Cruise to Antarctica, Feb 2010

Celebrit Infinity Antarctica Buenos Aires Cape Horn Ushuaia Paradise Bay, Antarctica Montevideo

Buenos Aires to Cape Horn 1998 nautical miles

Cape Horn to Ushuaia 119 nautical miles

Ushuaia to Paradise Bay 680 nautical miles

Paradise Bay to Puerto Madryn 1378 nautical miles

Puerto Madryn to Montevideo 719 nautical miles

Montevieo to Buenos Aires 137 nautical miles


Total Sailed 5031 nautical miles

The ship is the Celebrity Infinity,and we leave Buenos Aires on a two week cruise to Antarctica and back to Buenos Aires

Day 1 – Boarded Infinity and left Buenos Aires at 5pm on Sunday 31st Jan 2010

Day 2 – At Sea Feb 1st . Foggy all day.

Day 3 – Mild sea and warm weather. At 5pm were told that we would not be making a call at Port Stanley, Falklands the next day, as the weather forecast was for 50-60 mph winds with 20 ft seas. Ship is therefore continuing south to Elephant Island.

Celebrity Infinity

Day 4 - We sail past the Falklands. Weather at noon it was mild with visibility about 5 miles, and a low 8 ft swell. As we reached a point parallel to the tip of South America and entered the Southern Ocean, seas started to get worse.

Day 5 – In the Southern Ocean heading to Elephant Island. The wind was now blowing 20-25 kts and the seas looking pretty stormy. When we woke up there was snow on the balcony and it was bitterly cold outside. Visibility down to under 800 yards for most of the day. Noon report tells us we have 50 kts winds and 15 ft seas. It continues to snow. The PA system informs us that now Elephant Island visit has to be cancelled due to weather, but that we would be proceeding directly to Antarctica. A deep low weather system had suddenly formed and we were bang in the middle of it. We passed about 30 miles from Elephant Island and visibility is just a few hundred yards. You have to admire Shackleton! A new plan is announced over the PA system. We will turn (actually the ship turned several hours before they bothered to tell us) and head north to go to Cape Horn and Ushuaia, then return to Antarctica assuming that the weather improves. Apparently the weather in the Gerlache Strait in Antarctica had zero visibility, gale force winds winds and unpredictable iceberg movements. The ship itself was being buffeted at this time by gale force winds.

Cape Horn

Day 6 - We reached Cape Horn in early afternoon. Night had been spent in the Southern Ocean heading north towards Cape Horn. At dawn the wind had dropped, though there was a heavy swell, but that too dropped off as the day wore on. At 1pm we reached Cape Horn, took aboard a Chilean pilot, and did a complete circumnavigation of Cape Horn Island. After rounding Cape Horn at 4pm in calm, pleasant conditions, we sailed off towards Ushuaia.

Estancia Harberton

Day 7 - Arrive at Ushuaia at 6am. The city has a spectacular setting. We have organised a rented car and set off to see Estancia Harberton, original home of Lucas Bridges, the missionary who wrote about it in The Uttermost Parts of the Earth. A quick round trip, and we are back on board by 4.30, and the ship sails out, hopefully bound for Antarctica.

Day 8 - We are back in Drake Passage again for our third crossing. We were awakened to breaking seas and 60 kt winds. All outside decks are closed. At 5pm the wind drops to 40 kt winds but the seas continues rough. Visibility is down to about one mile, but we motor on at 22 kts.


Day 9 - Antarctica. Dawn sees most passengers on deck to see the sun rise over Antarctica. The change in the weather can scarcely be believed - wind has disappeared, sea is a flat calm, and the skies are mainly blue. We nosed into Paradise Bay, virtually landlocked by tall mountains, glaciers and snow fields. Icebergs floated at random round the bay, and there was a profusion of wild life - penguins, seals and whales. We sailed round Paradise Bay and back out into Gerlache Strait, which we were in till lunch time. As we left the shelter of the Strait, the weather closed in, the wind increased and the blue sky disappeared. 15 foot seas and 40 kt winds sprung up for our 4th crossing of the Drake Passage.

Day 10 – We sail north to Puerto Madryn through the Southern Ocean and into South Atlantic Ocean. Morning was gray, but the wind had fallen off, as had the breaking seas. Captains’ noon report tells us to expect 28 ft seas and 60 kts winds tonight as we pass west of the Falklands. But by mid afternoon we noticed a 60 degree change of course, and a few hours later the PA system announced that the ship had turned towards the Argentine coast to avoid a predicted gale with 30 ft seas and 70 kt winds. It was still calm outside when we finished dinner at 10.30pm.

Day 11 - However by midnight we hit the storm. The ship was badly mauled during the night, with waves breaking up to deck 7. Several times the ship appeared to stop when it ploughed into a sufficiently large wave. But by breakfast time, although still very windy outside, the storm was starting to abate. Noon weather report gave 50 kt winds, but by the afternoon we were down to 5 ft waves and 30 kt winds.

penguiins at Punta Tumbo

Day 12 – Puerto Madryn. We docked just an hour late at 8am at the aluminium factory quay. As we got into port, the temperature was warm, and the wind had by now dropped to nothing. We rented a car and drove a couple of hours to the Punta Tombo penguin rookery. There were perhaps half a million penguins, and it was a memorable sight. As the ship was only in port a few hours there was no dawdling, and we did not have time to detour to Gaiman for a Welsh Tea! We leave Puerto Madryn at 5pm

Day 13 - From Puerto Madryn we head north to Montevideo. By now the weather is mild and pleasant, the pool area is crammed by sun bathers.


Day 14 – Montevideo. We arrive as planned around 8am, and by now the weather is hot and humid, with little or no wind. We went on a tour of a vineyard, and enjoyed both the tour and the lunch

Day 15 Back to Buenos Aires . They throw you off the boat at breakfast time, and into the hands of a dreadful taxi scam - basically the only way out from where the ship docks is by taxi, and all fares are at least doubled, you have no choice.

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