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Crossing the Antarctic Circle

Antarctica Cruise Information

Summary : Sail in comfort aboard a luxurious and comfortable ship through the Drake Passage and along the Antarctic Peninsula with the ambition of crossing the Antarctic Circle. In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will spend your days exploring by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Plan to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay. Given favorable ice conditions, you will push your exploration even further southward, looking for historic and wildlife sites. At Half Moon Island you will visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-­eyed shags. Be on the lookout for the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to spot Orca and Minke whales as you go. With camping and kayaking options, this expedition promises to facilitate an unparalleled and intimate encounter with the Great White Continent.

Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today. Enjoy a complimentary stay at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort. Explore the trails, rejuvenate with a spa day, head into town, or simply relax and take in your surroundings. Your 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

Today is the first day of your adventure. You will set sail in the early evening and begin your voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.

Day 3 – 4
Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake Passage, there is excitement in the air as you make your way ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as your numerous Polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence where you will notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Those keen in Citizen Science can take part in collecting salinity samples, wind and temperature readings along the way. On your sea crossing you will witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species, some of which are known on occasion to fully breach from the sea.

Day 5 – 12
Antarctic Peninsula

In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will spend your days exploring by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Plan to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay. Given favorable ice conditions, you will push your exploration even further southward, looking for historic and wildlife sites.

At Half Moon Island you will visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-­eyed shags. Be on the lookout for the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to spot Orcas and Minke whales as you go.

Weather permitting, you will make your first landing on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbor or Neko Harbor. The scenery here is amazing – particularly the oddly shaped icebergs that look like sculptures, as well as the colossal ‘tabular’ icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf.

From your most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), you will make your way north, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, the Lemaire Channel, the Neumeyer Channel and the Gerlache Strait will all feature in your itinerary. Landing sites might include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay, Petermann Island and the Yalours, where you will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as an abundance of penguins including colonies of the comical Gentoo.

Day 13 – 14
Drake Passage

Bid farewell to the enchanting icescapes of the Antarctic Peninsula as you make your way north again, heading across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage. Continue to enjoy your ship's presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, you will celebrate the conclusion of your expedition with a special slideshow.

Day 15
Ushuaia / Disembarkation

Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for your next adventure.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions – and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All passengers are required to carry valid travel insurance. This insurance must contain medical and evacuation coverage. Cancellation and trip interruption insurance are strongly recommended as well. As any potential evacuation from Antarctica can cost up to $200,000, it is recommended that no policy carry less than this amount of coverage. Pre-departure forms will require information as to travel insurance carrier, policy number, and a 24 hour contact number. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Fuel Surcharge: Fuel surcharge may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases.

Camping (Optional):
$125 per person
Get a taste of Antarctica as it was experienced by the early explorers. After a delicious dinner onboard, jump back in the Zodiacs and head ashore for a night of camping in Antarctica! Help to set up camp, then enjoy the sounds of the waves, the creaking of the glaciers, and perhaps even the blow of a passing whale. Anyone 12 and older can participate (with additional fee). Included: insulated sleeping bags, rated -20° F, a sleeping bag liner, one dry bag for a pillow and a change of clothes, 4-season mountaineering tents, a limited number of mountaineering bivy sacks, and insulated sleeping pads. Booking in advance is highly recommended. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Kayaking (Optional):
$695 per person
Kayaking offers an opportunity to participate in the most intimate Antarctica encounters. Basic paddling experience is highly recommended. Participants should be capable of getting in and out of a kayak, doing a wet exit, and performing forward and back strokes. Maximum participants: 16 passengers per voyage. Included: kayaks (mix of tandems and singles), dry suits, paddles, personal flotation devices (PFDs), and Pogies (neoprene gloves). Booking in advance is highly recommended. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Included:

One pre-voyage hotel night at the Arakur Ushuaia Resort and Spa; transfer from the Ushuaia airport to the group hotel (if arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary); transfer from the group hotel to the ship for embarkation; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; scheduled landings and excursions; 24/7 complimentary coffee, tea, and hot chocolate; welcome/farewell cocktail; citizen science program; complimentary house beer/wine/soft drink with dinner; Wi-Fi from the public computers in the library; 100-minute Wi-Fi card (for use on your personal device); daily international news service; digital voyage log; gear on loan (a pair of boots); and a complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket. Owner's Suite, Penthouse, Veranda, Deluxe, and Promenade categories: champagne and chocolates on arrival, and a complimentary mini-bar. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included: 

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 (except as listed in the inclusions); onboard communication charges such as phone calls; Wi-Fi from personal devices in excess of 100 minutes provided; staff gratuities; fuel surcharge (may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases).

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