Summary : Cross the Antarctic Circle to the unbridled and capricious heart of the wildest Antarctica. This special voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula departs from Ushuaia, Argentina. Daylight grows longer and the air gets colder as you head south across the Drake Passage, accompanied by soaring albatross. Your first exploration of the White Continent is in the South Shetland Islands, historically important and rich with iconic Antarctic wildlife. Next you will visit the Gerlache Strait where immense glaciers, towering mountains, and blue icebergs form a picture-perfect setting for amazing marine mammal and penguin encounters. Continue south into rarely visited territory, crossing the Antarctic Circle and exploring wherever the wind and ice will allow. This special, once-per-year voyage includes extra days so you can push deep into rarely visited regions south of the Antarctic Circle. In so doing, you are following in the historic footsteps of legendary polar explorers and early scientific expeditions.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctic Circle
$11,295 to $26,895
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of your expedition. Upon your arrival at the airport meet your provided transfer to your hotel. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city.
In the afternoon you will meet your provided group transfer to the pier and board your luxury expedition ship. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Set sail toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. Revel in the gorgeous scenery as you set sail through the Beagle Channel on your first evening. Be on the lookout as 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 you will cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, orientations, and lectures from your expert staff prepare you for your arrival in Antarctica.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Your 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 to exploit every opportunity to experience 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 Island are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely by 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.
On this special voyage you will have additional days set aside to push even farther south in an attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle. The landscape down there is especially desolate, the weather is particularly wild, and the waters are full of constantly shifting ice. This is real expedition cruising!
Your days in Antarctica are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by your experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and delight your senses.
After your amazing time in Antarctica cross back north through the bountiful waters of the Drake Passage. Presentations and workshops by your expert staff, as well as a range of your ship's recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for your End of Voyage ceremonies including slideshow and farewell dinner.
After breakfast you will say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where you started. A group transfer will be provided to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here.
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.
Bilingual Departure: English/German
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage including medical, evacuation, cancellation and trip interruption. 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.
Space is limited. Sign up at the time of booking to secure your spot. You must book your spot before you join the vessel for your voyage. Weather permitting, sea kayakers will have the opportunity to paddle through tranquil waters filled with glittering icebergs and porpoising penguins while surrounded by magnificent glaciers and mountains. Participants must be at least 18 years old, in good health, have appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience.
Space is limited. Sign up at the time of booking to secure your spot. You must book your spot before you join the vessel for your voyage. Participants must be at least 12 years old. 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 braving the elements of a polar night for an unforgettable experience!
Learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional. An expert Photographer will be on hand to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of on-board 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.
Group transfers from airport to Ushuaia hotel on the day prior to departure; 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia (if a single traveler reserves a shared cabin aboard the ship, they will automatically receive shared hotel accommodations on the pre-cruise night at the hotel); group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation; group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia; shipboard accommodations; scheduled landings/excursions; meals on board ship; coffee/tea station 24 hours on ship; welcome and farewell cocktail on ship; a pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings; expedition jacket (yours to keep); port fees; digital Voyage Log. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; visa and passport fees (if applicable); luggage, medical and trip cancellation insurance; excess baggage charges; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; camping; kayaking; personal expenses such as laundry, and onboard communications (telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service); gratuities to shipboard personnel; fuel surcharge may apply; emergency evacuation insurance; pre- or post-cruise travel expenses.
Photos: © Poseidon Expeditions