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Weddell Seal along the Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica East & West: Peninsula in Depth

Example 20 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour (QU)
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Experience the best of a polar expedition, including abundant wildlife, important historical sites, glaciers and icebergs on this 20-day cruise onboard the Ocean Endeavour. Fly to Ushuaia and begin your Antarctic experience crossing the Drake Passage, arriving at Elephant Island and sailing towards the Antarctic Circle. Keep watch for colonies of nesting chinstrap, gentoo, and macaroni penguins in the South Shetland Islands and end your trip in Buenos Aires, the tango capital of the world.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 2 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
Days 3-4 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 5 : Elephant Island
Days 6-8 : Weddell Sea
Days 9-15 : Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic Circle
Days 16-17 : South Shetland Islands
Days 18-19 : Drake Passage
Day 20 : Disembark in Ushuaia | Fly to Buenos Aires

Highlights

  • Explore the mountainous and ice-covered Elephant Island
  • Discover the remote east side of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Meet the largest colony of gentoo penguins in the region
  • Celebrate crossing the Antarctic Circle and visit the southernmost bar
  • Walk through Deception Island, the caldera of an active volcano

Ship

Ocean Endeavour (QU)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Weddell Seal along the Antarctic Peninsula Cruising the artic waters in the Zodiac Penguins cruising the ice Sea Kayaking Penguins on the Beach

Day 1 Buenos Aires, Argentina

Arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of your itinerary. Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its soaring architecture and rich European heritage, transfer independently to the group hotel (pre-night hotel included).

Day 2 Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport and board a private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, you have time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier.

Embark in the late afternoon and sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart to the world’s most southern continent!

Day 3-4 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. Enjoy plenty of time to gaze out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates, and chat with your Expedition Team. Spend this time preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures presented by your Expedition Team. Learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

Day 5 Elephant Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After crossing the Drake, visit the mountainous and ice-covered Elephant Island. Named by early explorers for the elephant seals that dotted its shoreline, the island is best known as the refuge for Ernest Shackleton’s crew. Point Wild, the site of the crew’s camp, is an Antarctic Historic site.

Day 6-8 Weddell Sea

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Battered with ocean currents all year long, the remote east side of the Antarctic Peninsula is completely different from the more commonly visited west coast. See mile-long tabular icebergs formed over hundreds or even thousands of years and broken off of ice shelves further south.

Visit Paulet Island - a volcanic and thermal heat keeps part of it ice free. Over 100,000 pairs of Adélie penguins make it a popular visiting point.

In the afternoon, explore the wooden hut on Snow Hill Island, built in February 1902 by the main party of the Swedish South Polar Expedition led by Otto Nordenskjöld. This historic hut contains original objects from the expedition and functions as a living museum.

Brown Bluff, formed by a single volcanic vent, is the perfect place to experience Antarctic flora and fauna.

Day 9-15 Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic Circle

  • Ship
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Traveling around the Peninsula includes a variety of experiences, including Cuverville Island and the largest colony of gentoo penguins in the region—more than 6,500 breeding pairs. Other possible landing sites include Melchiors, Cuverville Island, and Orne Harbour. Glaciers, penguin colonies, and breaching humpback whales highlight your days, while friendly seals are plentiful in these waters. You can also expect to encounter what is arguably the most formidable Antarctic predator, the leopard seal.

Celebrate crossing the Antarctic Circle with drinks, and visit the Vernadsky Lounge, the Peninsula’s southernmost bar. A sure highlight is Wilhelmina Bay—one expedition once spotted 50 whales in three hours! Spend seven days exploring as many sites as you can, ensuring you the most comprehensive Antarctic experience possible.

Day 16-17 South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
In 1819, the British explorer William Smith described the South Shetland Islands as ‘barren and covered with snow, with seals in abundance.’ Places such as Half Moon Island or Livingston Island support huge numbers of nesting chinstrap, gentoo, and even some macaroni penguins. Giant and Cape petrels, blue-eyed shags, and kelp gulls nest in the cliffs. Mosses, lichens and Antarctica’s only two flowering plants thrive during the short summer on the low-lying peninsulas of these rugged maritime islands. Explore the busy penguin and seabird rookeries and marvel at the huge elephant seals that wallow along the shore.

Visit Deception Island, the caldera of an active volcano, where sealing and whaling operations were based in the past. Several microclimates can get quite warm, and there is a large colony of chinstrap penguins. Half Moon Island is a significant area for birds and it features a 2,200-yard (2 km) walking track to give you a close view of the wildlife.

Day 18-19 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Use your second passage across the Drake to put your newfound Antarctic knowledge to use; spend time on deck, spot icebergs and name seabirds. Enjoy presentations by onboard experts and bond with your shipmates.

Day 20 Disembark in Ushuaia | Fly to Buenos Aires

  • 1 Breakfast
Arive in Ushuaia in the morning, after breakfast. Disembark and get a little taste of Patagonia, touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before transferring to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.

Ocean Endeavour (QU)

Buenos Aires - Hotels

Deals

Save up to $6000
Early Bird Savings - Book by January 31, 2017 and save up to $6,000, depending on your cabin category.
Applies to Jan 24, 2018 departure
Per person starting at
$11,995
Triple Cabin (under renovation)
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Triple
A triple on deck four is an interior cabin with two lower berths, one upper berth and private bath. Approximately 10-15 m² (105 to 160 sq ft). Cabin currently undergoing renovations.
Twin Window  (cropped)
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Twin Window
A twin window on deck five features a picture window, two lower berths and private bath. Approximately 9-10 m² (95 to 105 sq ft).
Single Interior Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Single Interior
A single on deck five is an interior cabin with a lower berth and private bath. Approximately 9-10 m² (95 to 105 sq ft).
Twin Porthole (cropped)
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Twin Porthole
A twin porthole on deck four features a porthole window, two lower berths and private bath. Approximately 9-10 m² (95 to 105 sq ft).
Twin Porthole Cabin (under renovations)
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Twin Porthole Plus
Two twin porthole plus rooms on deck four features a porthole window, one or two beds and one private bath. Approximately 18-20 m² (190 to 200 sq ft). Cabin currently undergoing renovations.
Twin Window Plus (cropped)
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Twin Window Plus
Two twin window plus rooms on deck five features a picture window, one or two beds and two private baths. Approximately 18-20 m² (190 to 200 sq ft). Cabin currently undergoing renovations.
Upper Deck Cabin (cropped)
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Upper Deck Twin
An upper deck twin on decks seven and eight features a large picture window (obstructed view), two lower berths or one double bed and private bath. Approximately 13 m² (140 sq ft).
Superior Twin Cabin (cropped)
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Superior Twin
A superior twin on decks five and seven features a picture window, two lower berths and a private bath. Approximately 19 m² (205 sq ft).
Top Deck Cabin (cropped)
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Top Deck Twin
A top deck twin on deck eight features two large picture windows (partial obstruction), two lower berths and private bath. Approximately 14.5 m² (155 sq ft).
Junior Suite (cropped)
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Junior Suite
A junior suite on decks five and seven features a picture window, two lower berths and private bath. Approximately 30 m² (320 sq ft).
Owner Suite (cropped)
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Owner
The owner’s suite on deck seven features two large bow-facing windows, one double bed, separate sitting room and private bath with tub. Approximately 30 m² (320 sq ft).

Notes

Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

Cabins are available for single occupancy at the following rates:

2016-2017 Season - 1.3 times the double occupancy rate for Twin Porthole and Window cabins, 1.7 times for Porthole Plus and Upper Deck, and 2 times for all Premium cabins.

2017-2018 season - 1.7 times the double occupancy rate for cabin types except for Premium cabins (2.0 times the double occupany rate)

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that everything can be accomplished. A measure of flexibility is something all must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Important Note:
* Charter flight is not included in the base price of the trip
The Buenos Aires Flight and Transfer Package is $950 and includes:
• Pre expedition hotel night in Buenos Aires, with breakfast
• Group transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires
• Charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, and return
• Group transfer from Ushuaia airport to the ship, and return
• Combined airport transfer and express bus tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park after disembarkation

Rates include:
• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
• All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage
• All shore landings per the daily program
• Leadership throughout the voyage by your experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities
• All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
• Formal and informal presentations by your Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
• Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
• A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
• An official parka to keep
• Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
• Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
• Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
• All luggage handling aboard ship
• Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person
• Snowshoeing and zodiac cruising

This expedition excludes:
• International airfare
• Passport and Visa Expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes
• Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance
• Excess baggage fees on international flights
• Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges
• Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
• Shipboard or land telecommunication charges
• Phone and Internet charges
• Voluntary gratuity for ship's crew, Hospitality or Expedition Team members
• Additional overnight accommodation
• Optional adventure activities
• Arrival transfer in Buenos Aires on Day 1

Included

  • 19 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Jessica L

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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