|54° 51.8 ’S / 068° 01.9’W
Its embarkation day! The day we have been waiting for forever! It’s a sunny but windy day in Ushuaia and as we approach the port, we can see our beautiful ship Hondius in prime position at the pier. We line up at the gangway to board the ship, the pier is very busy with ships, people and vehicles bustling about. We climb the gangway and are cheerfully greeted by the expedition and hotel teams. We check in and are quickly whisked away to our cabins, our new homes for the next 10 days. Some of us have room mates and we quickly make our introductions and get settled.
There’s not too much time to get cosy, as soon as everyone has boarded, we are called to the lounge for our mandatory safety briefing. Here we learn the rules of the ship and how to don our life jackets and where our lifeboat is located. After we complete the drill it’s time for to return to the lounge for captain’s welcome party and introductions from the expedition staff. Champagne and canapes are served as we are introduced to all the guides who will be taking care of us over the next few days. We are lucky to have a very multicultural team on board with a wide range of expertise.
Once captain’s welcome is complete, we all file down to the restaurant for the first time to enjoy a delicious buffet prepared by the galley team. Everyone is making new friends and the whole restaurant is buzzing with excitement. Once we are done with our meals, we head up to the lounge for the final time to complete our mandatory IAATO and Zodiac briefings. It’s a long day but completing the briefing today means more time for fun tomorrow. Finally, we are finished for the day, and we are free to explore the ship and settle into our cabins. We are nervous and excited about making the crossing of the infamous Drake Passage over the next two days, but the spirit of adventure is with us and we dream of what tomorrow will bring!