|1||Ushuaia, Argentina||Day at leisure. You may wish to explore Tierra Del Fuego National Park, Martial Glacier|
|2||Beagle Channel||Board the ship in the afternoon and set sail down the Beagle Channel.|
|3 & 4||Drake Passage||Giant Petrels and birdlife, possibly South Shetland Islands|
|5 - 10||Antarctic Peninsula||Gentoo, Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Leopard Seals and Whales, dramatic scenery|
|11 - 13||South Orkney Islands||Position for Solar Eclipse|
|14 & 15||Drake Passage||Crossing the Drake passage with possible rounding of Cape Horn|
|16||Ushuaia, Argentina||After Breakfast disembark for your onward journey|
The 2nd purpose built expedition vessel by Aurora Expeditions honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. As the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998 this vessel pays tribute to Sylvia’s long standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife.
Besides the same revolutionary Ulstein X BOW hull design like the Greg Mortimer, the Sylvia Earle features a distinctive Glass Atrium Lounge at the bow of the ship with a stunning panoramic view on both port and starboard side, Lecture theatre and lounge, a swimming pool and jacuzzi where you can admire impressive scenery while watching the world go by.
Please Note: The Sylvia Earle is currently under construction so all images are renders.
Arrive in Ushuaia, renowned for its breathtaking scenery. Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world set on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia is a major tourist centre, particularly for people cruising to Antarctica. The city offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina. After transferring to your downtown hotel, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
After breakfast, check out of your hotel. You will have time to do some more exploring of Ushuaia and surrounds and pick up some last minute items from the local stores. In the afternoon, settle into the Sylvia Earle for an early evening departure down the Beagle Channel.
The Drake Passage offers excellent bird watching from the outer decks or the bridge. Your expedition team presents safety and environmental briefings, and enlightening talks on Antarctica. Keep your eyes peeled for icebergs, penguins, seals and cormorants as we approach our first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
Awaken to the site of Antarctica, where the expedition team plan to visit busy penguin rookeries, historic sites and make a continental landing. The Antarctic Peninsula’s west coast is yours to explore. The experienced expedition team, many who’ve been to Antarctica over dozens of summers, create the best daily itinerary that prevailing weather and ice conditions allow. A sense of excitement abounds as you use every moment of daylight to enjoy the best that Antarctica has to offer. This could mean two to three excursions in a day, whether it be to penguin colonies, historic huts, a working scientific station or a Zodiac cruise through a sculpture garden of grounded icebergs. Note – Weather and ice conditions permitting, Sylvia Earle voyages will attempt to explore the ice-chocked Weddell Sea region before moving onto the western side of the Peninsula.
According to NASA, the optimum position to experience the solar eclipse is well into the Weddell Sea. The eclipse is visible from the following geographic regions: Antarctica, South Africa, south Atlantic, but the full eclipse will only be visible in Antarctica. The instant of greatest eclipse takes place on 04 December, 2021 at 07:34:38 TD (Terrestrial Dynamical Time) or
Historically, early December would be considered too early to visit South Orkney Islands because of extensive sea ice. However, conditions have been changing every year and it may be possible to get into the South Orkneys on 04
December, 2021 – the unknown is part of what makes the experience even more thrilling.
Central to the story of where Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance became trapped in formidable sea ice, the Weddell Sea certainly is high on the list for most polar adventurers. A small set of islands standing off to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula collectively form the Antarctic Sound – the gateway to the Weddell Sea. With a well deserved reputation as being an iceberg alley, many large tabular bergs escape the Weddell Sea through the Antarctic Sound, often making navigation difficult. However, the rewards can be great. Fossils are a reminder of a more temperate era – gastropods, large clams, and spiral-shaped ammonites, all turned to stone.
Be spoiled for wildlife encounters as the Weddell boasts a large Adélie penguin colony just outside of the Antarctic Sound, some of which breed on the rocky slopes of a small volcanic island, where a large colony of Antarctic blue-eyed
shags jostle for space with nest-building Wilson’s storm petrels.
On thrilling Zodiac cruises or slicing a path through the maze of sea ice in your kayak, keep watch for chinstrap and gentoo penguins in and out of the water,
where you’re likely to spot humpback, minke and orca whales. With good ice and plenty of luck, you may even get close to a well-known emperor penguin colony. Your camera is sure to get a solid workout during your time in the
As the Captain steers the ship north across Drake Passage there’s time to watch for seabirds, enjoy entertaining talks, discuss what you’ve seen and learned, exchange photos and stories. With luck, the ship may make a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn before sharing a farewell dinner with your newfound friends.
Cruise up the Beagle Channel early this morning before slipping into to dock in Ushuaia, where your voyage concludes after breakfast. Farewell your expedition team and disembark the ship.