6 months ago


A day in Antarctica A

A day in Antarctica A passenger's account | 7.30 am I am up early this morning, impatient to find out what this new day has in store. Our ship is cruising off the coast of immaculate icy lands. The sun has not long risen, giving the sky a wonderful pinkish orange hue. The light’s many reflections on the ice offer us a palette of extraordinary shades of white and blue. Not far from there, I spot the team of naturalist guides heading off to survey the area. The silence is serene. The day promises to be beautiful. | 9.00 am It is time. We are off, boarding in small groups. For more than an hour we sail around our first icebergs and instantly fall under the charm of these blue tinged giants. Suddenly, we hear an excited cry from the Zodiac® that is following us: a leopard seal is playing in our boat’s wake! | 11.30 am Back on the ship, huddled around a nautical chart, we chat about our impressions of the morning’s adventures and show one another our pictures. After a gourmet lunch, it is time to head to the theatre on deck 4 where our lecture and information meetings are held. Suddenly, the Captain’s voice rings out: “Whale on the port side!” From the bridge, he invites us to make our way to the exterior decks: a majestic humpback whale is crossing our path. It is a magical moment. | 3.30 pm For the second time today we board our Zodiac®. This time we are heading to Paulet Island. The pilot cuts a path through the ice floes and we finally reach the shore. Over 100,000 couples of Adélie penguins live here and we are quickly encircled by these small, rather bold animals that find our presence highly intriguing. | 5.30 pm Back on the ship. The pastry chef has outdone himself once again: cakes, madeleines and mini tarts await us in the Grand Salon, along with hot drinks. This delicious moment is just what we need to warm up while those who wish to can join our lecturers in the theatre. | 7.30 pm The day ends with a delicious cocktail reception held on the exterior decks. Our Captain pops opens a bottle of champagne. As the sun slowly sets on the horizon, it is time for dinner. Later on, some of the passengers will attend a piano concert. But by that time, most of us will have already given in to welldeserved sleep. Marc D. February 11 th 2015 aboard Le Soléal 20 | Summer 2018 / Winter 2018 - 2019 Cruises

Why sail in Antarctica with PONANT • For the extraordinary scenery, including ice floes in the Peninsula, jagged mountains in South Georgia and long plains covered with moss and lichens in the Falklands; • To get up close to the magnificent icy giants, which are composed only of fresh water and glide along the sea like crystal cathedrals draped in a mantle of snow white and azure blue; • To discover exceptional wildlife*: Gentoo, Adélie and chinstrap penguins, king and macaroni penguins, humpback whales, sea leopards, black-browed albatrosses, Weddell seals, Cape petrels; • To sail in the wake of great explorers such as James Cook, Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Sir Ernest Shackleton or Paul- Émile Victor; • To discover exceptional sites including former whaling stations, scientific research stations, and of course Shackleton’s famous tomb; • To spend Christmas & New Year’s Day in Antarctica in the heart of remote lands, surrounded by incredible landscapes of ice and water. *As each trip is different and subject to the prevailing weather conditions and chance encounters, the wildlife described above illustrates possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Antarctic Expeditions by | 21