After a few moments of saying goodbye to Ushuaia from the upper deck of the Akademik Ioffe we are corralled inside to the dining room for our first of two mandatory safety briefings.
We are soon dismissed from our briefing and I head back to my cabin. Seven short blasts followed by a long one and I am putting on warm clothes and a life jacket. Joining other passengers, I take two sets of stairs to my muster station.
Here more emergency procedures are reviewed and we get a glimpse of the life boats we hope we will not have to use anytime in the next 11 days.
With the required emergency drills over it's back to Cabin 314 where I watch the Ushuaia coast line go by as I unpack the rest of my belongings.
There are a set of bunk beds along with a fold out couch.
Beneath the fold out couch are our “hope we don't need 'em” bright orange immersion suits.
An interesting piece of equipment is also found in our cabins. Are you puzzled? Then you must be a lot younger than I am, it is a rotary dialed phone!
We are told that although the emergency number is “666” we will be connected directly to the bridge if it is dialed and not to that other place that starts with an “H” and end in “LL”.
Surprisingly there are no locks on our room doors in order to provide quick access in the event of an emergency. Although, I tend to be trusting in these situations, leave your crown jewels at home if you are a “Nervous Nelly”. A safe is available for use with the onboard hotel manager.
It's not much longer before dinner is being served. Since my cabin is near the rear entrance of the dinner room, I wait a few minutes and avoid the queue at the main entrance.