Marine Mammals of Antarctica Cruise

An elephant seal trumpets in the midst of King Penguin chicks
Aaron Lawton
Penguins on the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula
A humpback surfaces close to our zodiac
An ocean of icebergs.
King Penguins on South Georgia
Joao Franco
Relax in the ship's hot tub
Daisy Gilardini
Shared Lounge on the Vavilov
Seasoned guides have noticed year after year that as the Antarctic summer comes to a close, the marine mammals come to life! Through a collaborative effort with the Marine laboratory of Duke University, Akademik Sergey Vavilov is excited to invite you on the exciting launch of this expedition, which takes advantage of all the most up-to-date technology to to provide you unparalleled encounters with humpback whales, the elusive minke whale, leopard seals, and penguins.

Day 1

Ushuaia / Embark

Begin your adventure as you board the Akademik Ioffe in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city at the tip of Argentina. Familiarize yourself with your new "home" for the next ten days and as you do, stop to wonder about the exciting journey ahead. Set sail in the early evening on a course through the Beagle Channel.

Days 2-3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drake Passage

Much excitement is in the air as you cross the Drake Passage, sailing ever closer to the white continent. As you cross these fabled waters, on-board naturalists split their time between whale watching from the deck and leading lively discussions about in the ship's presentation room Arctic marine life. Scan these frigid waters for whales feasting on krill, icebergs, and an array of seabirds.

Days 4-8

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Antarctic Peninsula

Your route through the Antarctic Peninsula is primarily based on typical marine mammal activity for this time of year. Armed with knowledge of marine mammal feeding grounds, your crew picks and chooses the best areas to explore. Based on weather conditions, you may explore the Gerlache Strait area and work your way into the coast's deep bays. Weather permitting, spend time exploring by inflatable zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature's glory.

Antarctica's best known locations are tentatively on the itinerary as you take in magnificent scenery and observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds, as well as an abundance of penguins. Several great hikes also offer an excellent opportunity to take in the oddly-shaped and colossal tabular icebergs that break away from the continent.

If weather is mild enough, you may have the opportunity to step foot on the continent itself. Camping overnight on shore is optional, but whatever your vantage point - whether it is on board or on shore, expect to feel transformed as you experience twilight and the abundance of mammals and wildlife from the very bottom of the planet.

Days 9-10

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drake Passage

Make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn. This time may be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful adventure of the last few days. On board photographic experts provide tips and tricks for managing digital photos to ensure preservation of your memories once you are back on shore. Throughout the passage, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for marine life, as Commerson's, Peale's and Dusky dolphins are all frequent visitors to this area. Celebrate the conclusion of your Polar expedition with a special dinner.

Day 11

  • Breakfast

Ushuaia / Disembark

Arrive in Ushuaia early today. Following breakfast on board, say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Transfer to your hotel or airport, whichever your individual plans may provide for.

- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- 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.