Summary : This expedition is ideal if you desire the extra time to really experience Antarctica. Not only does this expedition include one of the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, it also offers the opportunity to venture farther south across the Antarctic Circle. Fire up your spirit of adventure and take a few extra days to work your way south to explore some of Antarctica’s most pristine and rarely visited areas. There will also be plenty of time to explore the incredible wildlife of penguins, whales, and seals along the Antarctic Peninsula and in the South Shetland Islands. Navigate through some of the world’s most scenic waterways boasting many colossal icebergs.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctic Circle
Just-Released Offer Save up to 30% per person
$8,895 to $16,095
Arrive in Ushuaia and enjoy a group transfer to your included hotel.
As the ships sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Eventually the channel opens up to the Southern Ocean, and onwards to Antarctica.
Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife and geology that you will experience, and the history of the area. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched, unique and endearing as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time someone visits Antarctica, they witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience.
Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. With wildlife always at the forefront of your guides' minds, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for curious whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.
Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs and glaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking is an optional activity available on select voyages (at an extra cost).
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of sparkling wine! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, penguins and some of the most awe-inspiring ice formations you’ll see anywhere on earth.
By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal; and terms like ‘bergy bits’ and 'pancake ice' will seem normal. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations and looking out for more species of penguins, seals and whales.
Re-crossing the Drake, you’ll take with you a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your new-found friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by. Your Expedition Team will continue their series of lectures, perhaps concluding with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve visited over the course of your voyage.
Say goodbye to your expedition team and fellow travelers. Disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport.
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:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. 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 U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Special Photography Departure: 3/3/2019
Traveling with a professional polar guides to one of the most photographic destinations on the planet, you will have the unique opportunity to watch a photography expert in action, and perfect your skills through special workshops and lectures, so you too can capture fantastic polar photographs just like a pro. Expedition staff will also give photography buffs the scoop on shooting in the Polar Regions, which has its own set of unique challenges. You’ll learn how capture the gleaming white and deep blues of the snow, ice and icebergs in the White Continent, which can be tricky to do, with light reflecting off the surrounding sea and snow. Keen to capture the enormity of those bergs and the vastness of the landscape? Want to know how to snap the perfect penguin or seal portrait, or a breaching whale? Onboard pros will be on hand to give you tips on capturing the magnitude and magnificence of this magical region. Enjoy presentations, including tips for perfecting your photos in post-production.
A small group of kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage instead of shore landings. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will only be conducted during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required for you to feel comfortable on the water, and you must have the capability to do a wet exit to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the Paddling Excursion described below.
If you’re interested in kayaking and would like to try something less in-depth than kayaking, you can still enjoy the benefits of adding an on-water experience to your expedition with a Paddling Excursion. Sign up for a one-time paddle on sit-on-top kayaks, which are stable and unencumbered—perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. Passengers are taken out in rotating groups on calm days with expert guides to connect with the sea. Space is limited. Pre-booking required.
This is one of the best ways to experience Antarctica in an intimate manner, and take your expedition to the next level. A camping safety briefing onboard gets you fully prepped and ready for a night sleeping under the stars. Dress warmly and eat a hearty meal before you head out, as no meals are allowed on land. All equipment and instruction is provided, no tent required. This popular camping option has limited availability, so book early.
Group transfer from the airport to the pre-voyage hotel on Day 1; one night pre-voyage hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia; group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day; group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the airport; shipboard accommodation; meals onboard ship; house wine, non-premium domestic beer during dinner aboard ship; soft drinks aboard the ship; use of walking poles; photographic journal; boots on loan; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock onboard ship; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; gratuities onboard ship (2/19/2019 and 3/3/2019 only); emergency Evacuation Insurance* to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore unless specified; adventure options; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, beverage, massage, and other personal charges; phone and Internet charges; gratuities (1/8/2020 and 2/16/2020 only); fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.