As the short Antarctic Summer approaches, wildlife activity begins to reach fever pitch. Penguin rookeries are a hive of activity. Nests have been re-established after winter and anxious parents carefully guard precious eggs and feed newborn chicks. Elsewhere, cormorants, gulls and skuas are also busy tending their nests. In the Drake Passage, which separates South America from Antarctica, live the great pelagic seabirds including the spectacular wandering albatross. Petrels also call the open ocean home. Almost from the moment we set sail from Ushuaia in Argentina, the sea birds are our constant companions in our travel south towards the frozen continent. Once in Antarctica, we anticipate incredible encounters with various seal species and migrating whales as they arrive to feed in the nutrient rich waters. We make daily excursions ashore with our expert guides and enjoy a great range of activities. A final highlight of this voyage will be a visit to the stunning Falkland Islands. Located in the warmer Sub-Antarctic zone, an exceptional diversity of wildlife can be found here, including the magnificent King penguin. For lovers of our feathered friends this voyage provides the opportunity to see as many as eight different penguins species, countless seabirds and other Antarctic birdlife.
Day 1: Our journey to Antarctica commences in Ushuaia, Argentina. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Days 2 - 3: Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, who we come to know well on this journey. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions. The keen birdwatchers will love the viewing opportunities on the bridge and expansive outer decks. One of the most anticipated sightings will be the stunning Light mantled albatross, often seen flying in pairs in elaborate aerial displays.
Days 4 - 5: We awaken today to the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica laid out before us. It a really is a breathtakingly staggering sight. Weather and ice conditions permitting we visit Dallman Bay and the Melchior Islands. This is the perfect introduction to Antarctica. We hope to make a landing at Cuverville Island - a site that will be a hive of activity in mid December, with thousands of gentoo penguins nesting on eggs and eagerly awaiting the birth of their newborn chicks. We then head north towards Antarctic Sound – the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. Along the way we hope to make a stop at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with rusted relics from a bygone era.
Days 6 - 7: Pushing now into the Weddell Sea, we notice an increase in the number of large tabular icebergs. The Weddell Sea region is home to Adelie penguin rookeries – some contain more than 100,000 nesting birds. Excursions may include Hope Bay, Paulet Island and Brown Bluff. The history of exploration in this region is rich. Remnants of Nordenskjöld’s Swedish expedition of 1901-1904 are found in several locations. The epic century-old story of Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition also has strong links to the region.
Day 8: We approach Elephant Island from the south. Point Lookout, on the southern tip of the island, is home to an impressive chinstrap penguin colony. Both southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals are often found hauled out on the beaches here. If conditions permit we may visit the fabled location of Point Wild.
Days 9 - 10: Sailing north to the Falklands, the spectacular seabirds are our constant companions as we transit to open waters. This a good opportunity to visit the multimedia room and download your precious photos with the assistance of our resident photographer. Tomorrow, we arrive in the Falklands and the journey continues.
Day 11: West Point Island is known for its large nesting black browed albatross colony. The opportunity to observe these spectacular birds in close proximity on the nest is a real privilege. At nearby Saunders Island we hope to encounter gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper pengions - and our ultimate goal, the impressive king penguin.
Day 12: This morning we have arrived in Stanley. 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. A transfer from the airport into town will be provided and your journey comes to an end.
|Dates & Rates||Cabins (all Prices in US$ Dollar)|
|Date||Triple Share||Twin Semi
|Start Dec 06, 2016
End Dec 17, 2016
(K E C Y P S H 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