Summary : This adventure is filled with the best of coastal Patagonia and Antarctica: fjords, breathtaking nature, wildlife, and Cape Horn. With its incredibly rich fauna, the Southern Ocean is a drama on a grand scale. This unending, white wilderness of a continent is full of fantastic once in the lifetime sights and experiences. There are more penguins, and penguin species, here than anywhere else on earth. Elephant and fur seals, minke whales, large flocks of sea birds – not forgetting the wandering albatross – give life to this surreal and beautiful landscape. This tour is a fantastic opportunity to take a close-up look at the world’s most fascinating and charming continent. On board the comfortable ship, listen to presentations by experts in Antarctica’s rich history, so that you can get even more out of what you will experience along the way.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$999,999,999 to $0
Welcome to Chile, where your adventure begins! Santiago's cityscape is shaped by several stand-alone hills and the fast-flowing Mapocho River, lined by parks such as Parque Forestal. Mountains of the Andes chain can be seen from most points in the city. Enjoy an included hotel stay here before embarking on your voyage.
Today you will fly to Punta Arenas, where your expedition ship is awaiting you. Once you board the ship, your ship's crew will kick off your experience with a welcome dinner.
The next three days you will sail through amazing areas such as the Magellan Strait and the Beagle Channel, with channels, fjords, and mountains plunging straight into the icy water. These wild and remote areas seem almost completely undisturbed by humans. Ice has scoured its way between the mountains, leaving isolated islands and hidden bays – and creating the uniquely beautiful fjord landscape of Chile.
Any nature enthusiast will find it exciting to explore the Chilean fjords, Garibaldi Fjord being one of them. When you enter the last part of this fjord you're in for a beautiful surprise: The Garibaldi Glaciers. The mountains and valleys are steep and even if there is snow on top of the mountains the area is very green and rich in wildlife. Come ashore for the possibility to see sea lions, Andean condors, and several other birds only found here. There will be an Argentinean wine-tasting in the evening.
At almost 56° South, Cape Horn is the southernmost point of South America. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous, rocky island to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. Try to make a landing on Cape Horn – however, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions.
As you cross the famous Drake Passage on your way to Antarctica, continue your Young Explorers Antarctica program. The Explorer Room is buzzing with activity with several lectures on popular science topics. Your spirit of adventure may also move you to join a tango lesson in the afternoon.
Today you will arrive in Antarctica! Come ashore to explore the impressive Antarctic scenery, and see penguins and seals. From deck whale watching opportunities abound. Join your expedition team to enjoy field days, kayaking (fee applies), or explore the water and ice in small boats. Enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, and discover old whaling stations and its relics.
See the South Shetlands and Cuverville Island, home to one of the largest known colonies of chinstrap penguins. Neko Harbour is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay. Explore Paradise Harbour, which got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century, and Wilhelmina Bay, which has spectacular scenery and is often called ‘whale-mina Bay’, because of the large number of humpback whales spotted here in December.
After an exhilarating time in Antarctica, spend a leisurely day relaxing, enjoying lectures in the explorer room, or on deck with your fellow passengers recapping your experiences thus far.
Seeing Cape Horn again means you are back in civilization. In the Beagle Channel, visit Puerto Williams, a small town between the ocean and the mountains. On the way back to Punta Arenas, you will sail through the majestic Chilean fjords.
Make one last landing in the Chilean fjords, surrounded by high mountains and glaciers. As this is the last night on board, there will be a farewell dinner and gathering.
After debarkation in Punta Arenas, transfer to the airport for your included flight to Santiago.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Multilingual Departures: English/Norwegian/German (All Departures)
Basic Kayaking Certification Program: $995 per person
Learn how to effectively maneuver a kayak and perform simple, practical kayaking exercises and drills, as well as basic kayaking safety procedures. This course is up to 16 hours in duration over two non-consecutive days. Kayaking excursions on the water will be 2-4 hours in length. Graduates of the class will receive a basic kayaking certification from the Norwegian Paddle Association: Norsk Padleforbunds. The program is led by two professional kayaking guides, with a maximum of 8 participants. No previous paddling experience is necessary. The program is conducted in English. All equipment, including a dry suit, is provided for participants. Good physical fitness is essential. Children 13 years and older may participate on request. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Explorer Photography School program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Explorer Photography School: $995 per person
Participate in three photography workshops: Workshop #1: Basic Image Editing (2 hours, divided into two sessions or more); Workshop #2: Wildlife and Landscape Photography; Workshop #3: DSLR Video Instruction. The program is taught by two professional photographers, with a maximum of 10 participants. It is conducted in English and intended for advanced beginners to experienced photographers. Included: photography booklet, designated workstation with photo editing software, priority access to the photo and optics test center equipment, and a Zeiss Lens Cleaning kit. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Basic Kayak Certification program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for hiking during the voyage. The duration of the hike depends on the tour. Hiking is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. Please Note: Kayaking excursions are based on a lottery system and are not guaranteed. Those interested in a guaranteed, pre-bookable kayaking option are advised to consider the Basic Kayaking Certification Program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Photography Program: Included
Join onboard photography lectures about still photography, video photography, and wildlife photography. Lectures are included in the price of the voyage. Those interested in a more in-depth photography expedition are encouraged to consider to optional, pre-bookable Explorer Photography School program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Science Center: Included
'Hands-on' science program where guests can perform their own science experiments with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists. Featuring ten Leica DM500 biological microscopes and ten Leica EZ4 geological microscopes, groups of 2-3 guests per microscope will work with a trained biologist or geologist. Occasionally, scientists invite guests along to sample biomaterial for use in the science center. There is also a large screen connected to the scientist's microscope for viewing during every session.
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for snowshoeing during the voyage. Due to popular demand, snowshoers are chosen by lottery as there is a set limit to the number of guests allowed to go onshore at one time. Snowshoeing is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Young Explorers Program: Included
Designed for children traveling with adults to magnificent destinations where the focus is on education, fun, and participation. A dedicated staff member will lead age-appropriate lectures and field research with your Young Explorer on topics ranging from science, polar history, photography, and navigation. Activities and learning are designed for children between the ages of 7-13 (although all ages can join in!)
Round-trip economy flights between Punta Arenas and Santiago; one pre-cruise hotel night in Santiago; transfer from the hotel to the airport in Santiago; transfer from the airport to the ship in Punta Arenas; transfer from the ship to the airport in Punta Arenas, including orientation tour; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; complimentary coffee and tea; professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompany landings and activities aboard and ashore; Young Explorers program for children; onboard photography lectures; onboard science center; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots); and a complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket. Expedition Suites (Q, M, MG, MX): a soft drink package; a wine package; an Arctic Pure amenity kit (bathroom); a fleece blanket/throw; a cabin kit (bathrobe and slippers); an Espresso maker; a kettle with premium tea/coffee; sweets and snacks with sparkling wine on embarkation day; a separate check-in with sparkling wine; a suite breakfast. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except as mentioned as included; transfers except as mentioned as included; passport and visa fees; travel insurance; luggage handling; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned as included; kayaking; optional excursions and gratuities; items of a personal nature such as laundry; walking sticks and binoculars can be rented for an additional charge; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Dominic Barrington; © Tori Hogan; © Dietmar Schiemer; © Manuel Marin; © Franz Gingele; © Marsel van Oosten; © Gunter Krause; © Pauli Araneva