We awoke off the southern tip of South America as our journey to Antarctica drew to a close.  Wandering and royal albatrosses swirled around the ship as we approached land. The wind dropped and the sun came out. Soon it was warm and glassy, and many marine mammals were spotted amongst the abundant flocks of birds, including many black-browed albatrosses, sooty shearwaters, and South American terns. A pod of hourglass dolphins was bowriding in blue, clear water along with both dusky and Peale’s dolphins. Later, many sei whales were also seen and photographed. As the afternoon progressed, we entered the Beagle Channel and made our way into our final stop of Ushuaia.

This has been a voyage that will stay in our minds for a very long time. From the huge numbers of emperor penguins on ice to the tiny penguin chicks at Brown Bluff, we had incredible experiences with these comical birds. Memories of many whales and seals, along with cruising among the icebergs, all bring a smile to my face that will keep me grinning for a long time.