We were on the Fridtjof Nansen Antarctic Circle Expedition from February 7 to 23, 2023. The ship usually carries 500 passengers, but there were fewer than 300 people on our trip. The cruise included one night in Buenos Aires before taking a charter flight to Ushuaia. They tell you that you are allowed a checked bag weighing 50 pounds and a carry on weighing 17 pounds. They did not weight our luggage going to Ushuaia, but they did weight it when we were returning. We had a few hours in Ushuaia; enough time for lunch and to visit a few of the many souvenir shops. They took us on a bus ride (“city tour”) along the two streets that make up the downtown. Everything in Ushuaia closes at 1:00 p.m.
We spent 2 ½ days on the Drake Passage because we headed straight for the Antarctic Circle. The waves were at about 6 feet. Most people onboard did not have a problem handling this. We saw some spectacular sights. We saw hundreds of penguins and three types of seals. The ship had to stop twice, once for over an hour, because whales had surrounded the ship. The glaciers were incredible and there were plenty of glaciers to see. It turns out that some of the places where we went were uncharted. They did not tell us this until we were on our way back to Argentina. We made several landings on the barrier islands that surround the Antarctic Peninsula. We also landed at Red Rock Ridge; the only landing made on the actual continent. Certificates are given for everything: crossing the Antarctic Circle, participating in the Polar Plunge, camping on the continent, and kayaking.
I was hoping that we would stop at the bar at the Ukrainian research base and the post office at Port Lockroy, but we did not. The staff from Port Lockroy came onboard and did a presentation and sold souvenirs. The post office closes for the season around March 1st, so we just made it. Hurtigruten sold postcards and stamps onboard for over $7 per postcard. The Port Lockroy people took the postcards with them.