Today is the first day of your adventure. As you board the Akademik Ioffe in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city at the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with your home for the next 13 days, you cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead. In the early evening, set sail and begin your voyage, leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as you make your way ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard, as numerous Polar experts and educational professionals prepare you for your adventures with presentations and courses on everything Antarctic, from wildlife and history, to first aid and snow safety. Eventually, cross the Antarctic Convergence where you can detect a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species, some of which are known on occasion to breach from the sea.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, take as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiacs to incorporate the expedition goals and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Planned excursions may include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay, and the southerly Petermann Island, where you can observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas, and other seabirds as well as a shocking abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of the comical Adélie penguin.
Amongst these varied landing sites and extraordinary bays for cruising, find yourself delving into an expedition field photography program as well as hiking, snow shoeing, sea kayaking, cross country skiing, and mountaineering/ski touring. Using the weather as a guide, endeavor to extend yourselves beyond the standard limits of expedition cruising itineraries. With a flexible hospitality team you are able to spend more time onshore in a chosen environment to meet all of your expeditionary goals.
Once alongside the peninsula plan to launch for an overnight kayaking experience. After packing the kayaks with the necessary gear for this adventure, leave the ship and paddle into a chosen destination. Once you land expect to spend about 2-3 hours stretching legs and exploring. Some may ascend to a walk-able summit to take in the views and massive icebergs in every direction. You also look for a possible campsite and assemble tents for the wonderful experience of overnight kayak camping in Antarctica.
The next morning pack the gear, jump into the kayaks, and paddle for a few hours before rejoining the fellow travelers on board the ship. Specifics for the mountaineering and ski touring program also depend on weather and avalanche safety. With a focus on the experience rather than the number of penguins seen, you have the flexibility to take your time to launch outdoor pursuits in the right area for the required length of duration.
As you leave this magical place and make your way north, 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. This sailing time is optimal for reviewing your newfound ‘field photography’ skills and learning more from onboard presentation staff and educational experts. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of your Polar expedition with a special dinner onboard.
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.
|Main Deck Triple||Twin Semi-Private||Twin Private||Superior||Shackleton Suite||One Ocean Suite|
|Optional Kayaking: $795|
Overnight Sea Kayaking: $300 additional fee for those already enrolled in kayaking program
Ski Touring: $750
Expedition Snowshoeing: $45
Expedition Photography: $45