Counting penguins in Antarctica

Grace Cordsen

What is your name and title/position at PL? Grace, Passenger Service Manager (PSM)

Where do you live? New York City

What is your background/education/field of study? My background is in Art History, Archeology, and Food Studies.

How did you first get interested in Antarctica? I first got interested in Antarctica when I was doing research on food in the Arctic. I was working alongside people who had also done work in the Antarctic and after hearing about their amazing experiences I knew I wanted to get involved.

What’s your favorite thing about Antarctica? I love how vast Antarctica is. The expansiveness of it is awe-inspiring. The jaw-dropping landscapes, immense glaciers, and fields of icebergs make me feel dwarfed in a very humbling, human way.

What is your favorite Antarctic animal? Elephant seals. I not only think they are great simply because they are fantastically goofy looking, but I also love that despite their unathletic build they are one of the deepest diving mammals and can hold their breath for over 100 minutes. They are at once both couch potatoes and olympic swimmers.

Tell us about your job at PL: As PSM I am responsible for the overall passenger experience. I am your go-to person for guest services and satisfaction concerns. I also run the gift shop onboard.

What do you love about your job at PL? There are so many things I love about my job at PL! First and foremost, the people with which I get to work. I am so energized by how passionate everyone is about their respective fields and interests. I find the PL staff truly inspiring.

What are your favorite hobbies? I am an avid runner, hiker, and rollerblader. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t do the New York Times crossword.

What do you do to explore? One of my favorite ways to explore is to explore through food. I love living in New York City because I get to experience all sorts of cuisines and culinary traditions on a daily basis. Whether I am cooking them myself or going out to eat the possibilities are truly endless. Another way I explore is by visiting the U.S. National Parks! Road-tripping around the United States is one of my favorite things and I have been lucky enough to have visited 28 of the country’s national parks so far.

What is your favorite place you have traveled? One of my best friends used to live in Mongolia and I was lucky enough to go camping with her in the Gobi Desert. The experience was unbelievable – from the diversity of landscape that we encountered to the amazing nomadic people we got to meet. Plus, I got to try some truly crazy foods.

If you could explore anywhere right now, where would it be? Besides Antarctica? Obviously! I have never been to Peru and would really love to go. I did a lot of my undergraduate work on Peruvian art as well as on the Incas. Plus Peruvian food is simply delicious.