November marks the beginning of summer in Antarctica, summer being a relative term, and the beginning of the Antarctic travel season. Right about now boats of various shapes and sizes full of passengers of various shapes and sizes are leaving Ushuaia (the southernmost town in the world), braving the Drake Passage, and heading for Antarctica as the short tourist season opens. Penguins rule the frozen continent. The rest of us are just visiting. We visited Antarctica last year right about this time aboard the M/V Antarctic Dream.
Here we’re debuting some videos we shot in Antarctica to give you even more reasons to get there yourself.
Penguins, orcas, and seals
Penguins are adorable. Orcas are deadly. Seals are way bigger than you think. We got close to all of them. Check it out in our video, below.
Gentoo penguins in Port Lockroy, Antarctica
More penguins, this time they’re swarming around the research station in a rocky, windy place called Port Lockroy.
Aboard the M/V Antarctic Dream
The truth is that you’re going to spend most of your Antarctic adventure on board the boat traveling to various points of interest and/or waiting out bad weather. Much of this video was shot from aboard the M/V Antarctic Dream, including up in the bridge as well as from zodiacs during excursions away from the ship.
A (relatively) calm day on the Drake Passage
The Atlantic and Pacific oceans bump bellies at a spot called the Drake Passage. This notoriously rough stretch of sea must be crossed immediately leaving Ushuaia and again returning to port in Ushuaia. It takes two to three days to get through the Drake Passage and seas are usually rough to hellish. We lucked out with swells peaking at just 30-40 feet (moderately rough). Here’s a taste…
For more inspiration, check out our tip-filled newspaper story about How to Make the Most of an Antarctic Adventure and our piece about all the fun you can (hopefully) have with the humans in Antarctica.