Penguins Greet Guests On Half Moon Island: Exploring Antarctica On Seabourn Quest

Chinstrap Penguin
Chairman of the Antarctica Welcoming Committee. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle

After crossing the Drake Passage yesterday, Seabourn Quest held a position for most of the day today off Half Moon Island. All guests who wished to do so were able to go ashore in Zodiacs, except for one wheelchair-bound passenger who will likely get to go ashore under calmer sea conditions later this week.

With more than 400 guests on board, landings were staggered among five groups, the first of which began disembarkation at around 8 a.m. and the last of which zipped ashore at around 15:00. Each group was able to spend about 90 minutes ashore to admire thousands of penguins (Chinstrap and Gentoo) — as well as a few seals “hauled out” on the snow (the term means that the seals were resting between periods of foraging — diving as deep as 1,200 feet — for food).

For guests waiting their turns to go ashore, there was no shortage of diversion. Scheduled activities ranged from “Popcorn Documentaries” to lectures presented by the expedition staff. Seabourn Quest’s large spa, fitness area, four restaurants and complimentary on-demand movies in staterooms added to the list of possible diversions. One couple ordered hot cocoa and wrapped themselves in blankets so that they could admire the snow-covered islands from the comfort of their balcony.

Seabourn Quest’s expedition team is posting daily accounts of our voyage. You can follow those posts as well as our GPS coordinates by clicking here.

A Seabourn Quest Expedition Team member helps guests on the Zodiac as they prepare to leave Half Moon Island today. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
A Seabourn Quest Expedition Team member helps guests on the Zodiac as they prepare to leave Half Moon Island today. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
© 2014 Ralph Grizzle
A Chinstrap penguin taking the easy way. Some days it’s just better to get on your belly and slide. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
© 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Penguin rookery at Half Moon Island. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
© 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Which way do we go? Chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
© 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Taking a break on Half Moon Island in Antarctica. © 2014 Ralph Grizzle
Into the wild. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Into the wild. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Hiking Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Hiking Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seabourn Quest holds its position off Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seabourn Quest holds its position off Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seabourn Quest holds its position off Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seabourn Quest holds its position off Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seal on Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seal on Half Moon Island. © 2014 Yuriy Rzhemovskiy for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seabourn Quest holds it position off Half Moon Island. © 2014 Chris Stanley for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Seabourn Quest holds it position off Half Moon Island. © 2014 Chris Stanley for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Hiking Half Moon Island. © 2014 Chris Stanley for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Hiking Half Moon Island. © 2014 Chris Stanley for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Photographing Half Moon Island. © 2014 Chris Stanley for Avid Travel Media Inc.
Photographing Half Moon Island. © 2014 Chris Stanley for Avid Travel Media Inc.

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4 Comments

  • I can’t imagine a better cruise in the whole world than Antarctica on Seabourn. Seabourn is 6 star first class, and Antarctica is beyond words. Can’t wait to go back! Thanks for sharing, though I’m extremely envious being back in the “real world”.

    Reply
  • Ralph,
    I would be interested in hearing how you compare this trip with your earlier voyage on the Silver Sea Explorer. What are the pros and cons of both? Also, how is the ambiance on board for this “cruise” different from the more common Seabourn voyages? (The mental image of a “Caviar in the Surf” experience here brings a smile.)

    Reply
    • Thanks David. I’ll be doing that when I have had the full experience. Both rank in the category of “great experiences/cruises.” But for now, plusses for Silversea, smaller ship, possibility of more landings each day, butler service. Plusses for Seabourn, big balconies, multiple dining venues, big fitness center and spa. We did have a caviar party today, coincidentally, only on the pool deck, not in the surf 🙂

      Reply
  • Hi Ralph, wonderful pictures! You have certainly captured the beauty of the day! By the way, I think I’m in the cabin across from you:).
    Jen & Bob

    Reply

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