Guests enjoyed a delicious BBQ lunch on the pool deck before their Continental landing in Paradise Bay.
At the Argentinian station Brown in Paradise Bay, passengers were able to hike to the top of the mountain and slide down as part of their Continental Landing!
A Weddell seal looks curiously at us as we pass by the ice floe it was resting on.
A Gentoo penguin arrives back to its colony at Paradise Bay.
A family group shares a champagne toast to the New Year!
Gerlache Strait and Paradise Harbour
For some there was a rather slow start to the New Year, following last night's partying! Le Boreal was running back down the Peninsula. There was so little wiind that it was a pleasure to be on deck as we traversed the Gerlache Strait. The magnificent mountains were peeking out of the clouds and we saw a number of humpback whales busy feeding on krill. The great excitement came just before lunch when a large pod of killer whales or orcas started to swim round the ship. We had spectacularly-close views of adult males with their tall fins and mother-calf pairs.
Our final destination was Paradise Harbour where we would make our landing on the Antarctic Mainland. Although cloudy the snow-crusted mountains made a wonderful backdrop to the calm, ice-studded waters of the huge natural harbour. We made an easy zodiac landing at the Argentine station Brown (formerly Almirante Brown named for the Irish founder of the Argentine navy) where we found friendly men of the Argentine Prefectura engaged on maintenance work. We paid our final visit to the penguins – a gentoo colony that had encroached on the station - and climbed a steep snow slope for a fabulous view over Paradise Harbour and its surrounding glaciers, followed by a slide back down!
The zodiacs took us on a short cruise to inspect a cliff-side colony of blue-eyed shags and – surprise! – there was another zodiac round the corner waiting to dispense glasses of champagne to celebrate the end of our stay in Antarctica.