Ushuaia - the southernmost city in the world. Here is were we started our adventure… to the 7th continent; the big beautiful, white continent; Antarctica! At 4pm we all started boarding our new home for the next 14 day - our ex-pedition vessel Ortelius. We were welcomed on board by our expedition team and soon checked in by our hotel manager and assistant hotel manager; Sigy and Melanie as well as their hotel team. We are shown to our cabins and had some free time to get unpacked and settled in.
We had some time to explore the ship, and find our way around to the important areas; the bar on deck 6, the bridge on deck 7 and our restaurant for the voyage on deck 4. We met and talked with our fellow passengers and began to get excited about our expedition south.
At 5pm we were summoned by our expedition leader Michael to a mandatory briefing in the lecture room on deck 3. Michael welcomed us onboard and introduced third officer Igor who showed us the all-important safety video; highlighting what we should do to keep ourselves safe onboard and what to do in an emergency. We ran through the mandatory abandon ship drill before leaving port. This involved mustering in the bar, which doubles as our mustering station, with our lifejackets from our cabins. Once mustered we headed out to the lifeboats to com-plete the drill.
After the drill we continued to explore the ship and headed out on deck to watch Ortelius depart from the port of Ushuaia… and so the adventure begins!
Before we had our first dinner on board we gathered in the lounge/bar where Michael introduces our Hotel manager Sigi who gives us a virtual tour of the ship and useful information about mealtimes, internet access and daily life on the ship. Soon after this Michael introduced Captain Mika who gave a lovely toast, and combined with a glass of bubbly (or orange juice), we raised a glass to the success of our voyage.
After dinner we spent time on deck watching the Beagle channel pass us by as we head out towards the Drake passage. We headed to bed after a long and exciting day. All in anticipation of our Antarctic adventure.