Our journey to the far south reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula began today with a stop at the Fish Islands. We enjoyed Zodiac cruises in a garden of beautiful blue ice sculptures inhabited by Adélie penguins and several sleepy seals. Cruising into the wide waters of Crystal Sound, we crossed the Antarctic Circle in the late afternoon. The crossing is a significant milestone for polar explorers, and we celebrated with a champagne toast and some delicious teatime snacks. As a final treat for the day, we were lucky enough to encounter a group of large type A killer whales. Our skilled bridge team maneuvered the ship to get us excellent views of these lovely predators before we continued on our way, ever farther south.
National Geographic Resolution
National Geographic Resolution arrived to Fortuna Bay early in the morning under a cloud-covered sky. The protection of the bay created a nice relief from the winds. We landed our long hikers shortly after breakfast so they could begin their trek over the headlands to the colony. We then repositioned the ship toward the head of the bay to land the rest of our guests. Fortuna Bay is known as the final leg of Shackleton’s route across the island, and it is home to a large king penguin colony. After we sailed to nearby Hercules Bay, we were treated to conditions calm enough for kayaking and Zodiac cruising. With so much wildlife in the area, guests had some wonderful encounters, especially with the colony of macaroni penguins low on the cliffs of the bay. The ever-fickle weather brought sunshine and light snow flurries, embodying the nature of the island.