I’m a cruise novice, they don’t generally appeal to me, the idea of being stuck on a ship with “people” is anxiety inducing at best. Yet here I was grinning ear to ear as I headed out of the cruise terminal to board the MS Roald Amundsen bound for Antarctica. A few moments earlier i was anxiously awaiting the negative covid test result, and when I got it I felt like I won the lotto.
The ship was a wondorous plaything, there were none of the usual cruising ameneties, but we had a science centre, a rooftop pool and spa and also a bar. There was a promise of walrus tusks in the science centre and they didn’t let me down. Before I get posts wanting walrus photos let me remind you they are a northern hemisphere animal, like Polar bears.
You’d think 2 days at sea would be boring, but it passed rather quickly, doing things I never thought I’d do like spot seabirds, or await for the “Ladies and gentleman, there are Whales on the port side”, followed by a quick googles on which side was the port side. There were info sessions, plenty of food, all of which has been cooked to a much higher standard than I’m typically used to. Despite the great food I never felt like i spent the days waiting for my next meal.
At the end of day 2 there was land and the morning of the third day we were well into the channel heading to the town of Castro on the island of Chiloé. I only did the free walking tour here and we had limited time to explore, but its a lovely regional Chile town and not many south of here are bigger, except maybe our last stop before Antarctica. The wooden church was amazing inside where one could see the craftmanship. Outside it dominates the top of the hill in the town…. except for the brand new cinema complex a few block away that now dominates it on the Castro skyline.
Another feature of Castro is the overwater bungalows known as palafitos. Being a photography group we spent a lot of time trying to capture these in all their glory as the tide slowly turned the mudflats to water. Our first foray onto land was an experience of expedition cruise landings and in this case we jumped back into the tenders to return to the boat. The tenders can apparently move well over 100 people per trip.
So the expedition continues south with another day at sea through the nortther Chilean fjords on our way to Antarctica.