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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 7:59 PM 

VIDEO: What’s it like to explore Antarctica with Seabourn? Maxine Gundermann shows & tells


VIDEO: What’s it like to explore Antarctica with Seabourn? Maxine Gundermann shows & tells
Maxine Gundermann, senior manager of national and strategic accounts at Seabourn, takes a polar plunge off Seabourn Pursuit in Antarctica. (Supplied)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

What’s Maxine Gundermann’s top sales tip for travel advisors looking to sell a luxury expedition voyage with Seabourn

“It’s all about storytelling,” says the brand’s senior manager of national and strategic accounts. “Whether you’ve been there yourself or not, you have to get [clients] excited about an adventure like no other.”

These days, storytelling, using the power of video, has been Gundermann’s approach to engaging with travel partners to show exactly how a Seabourn expedition – and all the exciting activities passengers will discover along the way – plays out.

Maxine Gundermann explored the Antarctic Peninsula. (Supplied)

The Toronto-based travel pro recently completed a 10-day voyage in Antarctica aboard Seabourn Pursuit, a 264-guest purpose-built expedition ship that debuted in 2023.

The bucket-list roundtrip in February from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula crossed the Drake Passage, and was packed with eye-popping activities, from a polar plunge to Zodiac cruising to kayaking around icebergs to exploring life underwater in a submarine to hiking on various snow-covered islands.

Maxine Gundermann meets Antarctica's icebergs. (Supplied)

Incorporating her own self-shot footage and commentary, Gundermann, last week, released a detailed recap video of her Seabourn expedition on YouTube, and already, the video has been racking up views and engagement on social media.

It’s a useful, penguin-filled tool for the trade that captures the dynamics of a Seabourn experience, from how expedition leaders navigate weather conditions to the type of animals guests will see to how life on board Seabourn Pursuit looks and feels each day.

Changing landscapes, clean air 

It was Gundermann’s first time seeing Antarctica – and her video authentically captures the excitement and wonder she felt during the voyage.

What surprised her most about Antarctica?

Maxine Gundermann explores Antarctica via kayak. (Supplied)

“How quickly the landscapes and scenery changed around us!” she tells PAX. “Every day, and every landing was vastly different. Staggering mountains, dramatic glaciers, artistic icebergs. I also learned so much about Antarctica in general, and its importance and significance to the rest of the globe! You realize how little you know, and how much more we can appreciate. The air is known to be the cleanest air on the planet, and essentially every second breath we take is from the oceans, not the trees.”

An all-inclusive onboard experience (fine wines, premium cocktails, specialty coffees, unlimited WI-FI, no tipping and all dining) combined with an attention to detail in venues and with amenities, including a picture-window sauna, lounges, live music, incredible food and an unlimited sushi bar, is what sets Seabourn apart, Gundermann says.

“It makes you feel so at home and so comfortable,” she says. “You didn’t want or need anything. Going to an unknown far-away place can be daunting or nerve-racking, so having these comforts is very reassuring.”

Maxine meets the locals. (Supplied)

“While the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) is in charge of all vessels visiting Antarctica, you need to book your landings. It’s the seasoned experience of our expedition team to plan an incredible route, which is unique and different every single voyage.”

Seabourn Pursuit is also brand new and designed specifically for the region, Gundermann adds.

“You have the best in stability, comfort and facilities,” she says.

Exploring Antarctica in style aboard Seabourn Pursuit. (Supplied)

Identifying her favourite part of the expedition is tricky, but she says it’s a toss between a kayak adventure “where we encountered a sleeping humpback whale right next to us” and participating in a polar plunge – “facing my fears, and feeling so alive!”

Another sales tip Gundermann has for travel advisors who are trying to sell a Seabourn expedition? Leverage your resources. 

“The onboard Media Team, as part of the Expedition team, is a professional photographer and a professional videographer, who are on the adventure alongside the guests, capturing what the guests see. They then put it altogether in an incredible 30-minute cinematic masterpiece called the Voyage Video, which anyone can access on our online Voyage Tracker with daily blog and pictures,” she says.

“The resources are plentiful. They allow you to feel like you’ve been with us.”

Watch Gundermann’s Antarctic Peninsula voyage aboard Seabourn Pursuit here!


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