When I think about Antarctica, I think of ice and penguins (in that order). I see mountain-sized icebergs, glaciers calving into the sea, and penguins on ice. Antarctica is an unimaginable place, one of potentially epic grandeur. For years a visit to Antarctica was a dream, until March of 2020 when we booked our journey.  It’s 2023, post-pandemic, and I’ve had an extra three years of anticipation.

Penguin on ice!

Would the legendary land live up to my expectations?

“You (our guests) are responsible for the weather, we’ll take care of the rest,” stated our expedition leader, Adam, on the first day of our cruise. He did not want to promise anything. We later learned that the previous cruise, correction, previous cruises had not seen the sun.

Magic does happen. Our first glimpses of Antarctica:

The clouds lifted, exposing the rugged mountains and glaciers.

The clouds continued to lift, the scenery was breathtaking.

Late afternoon

Each day was magical. 

We saw sunrises and sunsets.

Golden light at dawn

The mountains glowed.

Blue hour in the infamous Lemaire Channel

“You are doing an amazing job”, says Adam. Reminding us again, that we as guests, are responsible for the weather.

The mountains and glaciers are beautiful, more spectacular than I could have imagined. We continue to be blessed by incredible weather. Each day I was amazed to see the sun. 

Most of the opportunities to capture the landscapes have been from the deck of the ship. Here in Gerard Bay, I captured this from the Zodiac.

Gerard Bay captured from the Zodiac. Note the seal on the ice on the right.

Unbelievably, the weather each day was better than the previous day. The scenery continued to be amazingly epic.  I was in heaven. “I don’t know how you are doing it”, Adam says, “but you continue to work magic with the weather”.

Finally, our journey took us into the Weddell Sea and the through the big ice.

Layers of icebergs leading to shore

God beams illuminated the assorted icebergs

The journey has exceeded my expectations in every way. Adam is still shaking his head in disbelief ,and the crew think we are Gods. Many had not seen the mountains in this area in over 5 years.  

Hopefully you agree, Antarctica is full of epic grandeur.