Day 1 Ushuaia | Embark
Today is the first day of your adventure. As you board the vessel in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city on the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with 'your home' for the next 11 days, you cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead of you. In the early evening, set sail and begin your voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2-3 The Drake Passage
- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as you make your way ever closer to the white continent. Giant petrels, albatross and smaller Cape petrels are your companions as the ship transits the Drake Passage. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as your numerous polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, cross the Antarctic Convergence where you notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, witness all kinds of spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species who occasionally flaunt their size in full breach.
Day 4-7 Gerlache Strait | Antarctic Peninsula
- 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Take a deep breath – you have arrived. Welcome to Antarctica! This morning the magnificent snowy peaks welcome you with a truly awesome sight. Explore by Zodiac the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets, and numerous small islands. The Gerlache coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Explore the rocky outcrops, home to gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the rich marine life waters. Prepare for close encounters with seals, including the powerful leopard seals, the curious humpback whales, and the smaller minke whales, present much of the time as they feed on the vast schools of krill. In this location sightings of orca are not uncommon.
Enjoy an exciting range of daily activities including guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with expert naturalist guides. Visit the historic huts and science stations located along the peninsula for a fascinating glimpse into the past and potential future. Zodiac cruise among the ice searching for seals and whales. Meanwhile, the sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship. A resident photography guide on board can help you with your camera setting and image composition.
Planned excursions could include Cierva Cove, Danco Island, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favorite location and one where you can encounter playful humpback whales. Paradise Bay is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route providing stunning 360 degree views.
Day 8 South Shetland Islands
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, head north across the Bransfield Starit, bound for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather conditions allow, sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island, a very dramatic location. History is all around as you explore the old whaling station, with its rusted relics and dilapidated wooden buildings. On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where you can encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is a great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. In the evening, navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.
Day 9-10 The Drake Passage
- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you leave this magical place and make your way back, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, no doubt that time is spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Join a photography expert in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. Sail the Beagle Channel and celebrate the conclusion of your polar expedition at a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 11 Ushuaia | Disembark
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests are transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.