The photos in this presentation have been scaled down to reduce file sizes. Originals with
higher resolution and more detail are available via the links at the end of this presentation.
We visited a very small portion of Antarctica (the
peninsula). Antarctica, as a whole, is a massive
continent. During winter when all the ice is frozen,
the physical size of Antarctica doubles.
• Charlotte to Cincinnati (driving)
• Cincinnati to Houston
• Houston to Buenos Aires
• 2 Days in Buenos Aires
• Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina (southern
most point of South America, Tierra Del Fuego)
• Board the cruise boat in Ushuaia
• ~2 days crossing the Drake Passage to Antarctica
• ~7 days in Antarctica
• Various landings throughout the peninsula
• ~2 days crossing the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia
• Fly back through Buenos Aires, Houston, etc.
“The Bank of Fran”
We didn’t realize it, but
Fran is big-time stuff in
View out our hotel window (small boutique hotel)
Not much to do in Buenos Aires other than EAT. We did visit a few nice cafes and we toured the cemetery where Eva Peron
(Evita!) is buried.
Most impressive dog walker we have ever seen. We
counted almost 20 dogs this person was walking at once.
Washing the plane windows
Prior to boarding the cruise, they took us to a ski resort lodge for lunch (killing time while they restock the
boat from the prior voyage).
Boat, Drake Passage
Boat, Drake Passage
1. Half Moon Island (South Shetland Archipelago), 12/10
• Drake crossing was much smoother than planned so we landed a day earlier than originally anticipated
• Hike, scenery, penguins
2. Brown Bluff (Peninsula), 12/11
• Hike, scenery, penguins
3. Kinnes Cove (Peninsula), 12/11
• Zodiac Tour, scenery, Orca wales, seals, other wildlife
4. Paradise Bay, Base Brown (Palmer Archipelago), 12/12
• Hike, scenery, destroyed Argentinean base, sledding!
5. Paradise Bay, Scontorp Cove (Palmer Archipelago), 12/12
• Zodiac Tour
6. Cape Renard (Palmer Archipelago), 12/13
• Hike, scenery, penguins
7. Waterboat Point (Palmer Archipelago), 12/14
• Chilean base, penguins including two all-white/gray penguins (not technically albino, but they look it)
8. Danco Island (Palmer Archipelago), 12/14
9. Cuverville Island (Palmer Archipelago), 12/14
10. Goudier Island, Port Lockroy (Palmer Archipelago), 12/15
• British base, all women, souvenir shop and post office
11. Deception Island, Whalers Bay (South Shetland Archipelago), 12/16
• Hike, Polar Plunge (it’s COLD!)
12. Deception Island, Telefon Bay (South Shetland Archipelago), 12/16
We’re in the back – you can’t really see us
• Hike, scenery
Antarctica (according to the brochure)
•Marvel at spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers
•Set foot on the continent of Antarctica
•Encounter gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguins
•Spot seals – elephant, Antarctic fur, Weddell, leopard and crabeater
•Watch for whales – humpback, Minke, orca, pilot, and beaked
•Identify seabirds – snowy sheathbill, Antarctic cormorant, kelp gull, Antarctic tern, cape petrels, wandering albatrosses, southern fulmars, blue eyed shags, southern giant
petrels, skuas, black-browed albatrosses, Wilson’s storm-petrels, sooty shearwaters
•Visit scientific research stations and historic whaling sites
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and
warmer equatorial water moves southward. When they meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on
deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of our ship’s wake such as the black-browed albatross, sooty shearwaters and white-
While sailing to Antarctica, every turn can be a new and breathtaking adventure. As the pack ice becomes thicker, it’s apparent to everyone that we are moving closer into
Antarctica’s vast white wilderness. Guests find this part of the world irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close
encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, Minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters.
Each day we will attempt Zodiac departures, and, if conditions permit, we will cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and
perhaps scientific research stations on complimentary excursions led by our team of natural history experts. A flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favorable ice
and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on weather, ice
conditions and wildlife we may encounter. Here are some of the places we may visit:
Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot-bluff on the Antarctic continent)
Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-metre-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Adelie and gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and
pintado petrels use this as a breeding area. Birds such as the all-white snow petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance.
Cuverville Island , Errera Channel
The island was discovered by Gerlache’s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99, and was named for a vice admiral in the French navy. Large, bare rock areas provide
nesting sites for gentoo penguins. Snow petrels and pintado petrels also may be seen whilst Wilson’s storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island.
Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic peninsula)
The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, observe Argentina’s Almirante Brown Station, one of many Antarctic
research stations. Here, you will actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica.
Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island)
Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a ‘caldera’ where it is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking
far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. We plan to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows. It is said that it was from
here that Nathaniel Palmer allegedly became the first American to sight the Antarctic continent in 1820 when he stood at Neptune’s Window and looked out across
Bransfield Strait. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.
Port Lockroy, Goudier Island
Built by the British as a listening station for enemy activities during WWII, then used as a research station in the 1950s, and since 1962 as a museum and gift shop.
Not us, but good idea though.
Le Boreal – a brand new ship
Our ship (Prince Albert II)
Tabular icebergs are the giant,
“Antarctica is THIS big.” -Bill
Gentoo penguin feeding a chick
Bill is too awesome to wear long Sleeping Humpback whale
Humpback whale outside our room
Crystal clear water / reflection Bill doing the not-yet-famous
Sledding down the hill
“Boat House” for anyone who is
seriously Spanish Challenged Chilean Antarctic station
All white/gray penguin – not
Penguin egg technically albino but similar looking
An expedition spent the winter in
1922 under a wooden boat
Know Your Penguins!
Gentoo Penguin – note the Adele Penguin – looks similar to Chinstrap Penguin – note the
orange beak a Gentoo, but no orange beak chin strap
Emperor Penguin King Penguin Rockhopper Penguin Macaroni Penguin
Andrew and Noel (and some really
Bill, Fran, Andrew, and Noel
Fran and Noel acting like penguins (Noel is done)
A coat missing its person
Sun and the ozone hole. Well – it’s
not the ozone hole, but we
pretended it was
Port Lockroy (British) has a
Penguin Highway Skua bird – very
aggressive and steals
Proper zodiac footwear
Austrian head waitress, (boots)
Andrea, served us “proper”
ice cream sundaes and hot
dogs on the ship
Improper zodiac footwear
Tying your gloves to your
life preserver leads to
minor depression and lack
Conrad, the expedition
Bill getting ready to flick the leader Bill holding the ship
Crushing the other hikers Fran crushing the ship
We did the “polar plunge” jumping into
the freezing water. This is a natural “hot
tub” they dug out on the beach. It’s a
volcanic area so it naturally filled up with
Whaler’s Bay, where they hot water.
used to harvest whale oil
Clelia II – the boat that was
damaged in the Drake Passage the
day before we left.
Waited over an hour for
our luggage in a small,
INTENSE window models.
Stray dog / wolf downtown
Sad because we are leaving
After the cruise, we had one evening in Ushuaia and the following day we took a little train ride prior to our
flight back to Buenos Aires (get us off the boat so they can start restocking and also killing time while waiting
for the plane)
The train was pretty ridiculous. Bankers love BIG cash
VISA seemed to be very popular
Bill’s an outlaw.
Sadly, Bill had shaved his
mustache prior to the vacation.
He was not welcome in the
More photos (than you want)
(~100 of the photos we like best)
(includes commentary from expedition staff)
Full collection of photos