A true voyage of discovery following the paths of the early explorers, offering insight into the history of Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott's expeditions, to name just a few. Combine this with abundant wildlife encounters including King, Gentoo and Southern Rockhopper penguin rookeries, along with Minke and Orca whale sightings, and you have a complete Antarctic odyssey. Commencing our journey with a crossing of the Drake Passage we spend time exploring the Antarctic Peninsula sailing through the Lemaire Channel and making a landing on PlÚneau Island. Over coming days we hope to visit volcanic Peter I Island, Detaille and Fish Island. Sailing north we will follow an exploratory program as we make our way through the Amundsen Sea to the Ross Sea. Here we hope to visit the huts of British explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott (ice-permitting), along with visits to the US and New Zealand research bases at Ross Island. Stopping at Campbell Island we will have a chance to get up close with large numbers of the islands fauna before continuing on to Bluff where we disembark the ship.
|DAY 1||Arrive Ushuaia, embark ship|
|DAYS 2/3||Drake Passage|
|DAYS 4/5||Antarctic Peninsula|
|DAYS 6/7||Bellingshausen Sea|
|DAY 8||Peter I Island|
|DAYS 9/14||Amunsden Sea|
|DAYS 15/23||Ross Sea Exploration|
|DAY 24||Cape Adare|
|DAYS 25/29||At Sea At Sea|
|DAY 30||Campbell Island|
|DAY 31||At Sea|
|DAY 32||Disembark ship in Bluff where trip concludes|
Antarctica is bigger, more beautiful, more awesome, more powerful than I ever could have imagined. The whole experience was overwhelming. To have this expedition on offer at the particular time I was able to go South was nothing short of a miracle. It was the first, and possibly the last, time Greg Mortimer led an expedition from the Peninsular to Ross Sea - something he has wanted to do for years. Two landings stand out:(1) a helicopter ride to land in the Taylor Dry Valley on the continent on the edge of the Ross Sea. The sheer beauty of the place cannot be described in words or portrayed in pictures. You will just have to take my word for it. (2) zodiac landings on Scott's Hut at Cape Evans and Schackleton's hut at Cape Royds, both on Ross Island. To walk into the place where these expeditioners walked out of, leaving everything behind (even socks and hot water bottle over Scott's bed) was just so moving.I saw all sorts of birds, all sorts of whales, all sorts of penguins, seals. Sat on the beach on Macquarie Island (Macca to those in the know) with a king peguin nibbling my boots. And ice bergs! each one so beautiful and wanting to be photographed. I crunched through pancake and pack ice, stood on a volcanic island that only a hundred or so have stood before, at 2am. I have taken thousands of photos and hours of movies which I have culled to about an hour's worth. Now to write the book...