Today was our first expedition day of the voyage! After a day of sailing across the sea from Ushuaia, Argentina, we arrived at Stanley in the Falkland Islands this morning. As we approached, we began to have great sightings of the wildlife that calls this region home (at least for part of the year), including sei whales. Once cleared into the port, we ventured out for the day to enjoy the area of Stanley. We enjoyed the highlights of the city and explored the scenery and wildlife in the surrounding area at nearby Gypsy Cove. Wildlife highlights included a large variety of seabird species, from Magellanic penguins to Upland geese and steamer ducks. As we made our way out of Stanley, we were treated to views of Peale’s dolphins around the ship, perhaps a good sign of the ample wildlife ahead of us as we began to journey across the ocean towards South Georgia.
National Geographic Endurance
National Geographic Endurance set sail from the western edge of the Falkland Islands late last night. There was a slightly overcast sky when we entered the Beagle Channel in the morning. For the last miles to Ushuaia, we had stunning views of the most southern part of South America. Birds glided and whales swam alongside the vessel. We enjoyed several educational presentations, and there was time for packing luggage and getting souvenirs for friends and family from the Global Gallery. It was a perfect day to enjoy relaxing aboard the ship and making use of the spa, gym, and wellness facilities. The afternoon was filled with the third part of National Geographic photographer Michael Melford’s presentation, “On Assignment with National Geographic.” We enjoyed the famous Guest Slideshow, where we saw photos taken by our fellow travelers during our voyage to some of the most spectacular and densely-populated wildlife regions on our planet. In the evening, we enjoyed delicious drinks and nibbles during the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party in the Ice Lounge, which rounded out this hard to summarize expedition of National Geographic Endurance to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. It is a trip we will surely never forget.