Summary : Enjoy the best of Antarctica and the eastern and southern coasts of Patagonia with landings, lectures, excursions, and activities that will take your breath away. With its incredibly rich fauna, the Southern Ocean is a drama on a grand scale. This unending, white wilderness of a continent is full of fantastic impressions. There are more penguins, and penguin species, here than anywhere else on earth. Elephant and fur seals, minke whales, large flocks of sea birds – not forgetting the wandering albatross – give life to this surreal and beautiful landscape. This tour is a fantastic opportunity to take a close-up look at the world’s most fascinating and charming continent. On board the comfortable ship, listen to presentations by experts in Antarctica’s rich history, so that you can get even more out of what you will experience along the way.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$6,926 to $19,122
Your expedition begins in Santiago, Chile. Enjoy a leisurely day exploring the city before spending an included hotel night at the Santiago de Chile hotel. Wake up refreshed and ready for adventure!
Today you will fly to Punta Arenas where your expedition ship will be awaiting you. Once on board your expedition team will kick off the trip with a grand welcome dinner. Connect with fellow passengers and celebrate the beginning of your journey.
Your morning begins by sailing past Isla Tucker and through the extremely narrow Canal Gabriel. Enjoy being on board and getting to know your fellow adventurers. Seeing the Patagonian coast from the seaside is incredible, and sailing in the fjords here will leave you breathless.
The Garibaldi Fjord is just one of the Chilean fjords you will explore. When you enter the last part of the Garibaldi Fjord you are in for a beautiful surprise: behold the Garibaldi Glaciers! The mountains are steep and even if there is snow on top of the mountains, the area is very green and full of wildlife. Come ashore and perhaps you will see sea lions, Andean condors, and several other bird species only found here. Look forward to Argentinean wine-tasting in the evening.
At almost 56° South, Cape Horn is the southernmost point of South America. When ranking all the mythical places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous, rocky island to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. The Captain will do his best to make a landing on Cape Horn – however, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions.
Cross the Drake Passage and tomorrow you will be in Antarctica! Relax and marvel at the vast array of seabirds that accompany your ship on the journey. You can also join several lectures that will make your visit to Antarctica even more interesting, or poke around in the Explorer Room for some scientific fun.
Today you will arrive in Antarctica – the most remote area of the world. You will feel like a real explorer, especially when you see the endless ocean and continent covered with snow and ice. It might come as a surprise that the penguins are not afraid of humans. Well-behaved visitors usually cause nothing more than disinterested yawns. Your reaction will probably be the exact opposite!
Visit research stations, places that were used by the whalers in the past, landings with great surroundings, and have theme days on board. Some of the places you will see while exploring Antarctica are South Shetland and Cuverville Island, home to one of the largest known colonies of Gentoo penguins. Neko Harbour is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay, and Paradise Harbour got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century. You can also look forward to visiting Half Moon Island, considered a jewel of diversity in the polar landscape.
Enjoy Antarctica by hiking, kayaking (fee applies), looking at thousands of penguins and seals, and visiting the most interesting places. On board there are several lectures, ‘scientific experiments’ for the Young Explorers Antarctica Club – and the views from the deck are impeccable.
As you head back to South America, there will be classes on how to edit your photos. You can also spend the day on deck, in the Explorer room, attend lectures, and enjoy photos and films with recaps of your experiences so far.
Before you sail into the Beagle Channel, an attempt to go ashore on Cape Horn will be made if it wasn't able to happen on your voyage south. Otherwise, visit Puerto Williams, a small town between the ocean and the mountain. On your way back to Punta Arenas, sail through the Chilean fjords for another day of wild nature and impressive sights. In majestic surroundings of wilderness and glaciers, find a suitable place to land. In the evening, attend the farewell dinner.
Arriving in Punta Arenas, the adventure is over for now. After disembarkation, transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago, Chile.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, 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. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Multilingual Departures: English/Norwegian/German (All Departures)
Basic Kayaking Certification Program: $995 per person
Learn how to effectively maneuver a kayak and perform simple, practical kayaking exercises and drills, as well as basic kayaking safety procedures. This course is up to 16 hours in duration over two non-consecutive days. Kayaking excursions on the water will be 2-4 hours in length. Graduates of the class will receive a basic kayaking certification from the Norwegian Paddle Association: Norsk Padleforbunds. The program is led by two professional kayaking guides, with a maximum of 8 participants. No previous paddling experience is necessary. The program is conducted in English. All equipment, including a dry suit, is provided for participants. Good physical fitness is essential. Children 13 years and older may participate on request. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Explorer Photography School program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Explorer Photography School: $995 per person
Participate in three photography workshops: Workshop #1: Basic Image Editing (2 hours, divided into two sessions or more); Workshop #2: Wildlife and Landscape Photography; Workshop #3: DSLR Video Instruction. The program is taught by two professional photographers, with a maximum of 10 participants. It is conducted in English and intended for advanced beginners to experienced photographers. Included: photography booklet, designated workstation with photo editing software, priority access to the photo and optics test center equipment, and a Zeiss Lens Cleaning kit. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Basic Kayak Certification program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for hiking during the voyage. The duration of the hike depends on the tour. Hiking is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. Please Note: Kayaking excursions are based on a lottery system and are not guaranteed. Those interested in a guaranteed, pre-bookable kayaking option are advised to consider the Basic Kayaking Certification Program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Photography Program: Included
Join onboard photography lectures about still photography, video photography, and wildlife photography. Lectures are included in the price of the voyage. Those interested in a more in-depth photography expedition are encouraged to consider to optional, pre-bookable Explorer Photography School program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Science Center: Included
'Hands-on' science program where guests can perform their own science experiments with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists. Featuring ten Leica DM500 biological microscopes and ten Leica EZ4 geological microscopes, groups of 2-3 guests per microscope will work with a trained biologist or geologist. Occasionally, scientists invite guests along to sample biomaterial for use in the science center. There is also a large screen connected to the scientist's microscope for viewing during every session.
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for snowshoeing during the voyage. Due to popular demand, snowshoers are chosen by lottery as there is a set limit to the number of guests allowed to go onshore at one time. Snowshoeing is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Young Explorers Program: Included
Designed for children traveling with adults to magnificent destinations where the focus is on education, fun, and participation. A dedicated staff member will lead age-appropriate lectures and field research with your Young Explorer on topics ranging from science, polar history, photography, and navigation. Activities and learning are designed for children between the ages of 7-13 (although all ages can join in!)
Round-trip charter flights between Santiago and Punta Arenas; one pre-cruise hotel night at the Sheraton in Santiago with breakfast; transfer from the hotel to the airport in Santiago; transfer between the airport and the ship pre- and post-cruise in Punta Arenas; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; complimentary coffee and tea; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots); and a complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket. Expedition Suites (Q, M, MG, MX): a soft drink package; a wine package; an Arctic Pure amenity kit (bathroom); a fleece blanket/throw; a cabin kit (bathrobe and slippers); an Espresso maker; a kettle with premium tea/coffee; sweets and snacks with sparkling wine on embarkation day; a separate check-in with sparkling wine; a suite breakfast. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except as mentioned as included; transfers except as mentioned as included; passport and visa fees; travel insurance; luggage handling; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned as included; kayaking; optional excursions and gratuities; items of a personal nature such as laundry; walking sticks and binoculars can be rented for an additional charge; fuel surcharge may apply.