|Day 1||Ushuaia, Argentina||Transfer from airport, overnight hotel|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Beagle Channel|
|Days 3-4||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
||South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula||Penguins, seals, albatross, whales and dramatic Antarctic scenery|
|Days 13-14||At Sea||Drake Passage|
|Day 15||Ushuaia||Farewell your fellow expeditioners|
The Sea Spirit was built in Italy in 1991. She’s a very comfortable ice-strengthened, small (114 guests), all-suite expedition ship. The vessel was updated in late 2010 and had additional refurbishment in April 2017. All suites have private facilities and exterior views. Some of the suites feature private balconies for enjoying fantastic landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctica.
She has a fleet of ten rubber inflatable zodiac boats for landings, an experienced crew, and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smooth sailing. This ship features an open bridge, 2 rear outdoor viewing areas, an outdoor viewing area at the front of the vessel, a bar, lounge, presentation room and dining area all lined with windows. There is also a gym on-board as well as a library and media centre.
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our expedition. Upon your arrival you are transfered to your hotel, which is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city.
In the afternoon we provide a group transfer to the pier and welcome you aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through the Beagle Channel on our first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, the ship heads south across the Drake Passage. Seabirds including the majestic wandering albatross are common in these waters and are a pleasure to watch as the glide past. On the way we cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. The voyage route and exploration opportunities in Antarctica are heavily dependent on weather and ice conditions. The experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. Taking 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. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be the first sighting of the Antarctic Peninsula. 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 harbours an abandoned whaling station.
Further 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 the additional days allow the ship to push further south in an attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle. The landscape down here 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 experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
After your amazing time in Antarctica the ship heads north through the bountiful waters of the Drake Passage. Presentations and workshops by your expedition team, as well as our range of on-board recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for our end of voyage ceremonies including slideshow and farewell dinner.
After breakfast say farewell in the city of Ushuaia. A group transfer to the airport or to the town centre if you wish to spend more time here, is included. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
To make the most of your time in South America we can tailor a holiday to Patagonia to suit your voyage dates. If you have a bit more time we can create a tailor-made itinerary to some of the highlights of South America. Take a look at some sample Patagonia itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.