Day 265: m/v Plancius – Antarctica – Mar 9th

We spent the morning garnishing supplies, alfajores and much needed Pringles to serve as snacks for the trip. Labeling itself as an ‘expedition’, we weren’t quite sure of the food on board and just to be safe, we brought a bit ourselves. And our travel agent also hooked us up with some clothing rentals, which proved invaluable later on as we were glad we didn’t have to dirty up our own clothes full of penguin poop.

Walking to the pier with too much luggage, we read a few disclaimers about territorial disputes, had a few chuckles and were on our way. Due to the extreme lack of exercise, walking to the end of the pier was an arduous journey but we were greeted with the warm welcome of people wearing brightly coloured “STAFF” jackets. Our names were checked off the list, our luggage was brought onto the boat for us and we were officially greeted aboard the Plancius!

You know that excitement you get when you were a kid and your family just bought a brand new house, and since you were a kid everything new is always exciting. That was the feeling we got when we boarded our boat, and were taken to our cabin! Uncertainty and past experiences with cruises during our trip have given us an impression of cramped quarters, unsatisfying meals and sea-sickness. Let’s just say, from our first impressions we were already quite happy with Oceanwide Expeditions and their well run ship. It also might be because of our backpacking expectations (read: low) that this trip really blew everything out of the water.

The ship was small as it only takes 113 passengers, but it was recently renovated and feels really new. The common areas were comfy with more TVs than imaginable, there was tea anytime you’d like, and the coffee machine grinds out a delicious cup of anything at the press of a button! Oh, and there’s also a dedicated Leica Akademie guy here taking pictures and teaching classes! We also borrowed a set of Leica binoculars, which was used sparingly as binoculars on a boat = instant sea-sick.

The first day, we sailed out of the Beagle Channel, met all the EXTREMELY experienced+knowledgeable staff, had a lovely dinner and were off in our cabins happily snoozing away. Sheltered in the Beagle Channel, we’ll be having some rougher seas as we cross the infamous Drake Passage for the next two days!

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