SOLAR ECLIPSE: SOUTH GEORGIA AND ANTARCTICA
|1||Ushuaia||Embarkation in this gateway to Antarctica|
|2-4||At Sea||Towards South Georgia|
|5-8||South Georgia & South Atlantic||Experience wildlife and nature abounds in this sub antarctic island|
|9||Solar Eclipse||Assume your incredible vantage point for this magnificent spectable|
|10||At Sea||Towards Antarctica|
|11-12||Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands||Elephant Island, King George Island, Deception Island, Half Moon Island|
|13-14||At Sea||Drake Passage towards South America|
|15||Ushuaia||Arrive and disembark where your adventure began|
The Ocean Victory, set for completion in 2020 has a revolutionary X-bow design for more stability and comfort along with being environmentally considerate in all aspects. A total of 93 cabins can accommodate up to 189 guests, all featuring ocean views, 90% with their own balconies. Two restaurants serve up high-quality cuisine along with a Nordic inspired bar to spend your nights enjoying the incredible Antarctic scenery passing you by. Fill in your time at sea with visits to the wellness area (with a gym and a spa), listen to lectures in the modern lecture lounge and soak up the sun (with your coat on) on the open deck dining facility. The Ocean Victory is part of a new generation of low-energy vessels with 4 diesel engines and 2 electro engines, all controlled electronically to optimise speed and fuel consumption.
Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina – the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It’s a hiker’s paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. Afterwards embark the ship Ocean Victory, your home for the coming days.
Days at sea are great for participating in lectures, photo sessions and recaps, reading books in the ship library and watching the ubiquitous storm petrels and albatrosses from the top deck.
South Georgia offers stunning wildlife experiences with a wealth of breeding penguins, sea birds, sea lions and seals, all seeking shelter in this oasis amidst the roaring Southern Ocean. Previous whaling history pops up in most of fjords you will explore – not least in Grytviken, the only inhabited settlement on this mountainous island. Grytviken is also the last resting place for Ernest Shackleton, after he died on yet another Antarctica voyage in 1922. You will explore the fjords of the north coast for 2-3 days and take as many shore landings as time and the swelling sea will allow you.
The eclipse begins early in the morning east of Falkland Islands. From here the moon shadow speeds south at 10,000km per hour towards the South Orkney Island and Antarctica. The Ocean Victory has selected one of the best possible observation positions east of South Orkney, where the sun is 9 degrees above the horizon. This wondrous phenomenon will last for around 1 minute 40 seconds.
As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on your horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals.
Wildlife abounds on the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel’s orcas. Days at sea are great for enjoying the seascapes, relaxing, or participating on the program onboard.
Explore the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain. Projected landfalls include: Elephant Island, home to elephant seals, sheer cliffs rising from the sea and snow-covered peaks; King George Island; Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson’s storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Sailing back towards South America, cross the famed Drake Passage – a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake Passage is known for strong westerly winds, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard the expedition vessel, Ocean Victory, which is purpose-built with stabilisers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself!
In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with sights of seals, penguins and albatrosses.
After having entered the Beagle Channel between Tierra del Fuego and Isla Navarino during the night, the Ocean Victory slips into the port of Ushuaia. Disembarkation after breakfast.
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.