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Exploring King George and Penguin Islands

Early this morning we anchored at King George Island in the South Shetlands. The island is roughly 43 miles long and 16 miles wide at its broadest. Named by a British Expedition under Edward Bransfield in 1820 for King George of England. Less than 10% of the island is...

Charlotte Bay and Hydruga Rocks – Mikkelson Harbour

Le Lyrial sailed the Lemaire Channel late last evening, in perfect conditions, and sunset the jewel marking day's end after midnight. In awesome wonder guests lined the decks and public areas incredulous at the scenery sliding by. High mountains and glaciers tumble...

Halfmoon and Deception Islands

"We will open the book, its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. This book is called Opportunity, and its opening chapter is New Year's Day." Edith Pierce. Some of our guests partied the night away, retiring between 3 and 5 am. The Ukrainian...

Antarctica Sound – New Year’s Eve

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in...

Approaching South Shetland Islands

"The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving...we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor." Oliver Wendell Holmes. Considering the infamous...

Heading south on the Drake Passage

"The old man knew he was going far out and he left the smell of the land behind him and rowed out into the clean early morning smell of the ocean." Ernest Hemingway. We have done likewise, after rebunkering last evening in Puerto Williams, we have left Patagonia, and...

Embarkation in Ushuaia

The country and geography certainly changes markedly as one flies south from Buenos Aires, to Ushuaia, a frontier town in southern Patagonia on the Beagle Channel. Amongst the passengers on the flight, one could sense the excitement of people about to travel to...

Cruising the Drake Passage and sailing the Beagle Channel

"If Antarctica were music it would be Mozart. Art, and it would be Michelangelo. Literature, and it would be Shakespeare. And yet it is something even greater; the only place on Earth that is still as it should be. May we never tame it!"  Andrew Denton. Guests are...

Crossing the Drake Passage

After dinner last night, in the spectacular Neumayer Channel, Larry Hobbs announced over the PA system that Orcas had been spotted near the Melchior Islands. Guests streamed out onto the decks as these gorgeous creatures moved all about the ship, their power quite...

Christmas Day Salpetriere Bay and Port Charcot

In 1908 Shackleton wrote "Some bergs had been weathered into fantastic shapes...Beautiful as this scene was, it gave rise to anxiety...for if we were caught in a breeze against this maze, it would go hard on us." Icebergs move by way of current, tide and wind. Large...

Cuverville Island and Paradise Bay

Many guests left their curtains open last evening (far less chance of bird strikes here than South Georgia) to enjoy the constantly falling snow. Snow has not stopped falling since we arrived at Whaler's Bay yesterday, and what an incredible experience to see the snow...

Cruising towards Antarctica

Sir Raymond Priestley wrote "For scientific discovery give me Scott; For speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton." I used these words, amongst others, to propose a...

Sailing south towards Antarctica

After the absolutely sublime day yesterday at Gold Harbour and Drygalski Fjord, many guests went to bed late celebrating exceeded anticipations. The charm and glory of South Georgia having worked her magic on everybody on board. I was pulled up regarding my comments...

Gold Harbour and Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia

After the high winds and inclement weather yesterday afternoon and evening, it was fantastic to wake up to a much calmer, drier morning. Anchor was dropped early (5am) off Gold Harbour on the southern end of South Georgia. We could clearly see the Bertrab Glacier...

Stromness and Grytviken

South Georgia is for all those who grew up dreaming of a Garden of Eden, where you walk unharmed among abundant and fearless wildlife, in a beautiful wilderness - an oasis of serenity in a world increasingly out of step with nature - Tim Carr, Antarctic Oasis, Under...

Salisbury Plain and Fortuna Bay on South Georgia

Daybreak found us off the north-eastern corner of South Georgia, with some sun popping through low cloud, the play of light on the ocean, mountains, glaciers and snow-capped peaks quite indescribable. Mighty fells with snowy crowns and with sharp, uncovered teeth,...

Passing Shag Rocks en route to South Georgia

Overnight the ambient and sea temperatures dropped from around 6 degrees Centigrade, to 3 degrees, indicating that we have crossed the Antarctic Convergence zone. The waters south of the Convergence differ greatly from more northern oceans in salinity and temperature....

Sailing South on the Scotia Sea

John Muir once wrote "The world is big and I want to get a good look at it before it gets dark". Fair comment, and it is very interesting listening to guest's reasons for taking this journey south. For some it is to get to the Seventh Continent, but for many of these...

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