Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
rafinmd

Around the Horn in 80 days.

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, rafinmd said:

It's a surprise--for me.  No clue yet about what the itinerary will be and the deposit allows me to choose a segment once the itinerary is out.  I tend to do a segment of something combined with something else. Crystal's itinerary is out now, and I expect Cunard's will be before too long.  If there are 2 segments that fit together that's how I'll go (My 2020 plan is Crystal Serenity LA to Sydney, a 3-day hotel stay, and then QM2 Sydney to New York).  I'm not likely to find something that perfect but who knows.

 

Roy

 

Sounds like a great adventure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day P32, Tuesday, February 5, 2019, Antarctic Experience(Antarctic Sound)


We did not make the big loop that we had done Sunday night since our destination or Tuesday was near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, about 150 miles from where we ended Monday's activities.  Although we are further North it is not getting warmer yet.  In fact, the water was the coldest I have seen yet, 0.1C or 32F, and the air temperature was pretty much as it has been most of the time, 4C/39F. The difference is that a dry cold is much more pleasant than a damp cold.


For most of the day we had good weather although at times the wind got pretty strong.  Scenic cruising was supposed to start about 6:30.  I was on deck about 5:45 and found the walking conditions quite decent, completing 5 miles about 7:30.  There was little to see on the walk except a few icebergs.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/walk05.jpg


We started to see things somewhat after 9 when we arrived at Hope Bay.  The most recognizable landmark was Argentina's Esperanza Base, a year-round station at virtually the tip of the Antarctica Peninsula.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/esperanza.jpg


To the right of the base was a beautiful glacier.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/hopeglacier.jpg


A bit further from the shore, to the left of Esperanza was a station which was originally British but since 1997 has been run by Uruguay.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/uruguay.jpg


Everywhere at Hope Bay there were Adele Penguins, about 60,000 pairs.  They are crammed in so tightly it's hard to believe not long ago there were 100,000 pairs.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/adelie.jpg


We left Hope Bay a little after 10.  At 11 there was a talk by Peter Carey on the Voyage of the Antarctic, a ship that had sent some explorers out on a scientific mission that had a long string of mishaps and also fortunate coincidences that ended in a reunion of the crew of the destroyed ship and the survey parties after being lost for 3 winters.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/carey.jpg


At noon we were attempting to go between the Northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and Andersson Island into the northern fringes of the Weddell Sea when we were blocked by quite a large tabular iceberg, several times the size of the Prinsendam.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/bigberg.jpg

While we surveyed the situation a large colony of Adele penguins rafted by on an iceberg, some jumping into the water as they passed.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/riders.jpg


Around noon there was also briefly enough sun so I could see shadows.  As some of the icebergs passed, the ice below the water was also quite visible.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/underwater.jpg


A decision was made that the scene here was appropriate for a photo shoot and a rescue boat was launched.  Captain Jeroen asked us to go out on deck as the boat circled taking a number of pictures.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/photoop.jpg

We left mainland Antarctica behind about 2 and started on our way to King George Island, which would be our destination for Wednesday morning.  Craig Franklin had an afternoon talk on the diving capabilities of Whales, Seals, and Penguins.

The 5 of us were back together at table 19 for a Chinese New Year dinner.  The Dining room and lobby between sections were appropriately decorated.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/chinese.jpg


We took advantage of a wide choice of menu selections, for me it was the roast turkey and strawberry crisp.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes05.jpg


When we returned from dinner there was a letter waiting for us about Grytviken.  Before being permitted ashore we will need to complete (I) a briefing, (2) a biosecurity check, (3) sign an affidavit, and (4) collect a shore pass for a 2-hour visit ashore.


The featured entertainment was violinist Jakup Trasak.  He was quite good.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/trasak.jpg


My parting shot will be wishes for a happy year of the pig.


Roy

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your pictures are always worth looking at, but today you have outdone yourself. That photo of the huge tabular iceberg, larger than the ship, is fabulous! Thank you so much!
I've seen some pretty big icebergs down there, but none as impressive as that one is.

Thank you so much for your faithful posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I can say is Well Done and SPECTACULAR!

I felt I was watching HAPPY FEET with the colony of Penguins!

Those glaciers are beyond belief!

THANK YOU ROY

Denise 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, cat shepard said:

I am in awe of the large iceberg. I have never seen one even 1/4 as large.

You ain't seen nothin yet.  I am just starting to write yesterday's post but the one off Elephant Island was more than I had seen since the Professor Multinovski.  I don't think I have that on my laptop but will try to post it once I'm back home.

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As always great write & love the pictures.

Allan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roy:

 

love your skill in bringing your travels to life. Every picture tells a great story.

 

to increase my time at sea I’m following in your footsteps. After a number of Cruises on Crystal, I’m taking the Volendam, next month so I can experience the Panal Canal.

 

Howard 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the Great pictures.

Edited by boards

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.  Very late posting today.  I thought it would be easy to catch up on a sea day but no such luck.  One thing I'll mention in advance is that it sounds like we will actually arrive in South Georgia about 2PM tomorrow.  I'm sure we won't go ashore until Saturday but perhaps the crew will go and get an orientation to their duties.

 

Day P33, Wednesday, February 6, 2019, Antarctic Experience(King George and Elephant Islands)


It has not gotten warmer so far as we start north.  When I went out on deck it was still about 3.5C/38F but at least the wind wasn't too bad initially.  On my first couple of laps around the lower promenade deck we passed a ship.  It was the Almirante Maximiano, apparently out to sea
after servicing Brazil's King George Island station.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/maximiano.jpg


When and Where listed Scenic Cruising as starting at 7 and by then I had completed my walk.  There are several bases on King George Island.  The first one I saw was about 6:30 but was not able to identify it.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/mysterybase.jpg


King George Island is about 60 miles long and 15 miles wide but many fjords cut into it.  As we sailed up our fjord I was impressed by how much snow covered our starboard side was while we had barren rock on the port side.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/kgfjord.jpg


We started getting commentary about 7:30 as I was completing my walk and as I too my first crack at breakfast to the pool desk we were passing Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station, one that is among the most visited and is a year round facility.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/kgipoland.jpg


At the head of our fjord there were w more stations.  Brazil's Comandante Ferraz Brazilian Antarctic Base was devastated by a 2012 fire (claiming 2 lives) and is being rebuilt.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/kgibrazil.jpg


Soon after we turned back towards the sea we passed Peru's Machu Picchu station, a summer only facility.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/kgiperu.jpg


We were leaving King George Island by about 9:30.  During the day there were 2 talks, Craig Franklin on Threats to Antarctic conservation at 11 and Lou Sanson on the Shackleton Expedition at 2.  


The first of the South Georgia Briefings was held at 3.  It was supposedly for late seating guests but almost everyone from table 19 attended.  I left the showroom after Sanson's talk and returned right at 3 checking before entering if there was room for me.  The briefing was mostly a video produced by the South Georgia government but then we had a few comments about the expedition staff about specifics for our visit.  While the video emphasized caution while smoking we were told flatly no smoking on our visit.  We were also warned we could not stray from designated routes between our sites (jetty, cemetery, church, and museum), and that we were to return post haste if we heard the ship's horn.


The presentation ended about 3:40 and we were approaching Elephant Island.  Ahead of us was a tabular ice berg that dwarfed the one we saw Tuesday, about a mile long.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/newberg.jpg


As we approached the fjord we went through a good sized field of brash ice.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/brash.jpg


We approached quite close to the iceberg, pausing for views of at least 3 sides of it.  The berg was not rectangular as I expected, but on the far side there several channels cut far into it.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/biggerberg2.jpg


As we watched the berg 2 of the dancers were quite a sight.  They were up on deck 13 practicing their moves in just light shirts and bare feet.  As they did this there were nearly 30kt winds and a temperature of about 3.5/37.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/rehearsal.jpg


We spent enough time at the berg that our viewing of the rest of Elephant Island was cutting into dinner time.  I told my tablemates I would be on deck and possibly join them for desert.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/valentine.jpg
https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes06.jpg
https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/pointwild.jpg


There are 2 primary sites on Elephant Island related to the Shackleton party.  They first landed at Cape Valentine.  I had just gotten my starter (watermelon ball salad) and was ready to sit down when we passed it.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/valentine.jpg


As we were passing Cape Valentine we were told it would be about a half hour until we reached Point Wild where the party spent most of their time.  Knowing there was time before the next real scenery I ate my entree (steak) from an inside table where I watched us sail along the foggy coast.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes06.jpg


I took a photo and headed down to the dining room when I thought we were at Point Wild.  Just as I was ordering my desert the announcement spilled over from the Ocean Bar that we were pausing at Point Wild.  It was too foggy to identify much but I'm pretty sure Point Wild is in one of the shots I did get.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/pointwild.jpg


The featured entertainment was West End singer Nick Page.  I skipped the show and watched the night's movie, Boy Erased, instead.  The buzz I've heard is that Page was quite good.


As my parting shot, this is the longest I have yet sailed consecutively on any non-Crystal ship.  I have commitments but if not I could easily imagine staying on the Elegant Explorer until the end of June when it leaves the fleet.


Roy

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, 1lehrer said:

Roy:

 

love your skill in bringing your travels to life. Every picture tells a great story.

 

to increase my time at sea I’m following in your footsteps. After a number of Cruises on Crystal, I’m taking the Volendam, next month so I can experience the Panal Canal.

 

Howard 

Excellent.  Will this be your first transit of the canal?

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

As my parting shot, this is the longest I have yet sailed consecutively on any non-Crystal ship.  I have commitments but if not I could easily imagine staying on the Elegant Explorer until the end of June when it leaves the fleet.

 

 

 

Really glad you are enjoying the ship, Roy 🙂 

 

I suspect I may have tears in my eyes when I get off her for the last time later this year 😞 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our views of Elephant Island were very much like yours, Roy; ours were in November, so I imagine it is a pretty bleak place, year-round!  I'm enjoying so much living it all over again through you and Kathi!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So excited, we got our cabin assignment today, we went from an N guarantee to a C(369), so the upgrade fairy was good to us.  I checked pictures on a website, we have never been down on the Main deck on Prinsendam before, so hope it's not noisy.  But now it's real, and I started with a bit of trying on/organizing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been on the main deck several times and 369 should be quite nice.  There is one odyssey.  Many of the cabins have a wide shelf between the drapes and the window that's very handy.  However, some of them have a plexiglass sheet at the curtains, and you can't get to that space.  I think it's because a few years ago there was a huge wave in the Drake passage and some windows were blown out, with the plexiglass put in either as a temporary patch or a backstop.  I hope you get one without the plexiglass, the storage ledge is very nice.

 

Roy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

So excited, we got our cabin assignment today, we went from an N guarantee to a C(369), so the upgrade fairy was good to us.  I checked pictures on a website, we have never been down on the Main deck on Prinsendam before, so hope it's not noisy.  But now it's real, and I started with a bit of trying on/organizing.

 

Congratulations on getting a cabin assignment that pleases you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

 

Congratulations on getting a cabin assignment that pleases you.

Thanks, KK.  I had not been looking forward to 35 days in an inside, so we were happy to get a window.  

 

1 hour ago, rafinmd said:

I've been on the main deck several times and 369 should be quite nice.  There is one odyssey.  Many of the cabins have a wide shelf between the drapes and the window that's very handy.  However, some of them have a plexiglass sheet at the curtains, and you can't get to that space.  I think it's because a few years ago there was a huge wave in the Drake passage and some windows were blown out, with the plexiglass put in either as a temporary patch or a backstop.  I hope you get one without the plexiglass, the storage ledge is very nice.

 

Roy

 

As long as we have two bedside tables, we'll be happy!  Our DD had an OV on the LP deck which only had one, we would have been discussing the situation for weeks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

So excited, we got our cabin assignment today, we went from an N guarantee to a C(369), so the upgrade fairy was good to us.  I checked pictures on a website, we have never been down on the Main deck on Prinsendam before, so hope it's not noisy.  But now it's real, and I started with a bit of trying on/organizing.

 

YAY Ann,  😄 

 

Nicely done 😄

 

Congrats on the visit by the upgrade fairy - very nice indeed - couldn’t happen to a nicer couple 🙂

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Day P34, Thursday, February 7, 2019, The Route of Shackleton, MS Prinsendam


We left the Antarctic zone (60 degrees South) overnight and when I woke we were at about 59:45.  I have a few things I wanted to wash in cold water so my first stop outside my cabin (about 5:15) was at the self service laundry. It was still cold (3C/37F) but otherwise morning walking conditions were pretty decent.  I got coffee and walked about 3 laps around the lower promenade deck before returning to the laundry room to move my clothes to the dryer.  On about my second lap there were 2 more large tabular burgs in the distance framed by the support poles for the deck 8 verandahs.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/2bergs.jpg


Sunrise had been about 4:30AM ane it was quite cloudy.  Just before I headed down to the laundry room to move my clothes from the washer to the dryer the sun found a very nice weak spot in the clouds.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/sunout07.jpg


As I was finishing my walk I went up to the back stairs and the Seaview Pool deck heading to the lido for a coffee refill.  As I crossed the pool deck there was yet another big tabular iceberg off our starboard side.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/yetanother.jpg


The morning coffee chat (9:30) was with violinist Jakub Trasak.  He does not have any more shows scheduled on the ship but has been jamming with both the Ocean Bar band and with Stevie in the Crows Nest.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/jakubchat.jpg


When I returned to my room it had been cleaned and there was a certificate signed by the expedition leaders and Captain attesting to my visit of Antarctica.

https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/antarctica.jpg


The morning (11AM) presentation was by Craig Franklin on the wildlife of South Georgia.


My biosecurity check was scheduled for Friday but I live near the place where it is happening so it was easy to pop down to deck 4 and survey the situation.  After the lecture I saw there was no line and I gathered the things on the list and went down.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/biosecurity.jpg


As we entered the area the expedition leaders were the first to review the things we had and see what needed cleaning, which was handled by the crew.  I haven't used a cane for about 5 years but carry one for situations where extra stability might be needed.  It looked clean to me but they cleaned it anyway.  Another station cleaned shoes while yet another was cleaning clothing and vacuuming clothing.  At the end we signed the affidavit which was actually an attachment listing each passenger by cabin number with a signature line.  The process took perhaps 10 minutes.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/biocheck.jpg


In his noon update Captain Jeroen indicated a storm was following us and conditions would get slightly rougher but we will mostly be ahead of it.  We will have some scenic cruising around South Georgia island Friday afternoon and evening.


The afternoon (2PM) talk by Noel Miller was on the Shackleton Expedition as seen by his photographer, Frank Hurley.  After the talk I worked on a credit card issue and a fire department question about documentation for a grant.


We were all present at table 19 for our 5th Gala Night.  My choices were the Arugula salad, Rack of Lamb, and Strawberry Romanoff.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/dishes07.jpg


The featured entertainment was the Prinsendam Singers and Dancers with Stage & Screen.  They were back to a full complement of 4 singers.  The pillow gift was a set of blocks, probably the first gift that will not go home with me.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/blocks.jpg


I'll take my parting shot from Miller's talk.  He started off with a famous quote about a help wanted ad, "Hazardous journey, low pay, long hours of complete darkness, safe return doubtful, honour and recognition in event of success".  It seems widely accepted but according to Miller searches to find the actual ad have been unsuccessful and it is doubtful the ad existed.  Sometimes stories seem to develop legs of their own.


wanted.jpg


Roy

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AS the temperatures were dropping over night, I woke up with the image of these 2 dancers out in the cold with no jackets and bare feet.

 

rehearsal.jpg

 

Had a good laugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wonderful report.

 

Those burgs are really something.  Hope that storm stays behind you and doesn't pick up speed.

 

Great pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Destination Awards
      • Celebrity Cruises President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo invites you to #CrewUpWithWomen
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...