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Antarctica Travels

In January 2020, took a Expedition Cruise to George Island in Antarctica

In Ushuaia Argentina, getting ready for my Antarctica expedition

I did a Expedition Ship cruise from Ushuaia Argentina and fly back to Punta Arenas Chile from King George Island Antarctica. Sail and fly combo. The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators limits the number of passengers allowed on Antarctica to 100 at any given time.


Expedition Ship Ocean Nova docked at Puerto Williams Chile over looking the Beagle Channel, that's the ship that took me to King George Island Antarctica, Picture above

Dress for Antarctica - you'll be going in and out of Zodiac boats, your outer layer has to be water proof and not water resistant. Get a good pair of water proof pants to wear on top of your regular pants. My Cruise company provided me with water proof boots.

Shared  Cabin - I had opted for a shared cabin as it is cheaper than a single room, most of my walking hours were spent in the observation Deck. Coffee and tea, snacks were available 24/7.

Food on the ship - Amazing 3 meals a day.

Alcohol - Wine and Beer is served with food in the ship, I did bring a bottle of Vodka which I bought at a store in Ushuaia and did not drink and ended up giving to the staff at the ship.

Travel Insurance - you'll need Proof of Travel Medical Insurance

Ushuaia Argentina

Above is the Port of Ushuaia Passport control, one walks from the passport control building to where the ship is docked. The Port was walking distance from my Hotel.

Once aboard the ship, the ship crew kept our passport and returned it once we cleared the Chilean immigration in Puerto Williams. I boarded the Expedition Ship in Ushuaia.

Puerto Williams Chile

The actual world's southernmost city, our ship docked here for little over an hour, we were allowed to go ashore and explore. The Chilean Immigration officers boarded the ship and we had to wait 10 minutes before going, as there is a passport check.

On shore we had 2 groups, one went to the museum and second to see the front section of the Yelcho, Yelcho was a ship that was used to rescue men left behind by Shackleton on Elephant island. In our observation deck briefing the speaker talked about Sir Shackleton, there are books online and wiki pages on Shackleton and the Yelcho, if you do go read up on those as it will give better appreciation on the challenges faced by Artic explorers in the early 1900's

I went to both, to see the Prow of Yelcho and the museum. The museum was closed there was a whale skeleton in the front lawn.

Port Williams is a upcoming town with tourism a big industry and a Naval base, could not explore more as we has limited time.

Once back on-board the ship headed towards Cape Horn, due to rough sea we were not able to visit Cape Horn. Antarctica Expeditions are at the mercy of the weather.

Drake Passage

The dreadful Drake Passage, some folks experience a calm sea and some what is called the Drake shake. The 500 Mile long crossing is some of the roughest sea on the planet.

We had the Drake Shake, I had motion sickness Pills with me but still had to spend a day sick in bed.

Sunset over the Antarctic Ocean

Ship Life

It was a fun 4 nights and 5 day at sea, there were daily briefings as the activities of the day, dolphin and whale sightings were broadcast, I spent a lot of time on the observation deck. There was a small gym and a library, movie nights with popcorn. Expert talks on sea birds, whales, safety drill. The crew made us super comfortable.

South Shetland Islands

The ship docked in the ocean and the Zodiac boats brought us ashore, during our briefing we were told to keep our distance from the Sea lions and the Penguins.

There were thousands of Penguins, click to enlarge the picture


The ship crew bought out the zodiac boats and took us to see the Glacier, there was a surprise waiting for us, the ship crew roped all the boats together and had a champagne toast 'to visiting Antarctica'

Polar Plunge

I did not take the plunge, most folks did.

King George Island

This was our last stop before boarding a flight to Punta Arenas. The Zodiac boat dropped us off, we had time to see the Russian Orthodox Church, built in Siberia and assembled in Antarctica. One needs to take their boots off to go inside the Church.

The boots were knee high and were needed to get on and off the Zodiac boats.

Also there is the Chilean and the Russian research station, I only visited the Russian research station gift shop to get my passport stamped. They were selling souvenirs.

Then we had to walk through a dirt road to board our plane. It was almost mile and half walk, I was over dressed and was sweating.

And that is the flag of Chile and not the flag of Texas

Antarctic Airways plane ready to take us to Punta Arenas Chile

2 hours later

At the airport we had to return the boots that that were given to us, I spent a night at Punta Arenas and was off to Santiago Chile

Happy Travels!

1 comment :

  1. The views look magnificent. What a great space that you have put together for all of your travels. It is so informative. I have a friend who is very interested in traveling to Antarctica. I am not about a cold-weather journey, but I'm sure it is breathtaking. Looking forward to experiencing your next adventure.


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