|Day 1||Ushuaia, Argentina||Transfer from airport, overnight hotel|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Beagle Channel|
|Days 3-4||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
||Antarctic Peninsula||Antarctic Peninsula outer Islands|
|Days 10-11||At sea||Drake Passage|
The Hondius (176 guests) is scheduled to launch in 2019. She will have an Ice class rating of 6, the most advanced to date. The Hondius will offer deluxe accommodations for a total 176 guests. One deck has been entirely reserved for lectures and presentations in one large observation lounge. The ship’s main focus remains discovery, taking advantage of wildlife opportunities and the related shore activities.
The Island Sky is spacious with stylish common areas including a panoramic top deck observation platform, bar and lounge area with live entertainment as well as a well stocked library with computers and an elegant dining room. Built in 1992 this luxurious cruise ship can accommodate up to 114 guests and provides excellent service with four star amenities.
Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today, or take advantage of the complimentary flexible arrival program and arrive up to 24 hours in advance. Despite its small size, the city of Ushuaia is the world’s southernmost city, the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the main starting point for many voyages to Antarctica. 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. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning.
This morning, 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 the 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 the ship heads toward white continent over the Drake Passage, numerous Polar Experts will prepare us with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. The Drake Passage spans 1,000 kilometres from the southern-most tip of South America to the South Shetland Islands (the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula). Eventually, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where you will 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 are likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species. If you are lucky, you may see some of them fully breach from the sea.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will explore 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. We will aim for 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.
The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, 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 return north, again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, the presentation series will continue along with wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, you and your fellow travellers will celebrate the conclusion of the expedition with a special slideshow the expedition team will put together of your trip.
Disembark following breakfast, and transfer to the airport or the city centre.
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 the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.