travel Magazine » Shore leave on the Antarctic continent, travel report

Shore leave on the Antarctic continent, travel report

Antarctic cruise • Icebergs • Weddell seals

of AGE ™ Travel Magazine
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This travel report takes you to our first landfall on the Antarctic continent: We are on Antarctic cruise on the Sea Spirit and a small step from the dinghy to land brings us physically to the Antarctic mainland. Explore with us the icy beauty of Portal Point and let yourself be enchanted by snowdrifts, wagging seals and icebergs. Portal Point is part of the Antarctic Peninsula, the most animal-rich area on the Antarctic continent.

Antarctica travel guideAntarctic tripAntarctic PeninsulaShip Sea SpiritUntil the End of the World • Landfall Antarctic continent

Landing on the Antarctic continent

Personal experience report:

Finally the time has come. With the Zodiac we jet towards land and leave them Sea Spirit behind us. Beautiful icebergs float next to us, Antarctic terns fly above us and in front of us there is a bright white headland with tiny people. A new wave of anticipation hits me. Our Antarctic trip has reached its destination.

Our skipper searches for a good spot and moors on a flat, rocky shoreline. One by one they swing their legs overboard and then my feet touch the Antarctic continent.

I remain awestruck on my rock for a few seconds. I'm actually here. Then I'd rather look for a slightly drier place and take a few steps away from the waves. After just a few steps, the stone I'm walking on disappears into a deep, fuzzy white. Finally. This is exactly how I imagined Antarctica. Icebergs and snowfields as far as the eye can see. This shore excursion on the Antarctic continent shows us Antarctica like something out of a picture book.

Although almost half of the passengers are already on land, I only see a few people. The expedition team did a great job again and marked out a route with flags that we can explore at our own pace. The guests dispersed surprisingly quickly.

I take my time and enjoy the view: Powdery snow-white and angular gray rocks frame the shimmering turquoise-grey sea. Ice floes and icebergs of all sizes and shapes float in the bay and in the distance snowy mountains are lost on the horizon.

Suddenly I see a Weddell seal in the snow. If that isn't the perfect reception for an Antarctic trip. But as I get closer, I spot a faint trail of blood near her. I hope she isn't hurt? Weddell seals are preyed upon by leopard seals and orcas, but juveniles are usually the main targets. This Weddell seal, on the other hand, looks big, heavy and impressive to me. I treat myself to a photo of the beautiful animal, then I'd rather leave her alone. For safety. Maybe she needs to recover.

It is fascinating how different a Weddell seal lying on land looks when compared to a Weddell seal swimming. If I didn't know better, I would say they are two different animals. The fur, the colour, even its shape looks different: on land it is plush, strikingly patterned, somehow oversized and pitifully clumsy when moving. Yet in the water she is sleek, drab grey, perfectly proportioned and surprisingly agile.

On board we have already learned a few interesting facts about the impressive marine mammals: Weddell seals can dive up to 600 meters deep. The lecture impressed me, but it is even more impressive to see this animal live. to stand next to him. On Antarctica.

The route takes me away from the coast, through the snow and finally a bit up the hill. One fantastic view follows the next.

We would like to run even further ahead, directly to the icy edge and look down into the sea, but that would be far too dangerous. You never know where a piece of ice will suddenly break off, explains our expedition leader. That's why the crossed flags that the expedition team put up for us are over. They mark the area that we are allowed to explore and warn of danger zones.

Once at the top, we let ourselves fall into the snow and enjoy the perfect Antarctic panorama: a lonely, white expanse encloses the bay in which our small cruise ship is anchored between icebergs.

Everyone can use their time on land as they wish. Photographers find an endless choice of photo opportunities, two documentary filmmakers start shooting, a few guests sit in the snow and just enjoy the moment and by far the youngest participants of this Antarctic trip, two Dutch boys aged 6 and 8 spontaneously start one snowball fight.

We see the kayakers paddling between the icebergs. The small group pays extra and is allowed to tour with the kayaks. You will join us later, because the kayak club can't miss a shore excursion on the Antarctic continent. Some guests are enthusiastic about being photographed by the expedition team with signs in their hands. “Antarctic Expedition” or “On the Seventh Continent” can be read on it. We're not big on selfies and prefer to enjoy the scenery instead.

One of the Zodiacs is already on its way back to the Sea Spirit, bringing a few passengers back on board. Maybe your bladder is tight, you've gotten cold or the walk through the snow was too strenuous. After all, there are also many older ladies and gentlemen on the Antarctic journey. For me, however, it is clear: I will not go back a second earlier than is absolutely necessary.

We lie in the snow, take pictures, try different angles and admire every single iceberg. And there are plenty of them: Large and small, angular and rounded, distant and near icebergs. Most are bright white and some are reflected in the most beautiful turquoise blue in the sea. I could sit here forever. I look spellbound into the distance and breathe in the Antarctic. We have arrived.

Antarctica travel guideAntarctic tripAntarctic PeninsulaShip Sea SpiritUntil the End of the World • Landfall Antarctic continent
This editorial contribution received external support
Disclosure: AGE™ were given discounted or gratuitous services from Poseidon Expeditions as part of the report. The content of the contribution remains unaffected. The press code applies.
Texts and photos are protected by copyright. The copyright for this article in words and images lies entirely with AGE ™. All rights are reserved. Content for print / online media can be licensed on request.
The experiences presented in the field report are based exclusively on true events. However, since nature cannot be planned, a similar experience cannot be guaranteed on a subsequent trip. Not even if you travel with the same provider. If our experience does not match your personal experience, we assume no liability. The content of the article has been carefully researched and is based on personal experience. However, if information is misleading or incorrect, we assume no liability. Furthermore, circumstances can change. AGE™ does not guarantee topicality or completeness.
Source reference for text research
Information on site as well as personal experiences when going ashore on the Antarctic continent in Portal Point during a Expedition cruise on the Sea Spirit from Ushuaia via the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland to Buenos Aires in March 2022.

Poseidon Expeditions (1999-2022), Home page of Poseidon Expeditions. Traveling to Antarctica [online] Retrieved 04.05.2022-XNUMX-XNUMX, from URL:

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