December 14th 2017


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A Once In A lifetime Trip A Once In A lifetime Trip A Once In A lifetime Trip A Once In A lifetime Trip


Continent: Oceana. Country: Antarctica. City: Drakes Passage.

A Once In A lifetime Trip

By Peter Ruck

Having made a pretty comfortable crossing of Drakes Passage with just a mild  Force 4 wind, we arrived early at the Antarctic Peninsular and were able to take our first zodiac landing on this remote and formidable White Continent. Over the next 5 days we were treated to incredibly blue skies, clean air and some amazing sights. Little Adele penguins ‘stealing’ each other’s nesting stones, some with eggs and others with hatchlings. Comical Chin straps waddling or tobogganing to and from the icy waters.

Majestic hump-back whales and pods of Orca the killer whale together with noisy elephant seals basking in the Antarctic Sun. The air is so clear that we had to make various adjustments to camera settings as advised by the resident photographic expert who together with the on board scientists and lecturers managed to enhance our overall experience. I know there are some huge cruise ships still operating in Antarctic waters but the whole experience is landing and walking on land and ice possibly never trodden before. I guess that swimming very briefly)  in Antarctic waters has to be the maddest thing I’ve attempted – and I have the certificate to present to my psychiatrist to prove it! 

We were served Moet & Chandon on ice – literally – sitting in the middle of an iceberg – the champagne that is – we were snuggled up in our various thermal layers on board a zodiac. Having a bar-b-q out on deck in freezing temperatures is very different and then going out ice berg viewing – some of the carvings by the wind and sea are incredible – and then to be welcomed back on board with a cup of hot chocolate and dark rum or cognac – soon warms you up.

Following an amazing few days of awe-inspiring sights and lectures we had to make our way back across Drakes Passage which was almost like a mill-pond!

A once in a lifetime trip – that must be repeated!!!

Peter Ruck