It’s always a bittersweet feeling sailing north across the Drake Passage from Antarctica back to South America. The Drake Passage certainly lived up to its reputation on this leg of our journey, serving as the real ticket to go home. Of course, we do love the wildlife that the less calm condition of the Drake brings for us! As we made our way closer back to South America, we were treated to fantastic sightings of birds from sunrise to sunset. From the tiny cape petrels to the stunning light-mantled sooty albatross, and even passes by the largest flying bird on the planet, the great wandering albatross. When we could manage to peel our eyes away from the windows, we enjoyed the final presentations by our amazing expedition staff team: “On Assignment with National Geographic” by photographer Krista Rossow, and “Climate Change in Polar Regions and Solutions to a Big Dilemma” with Joe Holliday and Bud Lehnhausen. By early evening, we were essentially surrounded by large groups of giant petrels soaring closely alongside the ship. We rounded out the final evening of our expedition with our Captain’s Farewell cocktail party. The premier presentation of our guest slideshow is always a perfect way to reflect on our trip, but this evening was made even more special by a wonderful group of guests who shared incredibly kind words of what made the trip so memorable for them and toast to all the people that made it what it was. The inaugural Antarctic voyage of the beautiful National Geographic Endurance feels like it passed by in the blink of an eye, but is surely a trip we all will never forget.
National Geographic Resolution
The sea calmed down over night, and we enjoyed breakfast together. David kicked off the day with a presentation about ocean acidification in the Ice Lounge. It was slightly disconcerting to see the predictions about what might happen to our world’s oceans in the near future if we don’t manage to get a grip on global warming. Next in line, Tiffany gave a presentation about her home, the Falkland Islands. It was really interesting to hear details about this remote corner of the world, and all of us are surely tempted to visit these remote islands one day. Just as Tiffany finished her presentation, the first dolphins were spotted outside the vessel. We headed to the outside decks before making our way to lunch. As the ship continued sailing north during the afternoon, we soon saw our first glimpse of land on the horizon. The coast of Argentina and the Beagle Channel came into sight. Fitting to the occasion, we watched the black and white movie Around Cape Horn before we headed to Tupaia for a special “Welcome to Argentina” afternoon tea. As we entered the Beagle Channel and approached the pilot station, Captain Martin came down to the Ice Lounge to tell us all there is to know about National Geographic Resolution . What a beast of a ship, tailor-made for expedition cruising in polar regions. Once the presentation finished, we all remained in the lounge for the final Captain’s cocktail hour. We toasted a successful voyage and then enjoyed our final dinner. After yet another delightful meal, we took the chance to explore Ushuaia at night. When else do you get to visit the southernmost Irish pub in the world? What a great end to a successful voyage.