Summary : Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and venture farther south than most as you endeavor to cross the Polar Circle. Antarctica is among the most beautiful, pristine and least explored places on the planet. Truly exhilarating, mysterious and alluring! For over two centuries, the 'White Desert' has attracted scientists and adventurers, drawn by its unmatched natural beauty. This largely untouched wilderness is now more accessible to a new generation of intrepid explorers. Visit the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, and attempt cross the Antarctic Circle in the comfort of the Ushuaia. From the southern spring onwards, large birds and sea mammals gather at breeding colonies and the ceaseless daylight of the southern summer makes exploration in this incomparable landscape a unique experience. Take best advantage of the amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery for a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctic Circle
Just-Released Offer Children Travel Free
$7,150 to $14,830
Embark in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. Settle into your cabin and sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As you sail across the passage, lecturers will be available to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in your wake. The open bridge policy allows you to join the officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.
Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes await you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs of different shades and shapes float free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history provides a type of excitement often associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds, you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals, as well as Minke and orca whales at close range. At this time of year, you are very likely to encounter large cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.
Navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post Office of Port Lockroy.
As further exploration will lead far south of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, you might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faraday, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and, south of the Polar Circle, Detaille Island. On your way north, plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. Visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings, is awe inspiring.
Depart Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join your lecturers and naturalists on deck as you search for seabirds and whales and enjoy final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.
Arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark 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 this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $50,000. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. 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.
Voyage as indicated in the itinerary; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; comprehensive pre-departure material; detailed post-expedition log. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended, please contact ExpeditionTrips); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided); fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Antarpply Expeditions; © Weisheng Lin