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HDS22-22, trip log, Antarctica - 'Basecamp'- free camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshop

by Oceanwide Expeditions


Day 1: Embarkation – Ushuaia, Argentina

Embarkation – Ushuaia, Argentina
Date: 22.11.2022
Position: 54°49’S / 068°18’W
Wind: S2
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +10

Ushuaia is the southernmost city of South America and known as “el fin del mundo”, the “end of the world” – today we know that there lies another world beyond that rough ocean to the south known as the Drake Passage. The destination of our voyage is a world unlike any other place we have seen before: Antarctica.

While the day has been mild and sunny so far, it starts raining while we are embarking our home for the next 2 weeks, the Dutch Expedition Ship Hondius. We all are excited about the adventure lying ahead of us. Once we are all aboard and settled into our cabins, we watch how the ship slowly leaves the dock and heads out into the Beagle Channel, leaving the stunning panorama of Patagonia behind us. 

The evening programme consists of the mandatory safety drill by Chief Officer Matei, including the abandon ship drill which is followed by a warm welcome by Captain Artur accompanied by fizzy drinks and delicious canapés. Hotel Manager Will gives us a short introduction to the ship and Expedition Leader Pippa presents the sailing plan and the international team of expedition guides.

We spend the rest of the evening cruising down the Beagle Channel. As we prepare ourselves to go down for our first dinner the ship is surrounded by Black-browed Albatross. We’ll spend the coming two days at sea on the Drake Passage where we’ll come across many other seabirds that accompany the ship on our way south.

Day 2: At sea on the Drake Passage

At sea on the Drake Passage
Date: 23.11.2022
Position: 57°07’ S / 065°14’ W
Wind: NW5
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +6

Dawn brakes as Hondius steams south in the Drake Passage. For the very few who are up and about very early, we can still just make out Cape Horn behind us in the sunshine. We are dropping off the continental shelf of South America with the increasingly deeper water of the Atlantic below us. This underwater topography causes an upwelling of nutrient rich water which attracts wildlife.

For us, it exhibits itself in a whole plethora of seabirds such as the massive Southern Royal and Wandering Albatross, Northern and Southern Giant Petrels, medium sized Sooty Shearwater and Cape Petrel, down to the tiny Wilson’s Petrel, only the size of a songbird. Despite this size range all these species spend nine-tenths of their lives out in the seas of the deep ocean.

After enjoying our first breakfast we kick off on a run of briefings. Our first two are the mandatory Zodiac and IAATO briefings which inform us of our responsibility for safety and the protection of the highly sensitive environment we will be privileged to visit. Then a whole series of briefings for the specialist activities we are signed up for in Antarctica. One of those is an introduction to photography from Juan and Ross, explaining the basics of how to capture better images. As the trip goes on, they will enhance this with further workshops ashore and on board. 

In our free time many of us take the opportunity to visit the ship’s bridge. This is a real privilege that few people get the opportunity to see. Initially surprised that Captain Artur is not standing behind the wheel for the whole cruise (!), the bridge officers explain the technology that allows the ships to follow a plotted course on an auto-pilot like system for much of the voyage. The panoramic view across the surging blue ocean, full of seabirds, is quite sensational.

And so, to our first evening recap session where Pippa explain the plans for the next day, including the weather. Michael gives a short introduction to the whales that we may see, followed by Andrew and Charlotte who do similar for albatross and seals, respectively. And then down for our first plated dinner whilst gazing out on a golden evening, still studded with those incredible seabirds. What an end to our first full day of adventure.

Day 3: At sea in the Drake Passage

At sea in the Drake Passage
Date: 24.11.2022
Position: 61°29’ S / 062°35’ W
Wind: N8
Weather: Fog, overcast
Air Temperature: +3

Our second sea-day on the way south kicks off with a noticeable chill in the air as we passed the Antarctic convergence yesterday evening. The colder Antarctic waters submerge under the warmer subtropical waters which results in an upwelling of nutrient rich water from the ocean floor. This process is key for all life around the Antarctic continent and the climate worldwide.

As well as the chill, there is also increased levels of excitement and anticipation throughout the ship as we begin the activity sign-ups choosing whether in addition to our daily landings and zodiac cruises we go out to camp, kayak or mountaineer (often all three). Afterwards we join the vacuum-cleaning party on Deck 3, making sure all our outer gear gets cleaned and disinfected – a mandatory process for bio-security, so we don’t bring any foreign bacteria or seeds onto the continent of Antarctica. This, in addition to the Muck Boots being handed out and a wide range of weather experienced through the day leads to the realisation that tomorrow we will actually be in Antarctica... Penguins, icebergs and snow are just over the horizon!

There is plenty of wildlife activity around the ship throughout with some more southern species joining the Black-browed Albatrosses and Giant Petrels gliding across the ship’s wake.

The first few spectacular Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses and majestic Wandering Albatrosses are obvious crowd-pleasers while there are constant Antarctic and Slender-billed Prions, Blue Petrels and Cape Petrels whizzing around proving a tricky subject matter for photographers and the occasional Southern Fulmar, Wilson’s Storm Petrel and Black-bellied Storm Petrels adding to the throng of birdlife.

The scarce ‘white nellie’ put in a brief appearance today – the white morph of Southern Giant Petrel.

As if that wasn’t enough, we also have first quality cetacean sightings of the trip with several Humpback Whales near the ship and a brief Blue Whale seen from the bridge mid-morning, needless to say the outside decks are much busier with camera toting passengers and excited expedition staff trying to keep track of birds and mammals as we cruise on.

In the evening, Mary gives us a short presentation on RacingThePlanet explaining that the runners among us are here to run an ultramarathon of 250 km (155 mi) in 7 days. Antarctica counts as the final challenge, the “Last Desert” of 4 desert races that require extraordinary levels of physical and mental endurance: the Namib Race in Namibia, the Gobi March in Mongolia, and the Atacama Crossing in Chile.
We’re excited to be a part of this!

In the following recap, Pippa gives us a rough layout of the next day, Andrew explains the “Jizz” in recognizing birds and how to distinguish the 3 brush-tailed penguin species of Antarctica, Mal and the mountaineers brief us on how to move through crevassed areas and Esther gives us a short introduction of how to use our snowshoes. To finish up, George announces another great competition that will take place on this voyage: an Antarctic Chess Tournament that everyone is welcome to sign up to! To perfectly round off this day, the kitchen has prepared a delicious dinner for all of us including a drink on the house! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 

Day 4: Plan A: Portal Point, Plan B: Stoney Point

Plan A: Portal Point, Plan B: Stoney Point
Date: 25.11.2022
Position: 64°54’ S / 062°55’ W
Wind: NW3
Weather: Snow
Air Temperature: +1

After two long sea days, here comes our first expedition day! The staff gets up nice and early to head towards Portal Point, to assess conditions, as waters around the ship and the winds look less than ideal. Unfortunately, the landing is cancelled. The landing site is blocked by huge amounts of ice, making safe access with zodiacs nigh impossible. Additionally, due to recent heavy snowfall, there seems no place which could be approached without the snow wall collapsing. So, instead, we switch to an afternoon landing and spend the morning on the ship, starting with a delightful breakfast buffet. Outside, you can gaze upon vast icebergs floating all around the ship whilst snow slithers from the sky to accumulate upon the land. Gentoo Penguins now and then appear besides the ship, and Minke and Humpback Whales could be seen blowing in regular intervals as they surface in between the icefloes. Inside, Charlotte gives an insightful lecture on the variety of whales that can be encountered in Antarctic waters and their biological characteristics. All hopes go towards the afternoon landing, and the mist descends all around our vessel.

After a delicious and rich lunch prepared by our head chef Ralph and his team, the entire ship prepares to embark on the variety of activities we have signed up for. The mountaineers leave to conquer the snowy mountainscape, the kayakers put on their gear to slide amongst the icebergs, the runners summon their willpower and get into their gear, and everyone else put on as many layers as possible for a split zodiac cruise and landing. Despite the misty conditions, the falling snow and the low visibility, everyone is full of energy and endeavor, this being our first day. Every activity is fulfilled, and during the zodiac cruise, the first gentoo penguins are spotted swimming and porpoising in the icy waters. Later in the day, we even find a leucistic gentoo penguin, sporting a yellowish feather color. The absolute highlight of the day however is the spotting of a young and very small leopard seal on an ice floe, barely noticeable from a distance.

Everyone returns to the ship wet, cold, but very happy to have completed the first day of the trip. After a great buffet dinner, the bar is opened and some finish their day with a well-deserved drink.

A limerick to end the day:
From the sky the snow it fell,
To cast on land its’ earthly shell,
Hour on hour has passed,
An avalanche was then amassed,
Then unleashed by a distant yell.

Day 5: Port Lockroy, Damoy

Port Lockroy, Damoy
Date: 26.11.2022
Position: 64°49’ S / 063°31’ W
Wind: W6
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: -2

The day starts with strong wind gusts as we approach our destination for the morning operation, Jougla Island. The expedition team drops the zodiacs and goes to assess conditions in the landing site. The wind starts picking up and we have to cancel the plan for a landing here. But that wouldn’t be the end of our morning. Our expedition leader Pippa contacts the nearby British station, Port Lockroy, to take some of their staff onboard for an interesting lecture about their life at the “Penguin Post Office”.  Also, we are able to check out their souvenirs and goodies and purchase amazing penguin toys, beautiful postcards and many more.

Port Lockroy is very famous for being the southernmost post office in the world.  Everyone writes and sends postcards to their loved ones as part of this amazing visit of the staff from Port Lockroy.

At mid-day we have lunch onboard and prepare ourselves for the second opportunity to land in Antarctica. The plan is to land on Damoy Island, a protected little bay close to a glacier and some amazing Gentoo Penguin colonies. As usual, the expedition team departs on their zodiacs to prepare the landing site in case the weather permits a landing. Luckily for us we get green light to go ashore as the skies clear up for some time, but some dark clouds are threatening to approach our location. But since the weather in Antarctica can change within minutes, it changes for the better and we actually get some sun rays. We enjoy walking around the penguin rockeries, watching their behavior and their funny and clumsy way of walking. 

The runners are doing their course in one side and the rest of us are enjoying their penguin sights. Not forgetting to mention the kayakers who enjoy the coastline with Alexis and Nick.

Fortunately, the dark clouds stay in the distance and with some wind gusts and dramatic scenery, the landing is a complete success. We all return hungry and happy to our ship after a beautiful afternoon on shore.

For some of us, the adventure is not over yet. As the snow here is quite dry today, we can attempt a camping night out in the bay. 55 brave campers arrive ashore to spend the night sleeping on Antarctic ground. Everyone digs their personal snow hole under the assistance of Chloe, Annelou and Paolo. With various sleeping bags and outer layers, we cuddle up for the Antarctic night enjoying the silence and the penguins nearby.

Day 6: Orne Harbour, Orne Island and Cuverville

Orne Harbour, Orne Island and Cuverville
Date: 27.11.2022
Position: 64°37’05S / 062°33’ 1W
Wind: E 3
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: 0

Today we woke up to a beautiful view of Orne Harbour and Spigot Peak towering above Orne Harbour and not a breath of wind, it is the clearest day we had so far. We are all feeling extremely excited to get onto the zodiac to go out exploring with the expedition staff.

Firstly, the mountaineers are ready at 08:30 to go and climb Spigot Peak, one of Antarctic’s most spectacular peaks at 289 metres (948ft). At 09:30 the rest of us dresses up to the eyeballs and full of energy embark the zodiac for a cruise in the bay. The view is absolutely stunning with the mountains reflecting on the water and a very sleepy Leopard Seal resting on an ice floe. 

Icebergs and brash ice litter the bay, we are all awe struck by the beauty upon us. We watch as Chinstrap Penguins clumsily jump into the water from a 2 metre drop, we could watch them for hours.

Out of nowhere, the wind picks up and it is blowing 20 knots, so it is time to slowly head back to our home, Hondius.

On the way back the guides spot 2 Humpback Whales, wow can this day get any better! They continually fluke up their tails in front of the ship, just before they head into the ice. It is a beautiful and memorable sighting.

We have a delicious lunch and a small nap after all the excitement of the morning. The plan for the afternoon is to land on Orne Island with the Racing the Planet team, however conditions are not ideal so Pippa comes up with a new plan. Instead, we are to land at Cuverville, which is just across from Orne Island to visit a colony of Gentoo Penguins. The runners continue into the evening despite the snow and chilly temperatures. By 22:00 everyone is back on the ship to enjoy some warm food and a beer to celebrate the day we had.

Day 7: Cuverville Island & Danco Island

Cuverville Island & Danco Island
Date: 28.11.2022
Position: 64°41’ S / 062°36’ W
Wind: N5
Weather: Snow
Air Temperature: 0

We once again awake to beautiful calm conditions at Cuverville Island, which is located within the entrance to the Errera Channel. Surrounded by the vast mountains and glaciers of the mainland Antarctic Peninsula, Cuverville Island offers incredible scenery as well as endless photography opportunities as it is home to the largest rookery of gentoo penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula; the 252-metre peak of the island is also an added bonus for our mountaineers!

The day starts early in order to maximise our time available at this incredible location, the mountaineers are first off the ship at 07:45 and land ashore to start their climb, this is followed shortly by a split landing and zodiac cruise for all guests who prefer a more relaxed start to the day; finally the kayakers leave Hondius to start exploring at 09:00.

Cruising throughout the vast icebergs around the island, our zodiacs sight a very photogenic leopard seal which provides excellent viewing opportunities, this is followed shortly by two humpback whales which are travelling perpendicular to Hondius.

Throughout the morning, the wind increases slightly which pushes the brash ice within the channel directly towards our landing site. Whilst creating a slightly challenging and soggy footed departure for some, we say goodbye to Cuverville Island at around 12:30 and head around the corner (literally) to our next location, Danco Island.

After our short transit to Danco Island, we drop zodiacs and once again offer a split landing / zodiac cruise as well as another track for our Racing the Planet team. The weather conditions in the afternoon are somewhat different to the morning as flurries of snow reduce our visibility at times, however, there are still ample photography opportunities both on the island and throughout our zodiac cruises. The highlight of the afternoon is of course the ‘polar plunge’ for our brave guests who elegantly take to the 2oC water like the penguins they have admired throughout the trip. After surviving the dip, we return to Hondius for well-deserved hot showers, recap and dinner. The Racing the Planet team is picked up at around 21:00 after completing many miles traversing the slopes of Danco Island and are able to join for a later dinner aboard Hondius before starting again early the next day.

Day 8: Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island

Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island
Date: 29.11.2022
Position: 65°11’ S / 064°07’ W
Wind: WNW6
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: -1

It is an early start for many, as we cruise through the beautiful Lemaire Channel. Despite the low cloud, the views are spectacular as we pass through the channel towards our morning landing site at Petermann Island. The Channel is nicknamed the ‘Kodak Gap’ due it is photogenic qualities, and it does not disappoint with many icebergs littering the waters and the snow peaks bordering each side of Hondius as we pass through.

It is another early start for the Race the Planet (RTP) team, as they head ashore at 6am to begin the next leg of their race. Beginning at the Groussac Refuge, an Argentine naval refuge cabin, the track loops up over the ridge and southwards. Perhaps the most picturesque loop of the race so far, with many of the competitors relieved the weather has improved since yesterday and they can enjoy the race in relative calm and clear conditions.

After an earlier breakfast, many of us get ready for our morning activities on and around Petermann Island. The mountaineers are first ashore, taking in the spectacular scenery as they hike up Megalestris Hill. The kayakers also take to the water and get a surprise visit from some Humpback Whales as they cruise over in the zodiacs to their starting position. Once in the kayaks, the sites are incredible with many icebergs grounded at the southern end of the island, and the numerous penguin rookeries dotted along the coastline.

For those of us landing ashore, we are greeted by numerous Gentoos and a lone Weddell Seal hauled out in front of the Groussac Refuge. Heading out towards the north of the island, we get some brilliant views of nesting Adelie penguins, who are beginning to court and build nests despite the deep snow still present in many areas. The weather conditions are fantastic for the landing with barely a breath of wind and some patches of blue appearing above the low clouds. Maybe not the ideal weather for a sun tan, but perfect for photography with many of us making use of the light conditions to snap pictures of the many penguins around. The contrast between the black of the penguins, the white of the snow and ice, and the greys of the rock underneath made for some brilliant images.

Once we have all enjoyed the sights on Petermann Island, we make a timely escape back to Hondius, with the wind and snow picking up as forecast. Cozy and warm back aboard, we all enjoy a buffet lunch with the views of the Lemaire Channel outside. With the weather picking up, the wind and snow returning, we settle in for a more relaxed afternoon onboard. The semifinals of the Chess Tournament are held in the lounge, just before Chloe delivers a great lecture on plankton and their importance to the Antarctica ecosystem.

Our usual daily Recap in the evening is shortened with advice given to dress up nice and warm for a surprise dinner afterwards: an Antarctic BBQ! All of us soon take to the aft deck to enjoy some beautiful barbecued treats, with a huge spread of meat, veggies, salads, desserts and drinks laid on by the crew. Despite the low temperatures, most of us brave the cold to eat on deck and enjoy the views of Paradise Bay. With the eating over some stayed for a little dance, but the icy temperatures soon have everyone running back inside for a warm drink in the lounge.

Day 9: Brown Station at Paradise Bay, Gerlache Strait

Brown Station at Paradise Bay, Gerlache Strait
Date: 30.11.2022
Position: 64°53’ S / 062°52’ W
Wind: W5
Weather: Snow
Air Temperature: -2

Our last day on the Antarctic Peninsula starts with the traditional wake-up call from our Expedition Leader Pippa; the sky is overcast; it is snowing but there is no wind; the air temperature is 2°C; “Good morning”!

Hondius lies in the middle of the well-sheltered Paradise Bay and we are surrounded by fog, snow and icebergs that create a mysterious atmosphere. Around 8:30am, we are all on board the Zodiacs ready for either an adventurous cruise in the ice surrounded by towering icebergs and brash ice or for a landing around Almirante Brown Station and its’ Gentoo Penguin colonies. The station that belongs to Argentina is not currently manned and we are therefore allowed to land and explore this beautiful place surrounded by impressive glaciers and high peaks. The path has been well marked by the Expedition Team and allows us to hike toward a higher point that offers us a 180° view around the station.

When half of the ship is ashore, the rest of us have the opportunity to experience an amazing sunny Zodiac cruise in Paradise Bay with some interesting sightings such as Weddell Seals, porpoising Gentoo Penguins, Imperial Shags building their nests and simply cruising among icebergs. What a beautiful morning we have in paradise!

Once everybody is back on board, Hondius sails towards our next destination. But just after lunch, in the Gerlache Strait, Orcas are spotted from the bridge! We all gather on the outside decks and at the bridge to experience this amazing sighting. First, we have 5 individuals in sight, mainly females and a male. Then, we can observe at a distance almost half of a dozen individuals that gather and are swimming around the ship; we are even able to see the shape of the entire body in transparency in the water; what an amazing sighting! Around 3:30, Andrew gives a very interesting lecture about… Orcas! We all learn a lot about these fascinating marine mammals; from the social structure, the behavior to the threats that these animals have to face nowadays with climate change. The lecture is interrupted a couple of times because another pod of Orcas is swimming around the ship!

At 6pm, it is time for the traditional recap and the plans for the next day. We are heading towards Deception Island, an active volcano, for a landing in Telefon Bay in the morning and in the afternoon, we plan to go reach Elephant Point on Livingston Island. Pippa shows us the weather forecast; windy conditions ahead of us!

It is time to leave behind the Antarctic Peninsula, to take a last glimpse at those icy landscapes that made us dream during the last couple of days, taking a last picture of this marvelous world. As soon as we leave the sheltered coves, we start to feel the swell and Hondius starts rolling from side to side.

The evening goes on at the Lounge onboard Hondius around a cup of tea or beers as we cross the Bransfield Strait, towards Deception Island.

Day 10: Deception Island

Deception Island
Date: 01.12.2022
Position: 62°56’ S / 060°38’ W
Wind: WNW7
Weather: Clear sky
Air Temperature: 0

Early this morning at 4:00 am, we sail into a special place in the South Shetlands. We sail through “Neptune’s Bellow” into an island, called Deception Island. Deception Island must be one of the most incredible islands on the planet. It is an active volcano located in the South Shetland Islands, off the Antarctic Peninsula. Its’ unique landscape comprises barren volcanic slopes, steaming beaches and ash-layered glaciers. It has a distinctive horse-shoe shape with a large, flooded caldera. This opens to the sea through a narrow channel – Neptune’s Bellows, forming a naturally sheltered harbor. It is one of the only places in the world where vessels can sail directly into the center of an active volcano. Sailing into the narrow channel of Neptune’s Bellows can be tricky as in the middle of this channel lays a rock below the water line on which ships ran aground and sank in the past.

After sailing into the caldera of Deception Island, the rough weather conditions we had since last night calmed down. We sail to the landing site named Telefon Bay, which is a small bay on the north-west coast of Port Foster on the island.

The runners are going to have their last stage of the race here in Telefon Bay, as it is an active volcano, the sand is heated and thus not much snow is around. This makes the running easier compared to some of the other tracks we had during this cruise. The runners start early in the morning around 6 am after the course was set out for this final run.

At 8.30 half of the remaining group on board are shuttled to shore. There we have the opportunity to go on a short walk up to one of the ridges in the bay or on a longer hike lead by the mountaineering guides. Both tracks offer stunning views over the caldera of the island, the black sandy beaches and the volcanic slopes surrounding the flooded caldera. On board, Anthonie gives a lecture on Ocean Waves for the passengers who go ashore in the second shift.

After we all went on shore we have lunch on board, the runners are finishing up their final run of their final desert, Antarctica. All runners receive their well-deserved medal and are welcomed back on board with some beer and pizza. The plan for the afternoon was to go to Half Moon Island, however the winds are still blowing strong preventing us from making this final landing. Instead, we have a long recap including presentations about the Antarctic convergence zone by Anthonie, Deception Island by Elodie and Antarctic citizenship by George.

In the meantime, we are sailing out from the shelter of the South Shetland Islands into the Drake Passage, we are on our way back to Ushuaia after such an incredible trip. We are sure to conclude that this trip has been a great success for everyone, with tricky weather conditions to be able to get of the ship and explore Antarctica.

Day 11: At sea on the Drake Passage towards Ushuaia

At sea on the Drake Passage towards Ushuaia
Date: 02.12.2022
Position: 60°34’ 4S / 061°05’ 9W
Wind: 4NNW
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: 0

We all wake up with anticipation for the day ahead, sleepy eyed and bushy tailed we all wander down to the dining room for a hearty breakfast of the finest Argentinian bacon and eggs. As we gaze out of the window at the rolling swell we enjoy a fascinating talk from Mikhail on Marine Mammal acoustics followed by Geopolitics with George and an interesting presentation on the rituals of Mate with Alexis. The chefs prepare us yet another delicious lunch which rolls us into the afternoon very well. The occasional Cape Petrel and Albatross circle the vessel, a reminder of the wild and beautiful environment we are in. 

The expedition team prepares another recap on tomorrow’s daily plans, we have Pippa talking about the Humpback Whale song, Paolo about fog and Chloe about microscopic invertebrates: the so-called “water bears”. Tonight, the chefs have prepared a fantastic 4 course dinner, we all feel so full and satisfied we can barely move ourselves out of our chairs. Now it is time to have a wee drink and chin wag over the last few days.

Day 12: At sea on the Drake Passage towards Ushuaia

At sea on the Drake Passage towards Ushuaia
Date: 03.12.2022
Position: 56°08’1S / 064°38’4W
Wind: NW4
Weather: Overcast
Air Temperature: +3.5

As day brakes, Hondius is making her way northwards in seas with swells up to six metres. The contrast between those who more than thrive, but even get mega-excited by the drama of it all, and those who just have to grimly hold on to survive it, could not have been more stark. This really is the notorious Drake Passage experience. With the spray from the bow crashing against the bridge lookout windows, all the way up on Deck 7, although not many of us actually made the adventurous climb to experience it! Breakfast in the dining room is also definitely not the usual lively gathering we had become used to.

With the outer decks closed for safety the morning focus is indoors. In the lecture room the Race the Planet team offered a video presentation to everyone, showing highlights of some of the previous legs of their ultra-marathon series. Later on, Simon kicked off the lecture programme with his informative comparison between birds of the southern and northern hemispheres. After lunch Paolo’s presentation on ‘Weather Routing’ gives us an insight into a fascinating subject none of us even knew existed.                                                 

As the conditions outside ease, we are able to take to the decks in bright, breezy weather. Birdlife is not prolific but the usual suspects are in attendance – Prions and Giant Petrels – and a lone Wandering Albatross put in a brief appearance as if to say goodbye. Later, the runners hold their award ceremony whilst the rest of us enjoy a documentary film about Antarctica, replete with popcorn! The evening is our chance to reflect and give thanks. We salute the Captain and his crew with a glass of bubbly and then offer our gratitude towards the expedition, hotel and galley teams, who have gone above and beyond to deliver an almost indescribable experience with memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

Day 13: Disembarkation in Ushuaia

Disembarkation in Ushuaia
Date: 04.12.2022

we’re getting ready to disembark our dear Hondius that has taken us to one of the most beautiful places on earth. The last two weeks have taken us on a remarkable journey over the notorious Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetlands. It has given us a glimpse of life in these remote and sometimes inhospitable places. We have encountered amazing wildlife, made new friends, learnt and experienced so much together. We will all take away different memories of our cruise, but those memories will stay with us for the rest of our lives. This was our expedition.

Total distance sailed on our voyage: 1,799.5 Nautical Miles (3,293.09 km)
Furthest point south: 65°10.812’S

On behalf of everyone on board we thank you for travelling with us and wish you a safe journey home.


Tripcode: HDS22-22
Dates: 22 Nov - 4 Dec, 2022
Duration: 12 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embark: Ushuaia
Disembark: Ushuaia

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Hondius is the world’s first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel and was built from the ground up for expedition cruising.

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