We woke in a soft fog and to the sounds of the ukulele and a morning update from Expedition Leader Dan - plans were on course. We were to continue the last few miles across the Drake Passage to reach the South Shetland Islands just before lunch. A seminar on smartphone photography as well as Stephen’s presentation on Antarctic Explorers were held. Soon, we were off to explore at Half Moon Island, home to a colony of chinstrap penguins and a few gentoo.

On the beach, we had already split up for some to head out on a “long hike”, whilst the rest of us explored the colony, and enjoyed our first Zodiac ride. We saw different species of birds and also encountered many Antarctic fur seals on the beach. It was a magical first day in this beautiful landscape, stunning to all the senses.

Back onboard, we enjoyed the Welcome to Antarctica cocktail party, and had our first recap of the voyage. We learned of our new plans to explore a more remote part of the Antarctic Peninsula, the eastern region and James Ross Island! The adventures continued throughout dinner as we had many views of the local humpback whales foraging just as we were, what a fantastic start to the voyage.