This 12-day expedition cruise aboard the MV Plancius offers a unique possibility to visit the south of Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circle. Enjoy two days sailing across the Drake Passage and observe four species of albatrosses, and spot your first icebergs on your way to Deception Island. Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and meet Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. Beautiful landscapes with icebergs can be observed on your way to the South Shetland Islands.
Day 1 : Ushuaia | Embark Days 2-3 : Drake Passage Days 4-8 : Antarctic Peninsula Day 9 : South Shetland Islands Days 10-11 : Drake Passage Day 12 : Ushuaia | Disembark
Cross the Drake Passage and enjoy the scenic waterway
Land at Hannah Point - meet gentoo and chinstrap penguins & giant petrels
Navigate through a myriad of icebergs and deep-cut fjords
Sail across the Polar Circle and land in the abandoned British station
During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. When you cross the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may see wandering albatrosses, grey headed albatrosses, black- browed albatrosses, light- mantled sooty albatrosses, Cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson's storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, catch a glimpse of the first icebergs.
Start your first day in Antarctica with a landing at Hannah Point, where you can find a nice variety of gentoo penguins, chinstraps and southern giant petrels, as well as elephant seals hauling out on the beach. At Deception Island, an attempt is made to land. Deception itself is a subducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here you can find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape petrels and many kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. On your way further south sail to Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island. It contains a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. In Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, you have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. You shall have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords.
Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island offering Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags. Also try to land at Pleneau Island with elephant seals and fair chances to encounter humpback, minke, and fin whales. Head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, south of the polar circle, in the morning. The landscape is very impressive with very high mountains and huge glaciers. At the Fish Islands land at one of the southernmost Adelie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Sailing north again through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where you may encounter leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales. This area offers excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving in the pristine Antarctic environment.
These volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, and southern giant petrels. In Deception Island your ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows. Deception itself is a subducted crater which opens into the sea creating a natural harbor for the ship. Find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape petrels and many kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Alternatively the ship may try to land at Hannah Point at Livingston Island. The area is closed off to visitors for part of the season as it is a high-density wildlife area with species such as chinstrap penguins, gentoo penguins, and southern elephant seals. Around noon depart for the Drake Passage.
2 cabins with private facilities, 1 bunk bed and 1 lower berth. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
10 twin superior cabins. Lower berths (either two single beds or one queen-size bed (ca. 21 m2)
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple 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.
- Single occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share twin price
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Plancius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites, and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
- Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee, and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
- Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangements
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory)
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges, and telecommunication charges
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure, MV Plancius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $25 per passenger per night.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.