Towering snow-capped glaciers, incredible wildlife encounters, enormous icebergs and the flexibility of choosing your favourite activities each and every day make this voyage the perfect introduction to the white continent. Sailing along the Antarctic Peninsula, spend your days off the ship exploring by Zodiac boat, making several shore landings each day in the company of expert guides.
There are special interest groups that you have the option of joining depending on your interests. You may wish to discover Antarctica and its remarkable wildlife through photography, Zodiac excursions, hiking onshore, and for the more adventurous – camping and sea kayaking. Visits to historic huts and the opportunity to visit a working research station add another dimension to the voyage.
|Day 1||Punta Arenas, Chile||Straits of Magellan|
|Day 2-3||Drake Passage||Giant Petrels and birdlife, Antarctic Presentations|
|Day 4-7||Gerlache Straight and Antarctic Peninsula||Inflatable Zodiac Boats, Gentoo, Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Leopard Seals and Whales|
|Day 8||South Shetland Islands||
Flooded Volcanic Caldera, Livingstone Island, Half Moon Island
|Day 9-10||Drake Passage||Cape Horn, Beagle Channel|
|Day 11||Ushuaia||End of Itinerary|
Your journey will commence in the southern Chilean port city of Punta Arenas. Gather at a central meeting point and transfer to the wharf where you will embark on your expedition ship. After settling in to your cabin and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement will be in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner. The crew will chart a course through the Straits of Magellan and you will be on your way, bound for Antarctica – for what promises to be an incredible adventure.
As you make the crossing south across the Drake Passage, there is much excitement in the air as the ship comes ever closer to the white continent. You will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross while giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of your modern research vessel. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere aboard as the numerous onboard experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. As you cross the Antarctic Convergence you will notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.
Planned excursions could include Cierva Cove or Mikklesen Harbour, Danco Island, the Melchior Islands and Fournier Bay – or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the gentoo penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favourite location and one where you will frequently encounter playful humpback whales. Nearby Paradise Harbour is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route to a viewpoint providing expansive views. Andvord Bay and Neko Harbour provide yet another continental landing opportunity.
It is somewhere along this stretch of coastline that a night on shore is planned – camping on the White Continent itself. The ship has all the right gear and equipment and there’s an expert team to make it happen – all you need is an adventurous spirit!
After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, head for the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and, if the weather is good, the ship will sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic location, with history all around you as you explore the old whaling station, with its rusted relics and dilapidated wooden structures. On a sunny day, cruising along the pristine coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where you will often encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is a great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise. In the evening, the ship navigates north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.
As you leave this magical place and make your way back, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn (conditions permitting), there is no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, you will celebrate the conclusion of your Polar expedition at a special dinner.
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. You will be transferred to your hotel or to the airport for your onward flight.
As with all our expeditions, safety is our top priority. For that reason, weather, ice or other conditions may require us to change our itinerary and shore excursions as we go but that is half the fun of Polar exploring. Predictability is a word that has no relevance in this environment.