I booked a 14-day cruise on the Norwegian Star with an itinerary that began in Buenos Aires, where I boarded the ship. From there, it was on to Montevideo, Uruguay, Puerto Madryn, Argentina, Punta Arenas, Chile, Ushuaia, and Argentina. We then cruised Stanley, the Falkland Islands, and the bays of Antarctica.
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Part of the tour’s fun was our visit to the Estacion Pinguinos de Magallanes. The Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is a South American penguin bred in coastal Patagonia, Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil and Uruguay. They appear as far north as Espirito Santo and are the most numerous Spheniscus penguins.
Montevideo’s merchants played an important part in securing Uruguayan independence. From 1807 to 1830, Montevideo was occupied by British, Spanish, Argentine, Portuguese, and Brazilian forces, and its trade population declined. The port in the city is the hub of international transport, and the international airport at Carrasco also serves it.
It was Day 7 on my NCL Cruise to Antarctica, and yes, we’re getting closer. When I was ten years old in Brooklyn, I remember reading a book called The End of The World that chronicled a journey to and through Ushuaia, the capital of Terra del Fuego, Argentina. I told myself I would visit one day, and although it took decades to get there, I finally arrived!
On Day 5 of my NCL cruise on the Norwegian Star to Antarctica, we began to find ourselves closer to one of our planet’s coldest and least populated continents. The Antarctic Sheet is the largest mass of ice in the world and is up to four miles thick. The continent contains about 90 percent of the planet’s freshwater ice and nearly 70 percent of the total fresh water on Earth. No humans permanently inhabit Antarctica. The folks there are mostly scientists focused on research.
I chose a walking tour of Stanley (aka Port Stanley), the capital city of the Falkland Islands. Stanley is located on the island of East Falkland, on a north-facing slope in one of the wettest parts of the islands. The entire population of Stanley is about 3500 people. It’s no wonder I loved being there.