In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
Spend two days sailing across the Drake Passage. When crossing the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. Hope to view whales, wandering albatrosses, grey headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, Cape petrels, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels and Antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, spot your first icebergs.
Sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, find a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. On Danco Island observe chinstrap penguins and possibly Weddell and crabeater seals. In Neko Harbor have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers. Enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises.
When sailing to Paradise Bay, with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic continent again and to zodiac cruise between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. In this area you have good chances to see humpback whales and minke whales. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, hope to get the chance to visit the old British research station, now a living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy there may be a landing on Jougla Point with gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags.
Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pléneau and Petermann Island where you can find Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. In this area, there are good chances to encounter humpback whales and minke Whales. Further south visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where you receive a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where you may encounter leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales.
On the way north the ship is again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast. Some passengers disembark m/v Plancius and others remain on board for the next voyage, Atlantic Odyssey.
Spend two days sailing across the Drake Passage. When crossing the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. Hope to view whales, 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, spot your first icebergs.
Arrive in South Georgia and aim to visit some of the major king penguin rookeries in the world. The late season offers an outstanding chance to see the king penguins on eggs and with small chicks. The rookeries are packed at this time of year, and the traffic to and from the beach is astounding. At Salisbury Plain, view elephant seals and endless numbers of fur seal pups playing in the surf. On Prion Island in the Bay of Isles, search for breeding wandering albatross, then sail for the old whaling settlement in Grytviken, where penguins now walk through the streets. Grytviken is home to a small but highly informative museum and offers a chance to visit the grave of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who is buried alongside his trusted friend and companion Frank Wild. Attempt to land at Gold Harbor and St Andrews Bay to view king penguins, with stunningly beautiful scenery and a wildlife density second to none.
Observe many species and great numbers of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds as you sail for Gough Island.
Approach Gough Island for a zodiac cruise around Quest Bay, weather permitting. Gough Island is a strictly protected nature reserve and landings are not allowed, but zodiac cruises in the area have proven to offer spectacular scenery and a great abundance of wildlife not easily seen elsewhere in the world. Hope to circumnavigate the entire 33-mile island by ship and see the northern rockhopper penguins and sub-Antarctic fur seals.
In the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, plan to call on the settlement at the west side of the main island. Landings at Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island are attempted to view millions of seabirds including yellow-nosed albatrosses and brown noddies. An extra day is built in to allow for possible bad weather, as 35% of previous sailings have been unable to make landings in the Tristan da Cunha for this reason.
Enter sub-tropical waters which feature their own species of seabirds and dolphins.
St. Helena has a good anchorage and landing site at Jamestown. Enjoy the local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic plants and birds, then visit Longwood House, where Napoleon lived and died in exile. Take the opportunity to explore the island on your own and snorkel in its clear waters. Or, stroll by the shallow surf and spot a variety of tropical and sub-tropical fish species.
Enjoy a last few days at sea along the mid-Atlantic Ridge while drawing near Ascension Island.
Ascension Island is a dry volcanic island with a moist and richly vegetated top. The sooty tern (wide-awake) colony sometimes consists of more than one million breeding pairs. Try to climb the moist summit of Ascension Island and make a zodiac-cruise around Boatswain Bird Island, offering great opportunities for snorkeling. At Comfortless Cove near Georgetown enjoy a very comfortable swim with good snorkeling too (no snorkeling gear is supplied). You may be fortunate to witness egg-laying sea turtles coming ashore at night.
Some passengers may disembark and fly with the scheduled RAF (Royal Air Force) flight to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, UK. Others may proceed with the voyage to the Cape Verdes. In the evening the vessel departs from Ascension Island.
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