The timing of this tour to the Antarctic (February) was perfect, both for getting out of the winter weather in the northern hemisphere and for the warmest, sunniest weather that I have experienced in the southern hemisphere. I have never given so many days of perfect ratings on a tour, but so many days were just perfect for weather, activities, etc.
This was my second trip to the Antarctic as a Craig tour escort; a wonderful experience, even better than my previous trip. I heartily recommend this new itinerary, as we flew from Toronto to Santiago, Chile, spent a couple days there, then flew to Punta Arenas, where we boarded Hurtigruten Cruises ship, the ms Midnatsol.
We sailed the Chilean Fjords and landed at our first port, the village of Puerto Williams where the Jamas people were some of the first South Americans to land on the continent. This ship does Patagonia in Chile, Antarctic and the Falkland Islands, whereas its sister ship, the ms Fram, sails the east coast of Argentina.
We were fortunate to make nine landings, including Cape Horn, an especially unusual occurrence. The Drake was a lake instead of a “shake”, so our trip across the Drake Strait was very pleasant and we saw many whales, birds etc.
Returning along the Drake Strait, we experienced a little of the “Drake Shake” but were able to go around most of the turbulent weather.
We saw many types of penguins, including the chinstrip, gento, rockhopper, macaroni and king, plus many birds, including the albatross.
The staff on the cruise ship were great; the lectures interesting and the food delicious. What more can you want!
We returned to Punta Arenas and flew to Santiago for two days before returning to Canada. Santiago has become a “first rate city, with some third world ideas” according to our guide. We had a couple of days of winetasting and seeing historical sights, which was simply wonderful!
Although the trips on land climbing up the snow to the rockeries where the rocks are, were challenging, the rest of the trip was quite manageable.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I am thankful, that I had a second chance to experience Antarctica at its best.
Join the next Antarctic adventure February 25, 2019.