Antarctica Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
This trip was terrific in so many ways. Penguins were sitting on eggs or had young recently hatched in the rookeries. We saw primarily three of the 17 species of penguins: Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo. The ship we were on, home for the duration of the trip, was the M/S Andrea, a small vessel holding about 90 passengers. We made many landings in the Zodiacs, sometimes 3 in one day to different destinations and actually got to walk on the continent itself rather than just the outlying islands.
The Drake Passage crossing was less than fun but we were assured it was a calm crossing. Before boarding the ship, I looked on u-tube to see some previous crossings and they were critical to my mindset as I figured they filmed it and they survived to show it on a video so anything less hazardous should not be worrysome.
The penguins were wonderful, not afraid of us though we were careful not to encroach on their nesting areas. The noise and stink cannot be conveyed in photos but suffice it to say that you did not want to stand downwind of the crowded nesting areas and 15 feet was a safe distance to stay out of their "shooting excrement". It was delightful to have tour guides with the passion and dedication to teach us about the ecology and politics of the area as well as the habits of the animals themselves.
Too much to write about without publishing a book, but well worth dealing with the cold, the discomfort of crossing the Drake Passage, and climbing in and out of zodiacs for a totally uniqe and memorable experience. BTW the food was really great on the small ship, as was the service.