Summary : This cruise offers you the ideal introduction to Antarctica visiting prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and the neighboring South Shetland Islands. Take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife viewing always a priority, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and Minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. Landing on the continent itself is a memorable highlight, where you’ll explore the iconic sights that make this one of the world’s most pristine, exotic and unforgettable natural environments. Passengers electing to participate can take part in yoga and stretching classes, enjoy healthy meals, a fresh juice bar, indulge in a massage therapy session or take advantage of the sauna or gym in addition to experiencing great daily expedition activities.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$5,895 to $12,495
You may arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of your itinerary. Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its rich architecture and European heritage, you will independently transfer to your hotel. (See Rate Notes for mandatory transfer package details.)
After breakfast at the hotel, your group will transfer to the airport and board your charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, you will have a little time to enjoy this quaint port town before heading to the pier.
After embarkation, sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!
Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, attending safety briefings and learning insights into the excitement that lies ahead.
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.
Take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always a priority, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. The Peninsula’s majestic mountains will enchant you. And you can even hike up a snowy pathway to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings if you like. One of these in particular, in Danco Island, affords the opportunity to visit a penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here, you’ll have the choice between hiking to the island`s summit or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach, enjoying the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets!
Amidst the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes now 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 impress and educate you about this wonderful part of the world.
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your expedition team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Disembark after breakfast and enjoy a short tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park before transferring to the airport for your charter flight back to Buenos Aires.
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.
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.
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.
The goal is to offer this activity once per voyage, at an ideal landing site during the expedition. With journeys taking a few hours, it is imperative that you be in good physical condition. Ideally, in order to partake in this activity, you should have cross-country skiing experience; however, exceptions may be made for those deemed physically capable. While the essential gear is provided, you will be responsible for certain extras, such as additional warm clothing and a pair of quality sunglasses.
Geared toward fitness-conscious adventurers, the goal is to offer this once per voyage. Your expert mountaineering guide will work with the Expedition Leader to select the ideal location for a full-day mountaineering adventure, which can last up to five hours. In order to participate in this challenging option, you are required to complete a fitness waiver.
Included in cruise rate and weather dependent. Taken in small groups in good weather conditions. Prior experience not required. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board ship; house wine, non-premium domestic beer and soft drinks during dinner aboard ship; shore landings per the daily program; use of walking poles; use of snowshoes (weather dependent); 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; gratuities; emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; mandatory transfer package; arrival transfer in Buenos Aires from airport to hotel on Day 1; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any meals ashore; adventure option supplements (except snowshoeing); alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages except those mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, massage 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.