CROSSING THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE
|Days 1-2||Ushuaia, Argentina||Transfer from airport, two nights in hotel|
|Day 3||Embarkation Ushuaia||Beagle Channel|
|Days 4-5||At Sea||Crossing the Drake Passage|
|Days 6||South Shetland Islands||Penguins, seals, albatross, whales|
|Days 7-9||Antarctic Circle||Dramatic Antarctic Scenery|
|Days 10-12||Antarctic Peninsula||Gerlache Strait & Trinity Coast|
|Days 13-14||Drake Passage||On your way back to Ushuaia|
|Day 15||Ushuaia||Farewell your fellow expeditioners|
The MS Seaventure features a 1-A Super ice class rating which is the highest ice class awarded to passenger vessels. She can explore places that other vessels simply cannot. The Seaventure will take up to 139 guests and has enough Zodiacs to ensure all guests can leave the vessel and make landings or explore by Zodiac at the same time. With creature comforts in the well appointed staterooms and suites the ship also offers spacious common areas for socialising and attending information sessions when not out exploring. This ship has a beautiful dining area with picture windows to take in the views as well as an al fresco dining area when weather permits for outdoor dining.
The anxiety of missed connections and flight delays is eliminated by guests receiving a two-night hotel stay in Ushuaia, at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Enjoy the spa, wander the trails, or unwind and soak in the surroundings. There is plenty to do in Ushuaia including exploring Tierra Del Fuego National Park or visiting Gable Island. There are many great museums in town and lots of interesting shops and excellent restaurants. Take a look at some of the more popular hikes to do here.
In the afternoon you will join a group transfer to the pier and welcome your ship. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. The scenery as you sail through the Beagle Channel on your first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters. Enjoy an orientation briefing and Captain’s welcome dinner.
As the ship makes its way to the 7th Continent, Antarctica, the onboard Polar Experts will prepare you with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, cross the Antarctic Convergence where you’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as the ship enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Those interested in 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 impressive sights which might include huge icebergs, whales and seabirds following the ship.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will spend as much time as possible exploring by inflatable Zodiac boats. Cruise along the pristine shorelines and past icebergs. The Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. You may visit 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. Your first sighting of land will likely be that of the volcanic South Shetland Islands. Here you may visit Half Moon Island nestled inside Livingston’s eastern shore, or conditions permitting, visit historic Deception Island. Here you are likely to see sub-Antarctic species including Chinstrap penguins and Southern Elephant seals.
As the ship heads south across the Bransfield Strait, sail towards the Antarctic Circle. After celebrating the crossing and (weather permitting) exploring this area, the ship will begin to make its way back North, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula.
Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, or the living museums of Detaille or Horseshoe Island are some of the less visited places of the Antarctic Peninsula which generally have more ice due to their southerly location. The ice ultimately directs what excursions you will be able to participate in but it is all part of the adventure in this remote area.
Heading north, enter Gerlache Strait and Trinity Coast. Here the expedition team will aim to take you to explore picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, or Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. You may be able to 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. Along the way you will see many Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as Weddell and Crabeater seals hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard seals and Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.
As you leave the Antarctica Peninsula the ship heads north again crossing the Antarctic Convergence through the bountiful waters of the Drake Passage. You may wish to attend presentations and workshops by the expedition team, or simply enjoy the ships facilities or keep an eye for seabirds and marine life. Enjoy a special presentation of the voyage that the expedition team has put together.
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 the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.