Summary : This voyage encompasses two additional days of exploration in Antarctica without adding to the total length of the voyage. This is achieved with an included flight from King George Island (Antarctica) to South America at the end of the voyage, which saves two days on the return sea crossing. This extra time ultimately equals more time on shore, more time in the Zodiacs, and more time spent in the company of experienced and knowledgeable guides. Experience the South Shetland Islands, the western and northern sections of the Antarctic Peninsula, the stunning Weddell Sea region located on the eastern side of the Peninsula, and the historic location of Elephant Island. A full range of activities will be offered on this voyage: walks on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, visits to historic sites, and possibly even a working science station. Zodiac cruising amongst icebergs is another memorable activity. For the more adventurous, optional sea kayaking or camping is a wonderful way to discover the White Continent.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctica Air-Cruise
$14,095 to $22,095
Your journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, Argentina. Gather at a central meeting point, transfer to the pier, and embark our expedition ship. After settling into your cabin and exploring the ship, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a 'welcome' cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Crossing the Drake is a rite of passage that signifies your journey to the White Continent has begun! As you sail from the southern tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula, enjoy time on deck in the cool salt breeze as you spot sea birds gracefully soaring in the wind. Attend engaging presentations, enjoy the ship’s amenities, and get to know your fellow traveling companions as excitement builds in anticipation of your first excursion.
As you navigate historic waterways and visit prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula, the goal is to attempt 1-2 excursions per day. Your captain and expedition leader continually monitor weather and ice conditions, working together to insure you experience the best of Antarctica whether you’re exploring Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Deception Island, or the many other locations available for landings and Zodiac cruising in the region.
Sailing in the wake of the 19th century’s great explorers—Sir Ernest Shackleton, Adrien de Gerlache, Robert Falcon Scott, and Roald Amundsen (to name just a few)—you’ll photograph the same towering mountain peaks they saw, hear raucous penguin colonies as you go ashore, see dazzling shades of blue and white as you navigate bays with impressive ice sculptures, and gain a new perspective of what it takes for wildlife—from penguins and giant petrels to elephant seals and humpback whales—to thrive in the beauty of this environment.
After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, head for the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, the ship will sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic location. History is all around as you explore the old whaling station and airport hangar. There are several superb hikes and an opportunity for the 'Polar Plunge!'
Head northeast, cruising along the pristine coast of Livingston Island. There are several other landing sites in this vicinity including Half Moon Island and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbor where you might encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves.
At about 25 nautical miles long and about 10 nautical miles wide, Antarctic Sound separates Joinville Island from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Navigating into the sound, witness for the first time the vastness and majesty of the Antarctic icecap. Heading into the Weddell Sea you’ll notice a significant increase in the number of huge tabular icebergs and the presence of sea ice. These massive icebergs break from the huge ice shelves to the south and drift north on the currents. This always makes for exciting navigation – and stunning photographic opportunities in the soft Antarctic twilight. This is wild and remote Antarctica and has a distinctly different feel from locations visited thus far. The Weddell Sea region is home to Adélie penguin rookeries of staggering size—some contain more than 100,000 nesting birds. Such colonies dwarf the penguin rookeries visited so far. Weather permitting, excursions in the Weddell Sea region may include Hope Bay, Paulet Island and Brown Bluff. All eyes will be trained on the ice floes in hopes of emperor penguin sightings. The history of exploration in this region is incredibly rich. Remnants of Nordenskjöld’s Swedish expedition of 1901-1904 are found in several locations in this area. The epic century-old story of Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition has strong links to the region. It was here that he and his men drifted north on the ice after their ship had been lost in the ice pack months earlier. As you head north and out of the Weddell Sea, pause to consider the bravery (or foolhardiness) of those early explorers who traveled these waters a hundred years before you.
This morning, say goodbye to your expedition team and transfer ashore by Zodiac. Walk from the shore landing site past the Chilean research station and up towards the airstrip where you will board a special charter flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. This flight takes a little over two hours and is included in the price of your voyage. Upon arrival, a transfer from the airport into town is provided.
This itinerary includes a complimentary hotel night in Punta Arenas for all guests returning from King George Island at the end of the voyage. This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to cozy restaurants, cafes, and bars, including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ at the Hotel Jose Nogueira—a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.
After breakfast and check-out, make your own way to the airport for your onward journey or continue your exploration of Patagonia.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must obtain a valid and enforceable policy of travel and baggage insurance including full coverage for medical, dental, accident, repatriation/evacuation (including helicopter) and baggage, together with (for all insurances) any coverage extensions required for the region and activities of the travel. The policy must also cover injury, illness and death, medical expenses, including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, personal effects and personal liability. Passengers must be able to provide evidence of insurance to the shipping company upon request. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for polar trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage, and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar Regions, you will be required to complete a Medical Information Form. This form must be completed, signed, and returned no later than 90 days prior to departure.
Important Voyage Logistics:
This trip commences in Ushuaia, Argentina. It is recommended that you arrive in Ushuaia at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure as a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. At the conclusion of the voyage, you'll fly from King George Island (Antarctica) back to Punta Arenas, Chile via a special charter flight (see Additional Costs). Upon arrival, a transfer from the airport to a central downtown location is provided. It is advised that you book your outward flight from late afternoon / early evening onward—or consider spending a night in Santiago—to avoid missed connections.
Luggage Limits: Different luggage limits apply to the special charter flight between King George Island and Punta Arenas. Please observe a limit of 20-kg / 44-lb for checked baggage and 5-kg / 11-lb for carry-on baggage. There is no facility to purchase excess luggage on this flight. Excess baggage can be stored for a small fee. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Camping: Included (highly weather dependent activity)
No pre-booking required but please notify ExpeditionTrips of your interest at time of booking. If conditions are suitable and you choose to camp on the continent, all the required gear such as bivy sacs and sleeping bags (no tents), will be provided. This excursion is managed with strict environmental regulations. If weather and ice conditions permit and you are near a suitable location, your expedition leaders will make their best effort to facilitate this activity. Please inquire.
Limited to 30 guests. Pre-booking required. Must have prior sea kayaking experience. All intending kayakers must complete a questionnaire outlining their paddling experience and also attend several compulsory onboard meetings prior to the first kayak excursion. Provided equipment includes full Gore-Tex drysuits, kayak specific PFDs, neoprene booties, a waterproof deck bag, pogies, and a single or double kayak. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
An onboard photographer is available throughout the voyage to help you improve your photography skills. Attend presentations, receive hands-on tips and advice, and use the onboard multimedia studio to edit your images.
Charter flight from King George Island, Antarctica to Punta Arenas, Chile; one night hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas, Chile at conclusion of voyage; transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the airport into town on Day 11; shipboard accommodations; camping (gear provided); experienced expedition leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, and adventure guides; adventure concierge staff; assistance of resident photographer; daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac; guided hikes and walks onshore; visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty, and science stations; educational presentations and talks by polar specialists; access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up, and management; emergency-trained physician on every voyage; use of onboard library, Finnish sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi, and fitness center; end of voyage video, photos and take-home USB; gear on loan (waterproof/windproof jacket, bib pants, insulated rubber boots, binoculars, and trekking poles); all meals onboard the ship; daily housekeeping; daily afternoon tea; 24-hour tea, coffee, and hot chocolate in the lounge and in all cabins (replenished daily); port fees and all permits to access visited areas. Subject to change without notice.
Additional Inclusions for Suites:
Exclusive check-in service on day of embarkation; deluxe welcome package (wine, fruit basket, natural snacks); single brew coffee machine; mini-stereo; private in-room One Ocean Adventure Concierge service; in-room dining menu; early morning in-room café service; evening après dinner drink service; premium in-room mini bar replenished daily (including spirits); complimentary 1-hour massage/spa experience. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary; kayaking; visa and passport expenses; pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodations unless otherwise specific in the itinerary (or pre-arranged); pre- or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged); personal expenses on board such as massages from registered therapist, laundry charges, alcoholic beverages or bar charges; telecommunication charges (i.e. email, satellite phone); baggage, cancellation, or medical travel insurance (mandatory); gratuities. Fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Daisy Gilardini; © Renato Granieri; © Boomer Jerritt; © Jeff Topham; © Paul Zizka, © One Ocean Expeditions