Summary : Antarctica is a world unto itself and this trip offers an additional days to explore its majesty. Encounter leopard seals and immense rookeries of a variety of penguins. View dramatic glaciers and gaze at icebergs from the open deck. Experience the extraordinary marvels of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Along the journey, your team of experienced guides and lecturers will provide context to the sites and bring the region's remarkable natural history to life. You can join a kayaking excursion to experience the Antarctic from another vantage point or follow in the footsteps of bold explorers and experience the majesty of Antarctica first hand with a camping excursion.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$7,499 to $13,899
Arrive in Ushuaia at any time. Arrival transfer included. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the world's most southerly city.
Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia. Do any last minute shopping, explore the town, or visit the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel.
The adventure begins with a 497-mile crossing of the passage named in honor of 16th-century English sea captain and privateer, Sir Francis Drake. Take in daily lectures from the expedition team, and keep an eye out for icebergs, whales, and albatross following in the Expedition's wake.
As the Expedition crosses the passage there will be time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where you meet your guides, ship’s crew, and expedition staff.
Begin lectures and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.
Explore the world's most southerly ecosystem and encounter the unique wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery of the Antarctic. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather permitting) to encounter penguin rookeries, get a good look at the variety of seal species, and keep an eye out for the whales that feed in the peninsula's cold, fertile waters.
Navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula.
During the voyage, learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world. Take an optional polar plunge, visit an abandoned whaling station or a working scientific research station, and gain a new perspective on this part of world.
Begin the journey north to the home port of Ushuaia. Review highlights of the Antarctic experience with lecturers and staff. Keep eyes peeled on the observation deck for some last-minute whale sightings.
Leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. In between bird watching, whale watching, and enjoying some final lectures by the expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia.
Remember, the best way to experience the wildlife of the Drake Passage is to be on deck keeping a look out for albatross, prions and whales!
Disembark the Expedition after breakfast.
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 the Expedition, all passengers must purchase medical and emergency evacuation insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $200,000 and this insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Overnight camping is an opportunity for passengers to participate in a unique adventure while on their Antarctic trip without needing any prior experience. The adventure is spending one night sleeping onshore with a group of up to 60 fellow campers to experience the sights and sounds, cold and isolation of the coldest, driest, windiest continent on the planet. A mandatory waiver must be signed by participants, indicating that they are aware of and accept the increased risks that are associated with being off the ship overnight. Booking in advance is highly recommended. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Venture out to sheltered bays and areas known for calmer waters on small group kayaking excursions led by expert kayaking guides. The number of participants is restricted to a maximum of 20 passengers and 2 guides per outing in Antarctica. Passengers who participate in the sea kayak program should have a working knowledge of sea kayaking strokes, entries, exits, including a “wet exit.” Normal duration of an outing is approximately 2-4 hours, and is guided and supervised by professional kayak guides with experience in cold-water regions paddling near ice and marine mammals. The sea kayaking guide will also have previous experience in Antarctica, and be certified in advanced wilderness first aid, and is responsible for accompanying and supervising all kayak operations. Booking in advance is highly recommended. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Tierra del Fuego National Park:
Explore this stunning coastal national park extending 391 sq miles. Pass Valle Rio Pipo on the way to Austral Fueguino train station, opt to take the End of the World train before visiting Lago Roca and Bahía Lapataia. Keep an eye out for a variety of birdlife and spectacular colors in the fall. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and to book in advance.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Ushuaia; arrival and departure transfers; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; coffee, tea, and water; shore excursions and Zodiac cruises; services of the Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots for US sizes 6-16); parka. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; travel insurance (required); passport and visa fees; gratuities are at your discretion; items of a personal nature including laundry, Wi-Fi, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except coffee, tea and water); optional excursions such as Tierra del Fuego National Park; camping; kayaking; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Paul Teolis (Leopard Seal)