Morning began early on National Geographic Explorer with a beautiful cruise through the LeMaire channel. As the ship passed beyond the southern end of the channel, it was surrounded by ice with spectacular views of sea ice and icebergs. The Zodiacs were soon lowered to take everyone ashore at Pleneau Island for up close encounters with penguins. In the afternoon, Zodiacs zipped around grounded icebergs as everyone was treated to a cruise through monumental ice sculptures created by glaciers. The day ended as it began, with a trip through the always awe-inspiring LeMaire channel.
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.