Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands on this 10-day cruise aboard the Ortelius. Feel the excitement when you spot the first icebergs as the Ortelius nears the South Shetland Islands. Discover colonies of penguins, breeding pairs of brown skuas and a myriad of other seabirds. Whale watch and spot Weddell seals off Ronge Island. The magnificient landscapes of the White Continent are unforgettable and the sunset in Paradise Bay is particularly awe-inspiring.
Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark Days 2-3 : Drake Passage Days 4-7 : Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands Days 8-9 : Returning across the Drake Passage Day 10 : Ushuaia | Disembark
Enjoy a zodiac excursion in Paradise Bay
Set foot on the White Continent in Neko Harbor
Find gentoo and chinstrap penguins on Half Moon Island
Observe a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. When crossing 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, spot your first icebergs.
Day 4-7 Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands
Sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, find a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. If landing on Danco Island observe chinstrap penguins and possibly Weddell and crabeater seals.
In Neko Harbour have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. Enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. In Paradise Bay again with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again. Make the most of the opportunities for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. In this area you have good chances to see humpback whales and minke whales.
Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island where Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags can be found. In this area there are good chances to encounter humpback whales, minke whales, and fin whales. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel, hope to get permission to visit the British research station and post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy a landing on Jougla Point with gentoo penguins and imperial shags may be offered.
On your way North through the Gerlache Strait finally arrive at the South Shetland Islands. Sail to Deception Island. Your ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. Hope for a good long walk and kayak trip which depends on site availability and weather conditions.
Deception is a sub-ducted 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.
Leave from here and sail to Half Moon Island, where you can find a variety of chinstrap penguins. Seals often haul out on the beach. These volcanic islands of 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.
Your voyage continues through a narrow Strait to the open sea with direction to Ushuaia.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published.
Below per person rate based on previous season.
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4 quadruple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins). Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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2 triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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23 twin cabins with portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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10 twin cabins with windows, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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6 superior cabins with double beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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1 suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Ortelius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites, and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
- Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes aboard the Ortelius
- Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangements
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory)
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed $120 USD per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure the Ortelius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of $25 USD per passenger per night.
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.