- Research Ship
- 116 Capacity
- 32 Days
- Price from
Summary : This is your ultimate chance to sail to the southern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula, Peter I Island, the Bellingshausen and Amundsen Seas into the Ross Sea. Visit Shackleton’s and Scott’s huts, McMurdo Station, the Dry Valleys and Campbell Island on a vessel equipped with helicopters for excursions to attempt to land on the Ross Sea Ice Shelf. Observe wildlife like nowhere else on this planet – elephant seals, royal albatross, gentoo and adelie penguins, polar skuas, orca and minke whales. Learn of important historical figures in the early era of Antarctic exploration and visit their rustic huts. Be prepared for unforgettable memories and the trip of a lifetime!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking
$24,950 to $36,200
Embark the vessel in the afternoon and sail through the scenic Beagle Channel.
Sail across the Drake Passage and cross the Antarctic Convergence. Arrive in the Antarctic upwelling zone. You may encounter Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black-browed Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels.
Arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel early in the morning. Land on Pléneau Island, where Elephant Seals haul-out on the beaches and Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas breed. Pléneau Island was first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903-05 of Jean-Baptiste Charcot and was named after his expedition’s photographer Paul Pléneau. Visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adélie and Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Cormorants (Blue-eyed Shags). Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74.
Sailing south through the Penola Strait, cross the Polar Circle and arrive at the Fish Islands. These small islands lying east of Flouder Island are called the Minnows, first charted by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37) of John Rymill. Detaille Island was discovered by the French expedition of Charcot (1903-05) and named for a shareholder in the Magellan Whaling Company. From 1956 until 1959, The British Antarctic Survey had their “Station W” located on Detaille Island. On both locations you may observe Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.
Sail the Bellingshausen Sea where you may see your first pack-ice on the way to Peter Island.
Peter I Island is an uninhabited volcanic island (19 km long) in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and was named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. It is claimed by Norway and considered a territory on its own. Sporadically visited by passenger vessels, Elephant Seals and colonies of Southern Fulmars and Cape Pigeons have been observed here.
Sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, which - depending on ice-conditions - will give glimpses of the Antarctic Continent. Watch for solo traveling Emperor Penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and also Orca and Minke Whales along the ice-edge, which are often accompanied by different species of fulmar petrels. If the sea-ice allows, land on Shephard Island in Marie Byrd Land among colonies of Chinstrap Penguins and South Polar Skua's. Shephard Island was discovered by the US Antarctic Expeditions (USAS) of 1939-41.
Approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 30 meters high. Conditions permitting, take a helicopter ride and land on the massive ice shelf. In the Bay of Whales at the eastern side of the shelf, Roald Amundsen gained access to the shelf and ventured to the South Pole, where he finally arrived on 14th of December, 1911. There may be a chance to climb on the shelf.
In the Ross Sea, the intention is to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd. Experience the famous spots which played such an important role in the dramatic British expeditions of the last century – Ernest Shackleton’s cabin at Cape Royds, and Robert Falcon Scott’s cabin at Cape Evans. Visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base (New Zealand). If ice and weather conditions are favorable, use helicopters to land at Castle Rock with its great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole, or Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, with climate conditions closest to that on Mars.
Sailing north along the west coast of the Ross Sea, pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Station in Terra Nova Bay.
Known as the place where people wintered on the Antarctic Continent for the very first time. The hut where Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in 1899 is surrounded by the largest colony of Adélie Penguins in the world.
The ship makes its way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea. Sail along Scott Island and then towards Campbell Island.
Campbell Island is a sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with flourishing vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is fantastic with a large and easily accessible colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses on the main island, as well as breeding colonies of Wandering, Campbell, Greyheaded, Blackbrowed, and Lightmantled Sooty Albatrosses on its satellite islands. Watch for the three penguin species that breed here: Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested and Yellow-Eyed Penguins. In the 18th century, seals were hunted to almost extinction, but Elephant Seals, Fur Seals and Sea Lions have recovered.
Set sail toward the South Island of New Zealand.
Arrive in Bluff and disembark the vessel and transfer to Invercargill airport.
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.
This trip crosses the International Date Line resulting in a day being 'added'; however, the overall duration is still 32 days.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase insurance including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance. 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.
The vessel will be equipped with a minimum of two helicopters. The use of helicopters helps to try to reach scheduled landing sites that otherwise are inaccessible. However, every passenger who participates understands and accepts that no guarantees can be given in regards to reaching sites or specific amount of helicopter time.
Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; free use of rubber boots on loan; ship-to-shore helicopter transfers; Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Invercargill, after disembarkation; fall shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; comprehensive pre-departure material.
Any airfare; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; travel insurance; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for the ship's crew; fuel surcharge may apply.