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, Triple/Quad Cabins
Just-Released Offer Save 15% per person
$9,395 to $18,395
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.
Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife and geology that you will experience, and the history of the area. In between presentations, spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched, unique and endearing as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time someone visits Antarctica, they witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience.
Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. With wildlife always at the forefront of your guides' minds, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for curious whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.
Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier. Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team to inspire 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 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:
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 kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage instead of shore landings. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will only be conducted during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required for you to feel comfortable on the water, and you must have the capability to do a wet exit to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the Paddling Excursion described below.
If you’re interested in kayaking and would like to try something less in-depth than kayaking, 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 paddle on sit-on-top kayaks, which are stable and unencumbered—perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. Passengers are taken out in rotating groups on calm days with expert guides to connect with the sea. Space is limited. Pre-booking required.
Camping (select departures):
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. Dress warmly and eat a hearty meal before you head out, as no meals are allowed on land. All equipment and instruction is provided, no tent required. This popular camping option has limited availability, so book early.
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 will be also be offered via sign-up onboard the ship on a first-come, first-served basis.
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 airport; shipboard accommodation; meals onboard ship; house wine, non-premium domestic beer during dinner aboard ship; soft drinks aboard the ship; use of walking poles; photographic journal; boots on loan; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock onboard ship; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; gratuities onboard ship (3/4/2019 only); 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; meals ashore; adventure option supplements; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages except those mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; mandatory waterproof pants; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, massage and other personal charges; phone and Internet charges; gratuities (12/7/2019 and 12/17/2019 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.