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. Weather permitting, you will actually attempt to land on the Antarctic continent south of the Circle!
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctic Circle
Just-Released Offer Save up to 30% per person
$8,995 to $16,095
Begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. Overnight at your included hotel.
The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture sea birds hovering overhead.
The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to stare out at sea, explore the vessel, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team.
Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.
With the Drake Passage left in your wake, make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your camera at the ready as the continent’s coastline will make its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. See plentiful icebergs floating by and watch the ocean for curious whales that may spout and breach before your eyes.
Your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites you may visit, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Harbor. While weather dictates specific landing sites visited, each presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.
Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment. Kayaking is available on these voyages too (extra fee involved).
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33’ S. Celebrate the moment with a glass of champagne—you've made it to a part of the world visited by very few people!
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 back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, and the Expedition Team will continue to offer presentations, while giving you time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced.
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 for your homeward bound flights.
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:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. 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 sea kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage during landings, taking advantage of the best opportunities, as kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. It is recommend that you have some prior kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit.
If you’re interested in kayaking and would like to try something less in-depth than the full kayaking program, 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 one hour paddle on a sit-on-top kayak, which is stable and unencumbered: perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. No experience necessary. Space is limited. Must be 16 years of age or older to participate. All sit-on-top kayaks are doubles. Pre-booking required.
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 local airport; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board ship; shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac cruising per the daily program; photographic journal; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person; gratuities; domestic beer and wine during dinner and soft drinks at all times onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore unless specified; kayaking; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; 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.