The wildlife viewing opportunities are next-level in this extreme environment, and the abundance is astounding for such a remote and extreme environment. Scan the seas for seals; look out for minke, humpback and orca whales; spot rare birds on the Beagle Channel; and witness gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. Come for the beautiful animals, stay for the eye-popping landscapes. The mountains, plains and beaches are half the fun of exploring this unique white continent, and the sight of an iceberg calving into the sea is a moment you won’t forget. A polar plunge in the sub-zero Antarctic waters is one invigorating experience. You’ve never a had a swim quite like this!. Onboard presentations from our Antarctica experts bring you up to speed on the geology and wildlife of the region, along with some remarkable tales of expeditions past
Experience one of the most Intrepid experiences out there — an expedition to Antarctica via the famous Drake Passage. Departing from Ushuaia late January, ready the camera for the arrival of mid-summer and the full spectacle of the Antarctic season. As the ice and snow melts away, wonderful rocky beaches spring into view, and the region is primed for explorations by Zodiac. Each day on this otherworldly continent presents a new jaw-dropping scene, as whales, penguin chicks and seabirds reveal themselves in their element. In the comfort of the brand-new MV Hondius, and under the guidance of an expert leader, full expedition crew and onboard naturalists, rest assured this trip provides all the essential ingredients for an unforgettable Antarctic adventure.
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.