There are a few days in our lives that may stand out as truly memorable, and one’s first time landing ashore at South Georgia might certainly be one of them. It may sound dramatic, but it really is hard to forget the first time you lay eyes on a colony of 73,000 pairs (or even 21,000) of king penguins – and these aren’t even the largest colonies! Spending the day at Right Whale Bay and Salisbury Plain, we were spoiled with phenomenal wildlife that competed with the even more spectacular scenery. An exciting diversity of weather conditions kept us on our toes throughout the day and reminded us of where we were in the world, and it certainly helped us appreciate the animals that call this island home. In between our landings, we were treated to excellent views of several albatross species as we cruised along the South Georgia coastline. Today was a day that left us feeling like we’d smashed it out of the park already, but we are up for the challenge to see how it can get even better in the upcoming days.
National Geographic Endurance
National Geographic Endurance set sail from the western edge of the Falkland Islands late last night. There was a slightly overcast sky when we entered the Beagle Channel in the morning. For the last miles to Ushuaia, we had stunning views of the most southern part of South America. Birds glided and whales swam alongside the vessel. We enjoyed several educational presentations, and there was time for packing luggage and getting souvenirs for friends and family from the Global Gallery. It was a perfect day to enjoy relaxing aboard the ship and making use of the spa, gym, and wellness facilities. The afternoon was filled with the third part of National Geographic photographer Michael Melford’s presentation, “On Assignment with National Geographic.” We enjoyed the famous Guest Slideshow, where we saw photos taken by our fellow travelers during our voyage to some of the most spectacular and densely-populated wildlife regions on our planet. In the evening, we enjoyed delicious drinks and nibbles during the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail Party in the Ice Lounge, which rounded out this hard to summarize expedition of National Geographic Endurance to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. It is a trip we will surely never forget.