Marine Mammals of The Antarctic Peninsula
» Mar 2 2019 – Mar 15 2019 (14 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Ushuaia
» DISEMBARKATION: Ushuaia
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Day 1 – Ushuaia, Argentina
- Day 2 – Embarkation
- Days 3 and 4 – Drake Passage
- Days 5 to 7 – Antarctica
- Days 8 to 11 – Antarctica
- Days 12 and 13 – Drake Passage
- Day 14 – Ushuaia
Join Annette Bombosch, PhD, and special guests for a unique 14-day expedition focusing on Marine Mammals.
As the Antarctic summer comes to a close
in March, migratory whale species like the Humpback are very active, socializing and feeding in preparation for the long journey ahead. Resident whale species like the Minke and Orca are abundant, and we stand a good chance of encountering Southern Right whales and some of the larger pelagic species. Leopard seals are also very busy in March, hunting naïve penguin chicks as they mature, develop their waterproof feathers, and make their first journeys to the sea.
We’ll see all this action close-up; from Zodiacs, on shore landings, and from the deck and observation platform of Island Sky. Photographers and videographers will have ample opportunities to capture stunning images, and those of us with scientific interests will be thrilled to work with the Citizen Science team, contributing data and images to a variety of active marine mammal research projects.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1 – Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today, or take advantage of our complimentary flexible arrival program and arrive up to 24 hours in advance. You’ll be staying at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Explore the trails, take a spa, relax and soak in the surroundings, or head into Ushuaia and browse the Argentinean leather markets. Our optional
evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning.
Day 2 – Embarkation
This morning, we’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. On board, we’ll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, we’ll relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Day 3-4 – Drake Passage
As we make our way ever closer to the white
continent, numerous Polar Experts will prepare us with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, we’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.
Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in Sea Bird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. We’re likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species. If we’re lucky, we may see some of them fully breach from the sea.
Day 5-7 – Antarctica
Exploring the South Shetland Islands, we may visit Half Moon Island with its stunning backdrop of mountainous and glaciated Livingston Island. Or perhaps we will sail the ship into an active volcano with an opportunity to take a dip in the relatively balmy waters that surround Deception Island. Bransfield Strait, once the site of an abandoned whaling station, gives us an excellent chance to see whales, who often return to its rich waters.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, our Expedition Leader, Captain, and Marine Mammal experts will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and previous sightings to maximize our whale
watching opportunities, while also exploring some of the lesser travelled areas of the Peninsula. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels, with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
Day 8-11 – Antarctica
Heading further South, we will be sure to explore the Gerlache Strait and its surrounding channels and islands. This may include trips to picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favoured Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.
At this time of year, most areas have amazing marine mammal viewing opportunities with Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors during this season and Orca sightings are also common.
Day 12-13 – Drake Passage
As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.
Day 14 – Ushuaia Disembarkation
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.
CABINS & PRICES
All rates per person in USD
- One night hotel accommodation in embarkation city. Early check-in (up to 24 hours prior to usual check-in time) available if requested, with confirmed air itinerary, at least 90 days prior to departure
- Transfer from airport in embarkation city (Trelew Airport “REL” for the Nov 3 voyage which embarks in Puerto Madryn; Ushuaia Airport “USH” for all other departures) to group hotel if arriving on Day 1 of itinerary, and providing we have your confirmed air itinerary at least 90 days prior to departure
- Transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation
- Group transfer from ship to airport, hotel in Ushuaia, or central location following disembarkation
- Shipboard accommodations
- All scheduled Landings / excursions
- All meals onboard
- Coffee/tea/cocoa 24 hours daily
- Welcome/Farewell cocktail
- House wine / beer / soft drink with dinner
- Expedition jacket (yours to keep)
- A pair of boots for use during the voyage
- WiFi from the public computers in the library
- 100 minute WiFi card (for use on your personal devices)
- Daily international news service
- Digital Voyage Log
- All port fees
- All landing fees
- In Owner’s Suite, Penthouse, Veranda, Deluxe and Promenade categories: champagne and chocolates on arrival, and complimentary mini-bar
- Any airfare or travel expenses associated with arrival in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn
- Transfer from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary
- Pre or post voyage expenses in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn
- Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board
- Alcohol and soft drinks onboard (except as listed above in inclusions)
- Onboard communication charges such as outgoing phone calls, WiFi from personal devices in excess of the 100 minutes provided
- Staff gratuities