One the significant differences between Palmer and the other American stations is that we have a great influx of tourists. We will have yachts just ‘drop in’ because they were in the area. We will see smaller cruise ships holding approximately 150 passengers and even some ginormous cruise ships with over 1000 passengers.
For the yachts and smaller cruise ships, they are often invited on station for a tour and afternoon snacks. (Yes, snacks just like you had in grade school). What this means for the station is that most normal and regular activity is halted. Everyone in the community supports our visitors. Some become a tour guide, others help out in our station store, or and the remainder become a part of the ‘Meet and Greet’ in the Galley. During this mingling time, there are usually a number of scientists talking about what projects they are working on as well a variety of station support staff.
If time permits for our visitors, the yachts and cruise ships will invite the community out to their ship.
On a beautiful day in November, the National Geographic Explorer, aka NGE, (our first cruise ship of the season) made a stop here. They came on station for the tour and snacks and then invited us for some cocktails and to check out their palace. Who could say no to that?
We loaded up in a few zodiacs and headed out. They were parked in Arthur Harbor so the ride was not too long.
The zodiac heading out ahead of us. And yes, that's ice all around us. The ride over was slow and steady.
- This was the view from the zodiac. She was a pretty ship.
We were greeted by very welcoming NGE staff. Then they immediately ushered us to their bar and lounge area for beverages (adult or otherwise) and some snacks.
It wasn't hard to feel comfortable and at ease here.
After some lounging time, I felt I could stand around and drink anywhere, I wanted to check out the ship. I headed out with some buddies of mine.
This is Judy and Mark, my partners in crime for our self guided ship tour. You can tell it's a hard life down here. : )
Our first stop was the deck. We took in some sun and kept moving. We accidentally found the gym and spa, a few more decks for lounging, and then came across my favorite inside area on this ship, the Library. There were windows on both sides with comfy Jetson’s chairs that can do a full 360 degree turn.
Deep in thought...or still buzzing from the adult beverages?
The tour continued.
Happy and Carefree...
We also took in some views of the area as seen from the ship.
The station with the Weincke Mountain range in the backdrop.
Our beautiful home away from home.
Mount William with an amazing blue sky.
We concluded our self guided tour and landed back in the bar, collected our folks and sailed into the sunset…
The view of the NGE as we departed.
Okay, not really into the sunset and we didn’t really sail, but we zodiaced back to station. It was a great ending to a long day.