Day 1 |
Nov 12, 2009

Ushuaia, Argentina

By Chris Srigley, General Naturalist

Air Temperature: 0ºC

Weather: Overcast, Scattered Flurries

With the beginning of each new voyage there is always the memory of our previous guests. Today, after saying goodbye and preparing for this exciting new voyage, our first of the season to Antarctica – our guests came back.

As I sat at the breakfast table preparing for the day, our Expedition Leader Robin West came over the Prince Albert II speaker system. Of course this is always the norm onboard, however today would not be so.

Robin began, “Ladies and gentleman, may I please have your attention. I have some very important information to pass along… “

It had been brought to our attention that as our incoming guests were to be boarding their charter flight in Buenos Aires this morning, the pilots had gone on strike. This would surely make for an interesting day.

As we said goodbye and they boarded the buses we hoped to see many of them again onboard the Prince Albert II. However, several hours later as it became evident that the plane would not be arriving, they returned to the Prince Albert II for drinks and dinner.

Once this decision had been made, all onboard jumped into action preparing suites and staterooms for guests to use to shower and relax, food to eat and drinks to quench their thirst.

Constantly in contact with our agents in Argentina, Robin was quick to keep everyone up to date as to what was going on. By 8:00pm it was evident that a plane had taken off and would be arriving just after 11:00pm.

At 9:30pm we began the process off saying goodbye for the second time today. With plenty of laughter and smiles, the buses were loaded (each bus being joined by one of the Expedition Team members) and headed off to the airport.

Juan Carlos, Richard, Victoria, our two new staff members Anja and Rich plus myself would greet our incoming guests at the airport and lend a helping hand. It had been an extremely long day for them and we wanted to make sure they had a warm welcome.

Waiting for the last of the guests, Juan, Rich and I boarded the final bus. As I introduced the three of us and explained the embarkation process, Juan and Rich handed out the ship’s health declaration forms and pens to help speed the process once onboard.

After checking in, many guests headed to The Restaurant for a meal before heading to bed after their long day. Some made for the Panorama Lounge and a nightcap.

With luggage delivered and bellies full, the clock struck 1:30am. It had been a long day, and was time for bed.