We departed the waters of the Antarctic continent and, as we cruised north, the icebergs made less frequent appearances. Each day the weather got warmer and the sunsets got earlier and the end of our 3-week "floating home" drew nearer. We had one more week on the cruise and three more countries to visit, including Falkland Islands-UK, Argentina and Uruguay, before disembarking in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
(click below right to read more . . . . )
This part of the cruise was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. When again will we ever come to the frozen continent of Antarctica? As we cruised south of Cape Horn, we were informed about the Antarctic treaty and the requirements that were placed on the ship and passengers (or “expeditioners” as named in the treaty) as soon as we crossed the 60 degree latitude (no smoking outdoors, outside running lights dimmed at night, no trash overboard, etc). As we ventured further south, the first iceberg appeared large and angular off the port side, and as iceberg neophytes, we were all excited to take pictures. This was the first of literally thousands of icebergs that we were to see. First, the northernmost islands came into view: black cliffs, devoid of any flora, with stark white ice caps and glaciers descending into the ocean. Past the islands, we viewed in the distance the Antarctic peninsula, with even more whiteness enveloping the land, hidden under the blanket of ice and snow. Whales and orcas and penguins and seals appeared and the freezing weather put a covering of snowflakes on all the outdoor walkways. The Antarctic summer weather was, for us, completely tame, and with the coming days the blue sky and sunlight would give a stunning ceiling to the white icy landscape. It was an incredible time and such a unique opportunity to be there.
(Click below right to read more . . . )
We finished our wonderful 6 weeks of summer in Santiago, picked up Megan from Girl’s camp in the morning (spanish immersion – go Megan!), and in the early afternoon we were on board the Zaandam, a Holland America Cruise Liner for our trip south. It was fun to be back on a cruise ship and forget about shopping and cleaning and cooking and doing dishes, all while a ship takes care of the logistics of traveling for us, we don’t have to unpack and repack, and we still get to enjoy visiting new parts of the world together.
Highlights of the 1st week of the cruise:
1. Patagonia fjords and islands and waterways
2. Hiking in the Tierra del Fuego National Park in Ushuaia
3. Beagle Channel & Glacier Alley
4. Punta Arenas Naval Museum
5. Meeting a group from “Cruise Lady” on the Ship
6. Science talks and presentations onboard the ship
7. Incredible family dinners every evening
(To read more click below right . . . . . . . . )
Plan? What plan?
Our first Gap Year was a fabulous "2017-2018 School Year" of travel: from the Netherlands to Jordan to Texas to Hawaii to Mexico to Central America to London and back to the Netherlands. Our "2018 Summer Vacation" took us all around Western Europe, back to the USA on a transatlantic cruise, a road trip through New York and into Canada, and ending up in Utah. We have now kicked off the "2018-2019 School year" with a trip to Asia. Follow along with us on our visits to new places, as well as revisiting some of our favorite places from our time living there. It's going to be great!!