Daily Expedition Reports

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3020 Daily Expedition Report(s) match your criteria

  • Cape Horn and the Beagle Channel

    After an entire voyage of largely fine weather and calm seas we awoke to slightly more motion than we had yet experienced. Shortly after 6 a.m. the jagged headland of fabled Cape Horn began to appear out of the mist and low clouds that so often shroud this austere landscape. Flocks of sooty shearwaters, several species of albatrosses, and tiny storm petrels swarmed over the waves, attracted to their prey in these nutrient-rich waters created here by the upwelling of deep ocean currents. As our cozy little ship approached to within three miles of the cape we turned eastward and crossed the imaginary line taking us from the South Pacific into the South Atlantic. With the wind now directly behind us, our ride smoothed out as we made our way toward the eastern entrance to the Beagle Channel.

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  • Drake Passage Northbound

    The wonders and good luck never stop. Having had a relatively smooth beginning of the voyage heading across the Drake Passage in calm seas and then spectacular weather during our time along the Antarctic Peninsula, we were expecting a different kind of passage northward at the end of the voyage. But once again we were treated to a smooth ride. Leaving the South Shetland Islands our evening was restful and there was no reason for a wake-up call in the morning. People got up when they wanted and wandered down to the dining room for breakfast.  Some may have even decided to sleep through the day’s first meal.

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  • South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

    Today was a magical last day, one that will dance around in our hearts and minds for a long time to come. We began the day sailing into an active caldera, Deception Island, which last erupted in 1969 and wears the scars of its many eruptions inside the main caldera. Intrepid, sweaty hikers climbed to the top of the most recently formed caldera, while others, enjoying a more contemplative pace, explored Caldera Lake. 

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  • Neko Harbor & Useful Island, Antarctica

    We woke up to another beautiful bluebird day on the white continent. We were in Neko Harbor on the eastern shore of Andvord Bay. Neko Harbor gets its name from a whaling ship that sailed the area in the early 1900s. National Geographic Explorer nosed its way up to the shore. We landed on the mainland to explore the terrain around a gentoo penguin colony with its well-traveled penguin highways.

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  • Lemaire Channel, Antarctic Peninsula

    I’m not sure it would be possible to pack more activities into an expedition day than we did today! In very pleasant, almost windless conditions under a mostly blue sky, we woke early for a ship cruise through the spectacular Lemaire Channel before breakfast followed by two shore landings with hikes, kayaking, and finally, a polar plunge. Phew, what a busy day for expedition staff and guests alike.

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  • Cierva Cove & Hydrurga Rocks

    We awoke to a spectacular Antarctic day with blue skies, calm seas, and ice as far as the eye could see. After breakfast, the ship navigated through thick pack ice into the remarkable Cierva Cove. The Zodiacs were lowered and soon we were out exploring the ice and its myriad of inhabitants. We encountered leopard seals, multiple species of whale, and the ever-curious gentoo penguins. After lunch, we stepped ashore at Hydrurga Rocks and were immediately surrounded by sleeping Weddell seals and chatty gentoos with their large, fuzzy chicks. The chicks were almost ready to leave the nest and start feeding in the rich krill-infested Antarctic waters. What an amazing day! We can’t wait for what magical Antarctic experiences are in store for us tomorrow.

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  • Paulet Island & Cockburn Island

    Paulet Island is home to a colony of an estimated 100,000 breeding pairs of Adélie penguins, an amazing sight to behold. It’s also the site of a historic hut used for winter shelter during the Nordenskjöld 1901-04 Swedish Antarctic expedition. Seaman Ole Wennersgaard died during that winter and was buried on Paulet Island. His grave marker remains close to the hut.

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  • Half Moon Island & Iceberg A57a

    Aided by exceptionally calm seas and low winds in the Drake Passage, we made landfall in the South Shetland Islands less than 36 hours after departing Ushuaia, Argentina. We spotted our first iceberg at 4:41 a.m., and by breakfast, the excitement for our first landing in Antarctica was radiating through the ship. 

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  • At Sea

    Last night we waved goodbye to Ushuaia, Argentina, and knew it was the last civilization we would see for more than a week. We’re headed to Antarctica! We awoke on our first sea day to our expedition leader’s voice welcoming us to the Drake Passage. We must’ve brought good karma, because we had uncharacteristically calm seas. We’re on Drake Lake today!

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  • The Beagle Channel and Ushuaia

    On the final day of our journey, we woke from our well-earned rest with the Drake Passage behind us. After a nourishing breakfast, we headed up to the bridge to take in the view as we approached Cape Horn, a significant location in maritime history. All ships traveling between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans had to round the horn in conditions that could be difficult and treacherous before the construction of the Panama Canal eased the pressure.

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Please note: Daily Expedition Reports (DER’s) are posted Monday-Friday only, during normal business hours.

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