Blogs from South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, Antarctica


Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 6th 2023

As we begin this last post, the ship is located approximately half way between Antarctica and tip of South America. Yes, of course, we're rocking and rolling, but so far not as bad as the journey south. Post will be devoted to Deception Island, including four absolutely adorable pinguins. This island is an "active" volcano, and we sailed right into the caldera! Honest Abe, and we have pix to prove it. Sailing along the Beagle Channel on 6 February took a few pictures and this is the end of our trip. Happy trails everyone. Bird & HP... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 2nd 2023

As we compose this blog the ship heads further south, and unfortunately back in the open ocean and...yes rollers. Being a small ship, we have 175 souls aboard, she is more affected by waves, especially abeam. Yet, we are also able to enter places larger ships cannot. In fact, no ship that carries more than 500 passengers can land anyone in Antarctica. We'll take the small, nice ship, thank you and this one is only six months old. As an added "benefit" we occasionally feel a bit of a "shimmer" as we encounter an iceberg. Ventura is expedition built PC-6 rated hull capable of plowing through many of the icebergs we encounter. On 1 February, Bird exited the ship for the initial occasion. She bounded into a zodiac, then climbed onto the conning tower of a ... read more
Proof of Antarctica
Our Sub Ride
Three Hundred Feet Down

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands January 28th 2023

Arrived at our second continent after a very rough two-day Drake Channel Passage. We are on the highest deck and forward. The entire ship had the rolls but for folks up high that was exaggerated. Items fell off dressers and tables. We hid the computer and camera to save them from harm. Even walking about the ship proved difficult, especially for Bird. Nonetheless we arrived in the South Shetland Islands on 28 January at 6 am. We will remain about this continent for eight days. First landing occurred this afternoon amid snow, sleet and rain. Being a couple of wimps we elected to wait for more favorable conditions. We elected to send this very short post as we know a number of you have been unable to sleep due to anticipating the reveal of our location. ... read more
Half Moon Key

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands November 29th 2022

Our last stop in Antarctica was at Telefon Bay. This is actually a caldera as the surrounding land is called Deception Island.which is an active volcano. Fortunately while we were anchored there there was no eruption. It was a very windy day and again we were told there was doubt anyone could get ashore. But the weather improved somewhat and the sun was shining. The island was spectacular, with the black of the granite showing through the snow. There were tanks and sheds ashore which were remnants of a former whaling station. To enter the caldera we sailed through the narrow entrance known as Neptune's Bellows because it is very windy. We successfully anchored in the bay and the expedition team went ashore. An hour or so later we were told that groups could go ashore ... read more

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands November 22nd 2022

We spent Sunday sailing across Drake's passage. The seas were rough and stormy, with waves reaching 6-8 metres at times. There were not many activities and it was difficult moving around. We organised and orientated ourselves to our new environment. We purchased the premium drinks package as this gave us a better choice of wine and drinks at the bar. We also made friends with Poy, the head barman in the only bar, The Explorer's Lounge on the 10th floor. This has panoramic views and very comfortable seats from which to view the scenery. We found out we were in the Black-Browed Albatross group for our excursions and in the afternoon we were issued with our rubber boots. These are large and heavy and essential for when we go out onto the land. We had already ... read more
Launching the boats
On deck
Fletcher getting ready

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 25th 2022

Friday. We slept until after 9:00 and so missed breakfast. There was to be bird-spotting on deck with Lancy, the ornithologist, from 9 to 11. By the time I got up there it was 10:30, grey skies, no birds and no people. It was drizzling a bit so I returned the binoculars and camera to the cabin before returning to the top deck with Nathan to do my exercise walk. The ship returned to Deception Island since options were limited due to weather conditions and we sailed into the caldera again, this time to a different area. Much of the snow that was present on our first visit had melted. It was overcast but only occasionally drizzling. Our group wasn’t scheduled to go ashore until 4:30. Once we got there, the beach was black sand and ... read more
Deception Island
fur seal
fur seals

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 17th 2022

Tuesday. We prepared to go ashore on Cape Horn and were given instructions on what to wear and how to board the zodiacs. I was very sleepy and relieved that our group was to disembark at 10:00 rather than 8. But the wind picked up again and the seas were rough enough that it became unsafe to go ashore, so we stayed on board and instead circumnavigated the Horn, which is an island. It was gray and the landscape not exciting so I was happy to sleep. As we headed toward Antarctica and sailed into the open ocean of Drake Passage, it became very rough with large swells. I usually love it when the ship is moving, but on this, my 31st cruise, I became seasick for the first time. I managed to eat dinner and ... read more
Half Moon Island
Half Moon Island
Half Moon Island

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 26th 2019

An incredible start to our Antarctic experience, penguins on ice flows, a tor, calving glaciers, ice caves, porpoising penguins, the Polish Arctowski Antarctic station with their supply ship anchored nearby, all in Admiralty Bay on King George Island in the South Shetland Islands. We were outside at 8am this morning all rugged in our Antarctic gear. I lasted about 40 minutes and the cold, 0 degrees, drove me back inside. The deck on the bow of the ship was opened up so everyone could see ahead. We crossed 60 degrees latitude last evening so are now officially sailing in Antarctic waters. The usually treacherous Drake Passage was incredibly calm. Our Expedition Team is giving us a running commentary on what we can see. It consists of a geologist, a biologist and a historian who have told ... read more
View from the ship Starboard Promenade deck
Face of one of the glaciers
Closeup of see the caves that develop...

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 2nd 2019

Dear Friends and Family, I hope this update finds you all well. Due to the recent self isolation policy for Covid-19, I have had time to finish my travel blog. I hope this reminds you of better times. Stay safe. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ My journey to Antarctica began with a family vacation to South America. I left my family to relax in the hot weather of Buenos Aires, and caught a plane down to Ushuaia. All went smoothly and I checked into my hotel the day before my Antarctica Expedition with Quark Adventures. This gave me plenty of time to head to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park for hiking. A local mini-van dropped me at one end of the park in Zaratiegui Bay. From there I was told it’s a four hour trek along the coast, past ... read more
Tierra del Fuego
Coastal Walk at Tierra del Fuego
Richard at the bottom of South America

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands February 19th 2019

Tuesday & Wednesday 19/20 February: DAY 18&19 / KING GEORGE ISLAND (ANTARCTICA) – RETURN TO SOUTH AMERICA – OVERNIGHT x 3 in PUNTA ARENAS This morning we said our goodbye to our expedition team and transfer ashore by Zodiac……eventually! We were woken by Kaylan at 6.00am although she tricked us by saying it was 4.45am!! It wasn’t! After breakfast, we were told that loading would start at 9.00am which was when our luggage would be loaded on large nets and craned over the side into zodiacs and taken to the beach on King Edward Island. Several of the zodiacs were off loaded and luggage in place. Then, all of a sudden, the seas changed. Waves started to come over he zodiacs … with our suitcases in it. There were several zodiacs that made it to the ... read more
King George Runway and surrounds (14)
Captains Dinner on our last night (1)
Captains Dinner on our last night (2)

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