Christmas in Antarctica

Christmas in Antarctica

» Antarctica

» Dec 21 2019Dec 31 2019 (11 DAYS)

» EMBARKATION: Port Stanley

» DISEMBARKATION: Port Stanley

EXPEDITION IN BRIEF

  • Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, zodiac cruising and from the ship
  • In-depth exploration of the Gerlache coastline and Antarctic Peninsula
  • Visits to historic sites and science stations
  • Learn about the environment, wildlife and ecology of Antarctica from polar experts

ITINERARY OVERVIEW

  • Day 1 – Santiago to Stanley
  • Days 2 and 3 –  at sea towards Antarctica
  • Days 4 to 5 – Antarctic sound, Weddell Sea
  • Day 6 to 7 – South Gerlache Strait Exploration
  • Days 9 and 10 – Drake Passage, return to Stanley
  • Day 11 – Arrive Stanley – Fly back to Santiago

SHIP

RCGS Resolute

ADVENTURE OPTIONS

Kayaking

ACTIVITIES

RCGS Resolute

Jacuzzi

Bistro

Sauna and Steam Room

Superior

Twin Private

Triple Private

Superior Suite

Shackleton Suite

One Ocean Suite

Towering glaciers, amazing wildlife encounters, snow- covered landscapes, massive icebergs and the option to choose your favourite activities every day make this popular voyage the perfect introduction to the white continent.
In the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula, we spend our days off the ship exploring by Zodiac boat, making shore landings in the company of our expert guides. By breaking into small special-interest groups, we discover Antarctica and its remarkable wildlife through photography, Zodiac excursions, hiking onshore, and for the more adventurous, camping
and sea kayaking. Visits to historic sites and active scientific research locations add another dimension to the voyage.

This classic 10-night expedition features a long list of highlights including a visit to Elephant Island – a location forever connected to the remarkable story of survival by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men more than a century ago, a day spent exploring the icy Weddell Sea and many of the well-known landing sites along the length of the Antarctic Peninsula. Add a few of the lesser-known hidden gems – and this has all the makings of an exceptional and unique journey. A final highlight of the voyage will be a visit to the enchanting South Shetland Islands. Here, we hope to visit Deception Island and other nearby locations such as the Aitcho Islands. This carefully-designed itinerary provides incredible diversity of both sights and experiences and showcases all of our favourite locations, discovered over more than two decades spent exploring the region.

ITINERARY DAY BY DAY

DAY 1 / SANTIAGO (CHILE) TO STANLEY (FALKLAND ISLANDS) – (THURSDAY, 21 NOVEMBER, 2019)

We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth.

DAYS 2-3 / AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA

We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. The Drake Passage is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history of the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.

There is great excitement when the dark cliffs of Elephant
Island appear on the horizon. This is one of Antarctica’s most important historic locations and a fitting introduction. On the rocky beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and his men camped here for many months under their three upturned life boats, having lost their ship, HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. It was from this location that Shackleton and six companions set off on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tiny lifeboat, James Caird. To this day, the epic ocean crossing and crossing of South Georgia on foot is considered one of the greatest tales in polar history. If weather conditions permit, we aim for a Zodiac cruise to view the site from close proximity. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and sets the scene for an exciting expedition.

DAYS 4-5 / ANTARCTIC SOUND, WEDDELL SEA AND NORTHERN GERLACHE STRAIT

Navigating into Antarctic Sound we witness for the first time
the vastness and majesty of the Antarctic icecap. It is an awe- inspiring sight. We notice a significant increase in the number
of huge tabular icebergs entering the Weddell. These massive icebergs break from the huge ice shelves to the south drifting here on the prevailing currents. Adélie penguin rookeries of staggering exist here – some contain more than 100,000 nesting birds. We have several fantastic locations to consider but the ice conditions will likely dictate our landing sites. Gourdin Island and Brown Bluff are two such locations featuring substantial penguin rookeries. The region is also full of history of early exploration and has fascinating geological sites with thousands of fossils strewn over the shoreline. We have a busy day of exploration on shore, in the Zodiacs and on the ship.

The Gerlache Strait is an important whale migration corridor and we encourage you to be on the bridge or outer observation decks looking for the tell-tale blows of the migrating whale pods. With luck, we may even catch a glimpse of the resident orca group that inhabit this stretch of water. We have several interesting locations to explore over the coming days, such as Cierva Cove or nearby Mikkelsen Harbour. This area provides great excursion options on shore, in the Zodiacs and for the sea kayakers. We start to encounter much larger numbers
of nesting gentoo penguins with their distinct orange beaks. Chinstrap penguins are another species we will begin to view in the coming days. Kelp gulls, skuas and Imperial cormorants are just some of the sea birds we expect to observe. It takes
a sharp eye to spot the snowy white plumage of the Antarctic petrel – always a treasured sighting for the bird lovers.

DAYS 6-7 / SOUTHERN GERLACHE STRAIT EXPLORATION

Anvers Island is one of the largest of the off-shore ‘barrier’ islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several outstanding sites here as well as on neighbouring Wiencke Island. These locations provide us with opportunities to venture on shore, breaking into smaller groups.

Enjoy a short or longer hike, wander over to observe penguins guarding their precious eggs or newborns on the nest, cruise in the Zodiacs or just sit and soak it all in. The choice is yours. A short transit across the Gerlache Strait brings us along the actual continental landmass of Antarctica. A potential shore landing at Paradise Harbour will be a highlight for many – as you step foot on the continent proper, for the very first time.

A nearby hike up a snow-covered hill provides staggering 360-degree views. A Zodiac cruise or paddle into the nearby ice ‘cathedral’ of Skontorp Cove is another memorable experience. If the conditions are right, we aim to offer our overnight camping program to all adventurers somewhere in this vicinity. We have all the gear onboard and an experienced team to make this a night to remember. However, camping always depends on the weather and this activity is never guaranteed on any voyage.

One of the largest gentoo penguin colonies along this stretch of coastline can be found on Cuverville Island, situated at
the northern end of the Errera Channel. This is an important research site with the populations being carefully monitored by visiting scientists. Our naturalist guides will be able to tell you more about this important work. Cuverville is a good location for a Zodiac cruise and a circumnavigation of the entire island is sometimes possible. Other locations in the area we hope to explore include Willhelmina Bay. This is a known whale ‘hot- spot’. This is a magnificent location with towering glaciers tumbling off the mountainous spine of the Antarctic Peninsula.

DAY 8 / SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins, made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928.

The nearby Aitcho Islands provide some great hiking routes showcasing the colourful mosses and lichens found on the island. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins nest here and on the beaches, and we usually encounter seals coming and going from the surrounding waters. Fort Point situated on Greenwich Island is another possible location for a visit. Eventually we leave the snow-covered peaks of Antarctica behind us, pushing northwards on our return trip to the Falkland Islands.

DAYS 9-10 / DRAKE PASSAGE – RETURN TO STANLEY AND THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

As we make our way back to Stanley and the Falkland Islands, the educational presentations continue, and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts at the multimedia station and download your precious images. Approaching the coast of the Falkland Islands in the early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

DAY 11 / ARRIVE STANLEY (FALKLAND ISLANDS) – VOYAGE CONCLUDES – FLY BACK TO SANTIAGO (CHILE) (SUNDAY, 01 DECEMBER, 2019)

This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with your booking agent. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile.

 

CABINS & PRICES

Triple Share USD 12,695
Twin Private USD 13,595
Superior USD 14,795
Superior Plus USD 14,195
Shackleton Suite USD 16,095
One Ocean Suite USD 18,295

All rates per person in USD

Contact Us

INCLUDES

  • Extensive pre-departure information package
  • Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts
  • Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including massage options (charge applies for massage and treatments)
  • All zodiac and landing excursions
  • All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean Expeditions chefs
  • One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
  • Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
  • Coffee, tea and hot chocolate available anytime
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket and bib pants on loan
  • Insulated rubber boots, binoculars, and backpack on loan
  • Services of English speaking medical officer
  • Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB

EXCLUDES

  • International and national airfares
  • Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
  • Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
  • Meals and transfers in arrival/departure cities
  • Personal expenses
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Massages from registered therapist
  • Personal laundry charges
  • Postage, telephone calls and email set up
  • Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
  • Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
  • Trip interruption/cancellation insurance
  • Gratuities to staff and crew

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