Few people ever get the opportunity to set foot on the Great White Continent or venture as deep into the Antarctic Circle as of this polar expedition.. Follow in the path of explorers past as you cross the mighty Drake Passage. Weather permitting, squeeze through the Lemaire Channel between rugged mountains.. Get up close to an incredible range of wildlife that inhabits this region such as minke, humpback and orca whales, gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, and albatross flying overhead.. Learn more about Antarctic history, geology and glaciology on a series of lectures and workshops presented by an onboard team of experts in their field, further enhancing your exploration.
This 14-day expedition offers one of the most in-depth explorations of the Antarctic Peninsula, with extended time in the region allows you to go beyond the usual itinerary. Given good ice conditions, travel further south than any most polar expeditions and cruise well below the Antarctic Circle at 66°33’S, through the southern icy seas. With an expert polar crew dedicated to charting the best course for wildlife sightings and multiple shore landings, you will encounter a land so remote but so enticing.
Breakfast Included: 13 Lunches Included: 11 Dinner Included: 12
Begin your journey in Ushuaia – a small port town at the southern tip of South America. This Argentinean town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. You are free to arrive at any time and check-in to your pre-expedition accommodation. There are no activities planned until a welcome briefing at around 6 pm this evening. If you do have time spare, perhaps get active in the mountains or enjoy some hand-crafted chocolate at a café in town.
Ushuaia – Embarkation Day
Enjoy a free morning before embarkation later in the day. The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.
The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to stare out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your expedition team. Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with several educational and informative lectures from your expedition team. You’ll learn about safety procedures, Antarctica’s history, glaciology and perhaps even some photography tips and techniques!
South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
With the Drake Passage left behind, make your final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready, as the continent’s coastline will make its first appearance, signalling the start of your adventure in the Antarctic. You’ll see icebergs floating by and be fixated on the surface of the ocean. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes. As exciting as it can be from onboard the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites you may visit, including Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites you can visit, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions. Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerised by the beauty of Antarctica sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.
The Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66°33’S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people. These days won’t be without things to see off the deck.
Continue northbound along the Antarctic Peninsula. By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and ‘pancake ice’ will seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake Passage, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the expedition team will help fill in any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.
Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you’ll be left with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your expedition team will round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve visited over the course of your voyage.
Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
Today, bid your expedition team and your fellow travellers farewell. You’ll disembark in the morning so that you may transfer to the airport for any onward flight connections.