Hard to believe that a week has past. An amazing week of incredible beauty. A week of developing a deep appreciation of ice, penguins and the soul of the Antarctic. It is difficult to describe this place and impossible for a camera to capture it adequately. However we hope that the photos will give you at least a sense of the grandeur. To me it seemed like the way the world was when everything began.

Following the Drake rite of passage, our journey continued in the South Shetland Islands . Excursions went out from the ship 2X a day. A hike often started our day and a zodiac cruise rounded out the afternoon. We visited penguin rookeries, had magical ice berg cruises, saw whales ( orcas, humpbacks and minke ), seals and the great wandering albatross. A lot of the time I just sat and tried to take it all in. The Sun set at midnight and rose at about 2:30 am – it never was entirely dark. We managed to capture both on camera. Our time on the Antarctic peninsula was spent hiking up to penguin colonies which were often 1000 meters above sea level on rocky outcrops with spectacular views. We were incredibly well taken care of by Quark and I recommend them whole heartedly to anyone planning a trip to the Antarctic. The quality of food, care, expertise was outstanding, as was attention to detail in every aspect of safety and ship management. One caveat – the Antarctic is not wheelchair friendly. You will get the most out of the trip if you are reasonably fit.

For those of you who are interested in following our progress on a map our ports of call were

Mikkelson Harbour
Cierva Cove
Cape Reynard
Port Lockroy
Leith Cove
Danco Island
Orne Harbour ( where we stepped onto the Antarctic continent)
Fort Point
Yankee Harbour
Frei Station

I hope you enjoy the photos of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica – it truly is the end of the world as we know it in more ways than one.