This new voyage takes place at the height of the Antarctic summer. We enjoy extended daylight hours at this time of the season, the wildlife colonies are busy and as the sea ice continues to break up, allowing a range of landing sites to explore as well as making a stop at one of the greatest wildlife spots on the planet.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina - Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier where we embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Days 2 - 3: Drake Passage - Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds as we transit the Drake Passage. 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 our modern research vessel.
Days 4 - 5: Antarctic Peninsula - We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. This must surely be one of the most spectacular locations in the world to bring in the New Year! We spend the next several days navigating through icy waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula. We make several off-ship excursions each day, exploring on shore, or cruising in the Zodiacs. As well as exploring the offshore islands along the coastline, we hope to step foot on the actual continent of Antarctica.
Days 6 - 7: South Shetland Islands, Deception Island & Elephant Island - After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather permits, we sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. To the north, lies Elephant Island – forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. This is a thrilling location for history buffs.
Days 8 - 9: Scotia Sea - As we depart Antarctica we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30 foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. We make a much easier time of the crossing in our state of the art expedition ship. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia.
Days 10 - 12: South Georgia - South Georgia has often been called the most staggering wildlife show on earth. Rounding the remote southeastern end of South Georgia, we spend the next three days thoroughly exploring the coastline. Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense size, you will discover the majestic king penguins. Locations we hope to visit include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – who was laid to rest here in 1922.
Days 13 - 15: Southern Ocean - By now we are in sensory overload, our cameras full of images and our journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. Much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship.
Day 16: Sea Lion Island and Falkland Islands - After several days crossing, Sea Lion Island marks our arrival into the Falkland Islands. This windswept location situated in the southern archipelago provides one further day of activity. We launch our Zodiacs and go ashore to view the remarkable wildlife colonies found here. Three species of penguins including gentoo, magellenic and rockhopper exist in the vicinity. Southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are found hauled out on the beaches.
Day 17: Stanley, Falkland Islands and Punta Arenas, Chile - Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal England or Scotland. It is charming with brightly coloured houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town, before we make our way to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.
Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions, the planned itinerary will be updated at the time of final preparations as well as throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favourable conditions.
|Dates & Rates||Cabins (all Prices in US$ Dollar)|
|Date||Triple Share||Twin Semi
|Start Dec 28, 2017
End Jan 13, 2018
(K H E P S Y W)
DETAILS FOR SPECIAL ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES ON THIS VOYAGE:
Sea Kayaking – pre-booked option, fee of US$795. Maximum number of clients is 16.
Overnight Sea Kayaking – pre-booked option for those already enrolled in the standard sea kayak program. Additional fee of US$300. Sea kayak & camping experience is necessary and participation in option is dependent upon our Sea Kayak Guide approval onboard. Max number of clients is 6, min 4.
Ski Touring – pre-booked option, fee of US$750. Back country experience essential and participation in this option is dependent upon our Ski Touring Guide approval onboard. Gear is not provided by our. Please review our required gear list prior to departure. Max number of clients is 12, min 6.
Expedition Snowshoeing – pre-booked option, fee of US$45, gear is provided. Maximum 12 people.
Expedition Field Photography- pre-booked option, fee of US$45. Maximum of 18 people.
Overnight Camping - no pre-booking necessary, no additional fee, gear is provided. No maximum.
Hiking- no pre-booking necessary, no additional fee,No maximum.
Traditional Snowshoeing - no pre-booking necessary, no additional fee, gear is provided. 10 pairs of snowshoes will be available.
As with all of 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, however that is half the fun of Polar exploring. Predictability is a word that has no relevance in this environment.
Extensive program of relevant educational presentations
Advice from experienced team of naturalists
Advice and encouragement from resident photographer
All Zodiac excursions
On board welcome reception
On board welcome dinner
One Ocean Farewell Dinner (hosted by our Captain)
All meals during the voyage prepared by onboard professional chefs
Afternoon tea with fresh snacks each afternoon
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate throughout the day
Onboard medical officer
Access to our special programs on board (such as hiking, photography)
Overnight camping- please note that this activity is free of charge, we provide all
the necessary equipment and gear and you can decide once on board if you wish to participate – no pre booking required. Camping is only available on some departures.
Use of multimedia station. We have a multimedia room where you can download your photos at the end of the day if you wish,
Please note that the kayaking activity is an extra cost at US$795 per person (if you wish to participate please let us know at time of booking as we have limited space).
Foul weather gear set – rain jacket, bib pants and Lacrosse gumboots (wellington boots) Or SeaLine water proof backpack, Bushnell waterproof binoculars and Lacrosse gumboots (wellington boots) (Carrying Wellington boots in your luggage can add to weight limit imposed by the airlines .
Transfers from the meeting point in Ushuaia to the pier to board the ship on day 1 of the cruise and transfers from the pier to the meeting point or airport on the last day of the cruise
Visa and passport fees, airport departure taxes
Pre-cruise or post-cruise hotel accommodation
Personal laundry charges
Postage, telephone calls, drinks, medical expenses
Meals / accommodation / transfers in welcome/departure cities
Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
Gratuities to staff and crew