Dear Fellow Traveler,
As Expedition Leader of Seabourn Quest’s cruises in the Antarctic and Patagonia, I would like to share some highlights from this past season.
Here are a few examples of the sort of adventures that await you should you join us on board the luxurious Seabourn Quest for one of our four Antarctica sailings starting on November 29, 2014.
During our first visit to Cuverville Island, some guests and I climbed to the top of the bluff to take in the spectacular views of Errera Channel and Gerlache Strait. Below, we could see penguins porpoising in the clear water, predatory leopard seals patrolling the beaches and a few whale blows just offshore. The snow was quite deep, making it difficult to climb back down, so several guests took the easy route – sitting and sliding down the slopes. It was great fun! Fully exhilarated, we returned to Seabourn Quest, where the guests were greeted by a smiling crew and steaming hot chocolate.
We were fortunate to have beautiful weather in the Drake Passage, and consequently we gained an extra day for our adventures in South Georgia Island. We spent a spectacular day zodiac-cruising Cooper Bay and exploring Drygalski Fjord. The expedition team ferried guests along the beaches and into rocky coves to witness hundreds of fur and elephant seals, as well as King, Gentoo, Chinstrap and Macaroni penguins. The amount of wildlife on display was truly amazing.
The following day we visited Salisbury Plain, where guests stepped off the zodiacs onto a beach covered with fur seals and king penguins. But the true spectacle of Salisbury Plain waited at the top of the beach. Ahead were hundreds of thousands of king penguins, both adults and juveniles spread across the flats and onto the hills beyond. Some guests shook their heads in disbelief, some cried and some just started walking toward the huge rookery of birds. Salisbury Plain is nature in all its abundance and glory. It provides proof that there are parts of our world that remain unspoiled and can be preserved and protected.
On another sailing, we encountered a pod of killer whales in the Gerlache Strait. They were followed later by a group of 30 to 40 humpback whales feeding on krill. The whales swam right up against the ship in the clear seas, providing spectacular photo opportunities. We also witnessed bubble-net feeding, during which the whales corral krill into tight “bait balls” by blowing a circular ring of bubbles around the swarm. In Antarctica, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event to see bubble-net feeding, let alone to see it so close!
I hope you have enjoyed these brief highlights from our recent journeys. As you’ll discover on our website, similar and equally unforgettable adventures await us next season as well. It would be my great pleasure to welcome you on board Seabourn Quest and to help you discover the epic beauty of Antarctica & Patagonia.
Expedition Leader, Seabourn Quest
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