Join us on the Columbia and Snake Rivers as the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition gets fully underway. The explorers set out in 1804, seeking the Rocky Mountains and the far Pacific. Then in 1805, the Corps of Discovery canoed down the Snake and Columbia Rivers to reach their goal at the sea. We'll retrace their path, covering over 800 miles of scenic riverways punctuated by orchards and evergreens and draped by elegant waterfalls. Throughout your cruise, the Pacific Northwest's pioneer history is brought to life with a special series of excursions, guest speakers, and narration and presentations by your on-board Exploration Leader.
Day 1 : Ushuaia / Embark Days 2-3 : Drake Passage Days 4-10 : Antarctic Peninsula Days 11-12 : Drake Passage Day 13 : Ushuaia / Disembark
Today is the first day of your adventure. As you board your research vessel 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 of you. 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 your ship makes her way ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as numerous Polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, cross the Antarctic Convergence where you will notice a distinct drop in temperature as the One Ocean Navigator/Ioffe enters 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 fully breach from the sea.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature's glory. The first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay. Given favorable ice conditions, push the exploration even further southward, looking for historic and wildlife sites. From the most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), make your way north along the Antarctic Peninsula, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula. Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, the Lemaire Channel, the Neumeyer Channel and the Gerlache Strait will all feature in the itinerary. Landing sites might include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay, Petermann Island and the Yalours, where you will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as an abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of penguins. At Half Moon Island visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. Hope to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to spot orcas and Minke whales as you go. Plan on walking ashore on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbour or Neko Harbour. Although it will not be your first glimpse of the Antarctic, a walk ashore on the Continent will evoke emotions to carry with you for the rest of your life. The scenery here is amazing. In particular the oddly shaped icebergs looking like sculptures, as well as the colossal 'tabular' icebergs that break away from the continent's ice shelf. Some may wish to camp on shore overnight. Whatever your vantage point, whether it is onboard or onshore expect to feel transformed as you experience twilight from the very bottom of the planet.
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, have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of your Polar expedition at a special dinner.
Day 13 Ushuaia / Disembark
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. Say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers and transfer either to your hotel or to the airport for your return flights home.
Deck 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod station. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow. Deluxe amenities.
- 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.
- Twin and superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price. Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.
- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.
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.