Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ expeditioner to cross the last degree

Kerstin Schley, 48, will trek 111 kilometres over 12 days on cross country skis

HANSEATIC nature in Antarctica © Hapag-Lloyd Cruises/Dietmar Denger

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises has thrown its support behind expedition leader Kerstin Schley and her quest to cross the last degree of latitude to the South Pole on cross-country skis.

Schley is participating in the ‘Last Degree South Pole’ expedition which involved covering more than 100 kilometres of the extreme cold of Antarctica over 12 days. Following her pilgrimage, Schley – who is an expert aboard Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ expedition ship HANSEATIC nature, will share her experience of Antarctica with guests and offer educational work at schools about the region and why it is worthy of protection.

One degree of latitude involves 111 kilometers over 12 days, where temperatures sit around -45 to -30 degrees Celsius.

Kerstin Schley is supported by Hapag-Lloyd Cruises on her expedition to the South Pole, © Hapag-Lloyd Cruises/Kerstin Schley

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The 48-year-old, full-time pilot with TUIfly has been on board Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ three expedition ships in the past as an expert in polar history.

Speaking of her mission, Schley said “My first employment contract was with the airline Hapag Lloyd, which was later renamed TUIfly. One of the reasons I decided to study Arctic and Northern Studies was because I really wanted to work as a lecturer on one of the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises expedition ships.

“When I had my first assignment in Antarctica and saw the familiar Hapag-Lloyd Cruises colours, things came full circle for me.

“It’s not just the challenge of training for a goal that appeals to me, of reaching your physical and mental limits. After the expedition, I would like to bring the fascination of the polar region closer to children and young people, inspire them with its beauty, but also show the fragility of this continent and thereby create an awareness of sustainability and the environment. I feel very connected to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in this respect: knowledge transfer and education are our common goal,” she said.

HANSEATIC nature in the Antarctic, © Hapag-Lloyd Cruises/Niklas Faralisch

All three new and highly modern expedition ships from Hapag-Lloyd Cruises – HANSEATIC nature, HANSEATIC inspiration and HANSEATIC spirit – are currently in Antarctica.

The maximum of 199 guests on the small and agile ships can expect a pioneering spirit, impressive experiences on board and on land paired with comprehensive expert knowledge. Each trip is accompanied by scientists and lecturers from various disciplines.

Schley set off for Punta Arenas in southern Chile on 1 December 2022, where she will meet the other expedition members. On 7 December the group flies to their Antarctic camp, where they acclimatise for two days before the “Last Degree South Pole” expedition begins. The team is expected back in civilisation on 20 December.

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