Summary : This well-established expedition cruise offers you the ideal introduction to Antarctica. Departing and finishing in the port of Ushuaia in Argentina, the itinerary visits prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and the neighboring South Shetland Islands. This program will emphasize wildlife viewing of penguins, whales and seals, possible visits to scientific bases, and breathtaking scenery with narrow waterways, glaciers, icebergs and rugged mountains. Experience adventure options, such as kayaking, camping, cross-country skiing, mountaineering and snowshoeing, and take advantage of an onboard photography program.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive in Ushuaia, a small town at the "end of the world" surrounded by rugged peaks and glaciers, and transfer independently to your conveniently located hotel. The following day, in the afternoon, the Expedition Team gets you settled aboard your ship as you sail into the Beagle Channel to start your Antarctic expedition.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as you depart for the world’s most southern continent!
Prepare for rough water, but do not be disappointed if your crossing is smooth sailing. The Drake is always changing. Time during these first days is largely spent chatting with other travelers and listening to the presentations given by your Expedition Team.
Many factors play a role in shaping the expedition’s progress. There will be attempts to leave the ship to explore in a range of activity levels at least twice a day. Perhaps you’ll feel salt spray on your face as the Zodiac weaves in and around grounded icebergs in Pleneau Bay. You could scramble to the top of a craggy hill for an unforgettable view of an icy chasm near Port Lockroy. You might sit quietly on a pebbled beach and wait for a curious penguin chick to approach or plunge into the frigid Antarctic waters. You could explore the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula with adventurers who enjoy camping, kayaking, and other active pursuits.
Over the course of the austral spring and summer, the sun lingers longer and longer, melting snow and ice. Wildlife abounds: chicks hatch and fledge, and pods of whales breach in a deep bay where a calving iceberg has churned up krill, the local delicacy. The natural cycle of life ensures that every expedition is different. And that every expedition is full of surprises! As you sail from island to shore to bay during four days in the Peninsula, the Expedition Team provides opportunities for contemplation, to test your endurance and engage your curiosity.
Today you leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. In between bird watching and whale watching, and enjoying some final lectures by your expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review your adventures before returning to Ushuaia.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your independent flights home.
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 at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Sea Kayaking Option:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. 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.
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. 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.
Kayaking & Camping Package:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking.
Included in cruise rate. Anyone can take part, no previous experience necessary. Snowshoes available free of charge for excursions when conditions permit.
Included in cruise rate. 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 or one day prior 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 only for passengers with departing flights before noon; 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 $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, except for ones mentioned as included; 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.