Updated: Apr 5
This post is the second in a series of four (maybe 5) posts about our Long Journey to the bottom of the world and back. The first post takes you from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia Argentina at the southern most tip of South America. It is mainly comprised of Sea Day photos and Photos from our day in Tierra Del Fuego (Land of Fire), the UNESCO site which is part of Patagonia.
This post will take you from Cape Horn - through several destinations at the coast of Antarctica. Perhaps it is the most interesting segment of the trip. It is certainly the most "remote".
Historically, of those who make it there, only few live to tell about it, was being taught by Celia in the Theater. And the captain was all in on capturing the fear factor for us. He posted the Instagram image below the day before we were scheduled to cross the Drake Passage. Celia Garland, the ships naturalist and storyteller told stories of the explorers who did and DIDN'T make it across...
I don't think the graphic was real... but it was all in fun to find our sense of adventure and be at least a little scared of the big blue sea! They say the Drake Passage can be of the roughest seas in the world - but it was kind to us... We were there in the safe season, on a modern cruise ship.
From our balcony on Day 6
Turns out we are looking right at Hornos Island Chile (Cape Horn) at the end of the video but from a distance. As we approach the southern most lighthouse comes into view.
Along with the sculpture, designed by Chilean sculptor José Balcells Eyquem in 1992 which symbolizes an albatross in flight—the seafaring symbol for souls lost at sea.
Here is how it looked from deck 11 on the ship.
Turns out that as we were photographing the lighthouse, the caretaker was photographing us! The captain was nice enough to share the image he received!
Okay so after a slow and dramatic pass by the lighthouse we were ready to go! Here goes nothing... we are going to high tail it across the Drake Passage, to Antarctica with a scheduled arrival of mid afternoon on Day 7. There is a contest to guess what time we will start seeing ice - and of course we don't really know what is meant by that... Rob and I have a dinner reservation at Le Petite Chef, Celebrity's signature dining experience this evening and there is a show in the theater!
We spent much time on this day gazing at the sea. Looking for whales, dolphins, or the like, and of course wondering if the Sea would become wild!
We would go outside for snippets of time - but it was cold and windy! So that wouldn't last long.
This wasn't the "Drake Passage" I was expecting... so that was good. We had sea patches along, just in case it got bad. But they are "unopened".
This view - that view - Martini Bar for a bit...
Finally returned to our cabin to shower and dress for dinner...
Maybe we took a "nap"... I'm not going to tell...
I chose to model a dress for a photo to send to my friend who loaned it to me... and then headed to our reservation at Le Petit Chef with my date!
Dinner was fun and the food was good... not really my kind of thing though... maybe too much like watching TV. It's a well done gimmick and again - the food was GOOD! Here is a sampling.
The theater show this night was extraordinary!
Mr. Salvatore Hasard sings, plays piano, guitar, sax, drums, Etc.... What an amazing guy! You can even find him hanging out in public around the ship to say hi! He is friendly, humble and ever so talented! After speaking with him I believe he is entirely "self taught". I am going to follow him on Instagram so that I know where to find him performing... maybe on another ship some day!
And the big ego, good looking, Argentinian Cruise Director Alejandro said while mixing and switching from English to Spanish:
But now we're in for another show right? and what a show we got! (El Artisto esta noche) He is so awesome that I would love for him to be Argentino, but he's Chileno. You're going to love this. He's going to play all the instruments - he is way too good! You ready? Lets welcome to the stage - Introducing Salvatore Hasad! (loud cheers)
Here is a video of his Beauty and the Beast - He sings both male and female parts! Amazing!
There is one little part where I can hear my guy singing along... makes me smile every time! And that was the end of our Night 6....
On the Day 7 Itinerary it said "Scenic Cruising of the Schollart Channel". (Another See Day)
Celia, the naturalist, had started a contest the previous day. Guests were to guess the time on this day that we would see the first ICE. I'm sure Rob and I didn't know what exactly that would look like, but our curiosity was solved mid morning when to our surprise the sea looked like an ice cold beverage!
The ship was driving through this!
We were supposed to be looking for Dolphins, Penguins, and Whales... And we spotted this thing...
We were worried it was a whale that was unwell.. but Celia Garland confirmed, "It's a piece of extremely pure tidewater glacier ice." At first when she said it was ice I thought I had sent her the wrong video so I sent it again.. Haha - she clarified below.
We watched for a while from our balcony.
You can see we are approaching land in the distance - beyond Rob!
The ice was forever changing... It was different from one minute to the next...
Many gathered in a lounge on Deck 11 where they could look out a window and sit in a chair indoors.
When we got into the channel we began to see ICEBERGS!
Lucky people got a pic of a Penguin atop an ICEBERG. In fact I think it was this next iceberg. Where was that little guy when I took my pic?
The scenery changed ALL DAY LONG!
The captain opened the Helicopter Pad for viewing & Photo ops!
I had my phone attached to my bag with a cord so I couldn't drop it overboard. Not that I ever have but it sure shut Rob up - which is worth something.. He always worries about me doing that. It was unpleasantly windy.. oh my hair!
There were small medium and large islands... look at the Schollart Channel on a map! Somewhere during this day it turned into "Paradise Bay" but I can't tell where.
You just don't get tired of them - each one has it's own personality. Sometimes you can watch them break off of the main glacier...
The Blue Ice is "glacier ICE" meaning it has been compressed and is more dense (less air within it). When this ice melts it yeilds four times the water than a normal ice cube would.
The captain drove very slowly and we were discouraged from talking on open decks. Often he would turn the ship 360 degrees to give everyone the same viewing opportunity!
We were also watching for animals. This video MIGHT contain the only Whale we MIGHT have seen!
Let me know in the comments if you think it was or wasn't...
Sometimes the sky put on a show...
Remember the sun may not fully set tonight...
Hard to believe these were all shot on the same day - in sort of the same place.. This one reminds me of the painting "Starry starry night" only it's "Cloudy Cloudy Day".
We ended our day at the aft bar - with a few others..
For sure - now we can say "we were there!"
We showered and dressed for dinner & asked for a window seat since it would still be "light" at dinner time. As we waited for our table icebergs were still floating by.
Camila Andrade performed in the Theater this night.
There was the coolest sunset when we headed to bed.. Rob ducked out to snap a pic!
This is one of about four of the most interesting sunsets I have ever experienced. Another one is coming soon on this trip.. Seriously - TWO on one trip!
End of Day 7
On Day 8 we are headed to Elephant Island... not to get off the ship - just to look! We started our day with Coffee and Ms. Celia's presentation on Sea Lions.
At the future port of call Puerto Madryn - there was an opportunity to get in the sea with them. Looking at the ice water of Antartica, that didn't seem like a very good idea.
Celia says she goes as often as possible. They are cute! and reportedly playful!
After the presentation we ducked outside to see if we were approaching land. Perhaps, way in the distance. So we returned to our cabin to do a bit of work. I had a cruise booking to enter and Rob had some email to respond to.
Eventually there it was, Elephant Island.
We were surprised at how mountainous it was.
Again - the sky really put on a show!
After a while - it all looks the same...
Is this pic the same as the first one? No - not quite.
The captain patiently did some side thruster turns... to allow all to see.
This night - the pianist / singer Antonio Salci performed in the theater.
His "Concert of Unity" empowered each member of the Infinity Orchestra to become a soloist. He made them each step out of their comfort zone to play at the front of the stage!
Rob noticed that he broke a piano string!
Can you see it?
Every Night of the 14 Night Cruise Alejandro had on a different suit. I wish I had a picture of all of them... He is alot of fun! The Captain and the Cruise Director really make the Vibe of a ship!
End of Day 8
On Day 9 we will cross back over the Drake Passage, and on Day 10 we will disembark in the Falkland Islands. I will begin the next post there!
Think Penguin Overload!
I originally thought this trip would take three posts but it's looking more like 4 or even 5 at this point. So stay tuned for however many there ends up being - they will all have beautiful photos of the places we went and things we saw and did!
Here is the sales pitch - Now is the perfect time to book something like this for yourself, next year - or even two years out. Cruising is for people who plan ahead. You don't have to plan much but you do have to pick something and go with it. I can never find a great deal for last minute shoppers! Just today I booked a 7 Night cruise for a client next January and was able to get them agency group space with amenities worth $80 / per person / per day! Just saying... You don't get those deals booking at the last minute! Give us a call for more info - Where do you want to go? If there is water there, you can cruise there.
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