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PLA32A23, trip log, Antarctica - Polar Circle - Deep South Voyage

by Oceanwide Expeditions


Day 1: Ushuaia, Embarkation Day & Beagle Channel

Ushuaia, Embarkation Day & Beagle Channel
Datum: 20.03.2023
Positie: 54°48’S / 065°17’W
Wind: W 5/6
Weer: Clear
Luchttemperatuur: +11

Finally, the day arrived to start our once in a lifetime adventure! Many of us have waited a long time for this day. We embarked the little blue and white Plancius, our home for the next 12 days at about 4pm. The weather showed us already its power, so we boarded with 40knots of wind gusting up to 50knots. The embarkation was interesting as we thought that one of us would fly away.

We were welcomed by the Expedition Team and the Hotel Team at the Plancius’ gangway. After we had been shown to our rooms, we started to explore the ship and our new environment, soon followed the briefing for the mandatory safety drill and drill itself. It was interesting to see the 100 fellow passengers in the bulky orange lifevests.

The ship was supposed to leave at 18:00 but the authorities decided to close the port down. Operation would be to dangerous in these conditions.

Before dinner Claudio, our expedition leader, invited us to the lounge where we went through some basic information about life on the Plancius, the general plan for the trip and the weather forecast for the upcoming days. Volodymyr, our Hotel Manager, gave us useful advice about practicalities of life on board. We also met Captain Ernesto and we had a drink to celebrate the upcoming voyage!

After the dinner, some people were seen in the bar, and around 12:30, the Plancius finally left the pier and headed out to the Beagle Channel still in windy conditions. Let’s see what the next day brings. 2 Days of Drake Passage ahead and we heard rumours that it will be a real Drake Shake.

Day 2: Crossing the Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake Passage
Datum: 21.03.2023
Positie: 56°26.3’ S / 065°52.5’ W
Wind: WNW 6
Weer: Overcast
Luchttemperatuur: +6

Claudio, our Expedition leader, woke us up just before 8:00, the sea starts already to be quite confused. Confused means the wave and wind direction are not the same, so the ship is moving in all directions. The Team let us know that it is supposed to get worse, so they started with the mandatory briefing. First Claudio explained all about IAATO, the organisation of the tour operators in Antarctica, they set in the moment in combination with the law the guidelines for operations in Antarctica. On top of it we got information about biosecurity, it is important to not bring invasive species into the pristine environment. For us it means we have to clean all our outer layers and the shoes and repeat that after and before each landing.

The Zodiac briefing was the last briefing, so we got a good idea how the operation with these amazing high duty rubber boats work. Some of the passengers suffered due to seasickness a lot. But most people could stand up. Right after the briefing, as the sea was still okay, we started with the cleaning of our equipment, not all made it, but it was a good start.

The Galley Team prepared again amazing food for us, but not everybody could enjoy it. The Expedition Team also handed out the rubberboots, so we were almost set up for up for our visit in Antarctica. The weather prediction was right during the day, the swell and the wind increased. So the Team on board of Plancius cancelled the rest for the day, to keep people safe in their cabins and avoid injuries while walking on the moving ship.

Some brave seafarers developed some sealegs and some faces have been seen in the bar. In the end the first day went alright, let’s see what day 2 brings in the famous Drake Passage.

Day 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake Passage
Datum: 22.03.2023
Positie: 60°17.8’S / 063°13.3’W
Wind: W 7
Weer: Partly cloudy
Luchttemperatuur: +5

Goooood morning! We can definitely say now that we have passed the first Antarctic challenge, a true Drake Shake, well done us! Early in the morning we passed the convergence zone, the first sign of reaching Antarctica! At this location the sea water temperature suddenly drops on average 3 degrees as the cold, northward-flowing Antarctic waters meet the relatively warmer waters of the sub-antarctic current. This leads to a lot of nutrient upwelling and biological productivity.

With the ship rolling back and forth, we had a relaxed day, with some final boot collections, biosecurity cleaning of clothing and watching the waves and birds from the lounge or the bridge. It even snowed! We watched some amazing Albatross (Wandering, Black-browed, Southern royal, Light mantled sooty and Grey headed) and Petrels (Blue, Cape and Giant) soaring along the ship in the wind.

We were treated to a great lecture about bird migration patterns by one of our guides Mischa and a very appropriately timed lecture about the weather routing by Paolo. His lecture was momentarily interrupted by Dusky dolphins swimming by the ship! The guides that would show us around our destination Antarctica were introduced to us as well.

In the evening Expedition Leader, Claudio talked about the plan and weather for tomorrow during the recap and Mischa explained how to recognize cetaceans from afar, from Humpback Whales to Orca’s. Steffi talked about the different definitions of Antarctica, including the convergence zone, and Martin explained which birds we could see in the Drake’s passage and how to identify them.

All in all, not an easy day, but an important passage for reaching our final destination Antarctica the next day!

Day 4: Gerlache Strait

Gerlache Strait
Datum: 23.03.2023
Positie: 64°45.9'S/ 061°09.5'W
Wind: WSW 7
Weer: Partly cloudy
Luchttemperatuur: +1

The day started with a delicious breakfast, and an amazing announcement from Claudio, WE HAD ARRIVED IN ANTARCTICA!! Some hours passed and we saw land, the feeling was overwhelming. The BRANSFIELD STRAIT gave us our first view of land and our first landscape, we started to see what was going to come! The Bransfield Strait is a young marginal basin of the arc-trench system that lies off the northwestern edge of the Antarctic Peninsula. The strait is about 65 km wide and has a maximum water depth of 2000 m.

At 11 o clock, in the Lounge room, Koen gave us a very important lecture on Photography: “Ten top tips for Antarctic Photography”

After lunch, was the moment to breathe Antarctic Air! the sea calmed a little bit, and the outside decks were opened. With that, our cameras started to save the first memories of this amazing trip.

In the afternoon, we briefly had a window to set foot on land, but a strong wind “closed” the window (…). Antarctica always has something to surprise us; It was in that moment that a beautiful humpback whale came towards the Ship to say Hello and showed us the magnificent curves of this special whale.

We Kept sailing South, The Captain gives us the opportunity to watch icebergs at a safe distance, but close enough to feel that we really made it!! We are in ANTARCTICA!

Sea birds were the stars of the day: Southern fulmar, Wilsons storm petrel, Cape petrel and Antarctic Terns flew around us. A stunning sunset gave us our first perfect end for our First day in Antarctica.

Just Before dinner, Claudio explained to us our plans for Tomorrow. And had the opportunity to learn with some of the Expedition Staff:

Martin: “Taking care of our cameras in this hostile environment”

Valeria: “Photography Basics”.

Keechy: “Icebergs” and the ultimate question: “Why is ice blue?”

To finish our first day in Antarctica an amazing buffet was waiting us. Some snowflakes gave us a beautiful good night.

Day 5: Petermann Island

Petermann Island
Datum: 24.03.2023
Positie: 65°20.5'S/ 064°21.2' W
Wind: NE 5
Weer: Overcast
Luchttemperatuur: +6

After a few days of rough weather, this morning we awake to a gloriously calm morning. We are treated to an exquisite breakfast, we prepare and finally set off to land at Petermann Island. Stepping foot unto Antarctic land, we are greeted by the braying of gentoo penguins, who are either moulting or recovering along the shorelines of the island. For a wonderful three hours, we watch as they waddle, topple and do whatever it is that penguins do on shore. However, it is truly a delight. Among the colonies, we can see Brown Skua and Giant Petrels making their rounds, trying to catch some of the chicks that have yet to fully grow, having to reprovision before their migration northward. After spending three full days on the ship, every passenger is thankful for the opportunity to stretch their legs and begin the activities they came all this way to do. The landscape is wonderful, rolling clouds over high mountains. As it is the end of the season, it is noticeably cold, and one can feel the beginning of winter around the corner. Having taken photos, walked along the guided tour, and enjoyed the penguins, we return onboard the ship to warm up, relax, and enjoy a delicious lunch.

Having eaten to our fill at the delicious buffet, we planned to do a ship’s cruise on Fish Islands, named that way due to the individual islands sporting the names of Mackerel, Sardine and Flounder. However, Mother Nature once again dictates that the conditions were too rough, and so we endeavored to cruise along the peninsula further South, trying to reach places few ships go to in the season. While travelling, we prepared for one of the highlights of the voyage, and one of the reason people chose this trip in particular: the crossing of the Antarctic circle! Champagne was poured, glasses were served, and at precisely 21:50, we passed the circle, and the celebration commenced! The ship’s horn blasted, people were chatting merrily and the drink flowed. For the few that stepped outside, they were greeted by snowfall the size of cornflakes, flowing softly from the sky, illuminated by the ship’s navigation lights. Truly a day to remember, especially to Misha, the guide, who was celebrated for his birthday, despite his protests and unwillingness. I finish with a limerick:

Down South we head,

Past the circle they said,

Where adventurers roamed,

With whales the seas foamed,

And many a happy tear was shed.

Day 6: Antarctic Circle, The Gullet and Pourquoi Pas Island

Antarctic Circle, The Gullet and Pourquoi Pas Island
Datum: 25.03.2023
Positie: 67°14.4'S / 067°50.2'W
Wind: NE 1/2
Weer: Overcast/snow
Luchttemperatuur: -1

Rise and shine from below the Antarctic Circle! Conditions were still quite windy, so we decided to stay on the ship and enjoy the beautiful light and the icebergs around us. Steffi gave a lecture about sea birds, it is amazing how far Arctic Terns travel from the south pole to the north pole, and how Albatross are able to stay very long in the sky with just a few flaps of their long wings!

It didn’t seem possible, but our surroundings became more and more beautiful with the minute! We saw a massive iceberg that looked a lot like a castle, with a lot of holes in it like windows, an arch at the bottom like a door, and ‘towers’ next to it. We went through a narrow gap called The Gullet and the light couldn’t be more stunning! Glaciers all around, seals floating by on icebergs and humpback whales blowing and swimming in between. At some point it started snowing and a snowman was built on the front deck. The temperature was about 0 degrees then, so we were all ready for a nice lunch to warm up. We were treated to very tasty pasta and tortellini with tomato sauce and parmesan.

In the afternoon we went for a zodiac cruise at Pourquoi Pas Island to look at the glaciers and icebergs from a different angle. It turned out to be an amazing wildlife cruise, starting with Fur Seals on the beach with their funny little ears, along with some chunky Weddel Seals. Then we saw Adelie Penguins, who are a bit smaller than the Gentoo Penguins we saw before and they don’t have the white patch above the eye, but instead have ‘white eyeliner’. Some zodiacs also spotted a Leopard Seal swimming between the icebergs, a spectacular sighting! Last but not least, there was a Humpback Whale with a calf, which we could observe for a good amount of time. They showed their fluke, their dorsal fin and they even poked their head above the water! Fur Seals were swimming around the area as well.

Back at the ship we had a quick recap with the plan and weather for the next day and Mischa explained the differences between all the different Seals that we saw. But the day was not over yet: There was a bbq at the back deck! We put music on and we were eating and dancing and having a fantastic time in the Antarctic circle!

Day 7: Stonington Island, Rothera, The Gullet

Stonington Island, Rothera, The Gullet
Datum: 26.03.2023
Positie: 68°12.6'S/ 067°15.0'W
Wind: NNE 1
Weer: Partly cloudy
Luchttemperatuur: +4

The day started very early, with a delicious breakfast in order to enjoy a landing at Stonington Island. It is a rocky island lying 1.8 km (1.1 mi) northeast of Neny Island in the eastern part of Marguerite Bay off the west coast of Graham Land, Antarctica. It is 0.75 km (0.47 mi) long from north-west to south-east and 0.37 km (0.23 mi) wide, yielding an area of 20 ha. It was formerly connected by a drifted snow slope to Northeast Glacier on the mainland. Stonington Island was chosen as the site for the East Base of the United States Antarctic Service (USAS) Expedition (1939–41). It was named after Stonington, Connecticut, home port of the sloop, Hero, in which Captain, Nathaniel Palmer, sighted the Antarctic continent in 1820.

Trepassey House: The island was also home to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Station E and the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition and was the base of operations for many historic Antarctic Peninsula surveying missions in the 1940s. Station E was occupied until 23 February 1975 and the main building was known as Trepassey House, it was cleaned up and repaired in 1992. The huts are protected under the Antarctic Treaty.

When we arrived at the beautiful beach, we were received by a cute group of Adelies that helped us fill up our memory cards and our hearts, a few Weddel Seals were just relaxing enjoying the warm sun of the morning.

Going up the hill, we found Trepassey House, first there were some remains from the past, a boat and two snow cats were buried in the snow. Our eyes couldn’t believe the view: it was a magnificent Glacier calving, giving us new moments of incredible natural show just for US. The sunrise was stunning!

In small Groups, we entered the remains of the Base and were witness to a little part of Antarctic History.

At 10 o`clock the moment of truth arrived, who will be brave enough to enter the cold water to do the famous Polar Plunge; surprisingly more than 50 people decided to try and become part of the amazing group of the “Polar Swimmers”. One Curious Weddell Seal was watching us, swimming close, trying to understand which type of “new seal” we were...

Now it’s time to say goodbye to this beautiful Island and return to the Plancius. After this amazing morning, The Captain sailed us to the southernmost point of the season! 68°13.950`S, we celebrated with a magnificent Buffet at the Dining Room.

During the afternoon, a breathtaking landscape full of icebergs, mountains and sea ice gave us the opportunity to take more and more pictures than we could imagine.

We sailed close to the Rothera Scientific Station, this station is one those that stays open during the wintertime in Antarctica and belongs to the British Antarctic Survey, UK. With a loud Blow Horn, we said goodbye to the Station and continued sailing North. The Gullet has prepared a surprise for us, more sea ice, Icebergs, Crabeater Seals, Leopard Seals and a lonely Adelie made of the Sunset a magic Moment, that nobody wanted to end…

To finish this amazing Day, after the dinner, we could appreciate millions of stars in the most beautiful sky ever seen. Just us, The Plancius, and magnificent icebergs. We all went to sleep trying to find new words to describe this day… Just Perfect!

Day 8: Winter Island, Lemaire Channel

Winter Island, Lemaire Channel
Datum: 27.03.2023
Positie: 65°17.4'S/ 065°19.5'W
Wind: S 4
Weer: Partly cloudy
Luchttemperatuur: -1

And back north we go! Last night we crossed the Antarctic circle again in the other direction, but our expedition is not over yet! After the star gazing the night before we had a little lay in, with our ever so delicious breakfast at 8 am. We enjoyed the lovely weather and views from the ship and Steffi gave a lecture about whales where she was also teaching us how they communicate, so next time we see a whale we know what sounds to make! There were even a few whales who wanted to hear the lecture, as they swam by during the last 10 minutes.

After a leisurely lunch, we got ready to get off the ship again! This time we were going to do a split landing, half zodiac cruise and half landing. The zodiac drive to the landing site was already super impressive, through a narrow gap with rock on one side and a massive snow wall on the other! On land we found a house that we could visit, Wordie House, named after the chief scientist of the Shackleton expedition, Sir James Wordie. The hut was built for science in 1947 from recycled material from the hut at Port Lockroy and material from the old whaling station at Deception Island. The hut was very spacious, and we were able to see their living room, study, kitchen and toilet. We could see what kind of food they ate and what they did to entertain themselves, as there were a few games and books as well. In 1954 the operation of the hut moved to a new building on a nearby island. The station was named Faraday where it continued to be used as a research facility. One of the major contributions to science was the pioneering research and the finding of the hole in the ozone layer. The hut was sold to Ukraine for the price of 1 pound in 1996, and was renamed Vernadsky.

During the zodiac cruise we explored the islands a bit further. We saw some Weddell seals relaxing in the sun, Fur Seals fighting with each other on a different island, and best of all Gentoo penguins were swimming around the zodiacs! After a successful afternoon activity, two whales came to say goodbye right next to the ship as we got back on.

We had a short recap as it was nearly time for dinner already, but there was a big surprise! TWO OF THE DIVERS GOT ENGAGED UNDER WATER! Love is in the air, or ehmmm water! A proposal whilst swimming with Leopard Seals in Antarctica, how special is that!

With that good news we enjoyed a dinner and a mega delicious cheesecake, but not too long, as we had to get back out on the decks for the beautiful Lemaire Channel. The 11km long channel separates Booth island from the Antarctic peninsula, it is 100 meters deep and 600 meters wide, providing breathtaking views from all angles! Humpback whales were swimming closely around the ship, perhaps our best sighting so far! As the evening went on and the sun set, the stars came out again and we finished our amazing day with some more star gazing, what a magical place to be!

Day 9: Dorian Bay (Damoy Hut) and Paradise Harbour (Brown Station)

Dorian Bay (Damoy Hut) and Paradise Harbour (Brown Station)
Datum: 28.03.2023
Positie: 64°46.8'S/ 063°27.3'W
Wind: Calm
Weer: Partly cloudy
Luchttemperatuur: +4

We sailed north overnight entering the Newmayer Channel between Doumer and Anvers Islands and relocating to Dorian Bay in Wiencke Island. At the break of dawn, the surrounding mountains lit in soft pastel colours…it was a spectacular show and a worthy prize for those up early and on deck. This morning also brought some real cold! Early on it was probably -5C and we could feel it on our faces. After breakfast we landed by Damoy Hut and some of us visited the hut whilst others went first for a panoramic walk overlooking the bay and channel passing next to a few Gentoo penguin rookeries.

The hut we learnt, belonged to BAS, it was built in 1973 and served as a summer place where supplies for Rothera station were brought over by ship and flown into Rothera whilst the sea ice prevented ship landings. The airplanes used were Twin Otters and landed on skies along the flat ridge south of the hut. In 1993, the same flights operated directly from Stanley turning Damoy Hut redundant. After a few hours on land, the cold started seeping through and we went back to the ship. Plancius lifted anchor and we sailed to Paradise Harbour via the Newmayer Channel whilst enjoying lunch. What a view!!!

As soon as we rounded Cape Astrup we started crossing the Gerlache Strait at one of its narrowest points. The view today is infinite, and we can see everything. Bryde and Lemaire Islands, Cape Willems, the full Danco Coast opens in front of us. There, hidden amongst glaciers, at the base of a small triangular pinnacle and dressed in orange, appears the Argentine base “Almirante Brown”. This is one of many Argentina’s seasonal bases in the peninsula operating between December and March, collecting data on microplastics, pollution and fish alongside the re- colonisation of areas of retreating glaciers. The name Almirante Brown was given in honour to this Irish born turned Argentine Navy’s Admiral during the early decades of this young nation, fighting off the Spanish Flotilla in Argentine’s war of Independence.

As we take turns to zodiac cruise and land, those in the water enjoy dozens and dozens of whale encounters. The humpbacks are now full after a summer of feeding in these rich waters and take the chance to rest before their long migration to the tropics. If this was not enough, Capt. Ernesto Barria takes us slowly out, to enjoy of the almost magical sunset light and reflections. The changing light and sunsets only really available for those taking the last, southernmost trip of the season. We are all very privileged to be here.

Day 10: Neko Harbour, Danco Island

Neko Harbour, Danco Island
Datum: 29.03.2023
Positie: 64°47.7’S / 062°30.7’W
Wind: SE 2
Weer: Calm
Luchttemperatuur: 0

We are experiencing our fourth consecutive day of glorious weather. Disbelieving that such a thing is possible at the end of an Antarctic season, we awake, gorge ourselves on the breakfast buffet, and disembark the vessel to head to Neko Harbour, a place of vast beauty, combining the Antarctic classics: Glaciers and penguins. The landing takes us on a short tour to a few penguin rookeries, where most of the penguins are resting and moulting before they depart out to sea for the winter. Humpback whales passed close to the shore on their way out of the bay. Neko Harbour is special though due to the extreme proximity to a very active glacier, which occasionally calves and threatens anything close to the beaches. Additionally, it offers the most extraordinary backdrop to penguin photos: deep cracks in the top of the glaciers, in all hues of blue, criss-cross the outside of the moving block of ice. Some lucky people could also witness Giant Petrels catching an unsuspecting chick and feeding on it. What at first appears to be gruesome reveals itself to be an essential part of nature. Having watched the penguins rest, waddle across deep trenches of penguin highways and walk in this pristine place, we boarded the zodiacs and headed back to the ship for our transit to Danco Island.

Having become significantly heavier after the lunch buffet, we head on out for our last landing on the Antarctic Peninsula. The spirits are high, and everyone tries to breathe in as much as possible the feeling of being in this incredible environment, one last time. Some might return, others won’t, but everyone will remember. The walk took us to the highest rookeries, some 150m of elevation up, offering some scenic views of this vast landscape. The penguins were, as per usual, delighting everyone simply by existing. For those that didn’t choose to climb up, the beach offered a quiet serenity, where penguins actively scattered throughout the coastline, swam away and came out of the water in swarms, having eaten their fill while out at sea. The sun shone at all times, offering some warmth on this last excursion of the white continent. We returned to the ship happy and content, but with a slightly melancholic feeling, having come to love and appreciate this place, a place not quite like any other on the planet.

As always, I finish with a limerick:

To Antarctica we went,

Here twelve days we spent,

Now pictures and tales,

Of the penguins and whales,

For our families to share are meant.

Day 11: Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands

Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands
Datum: 30.03.2023
Positie: 62°34.5’S / 059°43.3’W
Wind: W 4/5
Weer: Overcast
Luchttemperatuur: +2

Plan A today was Deception Island but the winds there were raging though Neptune’s bellows, the very narrow entry, making it unsafe to proceed and we headed instead for our Plan B location at Half Moon Island.

Half Moon Island is a small patch of land in the shape of its name between Livingstone and Greenwich Islands. The place can be very sheltered and provides a good spot for windy days as there are different places to land taking the wind direction into consideration. The views of the surrounding landscape were something special, especially with the lenticular clouds around. These were those ‘pan shaped’ clouds. We had just got everyone on shore to enjoy the last landing, to hopefully see the Chinstrap penguins, Fur seals and Elephant seals when the wind changed direction and speed.

The clouds, whilst beautiful are a sign of strong winds higher up and as expected, conditions started getting strong at our level too. As a result of the changing conditions we had to call everybody back onboard a lot sooner than intended, the zodiac boarding was a wet and sometimes difficult operation but we all had a fun ride back, our last and this time wet zodiac ride. Antarctica waved us off in proper Antarctic style.

After drying off we were treated to another great buffet lunch and a relaxing afternoon as we sailed through The South Shetland Islands. During the afternoon entries were collected for the photo competition. Dinner then followed another very interesting recap from Steffi on Krill fishing and Martin on the avian eye.

Day 12: Crossing the Drake passage

Crossing the Drake passage
Datum: 31.03.2023
Positie: 59°22.6’S / 062°21.6’W
Wind: WSW 7
Weer: Clear sky
Luchttemperatuur: +3

We started the day with a little “Shake Drake”, the ocean was our landscape for the Day.

During the morning Keechy talked about “Ice Ice … Maybe”. She explained why the Ice Shelves are essential to maintain the Glaciers. And the problem of the CO2 for the Arctic and Antarctica.

After another tasty lunch, Valeria gave an Interactive lecture about the Expedition of Otto Nordenskjold with the help of the other guides. We had the opportunity to learn about history in a way that we are going to remember forever!

The Heroic Age of the Antarctic expeditions could not be complete without Shackleton! A documentary drama film was shown in the lounge. The film gave us an insight into the experience of the incredible story of “The Boss”.

During the Recap, Claudio made the last “Waking up Call” giving the opportunity to all of us to save and wake up in the future with the Antarctic Spirit in our homes.

Steffi amused us with a tricky and Funny “tongue Twister”. Misha completed the recap with a beautiful French Poem “L´Albatros”.

After Dinner it was time for the Grand Final of the photo competition. The comedy award went to Nico with his photo of the penguin being photographed by the ‘penguin paparazzi”. Gudrun won the Landscape section with her amazing icescape. Finally Leo won the wildlife category with his stunning image of the Fur seals getting close.

The Drake Passage gave us the opportunity to share pictures, experiences and feelings of this amazing trip that has changed our lives forever.

Day 13: Crossing the Drake passage

Crossing the Drake passage
Datum: 01.04.2023
Positie: 55°33.4’S / 065°50.2’W
Wind: NNW 2
Weer: Overcast
Luchttemperatuur: +8

Claudio allowed us a lay in this morning, so no wake-up announcement today. Instead we were invited to breakfast by Volodymyr as usual.

Following yet another great breakfast we retired to the lounge for coffee and prepared ourselves for a lecture from Steffi entitled ‘why penguins do not wear socks’ the lecture explained some interesting polar adaptations.

We were getting closer to land and by late morning we could see South America again. It was a relief to some that our great ship, Plancius, had stopped moving around but top many it was the realisation that our fantastic trip was coming to an end.

Before lunch the divers gave us a fascinating insight, via photographs and video, into what they had been seeing all week, there were lots of oohs and ahs, especially for the video footage of the Leopard Seal.

The bird of the day was a Grey headed Albatross flying with the Cape Petrels and Black browed Albatross.

After lunch Paulo treated us to an insight into the Antarctic climate and we had to give our beloved boots back!

The time then came for the farewell Captains drink. It was time for an emotional goodbye to what was a fantastic journey. Then it was the turn of Koen to show the slideshow that he had been working hard on over the course of the trip, what a memory!

Day 14: Ushuaia

Datum: 02.04.2023

While we enjoyed a last breakfast on board, our suitcases were taken off the ship. It is a sad moment to disembark from the Plancius, which has been a comfortable and cozy home during this unforgettable journey. We have shared many unique moments together, seen a range of rarely sighted wildlife, and made new friends. Loaded with fond memories we now must head home. We will continue our adventures, whether it be returning home or experiencing what South America has to offer. On the pier, beside our little blue ship moored alongside in Ushuaia, we say our goodbyes, many hugs, and a few tears… and until next time, we wish each other good health and fair winds.

The expedition team has enjoyed exploring together with all the guests. Of course, these operations only run smoothy due to the coordination between all the departments on board Plancius. So, to all the dedicated and determined individuals involved in this adventure, we all give our thanks and appreciation.


Reiscode: PLA32A23
Reisdatum: 20 mrt. - 2 apr., 2023
Duur: 13 nachten
Schip: m/v Plancius
Inscheping: Ushuaia
Ontscheping: Ushuaia

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