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  • Writer's pictureKen Murray

Antarctica - Dec 31 - Day 4 - Excursion to Kinnes Cove and Madder Cliffs

After yesterday's great excursion in Deception Island, I could not wait for what we would see today. We were to make a shore excursion but the landing site was overrun with penguins. So the plan for the day was a Zodiac cruise of Kinnes Cove and Madder Cliffs.

We started the day having breakfast with Monica, Jonathan, and Jacqueline. Shelly kept asking our servers, in fact, she asked any staff she saw, what the plans were for New Year's Eve. The only thing they would say is there would be a party in the Dome lounge. We were excited to start off to celebrate New Year's in Antarctica!

We approached Kinnes Cove. The sunshine was bright and warm, the sky blue, and the water various shades of blue. Icebergs dotted the horizon. What a fabulous day! Here's a few photos of our approach taken from deck 7.

It was time for our Zodiac cruise. We were promised there was a lot of penguins to see on Madder Cliffs. Henry, the Expedition Team Lead said it is colder in the Zodiacs, so we should consider an extra layer. But since the sun was shining bright and the wind was calm, Shelly and I stuck with the single base and mid-layers. We finished dressing, headed to the Atlas Lounge, and waited to be called. It was Penguins turn to tour, so we went to the Mud Room to get our boots and parkas on. Since this was our second excursion, It was easier getting fully dressed.

We boarded our Zodiac and was excited that Chris, the Expedition Team Assistant Lead, was our driver and guide. We had met Chris on deck 4 and chatted a bit, and he was confident, knowledgeable, and humorous. He guided us on an amazing journey of Kinnes Cove. First we went to an area where a humpback whale was spotted. We saw the spout expelling water and headed a bit closer. One's back broke the surface and I got a few photos.

We then steered near a gorgeous with an iceberg, beautiful blue-green water, and a view of Madder Cliffs. Here's some photos:

We began making our way to Madder Cliffs. As we approached, we saw the cliffs dotted with hundreds of penguins. As we got closer, the smell of penguin poop hit me for the first time. It's very strong, but you get used to it quickly. We also spotted penguins swimming to the cliffs. Here's some photos:

We drove right up to the cliffs and I was able to get close-ups of the little guys.

We left the cliffs and headed back to the ship. We saw some beautiful scenes.

Here's Chris, our Zodiac driver and guide. Great job Chris!

Here's a couple photos of Shelly and Ken enjoying their ride!

Here's Shelly and Monica.

I would say this Zodiac tour was the highlight of my trip. Rarely have I ever seen such beauty. Our afternoon excursion to Brown Bluff promises tens of thousands of penguins!

314 views2 comments


Jan 10, 2022

Fantastic photos and extremely well written. Would be helpful to anyone who has booked this cruise (to know what to expect) or people thinking of booking this cruise. We’ll done.

Ken Murray
Ken Murray
Jan 12, 2022
Replying to

Thanks a lot for your comment, Pat!

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