We have reached Antarctica! Today onboard National Geographic Explorer, we finished our crossing of the Drake Passage and made it to Dallmann Bay. Our Captain Peik Aalto welcomed us with a traditional Captain’s Cocktail Party. By the time we were seated for dinner, icebergs were gently gliding by the windows. After dinner, the ship cruised into the smaller Fournier Bay. We took to the decks amongst softly falling snow to get close views of icebergs and to peer at mountains through the fog. We have made it, and it is beautiful.
National Geographic Explorer
Today was quite busy with many interesting presentations. In the morning, geologist Serguei Ponomarenko spoke about the geological history of Antarctica. Before glaciation wiped out thousands of species of the animals and plants that used to be here, Antarctica was once connected to Australia, and much earlier, it was connected to Africa, Madagascar, India, and South America. Later, Gerard Baker spoke about conservation efforts in the Southern Ocean. After lunch, National Geographic photographer Michaela Skovranova instructed guests on live editing of photographs, an essential skill after a memorable trip. The last activity before dinner was an Antarctica quiz. In the late afternoon, National Geographic Explorer entered the Beagle Channel. Almost immediately, the wind subsided, and the sky cleared. Guests enjoyed the spectacular scenery on the Chilean and Argentinian sides of the channel. After dinner, the ship docked in Ushuaia, and guests had an opportunity to spend a few late evening hours in this most southern town in the world.