As National Geographic Endurance parked at the edge of the fast ice in McMurdo Sound this morning, we were greeted with blue skies, calm and glassy seas, and spectacular views of Mount Erebus.

This was our first ice walk of the expedition, and it was a great chance to get in a good and long leg stretch. As we walked along the ice, we were greeted by a curious emperor penguin and some lazy Weddell seals. We were fascinated by how the ice squeaked as it ebbed and flowed with the movement of the ocean below.

With calm seas and beautiful (but cold!) weather, we decided to take a plunge into the ice-cold waters of Antarctica. Brave guests took the polar plunge with gusto whilst the perhaps more sensible amongst us looked on in astonishment.

After a busy morning on the ice, we ship cruised around McMurdo Sound looking for wildlife. When we came across a hotspot for wildlife, we couldn’t resist an adventure. We jumped in the Zodiacs for a closer look. And how glad we were about this decision! We were treated to a plethora of wildlife, including large groups of emperor penguins huddled on the ice, a patrolling leopard seal hungry for its next meal, and lazing Weddell seals. To top it all off, a huge group of killer whales turned up to display a range of behaviors. We observed them patrolling the edge of the fast ice, spyhopping, and swimming around our Zodiacs.

Today was incredible! A total showcase of some of Antarctica’s most iconic wildlife.