Antarctic Peninsula – Polar Circle, Deep South. Discovery and whale watching voyage
» Mar 18 2019 – Mar 31 2019 (14 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Ushuaia
» DISEMBARKATION: Ushuaia
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Day 1 – Embarkation in Ushuaia
- Days 2 and 3 – At sea en-route to Antarctica
- Days 4 and 5 – Enter Antarctica
- Days 6 to 8 – Through the Gullet
- Days 9 to 11 – Whales of Wilhelmina Bay
- Days 12 and 13 – At sea en-route to Ushuaia
- Day 14 – Disembarkation in Ushuaia
This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise will take you further south of Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circe. This expedition cruise passes through waters travelled by humpback, minke and fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike and cruise, and dive under Antarctic waters.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1 – The End of the World, the Start of a Journey
Your voyage begins where the world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, said to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the southernmost tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town – appropriately nicknamed “The End of the World” – and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.
Days 2 and 3 – High Seas Adventure
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the point of view of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale lunge feeding in the water below. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Then, near the South Shetland Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight.
Days 4 and 5 – Enter the Antarctic
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. Then on to Cuverville Island, stabbing up between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. On Cuverville lives a massive colony of gentoo penguins as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas. Neko Harbour, the next stop, affords you the first chance to step onto the Antarctic Continent itself – an epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow. During the following stop at Paradise Bay, you may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in its sprawling, ice-flecked water before sailing on to the Lemaire Channel.
Days 6 to 8 – Passing through the Gullet
After a comfortable night spent sailing – or for you, sleeping – you wake among the many islands south of Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle. At this point a voyage through the aptly named Gullet – a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island and the Continent – is possible if the ice isn’t too thick. You can explore this area either from the bow of the ship or the edge of a Zodiac, getting the closest possible contact with the terrain as you venture southward. You might also circumnavigate Pourquoi Pas Island, named after the ship of the famous French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty, glacier-crowded mountains. On Horseshoe Island is the former British Base Y, a remnant of the 1950s that is now unmanned, though still equipped with almost all the technology it had while in service. Stonington Island is home to the former US East Base and British Base E, which was occupied until 1975. If a stop here is possible, it will mark the southernmost landing site of the trip – at 68° south. From there your road turns north again, through the Gunnel Channel into Hanusse Bay, with its countless icebergs – and a good chance of spotting whales.
Days 9 to 11 – The Whales of Wilhelmina Bay
You are near the Antarctic Circle again, cutting north through the countless ice floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are likely, and your approach to the Fish Islands offers the possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing. Whatever the case, the scenery is beyond compare in this area. There may also be more Adélie penguins congregating among the icebergs nearby. If you’re a bird lover, Petermann and Pléneau Islands provide a great variety of avian life as well as Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are popular leopard seal and crabeater seal hangouts. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo penguins also love to frequent this “hot spot” of Antarctic activity. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Days 12 and 13 – Drake Passage
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Day 14 – There and Back Again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. On the morning of your fifteenth day, it’s time to disembark in Ushuaia – but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Days 6 to 8 – Alternative Program (if the route to the south of Crystal Sound/Hanusse Bay is blocked by ice)
You may take a course around the western side of Adelaide Island to reach Marguerite Bay. Should ice conditions also not allow this approach, you may continue the program by exploring the Antarctic Peninsula in and around the Penola and Gerlache Straits.
CABINS & PRICES
|Quadruple Porthole||From USD 8,300|
|Triple Porthole||USD 9,250|
|Twin Porthole Deck 4||USD 10,200|
|Twin Porthole Deck 3||USD 10,200|
|Twin Window||USD 10,750|
|Twin Deluxe||USD 11,500|
All rates per person in USD
*Price per person when booking the complete cabin for two people
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
- Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post- land arrangements
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)