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Kayaking through the icy waters.

Antarctic Circle Voyage

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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This 14-day cruise can take you further south than any of other Antarctica voyages, hopefully all the way to 66 degrees, 33’ minutes south of latitude, which officially marks the position of the Antarctic Circle. Witness expansive landscapes, huge Adelie penguin rookeries, and hopefully the large tabular icebergs that have drifted north from the Bellingshausen Sea. After crossing the Antarctic Circle, return north along the heavily-glaciated coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula, passing through the Argentine, Fish and Yalour Island archipelagos and into the Gerlache Strait region.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia | Embark
Days 2-3 : Drake Passage
Days 4-7 : Antarctic Circle | Antarctic Peninsula
Days 8-10 : Gerlache Strait | Antarctic Peninsula
Day 11 : South Shetland Islands
Days 12-13 : Drake Passage
Day 14 : Ushuaia | Disembark

Highlights

  • Sail south of the Antarctic Circle and make a landing at Detaille Island
  • Cruise north along the rugged coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Encounter an abundance of seals, skuas, penguins, and seabirds
  • Cross the Bransfield Strait, Antarctica´s wildlife ‘super highway’

Ship

Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Kayaking through the icy waters. Pair of King penguins on an Antarctica cruise Zodiac tours through the ice. A young seal rests on the shore Humpback whale in Antarctica

Day 1 Ushuaia | Embark

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 14 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 and into the Drake Passage. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2-3 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sai south towards Antarctica joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, who you come to know well on this journey. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and a photography expert can show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of the modern research vessel. Throughout the day your onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife, and history and the locations to visit in the coming days.

Day 4-7 Antarctic Circle | Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Seeing the continent for the first time takes your breath away. Given favorable ice conditions, your first goal is to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Crystal Sound. A favored landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut. ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place, providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic visitors. Further exploration this far south is highly dependent on optimal weather and ice conditions. If conditions allow, push even further to the south.

This vicinity marks your turnaround point and from now on, cruise in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several locations in the Fish and Argentine Island archipelagos which allow for zodiac cruising and potential shore landings. Hope to visit a working scientific base to learn of the important climate-related research happening here. A hike over the snowy saddle of nearby Winter Island allows you to stretch your legs and explore the old British Antarctic Survey hut.

Petermann Island is home to a sizable Adelie penguin rookery. Adelies, the smallest of the Antarctic penguins, nest here and share the location with gentoo penguins and imperial cormorants. The view to the north of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just off shore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massive icebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you could ever imagine. For many, a zodiac cruise here is a highlight of the voyage.

Day 8-10 Gerlache Strait | Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on your way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica itself. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Both locations offer terrific hiking opportunities up to panoramic view points. For the sea kayakers, the paddling opportunities here are endless. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. The good news is, your adventure is not over and you still have several days of exciting exploration ahead.

Orne Harbour is another celebrated location to visit and the hike up to a rocky knoll provides excellent access to a chinstrap penguin rookery. At Cuverville Island, there is a large gentoo penguin colony which you can observe at close quarters. Leopard seals are often sighted cruising the shallows along the landing site. For the kayakers, a full circumnavigation of the island is a real thrill. It is in this vicinity where you can spend a night ashore camping, if weather conditions permit. The ship has all the gear and an expert team of guides to make this unique experience happen.

Your are now at the most northern point on the Peninsula. Visits to Mikkelson Harbour and nearby Cierva Cove round out what has been a comprehensive exploration of the Gerlache coastline. Tonight, leaving the continent in the soft twilight, reflects on an incredible week of exploration.

Day 11 South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having crossed the Bransfield Straight overnight, arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if conditions allow, aim to sail the ship into the sunken volcanic caldera at Deception Island, or visit nearby Half Moon Island, home to a sizeable colony of rowdy chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. The MacFarlane Strait is a good place to spot humpback whales. In the early evening, push into the Drake Passage and chart a course back to South America.

Day 12-13 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Pushing out of the MacFarlane Strait and leaving the icy landscape behind, the ship traces a course back to South America. Onboard presentations continue and the seabirds once again join the ship for your journey north. The expedition leader delivers a memorable voyage recap and a celebration with a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship. If conditions allow, attempt a rounding of Cape Horn. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a remarkable journey to the frozen continent.

Day 14 Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers as you transfer to the airport for return flights home.

Akademik Ioffe

Per person starting at
$11,195
The Triple Cabins.
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3, bunk beds and a sofa bed. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, bathrobes & porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4, one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk and ample storage. Semi-private facilities (one bathroom between two cabins). Opening window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
Superior Cabins.
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Superior
Deck 6 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod alarm clock. Private facilities, window & deluxe amenities.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
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.

Notes

- 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.

Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and is subject to change.

Included in Cost:
- Transfers from/to designated meeting points to/from the ship
- Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
- All meals during the voyage
- Welcome reception & welcome dinner
- Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
- Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
- Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
- Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
- Natural essential oil amenities
- Services of English-speaking medical officer
- Use of multimedia room
- Use of on-board expedition rubber boots & wet weather gear
- All zodiac and landing excursions
- Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga
- Camping (subject to weather and ice conditions)
- Educational presentations
- Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer
- Expedition guides, naturalist staff, and hospitality staff

Not Included in Cost:
- International and national airfares
- Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
- Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
- Meals & transfers in arrival/departure cities
- Personal expenses
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Massages from registered therapist
- Personal laundry charges
- Postage, telephone calls & email set up
- Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
- Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
- Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
- Gratuities to staff and crew

Included

  • 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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