Dorian Bay and Jougla Point

Dec 25, 2019 - National Geographic Orion


Snow flurries mixed with sunshine as we disembarked from the ship in Dorian Bay. We landed near an Argentine refuge hut and a British outpost. Penguins have built their nests near these seldom-used structures. A short walk up to a ridge provided wonderful mountain views next to a small gentoo penguin rookery.

Some of our younger guests built “snow penguins” complete with Santa hats for Christmas morning. All snow penguins were knocked down before departure, so as not to leave a trace of our presence in the pristine landscape.

Upon returning to the boat, conditions were perfect for a polar plunge. Sixty-eight guests and five crew members took the plunge into the crystal-clear Antarctic water, which measured minus 0.5°C at the time of the plunge.

The galley team on National Geographic Orion prepared a festive Christmas lunch complete with turkey, a ham, and festive decorations.

After lunch, guests explored the beautiful coastline around Jougla Point with kayaks and Zodiacs. Gentoo penguins porpoised through the water as small ice floes swirled around in the gentle currents of the bay.

Whether they were celebrating Christmas Day or the fourth night of Chanukah, guests, staff, and crew on board National Geographic Orion enjoyed a festive day. Although we are all far from home, it is an unforgettable experience to celebrate with new friends in Antarctica.

We finished this spectacular day of exploration aboard the ship with views of a beautiful sunset over the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula.

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About the Author

David Spiegel

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

David grew up in the Seattle area, where he fell in love with nature through outdoor sports in the Pacific Northwest. He first picked up a camera during a 14-day Grand Canyon river trip at the age of 18. Little did he know that his hobby would morph into a lifelong passion and career. He moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in International Political Economy from Colorado College. After receiving his degree, he applied his passion for media to documenting watershed conservation issues in the Colorado River Basin states through the lens of a 900-mile-long river expedition in 2012.

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