This expedition focuses on the rare wildlife that calls Antarctica home. Travelling with Dr Ari Friedlaender and a team of researchers in peak humpback whale season, you’ll get the chance to learn about state-of-the-art whale research techniques and marine conservation.. On board the Ocean Endeavour, you’ll get the chance to further your Antarctic knowledge with a series of onboard lectures from leading biologists, glaciologists and photographers.. Consider enhancing your Antarctic wilderness adventure on a series of optional experiences, including kayaking expeditions, an overnight land-side camp, or for the brave, a polar plunge!. Sleep soundly in the comfort of a fully-equipped polar vessel – the Ocean Endeavour – staffed with an enviable ratio of one expedition crew member to eight passengers, attending to all your needs.
Set sail on an exclusive polar voyage, together with Peregrine Adventures and the World Wildlife Fund – Australia (WWF-Australia), as you spend 11 days travelling to the Antarctic Peninsula. On board the Ocean Endeavour, cruise from Argentina towards Antarctica, participating in a comprehensive lecture program presented by biologists, geologists and WWF-Australia researchers, and enjoying onboard amenities such as a library, a bar and health and wellness facilities. As the Great White Continent comes into view, admire wildlife lazing on ice floes, whales breaching in icy waters and albatross flying high above as you embark on multiple shore landings. Enhanced with expert wildlife knowledge, personalised activities and a destination so remote, this once-in-a-lifetime journey is not to be missed.
Breakfast Included: 10 Lunches Included: 8 Dinner Included: 9
Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city. On arrival at the airport, meet your Peregrine representative who will transfer you to your hotel. Attend a briefing at 7.30 pm to run through the details of the following day’s embarkation. If you arrive early and have some time, feel free to explore Ushuaia as you please. This city, a major port for Antarctica-bound vessels, has quite the dramatic setting, overlooking the Beagle Channel and surrounded by mountains.
Ushuaia – Embarkation Day
Embarking late afternoon, cruise down the gorgeous Beagle Channel. This channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Travelling with you on this voyage is marine ecologist Dr Ari Freidlaender and a small team of scientists, who are heading to Antarctica to undertake crucial research on the migration and feeding patterns of baleen whales. Expect an air of excitement as you depart, and the last glimpse of land disappears into the distance. The next time you see land you will find yourself in the world’s southernmost continent.
The time has come to cross the Drake Passage, the legendary body of water named after the famous English explorer Sir Francis Drake. If the conditions are right, enjoy some time out on deck to spot dolphins, orcas or perhaps albatross. If the waters are a little rough, perhaps relax and partake in some of the superb onboard facilities of the Ocean Endeavour. As well as safety briefings, there will be briefings on what lies ahead. A comprehensive lecture program from onboard experts will run throughout the journey; this will explore the history, geology and biology of the Great White Continent, as well as special presentations from Dr Freidlaender and his team of researchers. With any luck we will make it to land by early evening on Day 4 – a moment that always brings much excitement.
As the Antarctic Convergence is left in your wake, the adventure really begins. Four incredible days of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula ensue. Feast your eyes on glaciers, mountains and an extraordinary array of wildlife, as the immensity and beauty of the region really comes into view. Every day is a new adventure, and each day you will explore landings, bays and channels on excursions by Zodiac. There are a number of potential landing sites, and the crew will decide which are most appropriate based on conditions. While the landscapes themselves dazzle, it is all about the wildlife on these excursions as we encounter penguin rookeries, spot humpback and minke whales, look out for leopard seals. There will also be the chance to see and hear calving glaciers cracking through the Antarctic silence, and you can scramble up snowy tracks to behold 360-degree views. As you head out on your guided Zodiac cruises and immersive shore landings, the research team travelling with you will take another Zodiac in search of whales. Dr Friedleander and his team will deploy non-invasive tracking tools to gather data such as whale orientation, movement and speed. The suction-capped devices used also have two cameras attached, providing a first-person (or first-whale!) view of underwater lives. The researchers will also use drone technology to track whale size and movement from above, as well as to observe krill populations in the southern oceans. While they may be exploring in different regions to you on any given day, they will report back regularly at the evening recap presentations. Dr Friedlaender presents engaging research lectures worldwide, and will contribute to your onboard lecture program as well as being available for less formal interactions on the vessel.
Say goodbye to the Antarctic Peninsula as you set off for Ushuaia. Take the opportunity to share photographs with fellow travellers, scout for wildlife once again from on deck, enjoy some final lectures from polar experts and speak with the WWF-Australia team about their whale research findings from their time on the Peninsula. Ultimately, Dr Friedlaender and his team hope that their research will lead to the establishment of an Antarctic marine protection area, preventing krill fishing in the region and safeguarding the health of baleen whales. With The Intrepid Foundation helping to facilitate this research voyage and supporting WWF-Australia’s Protecting Antarctic Giants project, this is a cause to get behind. Your last days on board are also a great opportunity to make use of the Ocean Endeavour’s health and wellness facilities.
Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
Farewell your shipmates as the adventure draws to a close back in Ushuaia.