Ushuaia’s summer flowers
An Ushuaia sled dog on its summer vacation
Ushuaia double decker tour bus
After a windy welcome at the pier, we board Le Boreal at last
Never too many penguins!
Le Boreal - January 04, 2012
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Temperature: 50° F
Wind speed: 30 knots
Cloud cover: 90%
We converged on the small city of Ushuaia, all of us arriving from distant reaches of the planet for the same reason: to embark on an expedition to experience the wildlife and landscapes of the Falklands, South Georgia and the magnificent continent of Antarctica. As our flight approached Ushuaia, the majestic clouds parted at times to provide us with striking views of the southern Andes. The glaciers, glacial lakes and towering peaks had to be seen to be believed. When we arrived at "El Fin del Mundo" (as Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, is locally known), we found a growing outpost with plenty of restaurants and shops catering to adventurous travelers. We could hardly imagine a more picturesque setting from which to embark on our journey to the White Continent.
By the time we arrived at the ship, an impressive wind was gusting down the pier. We carefully made our way up the gangway, where we were welcomed by the staff and crew of our ship, Le Boreal. After settling into our staterooms and getting familiar with the ship a bit, we headed to La Bouselle restaurant to partake in some welcome champagne and snacks. Following a lifeboat drill, we joined our Cruise Director Jannie Cloete and our Expedition Leader Larry Hobbs in The Theater for an introduction to the ship and her staff. As each member of the Expedition Staff gave us a welcome and some background on themselves, it became clear that their passion for the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, and their desire to share it with us would make this a grand adventure indeed!
Our day drew to a close over dinner and some live piano music in The Grand Salon. Many of us ventured outside onto the outer decks to watch darkness fall over the magnificent mountains lining the Beagle Channel on both sides. Flocks of noisy terns crossed in front of us, while small groups of cormorants watched us sail past from the surface of the water. We breathed in our last breath of South America and of the green vegetation covering the mountainsides, all the while contemplating the experiences that lie ahead of us. We drifted off to sleep in our new home away from home, eagerly anticipating awakening to the vast Southern Ocean.