Polar Circle Quest
Join us on our NEW POLAR CIRCLE QUEST expedition cruise on board the USHUAIA, exploring the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and endeavor to cross the Polar Circle. Embarking and disembarking in the port of Ushuaia, our itineraries are expertly planned to take best advantage of the amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery during each part of the Antarctic season.
This sample itinerary is just a guide. We endeavor to make two landings a day including a station visit and a continental landing.
DAY 1: DEPART FROM USHUAIA. Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
DAY 2 & 3: CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE. Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.
The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well. The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams.
With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.
DAYS 4-9: EXPLORING SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND ENDEAVOR TO CROSS THE POLAR CIRCLE. EXQUISITE BEAUTY AND PRISTINE LANDSCAPES ARE WAITING FOR YOU ON THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA. MYRIADS OF ICEBERGS WITH DIFFERENT SHADES AND SHAPES ARE FLOATING FREE IN THE WATERWAYS AROUND THE CONTINENT. THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA´S REMARKABLE HISTORY WILL ALSO PROVIDE YOU WITH A TYPE OF EXCITEMENT OFTEN ONLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE EARLY EXPLORERS. YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO EXPLORE ITS AMAZING SCENERY AND A WIDE VARIETY OF WILDLIFE. APART FROM ADÉLIE, GENTOO AND CHINSTRAP PENGUINS AND OTHER SEABIRDS YOU ARE LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER WEDDELL, CRABEATER, FUR AND LEOPARD SEALS AS WELL AS MINKE WHALES AND ORCAS AT CLOSE RANGE. AT THIS TIME OF YEAR IT IS ALSO VERY LIKELY TO ENCOUNTER BIG CETACEANS, SUCH AS HUMPBACK, FINN AND SEI WHALES IN THE AREA.
WE HOPE TO NAVIGATE SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WATERWAYS THE AREA HAS TO OFFER, SUCH AS: THE GERLACHE STRAIT, ERRERA CHANNEL, NEUMAYER CHANNEL AND THE EXTREMELY NARROW LEMAIRE CHANNEL. POSSIBLE LANDING SITES MAY INCLUDE: PARADISE BAY, WHICH IS PERHAPS THE MOST APTLY NAMED PLACE IN THE WORLD WITH ITS IMPRESSIVE GLACIAL FRONTS AND MOUNTAINS, CUVERVILLE ISLAND, HOME OF THE BIGGEST GENTOO PENGUIN COLONY IN THE PENINSULA SURROUNDED BY GLACIERS AND CASTELLATED ICEBERGS, AND THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND POST OFFICE PORT LOCKROY.
AS FURTHER EXPLORATION WILL LEAD US FAR SOUTH OF THE LEMAIRE CHANNEL IN QUEST OF THE POLAR CIRCLE, WE MIGHT ALSO VISIT THE UKRAINIAN STATION VERNADSKY, THE FORMER BRITISH BASE FARADEY, WHERE THE OZONE HOLE WAS FIRST SPOTTED, THE RUGGED YALOUR ISLANDS AND SOUTH OF THE POLAR CIRCLE DETAILLE ISLAND. ON OUR WAY NORTH WE PLAN TO EXPLORE THE SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS. THE VOLCANIC ISLAND GROUP IS A HAVEN FOR WILDLIFE. VAST PENGUIN ROOKERIES AND SEALS HAULING OUT ON THE SHORELINES MAKE EVERY DAY SPENT HERE UNFORGETTABLE. SAILING THROUGH THE NARROW PASSAGE INTO THE FLOODED CALDERA OF DECEPTION ISLAND IS TRULY AMAZING, SO IS VISITING THE CRESCENT SHAPED ISLAND HALF MOON, HOME TO CHINSTRAP PENGUINS IN BREATHTAKING SURROUNDINGS.
DAYS 10 & 11: AT SEA CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE, NORTHBOUND. WE LEAVE ANTARCTICA AND HEAD NORTH ACROSS THE DRAKE PASSAGE. JOIN OUR LECTURERS AND NATURALISTS ON DECK AS WE SEARCH FOR SEABIRDS AND WHALES AND ENJOY SOME FINAL LECTURES. TAKE THE CHANCE TO RELAX AND REFLECT ON THE FASCINATING ADVENTURES OF THE PAST DAYS ON THE WAY BACK TO USHUAIA.
DAY 12: ARRIVAL AT USHUAIA. WE ARRIVE AT USHUAIA AND DISEMBARK THE USHUAIA AFTER BREAKFAST .
PLEASE NOTE: THE ABOVE ITINERARY IS A GUIDE ONLY. OUR EXACT ROUTE AND PROGRAM WILL VARY TO TAKE BEST ADVANTAGE OF LOCAL WEATHER AND ICE CONDITIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO VIEW WILDLIFE. CHANGES WILL BE MADE BY THE CAPTAIN AND/OR EXPEDITION LEADER TO FACILITATE THE BEST RESULTS FROM THE PREVAILING CONDITIONS AND THEY WILL TRY THEIR BEST TO REACH THE POLAR CIRCLE. HOWEVER IF ICE CONDITIONS DO NOT ALLOW ACCESS THE ROUTE MIGHT BE CHANGED. A DAILY PROGRAM SHEET WILL BE ISSUED ON BOARD. FLEXIBILITY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.
- Polar Circle Quest
- 11 nights / 12 days
- m/v Ushuaia
Dates & Rates
|Dates & Rates||Cabins (Cost US Dollars)|
|Premier Twin||Premier Single||Superior Twin||Suite
|A150217||Start Feb 15, 2017
End Feb 26, 2017
All rates are quoted per person in US Dollars, based on twin occupancy. A limited amount of twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth in two of the suites maybe occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate. Shared accommodation can be arranged on request.
All rates are subject to change and VAE reserves the right to modify the published rates without prior notice.
Included in the cruise price:
Voyage aboard the USHUAIA as indicated in the itinerary.
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the USHUAIA.
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac.
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Detailed post-expedition log.
Not included in the cruise price:
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided).
The itineraries published are for reference only and are subject to change due to weather and ice conditions, or due to any other reason beyond our control, at the Master's and Expedition Leader's discretion without prior notice. Passengers have no right to any refund, any other consideration or claim whatsoever in the event of inevitable itinerary changes.
VAE requests their passengers to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation and mandatory medical evacuation and repatriation cover. Antarpply Expeditions shall not be responsible for any injuries to persons (whether or not resulting in death) or damage or loss to property. In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation, the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger and Antarpply Expeditions specifically decline any responsibility whatsoever (also if not covered by travel insurance).
The passenger must sign a passenger contract which constitutes the sole contract and his/her agreement to all the terms and conditions relative to the cruise. By accepting the cruise ticket the passenger also agrees to its terms & conditions.