In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right at the Beagle Channel shore. Sail through this scenic waterway during the afternoon.
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, get your first glimpse at the first icebergs. The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait between Robert Island and Greenwich Island if the conditions are favorable. Do your first landing in Antarctic waters in the late evening of the third day at Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands. If the conditions will not allow to maneuver through the English Strait then continue sailing South of Livingston. These volcanic islands or 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.
A typical itinerary in Antarctic Peninsula could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board.
You may start your first day with a landing on Half Moon Island, where you will find a variety of Chinstrap Penguins. Seals often haul out on the beach. Later on, sail to Deception Island. Deception is a subducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Pigeons and many Dominican 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 across the Gerlache Strait 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. In this area there are good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island offering Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Try to land at Pleneau Island with Elephant Seals and fair chances to encounter Humpback, Minke and Fin Whales.
A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica will give you an insight about the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south you may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where you will receive a warm welcome from the station crew.
Sailing north through Neumayer Channel, arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape and again possibilities for zodiac cruising among the icebergs, where you may encounter Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals and whales. In the Neumayer Channel, visit the British research station and post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy make landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags.
In the Drake Passage you again have a chance of seeing many seabirds while taking advantage of the knowledge of your lecture team.
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.