Day 8, 9, 10 & 11:
West Antarctic Peninsula
Following our three days of discovery on the Peninsula’s east side, the Ocean Endeavour will plot a course to transit Antarctic Sound and to visit the more welltrodden western shores.
As we attempt to enter the sound, a collection of tabular icebergs typically serves as a gateway from east to west and locations like Esperanza Station and the volcanic cliffs of Brown Bluff are viable landing points along the way.
From here on out, we return to the more familiar sights and sounds of Gentoo penguin colonies, a collection of Argentine and Chilean bases observable on craggy points and we lower the zodiacs again to explore famous sites like Orne Harbour, Paradise Bay or Port Lockroy. While the east side afforded us the most true sense of isolation and wilderness observable on Earth, the contrast becomes apparent on the western side as no excursion lasts long without the presence of Gentoo or chinstrap penguins parading through the early-season snow and marine mammals hauling themselves onto ice-floes.
After our four days of excursions in this region, we will again turn north to cross the Bransfield Strait. As we thread the Ocean Endeavour through South Shetland Islands, we will take to the aft deck of the Ocean Endeavour once more for a final toast to the Antarctic, to discovery and to the new horizon ahead.