Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands Trip Log (12 - 28 Dec 2017) – Wednesday, Dec 13

Wednesday, December 13: Embarkation in Ushuaia
January 2018

For so many a trip to Antarctica is a bucket list item, something they fervently wish to experience at least once in their lives. For some, today is the first firm step in realising that dream. Guests arrived on various flights from Buenos Aires into Ushuaia, to embark on Le lyrial this evening. A&K staff in the interim began the day early, receiving boots, parkas, back packs, waterproof trousers and the like, which need to be sorted and delivered individually to the cabins. Amidst frantic activity the previous guests disembark, cabins are turned around, the ship is resupplied whilst we prepare the vessel for our valued guests' arrival around 4pm.

Guests were treated to a wonderful buffet lunch at the beautiful Arakur Hotel, situated on a bluff high above the town of Ushuaia. After lunch many chose to take a walk in the Beech forests behind the hotel, with magnificent views over the mountains which surround this frontier town, and the Beagle Channel. The weather today could scarcely have been better-bright sunshine, almost no wind and very comfortable temperatures around 11 degrees Centigrade. Local tour company, Rumbo Sur, delievered guests to Le Lyrial from 4pm. Watching their excited faces filled with anticipation as they approach this beautiful ship is fantastic-their Antarctic dreams becoming a reality. With officers, expedition team and ship's staff out to greet the guests off the buses adding to the excitement, the ever-smiling waiters and cabin staff assisting with luggage. It has been a special treat having Bob Simpson, from A&K head office in Chicago.. Welcome drinks and snacks were followed by the mandatory life boat drill. Much amusement was created by folks stumbling about-the life jackets are so bulky that it is difficult to see one's feet. Suzana D'Oliveira, Expedition Director, then introduced the Captain, who warmly welcomed the guests on board, assuring them of an unforgettable experience in the White Continent. The Expedition Team then introduced themselves individually. Patri Silva, Ornithologist, brought the house down, as she so often does, by telling us that she began working in Antarctica more than 30 years ago. Patri will continue to delight, entertain and educate guests for the entire season; absolutely inimitable.

Dinner was the usual fantastic fare served by A&K on every cruise, and the sense of excitement on board is palpable. Some are out on deck revelling in the beauty of the Beagle Channel, and hoping to see some of the resident birdlife, including Magellanic Penguins. This itinerary includes the Falklands and South Georgia, before heading into the Antarctic Peninsula-undoubtedly the finest itinerary of all, for those who have the time.  

Click here to read 'Thursday December 14: Sailing the Scotia Sea'