Antarctica > Cruises > Plancius

Plancius

Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic Islands are some of the last truly unspoilt regions of the world. The mysterious White Continent, with its multi-coloured ice caps, glistening glaciers and towering snow-capped mountains, offers unparalleled scenery and photographic opportunities. Enormous numbers of penguins, whales, seals and seabirds congregate in the food-rich waters along the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic shores.
Our small, specially designed expedition ships journey south, taking full advantage of the long hours of daylight during the austral summer, their ice-strengthened hulls allowing us to navigate safely through the pack ice and narrow waterways. Our zodiac excursions, guided by foremost Antarctic experts, offer the freedom to explore remote locations and observe Antarctica's abundant wildlife.

 

All of our voyages to Antarctica depart from the city of Ushuaia, the southernmost town of Argentina and, in fact, of the world. This pioneer town was founded in 1868 by British missionaries as a refuge for the Yaghan, the threatened native inhabitants of Tierra del Fuego. From Ushuaia the ships first sail through the scenic Beagle Channel. Ships heading straight for Antarctica now have to negotiate an infamous stretch of water between Ushuaia and the South Shetland Islands, the Drake Passage. This passage can be seen as the threshold of Antarctica because of its notoriously bad weather and heavy seas. The 800 kilometres (500 miles) long passage was named after the British navigator and pirate, Sir Francis Drake. But the Drake Passage is not only infamous, as during the two days' crossing numerous bird species can be observed, includingBlack-browed, Light-mantled Sootyand tGrey-headed Albatrosses. Even the world's largest flying bird, the Wandering Albatross, is frequently met in the Drake Passage. Marine mammals such as the Hourglass Dolphin can also be often observed. Some of our itineraries head from the Beagle Channel for the Falkland Islands following our "Grand Tour". This is a somewhat longer voyage visiting some of the magnificent south-Atlantic islands of the Falklands and the even more astonishing sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, together with the South Orkney Islands, the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.