This was our last day and night on board, and we spent much of the day packing and preparing for disembarkation tomorrow morning.
There were a couple of last lectures on the program this morning, and I attended one given by Franz on bird migration. Again, I know the topic doesn’t exactly sound exciting, but it was really interesting! Then at 2:00, we had a preview of the DVD of our expedition. The “movie” runs about 45 minutes, and is incredibly impressive. The ship photographer, Richard, is beyond talented. We can’t wait to share the video with all of you – it truly captures all of the emotion of the voyage, and then some!
The screening was followed by an auction for the charts from our journey, which are signed by the entire Expedition Team. I considered bidding, but when the price went above $500, I knew this was out of my league (no pun intended). The charts went for $2,150 in the end – we never dreamed they would go this high. All proceeds go to a staff welfare fund, to be used however the staff wants. Whether on a new Xbox game, or a party – it’s entirely up to them. And, in our opinion, they deserve all of that, and more.
About the same time, the ship entered the Beagle Channel on the last leg of our voyage. A few hours later, the pilot boat met us to guide the Silver Explorer to its berth in Ushuaia. Around 7:30, Robin announced that we had cleared the port in Ushuaia, and were free to go ashore. So, we did. The city is really small, with the “shopping” area concentrated along one main street. We looked in a few shops, but didn’t buy anything. Most stores closed at 9:00, so we made our way back to the ship for final preparations.
Our checked luggage was to be placed outside of our doors by 11:00 pm. It will then be transferred to the airport in Ushuaia, and loaded on the charter flight to Buenos Aires. We will not see it again until arrival in BA on Thursday afternoon. Needless to say, this took a bit of planning – to minimize our carry on baggage, but still have essentials for the morning.
While we were busy packing, we sipped our last glass of the beautiful pinot noir that we have enjoyed throughout the cruise. A big thank you to our butler, Michael, for keeping this wine stocked in our suite!
It was so hard for the evening to end. The last ten days have been indescribable – the landscape, the icebergs, the wildlife, the Zodiac landings, (yada, yada, yada). But seriously, to have been two of the relatively few people to set foot on the Great White Continent is truly an unbelievable adventure. And, to have done so in such great luxury is a dream.