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.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$8,495 to $15,695
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.
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 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 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.
NOTE: This ship is NEW for the 2018-2019 Antarctica season! As with any new vessel, we strongly suggest selecting a departure date at least six weeks after launch. Please ask for details.
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.
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.
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
Stand Up Paddleboarding:
Taken in small groups—on calm bays and harbors in good weather conditions—and accompanied by a Zodiac, your paddleboarding adventure can be booked in advance (limited availability), and after the first successful outing, will be offered via sign-up onboard ship on a first-come, first-served basis for any subsequent outings.
Taken in small groups in good weather conditions. Prior experience not required. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
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; 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; 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.