Antarctic Peninsula Explorer
» Feb 17 2019 – Mar 1 2019 (13 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Ushuaia
» DISEMBARKATION: Ushuaia
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- A comprehensive exploration of the Gerlache coastline and Antarctic Peninsula
- Visit wildlife colonies and observe penguins, seals and whale in their natural habitat
- Visits to historic sites and science stations
- Learn about the environment, wildlife and ecology of Antarctica from polar experts
- Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
- Days 2 and 3 – Drake Passage, at sea towards Antarctica
- Days 4 to 9 – Antarctic Peninsula
- Day 10 – South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
- Days 11 and 12 – Drake Passage, return to South America
- Day 13 – Ushuaia, Argentina
Expedition cruising in Antarctica is by its very nature an exploratory experience. Ice and weather conditions often dictate our planned route. Along with this, we are always opportunistic, stopping when we encounter a pod of whales, or when a gigantic tabular iceberg looms into view. This exciting new itinerary includes two extra days of exploration down in Antarctica compared to a classic 10-night voyage. This allows us to visit additional landing sites, or to linger a little longer at some of our favorite locations. In practical terms, you will spend 25% more time down among the ice, when compared to a traditional 10-night itinerary. This equals more time on shore, more time in the Zodiacs and more time spent in the company of our expert guides. What’s not to like about that?
As with all of our voyages, a comprehensive range of activities will be offered covering all interests. These include short and longer walks on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, zodiac cruising amongst icebergs looking for seals and whales, photographic excursions, exploring historic sites and possibly a working science station. For the more adventurous, sea kayaking is a wonderful way to discover Antarctica – and if weather conditions permit – why not spend the night, camping on shore? Back on board the ship, you will enjoy informative presentations and lively discussions, great company and a relaxing atmosphere. If you relish the concept of true ‘exploratory cruising’ and appreciate the idea of a few extra days of discovery – this could be the ideal Antarctic voyage.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship, One Ocean Navigator (Akademik Ioffe). After settling in to 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 dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Days 2 and 3 – Drake Passage, at sea towards Antarctica
Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we transit the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.
Days 4 to 9 – Antarctic Peninsula
We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, will take a moment to pause and reflect on this incredible sight. Take a deep breath – you have arrived. This is Antarctica.
The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets and numerous small islands. The Gerlache coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow.
Rocky outcrops, known as ‘nunataks’ are home to gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We frequently encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal, usuallyfound hauled out on an ice floe. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are present much of the time as they feed on the vast schools of krill. Sightings of orca are not uncommon.
Our activity program is in full swing and we encourage all guests to choose how their adventure unfolds. Every day we plan an exciting range of activities, including guided hikes on shore (both short and long), visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides. The historic huts and science stations located along the peninsula provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice searching for seals and whales is a memorable activity. Meanwhile, our sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship experiencing Antarctica from an entirely different perspective. Our resident photography guide will be on hand to help you with your camera handling and image composition. Maybe what you really want to do is sit on a rock, simply watching the penguins come and go from the water? Make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show.
Planned excursions along the Antarctic Peninsula could include Cierva Cove or Mikklesen Harbour, Danco Island, the Melchior Islands and Fournier Bay – or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the gentoo penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favourite location and one where we frequently encounter playful humpback whales. Nearby Paradise Harbour is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route to a viewpoint providing expansive views. Andvord Bay and Neko Harbour provide yet another continental landing opportunity. It is somewhere along this stretch of coastline we plan a night on shore, camping in Antarctica. We have all the right gear and equipment and an expert team to make it happen – all you need is an adventurous spirit! Camping always depends on the weather and we can never guarantee it on any voyage. If the weather is good and site characteristics suit our requirements, rest assured, we will always go for it. Camping is included and you can decide to participate on the day. There is no need to pre-book.
Day 10 – South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
By morning we arrive in the 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, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. 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. There is also an outstanding hike, high up onto the rim of the crater.
After leaving Deception Island, we cruise along the coast of Livingston Island which in a sunny day is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the South Shetland’s including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we sometimes encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is another great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. Hannah Point, with it’s elephant seal colony and nesting Antarctic petrels – is another possibility. In the evening, we navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage.
Days 11 and 12 – Drake Passage, return to South America
As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 11 – Ushuaia, Argentina
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.
CABINS & PRICES
|Triple Share||USD 13,295|
|Twin Private||USD 14,495|
|Superior Plus||USD 17,095|
|Shackleton Suite||USD 20,095|
|One Ocean Suite||USD 23,695|
All rates per person in USD
- 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
- 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