Brandon Hagg

Outdoor Enthusiast – Nature Photographer

I have been in the adventure travel industry since 2004 and joined the Polar Cruises team in 2015.  I grew up in the Midwest and have lived in Colorado and Vermont before making my way to the Pacific Northwest.  My love of nature and the outdoors originates from childhood trips to the lakes and woods in Northern Wisconsin.

One of the best gifts I have ever received was a hand me down Cannon FTb camera from my father before moving away to school.  My interests in nature photography sparked shortly after while shooting photos of elk and waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park.  The passion continued to grow while visiting many of the national parks in the U.S., Central & South America.  I am now thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph the most pristine wilderness areas in the world, the Polar regions.

BrandonI enjoy mountain & road biking, hiking, skiing & snowboarding, soccer and am learning to fly fish.  I have run in marathons and recently completed my first triathlon.  Now living in Bend, Oregon I am ecstatic to have an endless amount of outdoor activities at my fingertips.

With enthusiasm for the outdoors, photography and adventure travel, I am extremely excited to be a part of the top Polar agency in the world.

Brandon’s First Trip to Antarctica

My first trip to Antarctica was in November 2015, the first voyage of the season.  The mountains and landing sites were blanketed in snow and there was a lot of ice.

I will never forget my first sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula.  It was around 11:00pm when I stood on the top observation deck at the bow.  I was just speechless taking in the huge white mountain peaks above the horizon backlight by an amazing orange sky with massive blue icebergs scattered in the foreground.   It was a scene like nothing I’ve seen before and such an incredible “welcoming” to Antarctica.  I felt so grateful to be able to experience that moment.

On my first trip I was also fortunate to be able to join the kayak group.  The highlight was kayaking through ice at Paradise Bay.  It was such a rush as we had to paddle much harder to break through the ice and to keep our momentum.  Just after breaking out of the ice fields into open water we heard huge splashes and in the distance we saw whales breaching!  It turns out they were a pod Arnoux beaked whales.  The marine biologist and expedition leader had never seen these types of whales before so it was a very rare site and an amazing cap to our paddle!  For me it was so great to take in the sounds of the ice popping, icebergs flipping, glaciers calving and whales breaching without a motor around.