|Position:||54°48’.67 S, 68°17’.9 W|
Most of us flew into Ushuaia the night before our early morning luggage drop-off and sanitation which began at 8am, where many of us caught first sight of our ship, Hondius, already tied up at the pier, awaiting our arrival. After drop-off we had half day free to explore the southernmost city in the world and have lunch around the charming downtown before making our way in assigned groups to the small, waterfront church for mandatory covid testing - and our first interaction with the two ship’s doctors and some of the expedition team. Once our group members all received confirmed negative test results, we boarded buses for the short drive to the pier and were dropped off alongside the ship - our home for the next 3 weeks. We received warm welcomes from The Expedition Team and were escorted onboard, ready to start our adventure! Those of us in the earlier groups had time to explore the ship while we awaited arrival of all the passenger groups. At 6pm all were onboard, and we cast off from the wharf, turned our bow to the Beagle Channel and set sail in the direction of the infamous Drake Passage, and or first destination – Antarctica!
We were given time to head to the outer decks to wave goodbye before jumping right into the serious business of a ship safety briefing and demonstrations at 6:15pm. Afterward, we had some additional time on deck, to organize our cabins or spend time in the Observation Lounge, getting acquainted with our fellow passengers.
At 8pm we heard the call to a buffet dinner, by the hotel manager, Sigi, who informed us that as part of the ship’s covid safety procedures, for the first three days of the voyage we would be assigned to the same tables we sat at tonight until after our next covid tests and jokingly advised “to choose wisely, your dinner companions tonight!”