Summary : Celebrate the winter holidays in traditional Antarctic style when the near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore. Camp out under light-touched sky or enjoy extended kayaking excursions. Penguin highways are busy with traffic as parents hurry to fatten chicks and waterways are alive with whales and seals. Visit historic sites as you step onto the most fascinating continent on Earth!
Activities : Birding, Camping, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins, Air Cruise (Antarctica)
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$8,725 to $14,650
Enjoy a late afternoon welcome in Ushuaia from our friendly staff and crew. Take time to settle into your cabin and explore the ship before your evening departure. Excitement lifts while sailing down the Beagle Channel, keeping watch for magellenic penguins, dolphins and albatross.
Crossing the Drake Passage offers excellent bird watching from the outer decks or the warmth of the bridge. Learn about Antarctica from informative talks by the ship’s naturalist, and about safety and environmental guidelines from expedition staff. Meet fellow travelers and prepare for the days ahead. Watch for icebergs in the distance, while king cormorants, penguins and fur seals herald your approach to the South Shetlands.
An overnight passage along Gerlache Strait delivers you to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, an ethereal wonderland of vast proportions. Aboard robust Zodiacs, explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations. Ring in the holidays among fellow expeditioners in a celebratory atmosphere. Stepping ashore on the continent creates an everlasting memory, and you might even want to try sliding down a snow slope!
Zodiac cruising brings you close to intricately shaped icebergs and seals basking on ice floes whilst optional kayaking can glide you into scenic secluded bays. Immerse yourself in nature with an optional camping night if conditions allow. Keep an eye out for bubble netting humpbacks even at midnight!
Arrive at mountainous King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands. Time and weather permitting, explore the bay and research station, before catching your charter flight back to Punta Arenas and being transferred to your overnight accommodation.
After breakfast, bid farewell to fellow expeditioners before continuing on with your own arrangements.
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.
Reverse Itinerary: 12/25/2016. Punta Arenas, Chile to Ushuaia, Argentina
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have emergency medical evacuation travel insurance coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The policy provider, policy number and emergency contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. 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.
If you wish to kayak, please notify ExpeditionTrips upon booking, as space is limited. Please note, some sea kayaking experience is necessary. Additional fee applies. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Snorkel with expert polar diving guides. Passengers will be provided with the equipment they need – including a dry suit, gloves, a hood, fins, a mask, and a snorkel. Six snorkelers are required for this activity to proceed. Included: Daily excursions with expert guides, equipment, and training. Additional fee applies. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Camping is optional, subject to weather conditions and organized onboard the ship. Included in cruise fare. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
On 12/17/2016 departures only: luggage transfer from Ushuaia hotel to ship on day of voyage departure; luggage transfer from ship to King George Island airstrip; flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas; transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel; one night accommodation in Punta Arenas post voyage. On 12/25/2016 departures only: one night accommodation in Punta Arenas pre voyage; transfer from hotel to Punta Arenas airport; flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island; luggage transfer from King George Island airstrip to ship. On all departures: polar expedition jacket; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage; shore excursions; lectures and guide services; gumboots (for loan onboard); daily cabin service; voyage journal (one per booking); entry fees to historic landings sites; port taxes and service charges. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare unless listed as included; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; visa, passport, and vaccination charges; fuel surcharge may apply; optional sea kayaking; hotels and meals not included in itinerary; items of a personal nature including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and email or phone charges; internet charges; travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.