Dec 24, 2018 - National Geographic Orion
T’was the morning before Christmas, and all through Lindblad Cove, not a creature was stirring, not even a—Hey look! A whale!
After sailing north in the night from our evening stop at Port Lockroy, National Geographic Orion awoke to a wonderfully white Christmas Eve morning in Lindblad Cove. Brash ice drifted around us in the beautifully calm waters as the glacier-covered peaks rose to meet and blend into the white clouds above. Conditions this nice on our last morning on the Antarctic Peninsula could only mean one thing: Christmas Eve kayaking.
Working together, the staff and crew teams set up our kayak platform off the marina deck at National Geographic Orion’s stern, ready to launch everyone out to explore the beautiful surroundings. Others set out to explore by Zodiac. Gentoo penguins porpoised through the ice floes, and a surprise visit from a playful minke whale quickly made for an exciting morning on the water.
After lunch, it was time to bid farewell to the peninsula that had given us so many incredible once-in-a-lifetime experiences over the last few days. Cruising north across the Bransfield Strait, we came to spend our afternoon in the south of the South Shetland Islands, at none other than Deception Island. What better way to round out our expedition in Antarctica than with a landing inside a volcano. As we sailed through the narrow passage of Neptune’s Bellows, the clouds parted to shine
As we picked up anchor to end our expedition operations, the excitement back on board was far from waning. A gourmet, seven-course meal was served, with each course name more special than the last. If that wasn’t impressive enough, a massive contingent of our incredible crew performed a one-of-a-kind Christmas carol extravaganza. For many of us, National Geographic Orion is a home away from home, and we couldn’t feel more grateful to have such a wonderful family to share the holidays with. We certainly drifted off to our cabins feeling merry as we sailed north into the Drake Passage. Without a doubt, this has been an unforgettable night before Christmas.
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