Summary : This well-established expedition cruise offers you the ideal introduction to Antarctica. Departing and finishing in the port of Ushuaia in Argentina, the itinerary visits prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and the neighboring South Shetland Islands. This program will emphasize wildlife viewing of penguins, whales and seals, possible visits to scientific bases, and breathtaking scenery with narrow waterways, glaciers, icebergs and rugged mountains.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Arrive in Ushuaia, a small town at the "end of the world" surrounded by rugged peaks and glaciers, and transfer with your group to your included hotel. The following day, in the afternoon, the Expedition Team gets you settled aboard the ship as you sail into the Beagle Channel to start your Antarctic expedition.
Prepare for rough water, but hope for smooth sailing as the Drake is always changing. Spend time getting to know other travelers, listening to the presentations given by your Expedition Team, and exploring the ship's amenities.
When the Antarctic Convergence is left behind, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Antarctica provides something new and unexpected every time it is visited, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other.
Take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront, visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of the southern seal species including the cunning leopard seal.
Shooting photographs from a Zodiac rewards with unique perspectives not afforded by land, and you’ll have several opportunities to capture the impressive landscape from angles that show off its striking beauty.
With wildlife always at the forefront of guides' minds, you may be able to photograph penguin rookeries and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. As you scout for whales, you may be fortunate to snap a shot of a surfacing humpback or minke.
The majestic mountains of the Peninsula enchant as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Danco Island, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Choose between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participate in the Polar Plunge swim!
Amidst the peaceful silence of Antarctica, noisy interruptions become indelible memories such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbour. Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team so as to educate about this wonderful part of the world.
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer with your group 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.
Special Photography Departure: 11/13/2018 only
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.
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.
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.
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. All equipment and instruction is provided, no tent required. This popular camping option has limited availability, so book early. You will need to complete a waiver form before being considered for this Adventure Option
Anyone can take part, no previous experience necessary. Snowshoes available free of charge for excursions when conditions permit.
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; meals on board ship; photographic journal; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; use of walking poles; parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; house wine, non-premium domestic beer and soft drinks during dinner aboard ship (11/13/2018, 12/8/2018 only); gratuities (11/13/2018, 12/8/2018 only); Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation; kayaking and camping; 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; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew (2/28/2018 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.