|Day 1||Ushuaia, Argentina||Transfer from airport, overnight hotel|
|Day 2||Embarkation Ushuaia||Beagle Channel|
|Days 3 & 4||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
|Days 5 & 6||South Shetland Islands||Antarctic Peninsula outer Islands|
|Days 7 - 9||Antarctic Peninsula||Numerous sites of interest, including landing on the Antarctic continent|
|Days 10 & 11||At sea||Drake Passage|
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.
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.
Admire the views of Beagle Channel and the Andes Mountains. If you arrive early, you may want to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park.
In the afternoon transfer to the pier before boarding 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. Set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula along the Beagle Channel.
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). Presentations by the friendly team of Antarctic experts prepare you for what lies ahead. At the Antarctic Convergence, watch for whales (for the very fortunate Blue whales), albatrosses and petrels in these krill-rich waters. If the Drake has behaved, you will approach the sub-Antarctic South Shetlands during the afternoon of day 4.
The Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands provide exceptional opportunities to discover the unique wildlife and wonderful Antarctic landscapes. Depending on weather and ice conditions, the captain and expedition team will direct the Sea Spirit to a variety of secluded bays and harbours to optimize Zodiac landings and wildlife viewing. While we have a plan, flexibility is the key to successful expedition cruising. With the help of our expedition team, look for the four penguin (Gentoo, chinstrap, Adelie and very occasionally Emperor), six seal (leopard, Weddell, crab-eater, elephant and Ross and southern fur) several whale (right, humpback, Sei, minke, Orcas and occasionally sperm). We’ll also find a time for our most adventurous travellers to take a polar plunge, perhaps in Neko Harbor or the relatively warm waters of volcanic Deception Island.
As we head south along the Antarctic Peninsula, you’ll understand why the imposing, snow-covered Lemaire Channel has been referred to as “Kodak Alley” (in the days of film cameras most of it was made by Kodak and many rolls would have been used photographing this stunning place). Your voyage will also try to visit a research station, although the work schedules of the scientists may not always permit this. At the Ukrainian base of Academician Vernadsky, you might want to sample the throat-burning Ukrainian pepper vodka, distilled on location. A Zodiac cruise of Paradise Bay, with its many glaciers, offers an experience like no other. Cruise by massive icebergs, with cracks and crevices reflecting an amazing spectrum of blues. Conditions permitting, we’ll set foot on the actual Antarctic Continent at Hope Bay or perhaps another site.
As the Sea Spirit heads back to Ushuaia, there are some final opportunities to ask questions of your expert expedition guides, to share photos and experiences with new-found friends, and to enjoy our festive farewell dinner.
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 some sample Patagonia itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.