Today, explorers on National Geographic Endurance found themselves farther south than any other vessel in the Antarctic. As we reached Red Rock Ridge in Marguerite Bay at 68° 18’ S, we were greeted by fierce weather. Strong winds and choppy seas hammered the bay, threatening plans for a possible continental landing and a day of observing wildlife from the shore. However, National Geographic Endurance remained steadfast in its mission and ultimately rewarded explorers with their first steps of this journey on the Antarctic continent.

On the shore, explorers were greeted by a colony of Adelie penguins and stunning vistas of the 690-meter, reddish-colored promontory for which the area is named. Many explorers hiked to the base of the promontory and were immersed in stunning panoramic views of the penguin colony and the incredible Antarctic landscape.

Following the morning’s expedition to Red Rock Ridge, National Geographic Endurance sailed even farther south where it encountered an expansive landscape of fast ice. The ship gracefully maneuvered itself into the ice sheet and provided explorers with the second first of this journey – their first footsteps onto sea ice.