- Ocean Diamond
- Luxury Expedition Ship
- 189 Capacity
- 15 Days
- 2014, 2015
- Price from
Summary : This expedition is ideal if you desire the extra time to really experience Antarctica. Fire up your spirit of adventure and take a few extra days to work your way south to explore some of Antarctica’s most pristine and rarely visited areas. There will also be plenty of time to explore the incredible wildlife of penguins, whales and seals along the Antarctic Peninsula and in the South Shetland Islands. Navigate through some of the world’s most scenic waterways – many boasting colossal icebergs. Weather permitting, you will actually attempt to land on the Antarctic continent south of the Circle!
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$6,995 to $18,995
Arrive early in Ushuaia to enjoy the southern city's frontier feel. Overnight at your hotel.
Crossing the Circle is the goal of this expedition. Antarctica is everything south of the Antarctic Convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates between 50° and 60° South. For some, an expedition to the Southern Continent is not complete unless the Antarctic Circle is crossed. South of that invisible boundary, daylight lasts for 24 hours from mid-December to late February.
The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture sea birds hovering overhead.
The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to stare out at sea, explore the vessel, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team.
Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.
With the Drake Passage left in your wake, make a final approach to Antarctica. With your camera at the ready, the continent’s coastline will make its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. See plentiful icebergs floating by and be fixated on the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.
Your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites you may visit, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Harbor. While weather dictates specific landing sites visited, each presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.
Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment. Sign up before booking to have the incredible opportunity to kayak while looking for whales.
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33’ S. Celebrate with a well-earned glass of champagne!
Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people.
By now, your knowledge of adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal; and terms like ‘bergy bits’ and 'pancake ice' will seem normal. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the Expedition Team will help fill in any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.
Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you’ll take with you a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your new-found friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by. Your Expedition Team will continue their series of lectures, perhaps concluding with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve visited over the course of your voyage.
Say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers. Disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport for your homeward bound flights.
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 guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. 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.
Jonathan Shackleton, Expert in Residence: (2/22/2014 only)
Join Jonathan Shackleton, cousin of the Irish Kildare-born Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, on this voyage of a lifetime. Jonathan is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, in Natural Sciences and was awarded his Masters Degree from Ohio State University for work in Arctic Alaska. As a lecturer and guide, Jonathan has accompanied 30 groups on trips to the Antarctic in the past 15 years as historian, guide, photographer and Zodiac driver. Highlights of Jonathan’s visits have been landing on Elephant Island at Point Wild, visiting Ernest Shackleton's grave on South Georgia, travelling to the Ross Sea, landing at Cape Adare, and visiting two of the largest emperor penguin colonies in the world. Jonathan was a member of the first group to visit the emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill.
Sea Kayaking Option: $895 per person (2/22/2014); $950 per person (1/7/2015)
Minimum age 16 years. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Camping Option: $250 per person (1/7/2015 only)
Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking. No camping experience is necessary to participate in this program. Sleeping bags and all safety equipment are provided.
Sea Kayaking & Camping Package: $1,050 per person (1/7/2015 only)
Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking.
Photography Program: No additional cost. This is a complimentary course available to everyone on board who wishes to participate. There is no need to register ahead of time for the course. The course includes the services of a resident photography instructor; a program of lectures on photography and digital image manipulation; and photography focused excursions at landing sites with hands-on instruction.
Group transfers in Ushuaia from the airport to local hotel for passengers arriving on Day 1 of the program only; one night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary. (The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel); group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the ship on embarkation day; group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage. (Please inform of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals); all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled; photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an official parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock; a flat-screen television and DVD player in every cabin; hair dryer and bathrobes; comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard ship; emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person; access to a large collection of polar books and DVD’s in many languages; yoga classes.
Any airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes, Argentina's Reciprocity Fee; any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, massage and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; supplements for adventure options; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.