Ushuaia, frequently referred to as the southernmost city in the world is a bustling town of over 50,000 residents. It is the termination of a long journey that went from Florida to Atlanta to Buenos Aires and then Ushuaia. Many of the ships that tour Antarctica embark from Ushuaia and it is also a place to access Torres Del Paines National Park.
We flew in a day early for our expedition and spent a night at the Mil810 hotel. The hotel was close to the main restaurant/shopping street and was reasonably comfortable.
The next day, we gathered at the pier for our ebola screening and then climbed up the gangway to the Polar Pioneer, our home for the next three weeks.
The Polar Pioneer is a Finnish- built expedition cruise ship operated by the Australian cruise company Aurora Expeditions. It was built in 1982 and originally served as an ice-strengthened research ship. In 2000 she was refurbished in St. Petersbeurg to provide accommodations for 54 passengers.
We had 50 passengers and a crew of 22, all of whom were Russian, recognized as the "ice masters" of the world.
The main "purpose" for this cruise was photography and many of the passengers were recruited by professional photographers Andy Biggs and Joshua Holko.
There was a clear focus on photographic opportunities which, along with the opportunity to fill my bucket list by stepping on the last continent, is a primary reason I selected this particular trip.
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