Janys Olsen

I was born and raised in eastern Oregon on a wheat farm that my family has owned for over 100 years.  It is a small community, but I had great parents who made sure we traveled and saw the world. My love for travel really began in 2009 when I studied abroad in Norway for 8 months. I was able to travel all over Norway and Western Europe during my time abroad.  I fell in love with learning about people and the vast cultures of our world. Being a small town girl I realized there is so much to discover and have been traveling as much as possible ever since.

After I graduated from college I knew I wanted a job that involved people and travel, so I began working for a major luxury cruise line.  There I was able to travel to Alaska on several cruises and learn about the travel industry.

I began working for Polar Cruises in 2016 as one of the client services coordinators. I’m here to assist our clients prepare for their upcoming Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia voyages.

Janys's First Trip to Antarctica
My first trip to Antarctica was in February 2017 onboard the Sea Spirit and it was indescribable. The scenery, wildlife, and history is unlike anywhere in the world and it truly is such a special place to visit.

I remember my first landing, getting off the Zodiac and just standing there turning in a full circle. I just could not believe I was in Antarctica! There were penguins all around us, the mountains were all snow covered, and the sky was so blue! As we hiked we saw Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins, Fur Seals, and an Argentina Station. I was so surprised that in one landing we saw so much!

My favorite part of the trip was when we did a Zodiac cruise in Foyne Harbor and there was a pod of humpback whales. There was a mother and calf floating on the surface about a couple of meters from us. While the group was taking pictures and watching, I looked out into the harbor and saw a humpback breaching! I pointed and told our Zodiac driver. It breached about 4 other times! While we were distracted watching the show, the mother humpback and calf went under the water, and not even a foot behind me I heard bubbles on the surface of the water and looked over my shoulder. The mother humpback surfaced and I saw her eye, again this was all about a couple feet from where I was sitting in the Zodiac. I was so shocked I slid to the floor of the Zodiac. We were able to get the most amazing photos and videos from that experience.  I didn’t want to come back to the ship, I could have stayed out on the Zodiac all day.

I loved meeting our clients and people from all over the world. The small ships allow the passengers and staff to become close and you almost feel like a family by the end of the trip.

This was a trip I will never forget and I feel so honored that I had the opportunity to visit one of the most remote places in the world.