Classic Antarctica

Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands.


Antarctic Peninsula

Duration: 9 nights
Starts: Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego
Ends: Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego
Languaje: English Speaking Voyage


Included Activities


Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands. The Antarctic Peninsula has one of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. You will be surrounded by glaciers and icebergs, and will have the chance to see penguins, seals and whales.

Itinerary

Arriving to Ushuaia. (We recommend that you arrive in Ushuaia at least one day before the embarkation day).
As your plane lands in Ushuaia, you’ll be treated to a stunning view.
Ushuaia is a picturesque community nestled at the foot of the Andes with snowcapped peaks and luscious green valleys. Walk along the main street with its charming boutiques and cafes, or along the harbour to get your first glimpse of the seabirds who will accompany you out of the Beagle Channel.

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia
The embarkation is in the afternoon. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the Beagle Channel towards the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Drake Passage.

Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage is one of the roughest seas in the world. At some point between the first night and the second day, we will cross the Polar Front (Antarctic Convergence), a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, the expedition staff will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams.

Day 4 to 7: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.

King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.

The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, humpback whales at close range, and even maybe orcas.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:

Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. If ice conditions allows, after negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

Further exploration may take you to the Melchior Island group, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.

Day 8 & 9: At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 10: Arrival in Ushuaia
We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the after breakfast.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Itinerary

Arriving to Ushuaia. (We recommend that you arrive in Ushuaia at least one day before the embarkation day).
As your plane lands in Ushuaia, you’ll be treated to a stunning view.
Ushuaia is a picturesque community nestled at the foot of the Andes with snowcapped peaks and luscious green valleys. Walk along the main street with its charming boutiques and cafes, or along the harbour to get your first glimpse of the seabirds who will accompany you out of the Beagle Channel.

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia
The embarkation is in the afternoon. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the Beagle Channel towards the Atlantic Ocean and the famous Drake Passage.

Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage is one of the roughest seas in the world. At some point between the first night and the second day, we will cross the Polar Front (Antarctic Convergence), a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, the expedition staff will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams.

Day 4 to 7: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.

King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.

The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, humpback whales at close range, and even maybe orcas.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:

Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. If ice conditions allows, after negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

Further exploration may take you to the Melchior Island group, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.

Day 8 & 9: At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 10: Arrival in Ushuaia
We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the after breakfast.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.




INCLUSIONS

Voyage as indicated in the itinerary.
All meals throughout the voyage.
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac.
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Detailed post-expedition log.

EXCLUSIONS

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided).


* The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Video Gallery





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