Iceberg Encounters in Antarctica

by Elisabeth Hall Customer story

When we told friends and family that we were going to Antarctica for Christmas and the New Year there were a couple of instant, if a little strange, comments. "Don't get eaten by a Polar Bear" (some education needed here) and "Aren't you worried about the icebergs" (aka the Titanic effect)?
Iceberg Encounters in Antarctica

Iceberg Encounters

When we told friends and family that we were going on an Antarctica vacation for Christmas and the New Year there were a couple of instant, if a little strange, comments. "Don't get eaten by a Polar Bear" (some education needed here) and "Aren't you worried about the icebergs" (aka the Titanic effect)? 

Well, no, we weren't worried about icebergs. We had had experience before in both Alaska and the Arctic so, just the opposite, we were looking forward it. With modern day radar and a highly trained crew (and the fact that no one can remember the last time an expedition ship hit an iceberg) what was there to worry about?

Our trip on the Ortelius was going to take us to the Falklands (where Peter had been in the early '80s) and South Georgia then on to the Antarctic Peninsula so we were guaranteed good sightings of not just icebergs but penguins, birds and whales along with beautiful scenery.

Scotia Sea

We encountered our first berg as we headed towards South Georgia through the Scotia Sea.  It was spotted as we headed up for coffee after our South Georgia briefing and was quite unexpected, causing a bit of a flurry with travellers heading out onto the deck.  With binoculars we could even spot penguins on a low section. (Thanks to Sandra for the photo she caught of me engrossed in the view!) 

As the day wore on we spotted and photographed quite a few icebergs in different sizes but as we approached Shag Rocks we were able to capture both the pinnacles and a huge tabular berg together. I don't think any of us expected to see bergs of this size this early in the journey.

A56 – The Mega Berg

As we visited South Georgia we spotted many bergs both big and small but nothing could have prepared us for what we saw on Boxing Day (that's the day after Christmas for those who don't understand English bank holidays). We had left the land behind us and headed towards the South Orkneys when, during the mid-morning watch, a large iceberg was spotted on the radar.

The bridge crew were quite excited so it was obvious this was something special. As it came into view, the enormity of the berg was difficult to comprehend. The radar plot suggested that this iceberg was in excess of 15 nautical miles across; as we drew closer it filled our field of vision. Photos just can't do it justice – to get the whole iceberg in the picture we had to capture it from quite a distance.

As we made our way towards it there was time to dash down for a quick lunch before returning to the bridge to watch it pass by on our port side. For nearly two hours we cruised beside what we now know was iceberg A56, a tabular berg so big it is being tracked from space! As we looked on it was difficult to judge its size.

Those gathered on the port side of the bridge started to formulate plans to measure its height. Before we knew it there was talk of angles and right angles, distance to the berg, height of the bridge and, with some mathematics, it was approximated at almost 30 metres tall, equal to a 10 storey building.

The Peninsula

When we reached the Antarctic Peninsula we took a zodiac cruise with Delphine Aurès, our Expedition Leader around Half Moon Bay. Nosing up to a 'bergy-bit' or 'growler' in a zodiac to listen to it crackle and pop in the sunshine was certainly a highlight of the trip. We marvelled at the colours and the angles of the icicles formed as it melts and re-freezes; what could be better?


Throughout our trip we saw many icebergs; small, large, flat, tall, some the shape of houses or sea shells but all beautiful. Can anyone say they have seen an ugly iceberg?

For more of Elisabeth’s photos of icebergs click here.

¿Le gusta este artículo? Compartir su apreciación:

Cruceros relacionados

Islas Malvinas – Georgias del Sur – Isla Elefante – Antártida – Círculo Polar
Hasta 1800 USD de descuento

Islas Malvinas – Georgias del Sur – Isla Elefante – Antártida – Círculo Polar

Cumplir al menos seis especies de pingüinos

HDS31-20. Este crucero a las islas Malvinas, Georgias del Sur y Península Antártica es el sueño de los amantes del animales hecho realidad. Las expedición explora una de las últimas regiones indómitas sobre la Tierra – una tierra de bellos paisajes escarpados e increíble variedad de vida silvestre.

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Fecha del crucero:

24 feb. - 17 mar., 2020

Precio:

15350 USD 9210 USD 6140 USD de descuento

Península Antártica – Avistaje de Ballenas – Viaje de descubrimiento y aprendizaje
Hasta 2850 USD de descuento

Península Antártica – Avistaje de Ballenas – Viaje de descubrimiento y aprendizaje

En la búsqueda de los gigantes de los mares

HDS32-20. Este viaje lo llevará más al sur de la Antártida, cruzando el Círculo Polar. Este crucero pasa a través de aguas frecuentadas por ballenas jorobadas, Minke y de aleta. Fondeando en varios lugares de la región, esta expedición le ofrece la oportunidad de caminar, andar en kayak, y bucear en aguas l...

m/v Hondius

m/v Hondius

Fecha del crucero:

17 mar. - 30 mar., 2020

Precio:

8500 USD 5100 USD 3400 USD de descuento

Península Antártica – Círculo Polar – Viaje de Descubrimiento Sur Profundo
Hasta 1950 USD de descuento

Península Antártica – Círculo Polar – Viaje de Descubrimiento Sur Profundo

Viaje de avistaje de ballenas

OTL29-20. Este viaje lo llevará más al sur de la Antártida, cruzando el Círculo Polar. Este crucero pasa a través de aguas frecuentadas por ballenas jorobadas, Minke y de aleta. Fondeando en varios lugares de la región, esta expedición le ofrece la oportunidad de caminar, andar en kayak, y bucear en aguas l...

m/v Ortelius

m/v Ortelius

Fecha del crucero:

18 mar. - 31 mar., 2020

Precio:

por encargo

Antártica - Avistaje de Ballenas
Hasta 2850 USD de descuento

Antártica - Avistaje de Ballenas

En la búsqueda de los gigantes de los mares

PLA33-20. La “clásica” ruta antártica. Este crucero lo llevará a paisajes maravillosos que se encuentran en uno de los ambientes más hostiles de la Tierra. Los grande protagonistas de la Antártida y, en total, hasta 4 especies pueden aparecer frente a sus ojos.

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Fecha del crucero:

20 mar. - 29 mar., 2020

Precio:

7150 USD 4300 USD 2850 USD de descuento

Antártica – Campamento Base
Hasta 4000 USD de descuento

Antártica – Campamento Base

El mejor viaje de la actividad en la Antártida

PLA31-20. El crucero Campamento Base a la Península Antártica le ofrece una miríada de maneras de explorar y disfrutar de la región Antártica. Esta expedición le permitirá realizar caminatas, utilizar raquetas de nieve, andar en kayak, practicar montañismo e incluso acampara bajo los cielos polares antárticos...

m/v Plancius

m/v Plancius

Fecha del crucero:

27 feb. - 9 mar., 2020

Precio:

por encargo