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance.

Like two icebergs, the Iceman and the Photog glide toward each other, but will they crash and splinter forever, or will they melt enough to merge for a happy ending?

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