Summary : Celebrate crossing latitude 66° 33’ South in the wake of hallowed explorers including the first to do so, Captain James Cook. In this frozen area of extraordinary beauty, powerful orcas and leopard seals thrive, while ethereal snow petrels grace the skies against a background of bristling mountains and surreal icebergs. Threading your way through an intricate system of icy waterways, aim for the glorious Crystal Sound at the mouth of The Gullet. It’s midsummer, molting time for penguins and flight school for cormorant chicks. Experience the trip of a lifetime on a voyage with optional kayaking and polar snorkeling!
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins
$8,725 to $14,650
Step aboard your home-away-from-home and settle in to your comfortable cabin. There is time to meet fellow passengers and explore the ship before leaving Ushuaia for an evening cruise down the Beagle Channel.
Cross the Drake Passage, accompanied by albatross, petrels, fulmars and prions. Polar experts speak about Antarctica’s unique wildlife and history, and prepare you for landings with environmental and Zodiac briefings.
Explore the Peninsula’s west coast with time to watch the frenzied activities of penguin parents and chicks as the summer days begin to shorten. Keep an eye out for cormorant chicks bravely making their first flights from sea cliffs. Zodiac cruise amongst icebergs and floes replete with basking Weddell and leopard seals and revel in the unparalleled beauty of vast, Antarctic landscape.
Besides landing on wildlife-rich offshore islands, make a continental landing, possibly hiking up for spectacular views. Continue south as governed by ice conditions. Celebrate in style after crossing the Circle via the ‘inner route’ or the Bellingshausen Sea. With luck, reach magnificent Crystal Sound, pass through the Gullet and steam on to Marguerite Bay, where relatively few have gone before. Orcas, humpbacks and minkes are known to feed in the channels. Visits to historical Stonington, Pourquoi Pas and Detaille Islands are possible before turning north to warmer climes.
Arrive at mountainous King George Island. If time and weather permit, explore the penguin and seal-rich waters of Fildes Bay and visit the surprising Trinity Church at Bellingshausen Station before catching your charter flight back to Punta Arenas in Chile. Transfer to your hotel.
Enjoy breakfast before continuing 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: 2/26/2017 from 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.
To participate in polar scuba diving, all divers MUST be trained, certified scuba divers with proof of certification beyond entry level, i.e. Advanced Diver certified or equivalent rating issued by a recognized scuba training organization. It is extremely important that adequate training is gained in dry-suit diving, and in the use of other new and unfamiliar equipment to be used in polar waters. To ensure your safety and avoid any unnecessary problems on the trip, recent diving experience and proof of a minimum of 20 logged dives using a dry-suit is required prior to joining the voyage. Additional fee applies. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Luggage transfer from hotel to ship on day of departure; flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas (2/18/2017) or from Punta Arenas to King George (2/26/2017); transfer from Punta Arenas airport to hotel; one night accommodation in Punta Arenas post-voyage (2/18/2017) or pre-voyage (2/26/2017); cabin accommodation on the ship; daily cabin service; meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage; lectures and guide services; gumboots (for loan onboard); polar expedition jacket (to keep); voyage journal (one per booking); access to on board doctor and basic medical services; port taxes and service charges; entry fees to historic landings sites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare and accommodation unless mentioned as included; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; visa, passport, and vaccination charges; airport arrival or departure taxes; fuel surcharge may apply; optional sea kayaking and snorkeling activities; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, internet or phone charges; travel insurance and/or emergency evacuation charges.