Fly Over the Drake

Antarctica – ‘In Depth’ (includes Antarctic Circle crossing)

Antarctica – ‘In Depth’ (includes Antarctic Circle crossing)

» Antarctica

» Dec 28 2019Jan 7 2020 (11 DAYS)

» EMBARKATION: Ushuaia

» DISEMBARKATION: King George Island, Antarctica

EXPEDITION IN BRIEF

  • Journey further south than at any other time in the season and cross the Antarctic Circle
  • Save two days by flying the Drake Passage
  • Navigate the Antarctic Peninsula, witnessing tabular icebergs, penguin rookeries, and whales

 

ITINERARY OVERVIEW

  • Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
  • Days 2 to 3 – Drake Passage – at sea towards Antarctica 
  • Days 4 to 9 – Exploration of the Gerlache strait and Antarctic Peninsula  
  • Days 10 – South Shetland Islands 
  • Day 11 – King George Island (Antarctica) 
  • Day 12 – Punta Arenas 

SHIP

Akademik Ioffe

ADVENTURE OPTIONS

Camping
Kayaking

ACTIVITIES

One Ocean Suite

One Ocean Suite

Shackleton Suite

One Ocean Suite

Superior Cabin

Superior Cabin

Twin Private Cabin

Twin Semi Private Cabin

Main Deck Triple

This special journey takes us further south than at any other time in the season. By flying to King George Island in Antarctica at the start of the voyage, we save two days on the ocean crossing. The time we save by flying south, allows for a more substantial exploration below the Antarctic Circle. Here we witness stunning landscapes, sizable Adelie penguin rookeries and large flat-topped tabular icebergs that drift north from the Bellingshausen Sea. We always anticipate exciting ice navigation when we push this far south.

We navigate the glaciated coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula, passing through the Argentine Fish and Yalour Island archipelagos on our way to the Gerlache Strait region. There are several important scientific stations here and a number of significant historic sites we hope to explore. We then aim to cross 66 degrees, 33 minutes south latitude, which officially marks the position of the Antarctic Circle on the global map. With favourable weather and ice conditions we hope to reach Marguerite Bay. This is a spectacular location reached by just a handful of ships each season.

Every day we explore off the ship in the company of our expert local guides, enjoying shore visits and Zodiac cruises that may last up to three and four hours at a time. This trip is ideal for those who love the excitement and spontaneity of exploration. There is no better way to travel than via our expedition ship, cruising to remote destinations.

ITINERARY DAY BY DAY

DAY 1 / USHUAIA (ARGENTINA) (SATURDAY, 28 DECEMBER 2019)

Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. 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, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

DAYS 2 – 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 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 – 9 / EXPLORATION OF THE GERLACHE STRAIT AND 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, usually found 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, as well as Zodiac cruising. 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, watching the penguins come and go from the water. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show.

Planned excursions along the Antarctic Peninsula may 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 that 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 is never guaranteed 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 while onboard. There is no need to pre-book.

DAY 10 / SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS, ANTARCTICA

After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for 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 location. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station and airport hangar. There are several superb hikes and an opportunity for a swim – the ‘Polar Plunge!’ We head north-east, cruising along the pristine coast of Livingston Island, which on a sunny day is always a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites

in this vicinity including Half Moon Island and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour where we often encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. Tonight, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain, cruising towards King George Island.

DAY 11 / KING GEORGE ISLAND (ANTARCTICA) – RETURN TO SOUTH AMERICA – OVERNIGHT PUNTA ARENAS (TUESDAY, 07 JAN 2020)

This morning we say goodbye to our expedition team and transfer ashore by Zodiac. We walk from the shore landing site past the Chilean research station and up towards the airstrip and board our special charter flight back to South America. This flight takes a little over two hours and is included in the price of your voyage. Upon arrival into Punta Arenas a transfer from the airport into town is provided.

POST VOYAGE HOTEL INCLUDED: This itinerary includes
a complimentary hotel night in Punta Arenas for all guests returning from King George Island at the end of the voyage. This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to some cozy restaurants, cafes and bars – including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ at the Hotel Jose Nogueira – a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.

DAY 12 / PUNTA ARENAS – DEPART (WEDNESDAY, 08 JANUARY, 2020)

After breakfast and check-out, make your own way to the airport for your onward journey. (We recommend you book flights after midday). Otherwise, why not continue your exploration of Patagonia? Just a few hours north, lies the celebrated Torres del Paine National Park – home to towering peaks, glaciers and spectacular wilderness – a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

 

CABINS & PRICES

Triple Share USD 11,695
Twin-Semi Private USD 13,795
Twin Private USD 14,895
Superior USD 15,595
Shackleton Suite USD 17,195
One Ocean Suite USD 18,895

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
  • All zodiac and landing excursions
  • Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness and yoga
  • Overnight camping, including high-quality equipment. No pre-registration required. Camping is available on select departures only and can be affected by itinerary and
    weather conditions. Please see your full itinerary for further details
  • All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean Expeditions chefs
  • Welcome reception and welcome dinner
  • One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
  • Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
  • Coffee, tea and hot chocolate available anytime
  • Access to wellness area (Finnish sauna, plunge pool filled with sea water, hot tub)
  • Natural essential oil amenities
  • Use of multimedia room to download images. Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket and bib pants on loan
  • Insulated rubber boots on loan
  • Water resistant binoculars on loan
  • Waterproof backpack on loan
  • Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
  • Required flights to/from the ship (only applicable on certain departures)
  • Luggage transfer to/from your cabin

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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