In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel. After settling in, spend the rest of the evening sailing through this scenic waterway.
During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may meet 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.
A typical itinerary in the Weddell Sea could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board.
Sail into the Weddell Sea, and if the Antarctic Sound is accessible and the ice does not allow to sail further, you might see the huge tabular icebergs that announce your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The use of helicopters has a great advantage and if the conditions are favorable, you may be able to see emperor penguins from the helicopter. Scenic flights and helicopter landings on tabular icebergs and locations otherwise inaccessible so early in the season are offered if conditions permit.
Possible landing sites include Brown Bluff - one of the most scenic spots in the entire northern tip of the Antarctic Continent with steep canyon walls and tumbled boulders, an ice-cap looming above, beautiful volcanic creations, and thousands of Adélie and gentoo penguins nesting on the slopes. Or visit the west side of the Antarctic Sound, an area usually only rarely seen from the air. The scenery is stunning with landscapes of layered sandstones, lava flows, glaciers tumbling into the sea, icebergs and pack-ice as far as the eye can see, and diverse bird-life.
A beautiful helicopter flight over huge blue icebergs and fast ice can also be made close to View Point in Duse Bay. Land on a rocky hillock close to an old refuge hut overlooking the bay and walk over beautiful frost-shattered rock, almost entirely covered with the most fascinating lichen of all shapes and colors. If the ice-situation allows, visit Devil Island and Vega Island with a large colony of Adélie penguins and a magnificent view for those hikers who can make it to the top of the hill. Melting ice sometimes provides spectacular waterfalls from the cliffs close to point ‘Well-Met’. Further south, perhaps visit Seymour Island, where many fossils can be found.
Heading north through the Antarctic Sound, pay a visit to the Argentinean station Esperanza on the Antarctic Continent. Look out for emperor penguins on the ice-floes. In the afternoon visit Gourdin Island, with chinstrap, gentoo and Adélie penguins.
In the morning plan to visit Half Moon Island, where you can see chinstrap and gentoo penguins, various other bird species, and southern elephant seals and Weddell seals. Early in the afternoon sail to Deception Island and enjoy the last voyage landing at Pendulum Cove or Whaler's Bay.
In the Drake Passage have again a chance of seeing many seabirds and take advantage of the knowledge of your lecture team.
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
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