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Antarctica: The Weddell Sea & Larsen Ice Shelf

Penguin Antarctica Cruise Information

  • Le Commandant Charcot
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 270 Capacity
  • 13 Days
  • 2021, 2022 View Departure>
    • 2021
    • Dec 2 Thu Offer
    • Dec 27 Mon Offer
    • 2022
    • Mar 13 Sun Offer
    • Mar 24 Thu Offer
  • Price from
  • $18,770
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Summary : Insurmountable, extreme and captivating: this is the best way to describe the Weddell Sea, mostly frozen by a thick and compressed ice floe. It is a challenge and a privilege to sail on it, with its promise of exceptional landscapes and original encounters. As you advance across this immense polar expanse, you will enter an infinite ice desert, a world of silence where there is nothing but calm and serenity. To the northwest of the Weddell Sea, stretching along the eastern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, stands an imposing ice shelf known as the Larsen Ice Shelf. An extension of the ice sheet onto the sea, this white giant is fascinating, if only due to its colossal dimensions and the impressive table top icebergs—among the largest ever seen—that it generates.

This voyage will be an opportunity to come as close as possible to the Weddell Sea, a real refuge for wildlife.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Prices from
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Itinerary
Day 1
Santiago, Chile

Arrive in Santiago and transfer to your included hotel.

Day 2
Santiago, Chile / Ushuaia, Argentina / Embark

Transfer to the airport for your included flight to Ushuaia. Embark the ship.

Day 3 – 4
Drake Passage

Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarize yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

Day 5
Day 6
North Antarctic Peninsula

Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.

Day 7
The Weddell Sea

Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you'll wind your way through a veritable labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You'll recognize them by their dark grey coats and spotted bellies. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

Day 8 – 9
Sailing toward Larsen Ice Shelf

On the Weddell Sea, you will sail close to the gigantic Larsen ice shelves. These floating ice shelves help to prevent the erosion of the Antarctic ice sheet. Over the last fifty years, scientists have however observed regular collapses of these shelves, along giant cracks that can be several hundred miles long and deep. In 2017, a portion measuring barely smaller than Corsica, broke off the Larsen C ice shelf, forming one of the largest tabular icebergs in the world. This disintegration is believed to be due in part to global warming and melting sea ice.

Day 10
The Weddell Sea

Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you'll wind your way through a veritable labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You'll recognize them by their dark grey coats and spotted bellies. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

Day 11 – 12
Drake Passage

Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, the Drake Passage is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbors a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Day 13
Ushuaia, Argentina / Disembark / Santiago, Chile

Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight to Santiago.

Notes

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.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.

NOTE: This ship is currently being built. All photos are artist renderings and are subject to change. All details have been provided by the shipping company, and are subject to change at any time.

Travel Insurance:
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Onboard Citizen Science Program:
The ship will have a full time research team, equipped with wet and dry laboratories. The ship will hosts scientists year round on this vessel, and the guests will be give the opportunity to learn from the scientists and participate when appropriate.

Included:
Roundtrip flight Santiago/Ushuaia; one pre-cruise hotel night in Santiago; transfers between hotel/airport/ship; shipboard accommodations; parka to keep (adult sizes only); boots on loan (adults sizes only); Wi-Fi onboard ship; all meals onboard ship; 24-hour room service onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship. Additional inclusion for Privilege Suites, Duplex Suites, and Owner's Suite: butler service. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones included; visa and passport fees; travel insurance; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, spa, laundry and hair salon; premium alcohol; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos ©: Ponant, Nathalie Michel

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