Summary : Search for the giants of the sea on this special whale watching voyage in the remote Antarctic islands on an expedition with amazing icescapes and fantastic guides. Sail through the spectacular Beagle and Lemaire Channels and enjoy impressive landscapes composed of high mountains and huge glaciers. Navigate by Zodiac among ice floes and set foot on the Antarctic continent on this trip of a lifetime. Polar diving option available.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Diving, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$5,550 to $8,600
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.
Sail directly to 'High Antarctica', passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. The Antarctic Peninsula is famed for its icy beauty and bountiful wildlife. During the days here, you will optimize the experience to get the best of everything. Sites that may be visited include: Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island where you will find a large colony of Gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. On nearby Danco Island in the Errera Channel, activities may be focused around the Gentoo penguins nesting high on the island as well as Weddell and Crabeater seals that may be on and around the island. In Neko Harbor, you may have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. Zodiac cruising and kayaking offers a spectacular ways of enjoying the landscape surrounded by ice-encrusted alpine peaks. In Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs, you may have the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. Again, you may have an opportunity for a Zodiac cruise in the inner parts of this amazing waterway. In this area, you have good chances to see Humpback whales and Minke whales. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, hopefully you will get a chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, you may also be able to participate in activities on Jougla Point with Gentoo penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. If the ice allows for it, hopefully you will be able to sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pléneau and Petermann Island where you can find Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. In this area, there are good chances to encounter Humpback whales and Minke whales. Leopard seals are also seen here often. Sailing north through Gerlache Strait you will arrive at Wilhelmina Bay where you are often fortunate to see feeding Humpback whales. You may embark on a Zodiac cruise if the conditions allow ending at the wreck of Guvernøren an old whaling vessel that burned here in 1915. Around Melchior Islands amidst a beautiful landscape with icebergs, where you may encounter more whales but also Leopard seal and Crabeater seals. Depart to the Drake Passage around noon.
Heading north, you’ll again be followed by a great variety of seabirds while crossing the infamous Drake Passage.
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia, disembark after breakfast, and transfer to the 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.
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.
Dive under shallow water, down along walls, from the beach, or from a Zodiac. You will reach a maximum of 60 feet. Unlike no other dive – the combination of water, sunlight, and ice formations creates an ever-shifting spectacle of colors. Space is limited; request at time of booking. Participants will dive in group of eight divers per guide, with a maximum of 24 divers per excursion. Compressors and weights are provided. Participants must bring their own dry suit with hood and additional equipment. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for a complete list. This activity is available for experienced divers. Participants are required to present their internationally accepted diver certificate, diver's logbook, and a statement from their doctor (not older than two years) that demonstrates they are in a good state of physical health allowing them to scuba dive. Experience with both cold water diving and dry suit diving (at least 30 dives) is required. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; snacks, coffee and tea; group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation in Ushuaia; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; gear on loan (rubber boots and snowshoes). Subject to change without notice.
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 and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for the ship's crew; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Dietmar Denger; © Franco Banfi; © Sara Petrowitz; © Richard Wadey