Sarah Schlederer, marine sales specialist for G Adventures, discusses penguins, polar plunging and her passion for on-deck dining…
Why is your travel company the best of all travel companies?
We pride ourselves on our team on board who look after our travellers and make sure their trip is the best it can be. We have a business model based around freedom, so, rather than having strict itineraries, we trust our crew to deliver the best experience possible under the specific weather conditions on that given day. Our team are always ready to share their passion and knowledge about wildlife and the environment, so it’s really them that makes us stand out.
If your company was a famous person, who would it be and why?
David Attenborough – he’s fearless and determined to change the world for the better. You know exactly what you’re going to get from an Attenborough documentary: a whole lot of excitement, passion and a better understanding of the world.
Which geographical area do you cover?
Our Expedition cruises travel to both poles and traverse the Norwegian fjords. We also have an amazing fleet of four vessels that cruise the Galapagos Islands, which are all small enough to go off the beaten track to the less frequented islands and hidden gems of this archipelago. Our river cruise programme operates in four very different destinations – the Peruvian Amazon, the Mekong, the Ganges and the Burgundy Canals.
What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you on the road?
I did the Polar Plunge in Antarctica and thought it would be funny to wear a penguin onesie – it made for some great photos and videos but I was so numb from the freezing water that I couldn’t get it off! Everyone else was drying off with warm towels and I was just standing there, soaking wet in a furry penguin onesie!
What’s the strangest question you have ever been asked about cruise?
I often get asked how high the swell will be and how seasick they will get. But my favourite question lately was whether or not we accept Bitcoin (the answer is no, ha ha).
How many of your cruise line’s ships have you sailed on? Do you have a favourite?
I have done more marine trips than any of my colleagues! I’ve been on the G Expedition to Antarctica and Svalbard. I’ve also been to the Galapagos on the Xavier Ill and on our Mekong river cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City aboard the Toum Tiou II. Plus I’ve been on two of our small sailing boats in Cuba and the Maldives. My favourite has to be Antarctica though, just because it’s such a special place and so unique, plus I’m obsessed with penguins.
Do you have a favourite on-board restaurant and why?
My favourite dining experience has to be the barbecue we have once per trip on the G Expedition. In the Arctic, we enjoyed the meal on deck while a Minke whale entertained us right next to the ship! In the Antarctic though, we feasted while watching penguins porpoising around us. That barbecue is always a real highlight for people who cruise with us. Oh, and did I mention there is mulled wine to help everyone warm up?
Which port would you definitely disembark in?
The small island of Djiggaru in the Maldives. There are no hotels or tourism, so it was really special to meet the locals and get a proper understanding of what Maldivian life is really like when you take the tourist resorts out of the equation.
Which cruise is on your bucket list?
We have just launched sailing in Sri Lanka on a catamaran that takes just eight people. We’re the first operator to offer a sailing tour in Sri Lanka and everyone here is itching to get on that trip! If you time it right, there’s some excellent opportunities for spotting blue whales off the coast of Sri Lanka.
If you didn’t work in the cruise industry, what would you do?
If I didn’t work for G Adventures, I’d probably be working in the field of conservation in Africa.