WATERBURY, Vt., Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Giovanni Savaglio from Munster, Indiana, wrote the winning blog post in Quark Expeditions' Blog Your Way to the North Pole contest. The 2,535 votes he received from blog readers put Savaglio in the top five, qualifying him for the prize. A four man selection committee reviewed the top five, choosing Savaglio to become Quark's official blogger to the North Pole, June 23 to July 7, 2011.
I met my wife 8 years ago on a Quark expedition to Antarctica
So began, Savaglio's post. He continued, "She from the UK, I from the USA, it took a journey to the South Pole to find each other on this greenest of planets, at one of it's whitest of places."
His post continued with an account of encountering a hurricane that prompted an unscheduled overnight stay on Penguin Island. "I had come to Antarctica seeking to follow in the footsteps of my hero Ernest Shackleton. Little did I know that I would get a taste of what Shackleton and his crew had to endure."
Hans Lagerweij, president of Quark Expeditions, was on the selection committee. He commented, "Giovanni touched me with his thought that the unexpected is part of polar travel. That is so true!" Author and professional travel blogger, Chris Epting, chose Giovanni because of "his earthiness, honesty and ability to paint a picture with words."
The Prize is a Trip for Two worth $54,000
Savaglio and his wife will be flying to Helsinki, Finland, where they will spend the night before joining Quark's charter flight from Helsinki to Murmansk, Russia. Murmansk is the point of embarkation, because it is the home port of Russia's nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet.
For 14 days, they'll sail the Arctic Ocean, crushing through ice up to 10 feet thick. When they reach the top of the world, they will enjoy a barbecue on the ice. They will participate in the shortest circumnavigation of the world as they stroll around the North Pole sign provided for the occasion.
On the return south, Savaglio and his wife will visit Franz Josef Land, remote uninhabited islands only 10 degrees from the North Pole. They anticipate polar bear and walrus sightings on the ice that surrounds the islands all year.
The voyage includes helicopter sight-seeing and Zodiac cruising at ice level. All shore activities are included in the package, as well as the shipboard education program.
The 20th Anniversary Voyage is almost Sold Out
Quark launched the competition to celebrate its 20th anniversary as a polar expedition specialist. The first voyage in 1991 was to the North Pole.
The 2011 expedition is almost sold out. Travelers may activate live chat or call 1.888.892.0171 or +1.203.803.2887, between the hours of 8:30 AM and 8 PM eastern, Monday through Thursday and between 8:30 AM and 5 PM Friday to join the expedition.
SOURCE Quark Expeditions