We woke up just off Cape Adare where we made our first landing on the Antarctic continent. We were extremely fortunate to get ashore without being blocked by ice or swell, which is often the case at this location. Cape Adare is a spit of land at 72°18´S on the southwestern corner of Victoria Land. Here, a team of ten spent the winter of 1899 during the British Southern Cross Expedition (1898-1900) led by the Norwegian explorer Carsten E. Borchgrevink. In February 1899, they erected a prefabricated wooden hut that is the oldest building in Antarctica. Even after 125 years, the main building shows few signs of deterioration. The hut is surrounded by a colony of up to 500,000 pairs of Adelie penguins. We saw penguins everywhere, even at the hut’s entrance door, which was opened for our guests to visit.
After lunch, we cruised southwards through a lot of dense sea ice. During the afternoon, naturalist Jamie Coleman gave a fascinating presentation on the penguins of Antarctica, and only a half hour later, we spotted our first emperor penguin! In the late evening, a great number of guests opted for a Zodiac cruise along the spectacular shores of Foyn Island. What a wonderful finale of our first expedition day along the Antarctic continent!