The wildlife is amazing and surprisingly abundant in this extreme part of the planet. Watch the ocean for seals and minke, humpback and orca whales; witness graceful seabirds with the mountains of the Beagle Channel as a backdrop; and observe gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. The unique terrain of Antarctica is a dream for landscape photographers, and the beaches, plains, mountains and icebergs of the white continent can give the impression of entering a different world. Take the opportunity for a polar plunge, a feast for the senses and quite likely the most exhilarating ocean dip you will ever take. An onboard lecture program led by noted naturalists fills in crucial context on both the human and natural history of Antarctica
Join Peregrine on a journey into the great white continent on the comfortable, brand-new MV Hondius. Departing in late January from Ushuaia, Argentina, this mid-summer adventure heads across the mountain-lined Beagle Channel, traverses the legendary Drake Passage and finds Antarctica in its seasonal element. As vast layers of ice and snow melt away across the peninsula, it’s one achingly beautiful scene after the next. Rugged rocky beaches, whales, seabirds, penguins and calving icebergs create a spectacle like nowhere else on earth. Excursions by Zodiac afford close-up views of the landscape and wildlife, and regular lectures from onboard experts give context that brings the experience to a new level. With warm hospitality, comfortable living quarters and ample leisure time, Pristine Antarctica is the ideal means of exploring this outstanding and utterly remote adventure destination.
Breakfast Included: 10 Lunches Included: 8 Dinner Included: 9
Welcome to Ushuaia. After being transferred to your hotel, the day is yours to explore the world's most southerly city. There will be a welcome and information meeting at the hotel at 7.30 this evening so please ensure you are at the hotel in time for this.
Kickstart your adventure at the 'end of the world'. Ushuaia, Argentina, is located down on South America's southern tip, and it's commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. You will be transferred to the port to board the Hondius mid-afternoon. The cruise begins across the gorgeous Beagle Channel, where you'll no doubt be reaching for your camera to document that mountain scenery. As you sail away the rest of the evening, sit down and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner and welcome drinks.
Crossing the Drake Passage
Tackle the Drake Passage in the spirit of the early Antarctic explorers before you. You'll be taking in many a sight and sound: the cool salty breezes, rolling waves, and, if you're lucky, a fun while rearing its head through the sea spray. You'll pass over the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary which forms at the point where north-flowing cold waters meet with warmer subantarctic waters. Notice the marine life and birdlife change at this juncture, with seabirds such as albatrosses, petrels, Cape pigeons and southern fulmars making their presence known. Approaching the South Shetlands Islands, enjoy a thrilling moment as the first icebergs of the trip burst into view. The lecture program begins today and will carry on for rest of the cruise, deepening your understanding of this continent's fascinating natural and human history.
It's time to explore Antarctica. Welcome to the world's most untouched wilderness, where snow-dusted stone peaks, towers of ice, and a myriad species of wildlife create a spectacle like no other. You'll pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. During the journey there is plenty of free time for you to enjoy the warm hospitality on board.
Areas we may visit include:
Cuverville Island, which sits between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. This impressive isle plays host to several thousand gentoo penguins, plus pairs of breeding brown skuas.
Danco Island, where nesting gentoo penguins make for quite a cute scene. Weddell and crabeater seals might be found nearby.
Crystal Sound, whose ice-choked waters are an exciting place to land.
Port Lockroy, on Goudier Island, across the Neumayer Channel. The former British Research Station here now serves as a museum and, interestingly, a working post office.
Jougla Point, where gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags hopefully come out to play. The kayaking and camping opportunities over here are superb.
Paradise Bay, which offers the chance to walk on the great continent again. Zodiac cruises along the bay reveal humpback and minke whales.
Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren, another terrific area for humpback whale spotting and exploring by Zodiac.
Guvernøren, a historic location where a whaling vessel caught on fire in 1915.
The Melchior Islands, which boasts beautiful icebergs. Look out for whales, leopard seals and crabeater seals here also.
King George Island (South Shetland Islands). The plan here will be to land at the Chinese Great Wall Station. There are also Russian, Argentine, and Uruguayan research stations in this area.
Crossing the Drake Passage
As you sail back across the Drake Passage, take a second look at the incredible seabirds you saw on the way over. Enjoy the opportunity to look back on the adventure, sharing photos and trading experiences with your fellow adventurers.
Returning to Ushuaia, disembark and bid farewell to your shipmates.