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Laura Guignot

Bilingual Polar Travel Adviser

I am the French Bilingual Polar Specialist for the Quark Expedition sales team and I joined the company in Canada two years ago. Originally from France, I hold a Master's degree in Archeology & Anthropology and a MBA (Master of Business Administration). I have worked for the National Museum of Natural History of Paris in project management before packing my backpack to discover the world, traveling through more than 30 countries and settling down in Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where I started to work in tourism while conducting my own adventure and travel projects.

I hold the ICE101X: Antarctic - Geology and History Certificate from the University of Wellington in New Zealand and I have joined so far 3 expeditions in Antarctica in 2017 and 2018 and 2 other Arctic expeditions in the summer of 2018, in Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic. I am also an expedition guide as Translator & Linguist on board for some French departures, I coordinate the French program but you can chat with me in English as well!

I am inspired by polar regions and environmental issues and I am also passionate about hiking and water sports, especially kayaking and snorkeling. When I am not busy advising people on their travels in the polar regions, you can find me camping around the lakes region north of Toronto.

What is one of your favorite memories of the polar regions?

My favorite memory is that morning, kayaking amongst the icebergs of Antarctica, when 4 very curious humpback whales came pretty close to our group! They stayed about 40 minutes, circling around us, making bubbles, saying “hello” with their flippers, lifting their heads out of the water to watch us better! I still have chills of happiness and wonder when I think about it.

What advice would you give someone traveling to the polar regions?

My only advice to those wondering what it’s like to travel to the Polar Regions is to do it. When you return home, you’ll never be the same.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned from traveling?

To me, traveling is about two things. It’s about exploring the world and what’s out there – nature, biodiversity, discovery, culture, history, people, food, art – and it’s very addictive (you want to see more and more). And, it is also about getting to know myself, like getting lost in order to find yourself, a feeling that’s most present when I travel in the Polar Regions.