|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|
Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today, or take advantage of the complimentary flexible arrival program and arrive up to 24 hours in advance. You’ll be staying at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Explore the trails, take a spa, relax and soak in the surroundings, or head into Ushuaia and browse the Argentinean leather markets. The optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers.
This morning enjoy a buffet breakfast then you have time to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until your mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. On board, you’ll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
As we make the ship makes its way ever closer to the white continent, numerous Polar Experts will prepare you with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where you’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.
Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in Sea Bird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. You’re likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species. If you’re lucky, you may see some of them fully breach from the sea.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will spend as much time as possible exploring by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. You will visit the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
You may have the opportunity to land at Half Moon Island to visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. Making your way further south you may have your first landing on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbor or Neko Harbor. The scenery here is amazing; particularly the oddly shaped icebergs looking like sculptures, as well as the colossal ‘tabular’ icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf.
Your trip may also include the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. You may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.
Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.
As you leave this magical place and make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, you will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of your expedition with a special slideshow for all the guests onboard.
After breakfast say farewell in the city of Ushuaia. A morning disembarkation allows time to catch an afternoon flight or you may wish to stay in Ushuaia a few more nights to explore.