Summary : This voyage features the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, including classic sites of historic and scientific interest. Observe penguin rookeries, old whaling stations, operational research stations, and elephant seal colonies. Your time in the Antarctic Peninsula region focuses on the Gerlache Strait area, where towering mountains, immense glaciers, and blue icebergs create a picture-perfect setting for incredible penguin and marine mammal encounters. Spot humpback, orca, and minke whales, Adelie penguins, and whirling Antarctic petrels in their true, natural habitat. Along the journey, your team of experienced guides and lecturers will provide context to the sites and bring alive the region's remarkable natural history. This is an authentic expedition in a wilderness of epic proportions.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of your expedition. Transfer to your hotel (included in the price of your voyage). For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city. Take advantage of souvenir shopping and a variety of dining options in the city center.
Arrive at the ship via group transfer in the afternoon where you will be greeted by the expedition team and ship's officers. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as the ship slips her moorings and sails toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through the Beagle Channel on your first evening is wonderful—there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, head south across the Drake Passage. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies. On the way, cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, orientations, and lectures from expert staff prepare you for your arrival in Antarctica.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. The route and exploration opportunities in Antarctica are heavily dependent on weather and ice conditions. Your experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. Take advantage of long daylight hours for excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery, and excursions via Zodiac.
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities. Some stations have a gift shop and post office.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be your first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Deception Island, where the flooded caldera of an active volcano harbors an abandoned whaling station.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies.
At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs.
Your days in Antarctica are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and delight your senses.
After your amazing time in Antarctica you'll head north through the bountiful waters of the Drake Passage. Presentations and workshops as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This will also be time for the End of Voyage ceremonies, including a slideshow and farewell dinner.
After breakfast say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where you first started. A group transfer is provided to the airport or to the town center. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
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:
All guests are required to carry adequate travel insurance that must contain medical, evacuation and repatriation coverage. Passengers must ensure that their purchased insurance includes cruise travel in the polar regions, and has evacuation and repatriation coverage of no less than $200,000 per person. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Bilingual Departures: All voyages are conducted in English and German.
Pre-booking required; space is limited. Participants must be at least 12 years old. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 years of age at the time of their voyage must be accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent or guardian. Previous camping experience is not required, but good health and a spirit of adventure are necessary for getting the most out of this experience. Weather permitting, forgo the comforts of the ship and brave the elements of a polar night for an unforgettable experience!
Pre-booking required; space is limited. Weather permitting, experience the thrill and tranquility of sea kayaking in the polar regions as part of a guided paddling group. Participants must be at least 16 years old at the time of their voyage, in good health with appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience. Children who are 16 to 18 years of age at the time of their voyage are allowed to participate if they are accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.
Photography Program: Included
Learn and practice your photography skills alongside an experienced professional. An expert photographer will be available to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of onboard lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.
One night pre-voyage hotel in Ushuaia; group transfer airport/hotel on day prior to embarkation; group transfer to ship on embarkation day; group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation; shipboard accommodations; welcome and farewell cocktails on board ship; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader and Expedition Team; scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions); Wi-Fi on board ship (11/10/2021, 12/29/2021, 2/8/2022, 2/18/2022); digital voyage log; photography program; gear to keep (wind- and water-resistant parka); gear on loan (rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship; 24-hour coffee/tea station on board ship; all port fees. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers airport/hotel if arriving prior to Day 1 of the program; visa and passport fees (if applicable); emergency evacuation insurance to a minimum benefit of $200,000 (required); luggage and trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended); excess baggage charges; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; kayaking; camping; personal expenses such as laundry and onboard communications such as telephone calls; gratuities; pre- or post-cruise travel expenses; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos © Poseidon Expeditions