Discover the historic Chilean town of Puntas Arenas – a second South American gateway to the Great White Continent and future home to the International Antarctic Center.. On Intrepid’s comfortable and well-equipped Ocean Endeavour, learn a thing or two about your upcoming explorations with a series of lectures and workshops presented by photographers, marine biologists and glaciologists.. Zodiac excursions open up exploration opportunities in Antarctica’s glacial waters, icy coves and wildlife-rich shores. Get on board with a number of trips scheduled during your Antarctic expedition.. Antarctica’s wildlife is varied, unique and undeniably incredible. Penguins, seals, whales, albatross – your expedition crew will curate your adventure to ensure you’ve got the best chance of multiple sightings.
Cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula on an 11-day polar expedition from the southern shores of Chile’s Puntas Arenas. Taking on the Magellan Strait and the mighty Drake Passage, jump aboard Intrepid’s Ocean Endeavour in search of rare bird and marine life, jagged icebergs and mountainous landscapes like no other. Travel with experts who will present a comprehensive lecture program, head on extraordinary Zodiac shore landings and take advantage of onboard comforts after a day of exploring. If you thought the remote reaches of Antarctica were out of reach, think again.
Breakfast Included: 10 Lunches Included: 8 Dinner Included: 9
Welcome to Chile! Puntas Arenas is one of the country’s fastest growing cities and the perfect gateway to your Antarctic expedition. You can arrive at any time today, as there are no activities planned until a welcome meeting tonight, usually around 6 pm. Until then, fly in, transfer to your accommodation and get exploring this slice of Patagonian history. Why not take a visit to the $50 million International Antarctic Center (set to open in 2021) which functions as a research hub and museum for all things Antarctica. After your important briefing tonight, perhaps get together with a few of your fellow travellers for a meal – your local leader will be able to recommend you a restaurant or two.
Punta Arenas – Embarkation Day
Today, you’ll set off through the picturesque Strait of Magellan on board the Ocean Endeavour towards the Drake Passage, ready for your crossing to the Antarctic Peninsula. Your group leader will confirm with you all the relevant embarkation details at your welcome meeting on Day 1. If you’ve got some spare time this morning, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies; otherwise, take a walk along Bories Street and check out the shops.
With nothing but you and the big blue for the next couple of days, take advantage of all of the amenities and activities on board your fully equipped vessel. Spot seabirds flying with your ship to the Great White Continent, keeping an eye out for albatross on their migration route. Keep your eyes peeled for breaching whales and other marine mammals in the southern oceans, and cosy up with a drink, getting to know your shipmates at the bar. Throughout the day, there will also be a series of lectures and presentations to educate you about the geography, environment and wildlife you’ll expect to see along the Antarctic Peninsula. Knowledge of this part of the world is key for polar explorers, so take it all in!
Drake Passage – Antarctic Peninsula
You’re expected to make your first sightings of land this morning as you cruise towards the volcanic South Shetland Islands. Take to the bridge for epic views towards the large icebergs and rugged mountaintops of this archipelago, often frequented by chinstrap penguins, elephant seals and fur seals. This afternoon, take to the ship’s specialised Zodiac boats for a shore excursion at one of the many landing sites around the area. Exploration starts here, so be ready with your polar gear and charged camera.
Voyage further south across the Bransfield Strait towards continental Antarctica. For the next three days, head on wildlife sightings, take to Zodiacs for small-group outings and soak up unforgettable vistas that greet you at every turn. With multiple landing sites available, your Ocean Endeavour crew will work out the best places to stop, taking into account the elements, accessibility and the possibility for wildlife sightings. There may be the chance for snowshoeing, kayaking and camping adventures, which are weather and timing dependent. Well-known sites like Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour and Skontorp Cove will be on the captain’s radar, as well as a working science base.
Settle back into your comfortable surroundings for the return journey across the Drake Passage. The Ocean Endeavour will track north towards Cape Horn and your destination in Ushuaia, Argentina. During this time, you can attend more onboard lectures and workshops, including one on photo editing – sure to make your nature snaps the best they can be. Now is also the chance to catch up with your shipmates and share stories about your voyage over a meal or a drink at the bar.
Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
This morning, farewell the Ocean Endeavour as you disembark in Ushuaia. With no further activities planned for today, you’re free to depart at any time. With much to see and do in Ushuaia, including the Museo Maritimo, Avenida San Martin or even an adventurous hike to the Martial Glacier, your adventure doesn’t have to end today. If you would like to spend more time in Ushuaia, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).