Today we woke up well and truly in Antarctic waters, finally below 60 degrees south latitude and with sea temperatures below freezing. With calmer sea conditions, we enjoyed views of beautiful light-mantled albatrosses and cape petrels flying through the light snow falling around the ship. Calmer conditions also allowed us the chance to strengthen our sea legs and enjoy presentations about Antarctic geology and Antarctic krill from our expedition staff. As we made our way into the protected waters of the South Shetland Islands, Captain Yuriy Tupikov hosted a welcome cocktail party for this expedition of National Geographic Explorer. We enjoyed observing beautiful scenery and porpoising penguins from the windows, a “sneak treat” of the excitement to come as we plan to explore the White Continent tomorrow!
National Geographic Endurance
National Geographic Endurance set sail from the western edge of the Falkland Islands late last night. There was a slightly overcast sky when we entered the Beagle Channel in the morning. For the last miles to Ushuaia, we had stunning views of the most southern part of South America. Birds glided and whales swam alongside the vessel. We enjoyed several educational presentations, and there was time for packing luggage and getting souvenirs for friends and family from the Global Gallery. It was a perfect day to enjoy relaxing aboard the ship and making use of the spa, gym, and wellness facilities. The afternoon was filled with the third part of National Geographic photographer Michael Melford’s presentation, “On Assignment with National Geographic.” We enjoyed the famous Guest Slideshow, where we saw photos taken by our fellow travelers during our voyage to some of the most spectacular and densely-populated wildlife regions on our planet. In the evening, we enjoyed delicious drinks and nibbles during the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party in the Ice Lounge, which rounded out this hard to summarize expedition of National Geographic Endurance to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. It is a trip we will surely never forget.