We were happy to arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile from Houston one day before embarkation. It had been a long trip and we able to rest up before the BIG adventure began. Next day we met with the amazing expedition leaders (all of whom are serious scientists) and got the news of a midnight (!) departure for King George Island. The weather was closing in and Quark sent us ahead rather than try to delay departure. We had chosen to fly over the Drake Passage in order to save time AND to avoid what is likely the roughest body of water in the world. We arrived to King George Island (via Antarctic Air) at dawn where we boarded the ship and went straight to bed! By lunch we were hungry and ready to see everything, which we did. The expedition staff was wonderful and we learned so much in the ten rides and landings via zodiac (rubber boat used to explore Antarctica). We learned by closely observing thousands of penguins (three different kinds), sea lions and whales galore. The staff would recap the day every evening, giving scientific explanations along the way. We neither saw another ship nor any debris or trash anywhere in Antarctica. There are no commercial establishments except for tiny shops near a few research stations, which we were unable to see.The air was absolutely pure and they served glacier water for us to drink. We stayed healthy the entire trip. The ship is not at all fancy and a bit dated, but it is due for major renovation in 2017. I am not sure we will ever stop thinking and talking about this trip of a lifetime. Do all you can to see Antarctica - you will never be the same!!
The cabin was just what we expected - very simple with two lower berths. Happily the beds were very comfortable. The bathroom was adequate - very tiny with a ledge you have to step over to get in or out (hazardous if you are up in the night and don't remember to step over).