Cruising with the whales

Janet settles into Toronto, and Quark Expeditions.

So I am now nearly a month into my second placement, working for Quark Expeditions in Toronto.  It’s a bit of a change!  Quark offers trips to Antarctica and the Arctic on a fleet of ships, ranging from a one-of-a-kind icebreaker to a converted passenger ferry, via various former Russian expedition ships; part of my placement responsibilities are to analyse the situation of the polar travel market, and so the last four weeks have been a whirlwind of nautical terminology, cabin descriptions and destination knowledge immersion.  Did you know that there are 17 species of penguin?  Or that there isn’t really any snow in Antarctica in the summer?  Neither did I until the start of Feb!  The placement is challenging and tiring but so far I leave every conversation feeling energised, and like I really have something useful to contribute.  Quark offer a unique and incredible product, and I feel lucky to get to know more about it.

Toronto is a fun city – admittedly not the best weather right now (it has alternately rained or snowed every day for the last two weeks) but there’s a lot to get your teeth into.  I’ve already been lucky enough to see Niagara Falls in winter and my colleagues have been enthusiastic in introducing me to Canadian ways, so now I’m off to get a double double (a two-shot coffee with two sugars) before I start work today!

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