Given the unpredictable weather you have to take the chance to land when ever you can. This landing was made at 1am in a snow storm, we finally got back on board after 2am. This was probably the most memorable landing of the entire trip
We were advised when preparing for our trip that there would be two formal evenings on board the Marco Polo. Of course these are entirely optional – you can easily choose to eat in the self-service restaurant that evening and “do your own thing”. But we thought if we were going to go on a cruise (not at all our usual sort of holiday) we might as well do it properly, so we packed appropriate clothing and went along.
Both occasions consisted of a formal welcome at the door by the captain and other senior officers, an opportunity to pose for a souvenir photo in front of a back-drop (hence the rather incongruous image of me in an evening dress apparently out in the ice and snow!), drinks and music. A few people danced and officers were on the lookout for single women in search of a partner, but we preferred to watch and chat to a couple of people sitting near us. It was all pretty low-key, and the formal activities didn’t extend beyond 30 -45 minutes before everyone dispersed and went into dinner or elsewhere to enjoy a regular evening on board ship.
Dress Code: Tuxedo, dinner jacket or dark suit for men; evening gown, cocktail dress or similar for women.
This was our favourite spot on board ship, night and day. In the daytime it was a great place to sit, possibly with a book and definitely with one of the wonderful “hotties” that were on offer – a variety of hot chocolate or coffee based drinks, most with a warming touch of liqueur, whisky or similar. And whenever you looked up from your book, which was often, you would see the ice-bergs drifting past and the penguins porpoising. Occasionally you would hear the magic announcement from the captain: “whales on the port side”! A brief pause while everyone remembered port from starboard, and then we’d all be rushing to the appropriate side to spot them, before settling back again to soak up the amazing view.
At night the lounge was equally welcoming – unobtrusive live music (string quartet and/or piano), excellent cocktails and, with the long hours of daylight, still that stunning vista. We would visit the lounge every evening for a pre-dinner drink and on quite a few for a post-dinner night cap too. This was much more to our taste than the other entertainments on offer, but for those who prefer something livelier there were nightly cabaret-style shows, dances and a late-night disco. Something for everyone, in fact!
Dress Code: Casual during the day (very casual when filled with passengers wrapped up in their red parkas waiting for their turn on shore). In the evening the dress code was really smart-casual, but a few people would be dressed more formally.
While cruising along the Antarctic Peninsula, there was almost no night - it was almost never dark.
Helga (habert62) and myself loved our "midnight parties" on deck 7 and we could convince a few friends to join us!
This picture shows a special midnight party:
Camilo (camilo74) from Chile had given us a bottle of excellent red wine, when we met him in Santiago. He told us not to open this bottle until we reached Antarctica - and we promised! This was our third night in Antarctica, when we had this wonderful wine and I hope, that our thoughts made it all the way to Santiago! Thanks, Camilo!!!
Dress Code: Dress warmly!!!
Since the sun never sets here in the summertime, what's stopping you from having a cyclecross event some night?
The people in charge of recreational activities at McMurdo were very active and creative.
Unfortunately, the reality is that few Antarctic tourists will see the Aurora Australis (the southern lights) during the course of their trip. Because most trips are clustered around the mid-summer period, at the Antarctic Circle the sun is either above the horizon or so close to it that the sky does not darken adequately for an aurora to be visible. Further north, the high prevalence of cloud and short darkness makes a sighting unlikely.
The prospects may be best for those tourists on the 'shoulder' part of the season, early or late, because of the greater number of hours of darkness.
Dress Code: Warm
Most residents of the mid-latitudes have never seen the 'midnight sun'. But it is simple to do if you're at the right place (and at the right time!). Head south to the Antarctic Circle at midsummer's day (21 December), settle back and enjoy the evening and, weather permitting, as midnight passes you can watch the sun doing a lazy sweep along the horizon to the south. The further south you go, the longer the phonomena is visible, till when you reach the geographic pole, the sun remains visible between the equinoxes in March and September.
Dress Code: Warm.
This photo was at about 1am, after stepping outside from the NYE celebrations at Scott Base. We had to take the shuttle back to McMurdo.
Made me feel like I'd been up ALL night.... but it was still early.
That's right! McMurdo Station even has a two lane bowling alley.
Here is a photo of the two women who set up your pins and roll back your ball manually. You've gotta compute your own scores..
It's bowling in Antarctica! another thing you never knew you'd be doing.
The Kiwi's give an open invitation to their base and clubs on thursday nights.
Please, take off your shoes when you enter their buildings.
If you walk into the bar with a hat on your head, you'll be buying the next round.
What do you get when you put 1,000 talented and eclectic researchers in an isolated location for months at a time?
If you come here, you'll find many unique ways to remain entertained. Things you never thought you'd do in Antarctica!
I never expected to have a barbecue on deck, but the evening was mild (just above zero degrees) and the sun was shining well into the evening (it never really got dark this far south).
The chefs laid on a fantastic spread of grilled food and Suza (our trusty barmaid) brought out a large container of hot mulled wine. Surrounded by stunning scenery and some great company, what more could you ask for?
This is where I spent most of my time on board.
Well, not only in the night but also during the day.
Victor is the pianist & he plays beautifully.
I was inspired by his music & wrote most of my postcards from this bar.
Chris & Mellany are very nice people too. They were great to talk to & I enjoyed sampling the cocktails here. Yes, I'm allergic but with a boat, one never knows what makes u drowsy, lol...
Ok, let's face it... this is an expedition cruise. Not a cruise cruise per se...
Entertainment on board is not what people come for. No casino either. So, most Asians would not board this ship, haha!
I'm the only one from Asia really.
Most of the passengers on board are Americans.
The crew & staff are mostly Asians though... from Philippines!
Our 1st cocktail party.
The Johnsons from Texas made me feel very much welcome. One of the first few I met & the nicest!
Lastly, something to carry the energy from the Sun to the particles is needed. This is the solar wind.The Earth's magnetic field steers the charged particles from space in a way that makes them interact with the atmosphere way up north or down south, over the poles.
If you want to make sure that the magnetic field is shaped like this it is easily done. You need a rod magnet and some iron filings or a compass. Put the rod magnet on a plane surface and powder the iron filings around it, or move the compass back and forth around the magnet. Now it is possible to see the magnetic fields.
Many consider the aurora to be something of the most beautiful things that can be seen. The different colors in green, blue and red that swiftly move across the sky are really fascinating. If it is the first time you see a sparkling aurora it is easy to lose one's breath. Regardless of the fact that I have seen quite many beautiful auroras, I cannot just walk by when I see a new one. There are no two auroras that are alike, so if you have seen one aurora it does not mean that you have seen them all.
Auroras appear in many different shapes. The aurora mostly seen early in the evening is shaped as an arc and stretches all across the sky in an east-west direction. The arc has indistinct edges and is green.
Dress Code: Dress in a heavy red Parka with four layers underneath