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Penguins at Christmas

Christmas in Antarctica

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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Experience the ultimate ‘White Christmas’ on a memorable 11-day voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula. Towering glaciers, amazing wildlife encounters, snow-covered landscapes, massive icebergs and the option to choose your favorite activities make this voyage the perfect introduction to the white continent. In the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula, spend your days off the ship exploring by zodiac boat, making several shore landings each day in the company of expert guides. By breaking into small special interest groups, discover Antarctica and its remarkable wildlife through photography, zodiac excursions, hiking onshore, and for the more adventurous – camping and sea kayaking.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina
Days 2-3 : Drake Passage
Days 4-7 : Antarctic Peninsula | White Christmas!
Day 8 : South Shetland Islands
Days 9-10 : Drake Passage
Day 11 : Ushuaia

Highlights

  • Sail south joined by giant petrels, albatross and smaller Cape petrels
  • Discover the Antarctic Peninsula's deep bays, pristine coves, and inlets
  • Watch humpback whales and the smaller minke whales as they feed
  • Zodiac cruise among the ice searching for icebergs and seals

Ship

Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Penguins at Christmas What a place to picnic for Christmas Kayaking through the icy waters. Kayaking the polar waters Kayak quiet waters as you sail to remote coves of Antarctica

Day 1 Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina

Your journey commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, Argentina as you embark your expedition ship, Akademik Ioffe. After settling in to your cabins and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. In the early evening, set sail along the Beagle Channel and push out into the Drake Passage, towards Antarctica. Excitement is in the air as you 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
Sail south towards Antarctica joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels, albatross and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as you transit towards Antarctica. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and a photography expert is on hand to 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 onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history.

Day 4-7 Antarctic Peninsula | White Christmas!

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Awaken today with the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica laid out before you. Even the experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, take a moment to pause and reflect on the immense power of Antarctica. Take a deep breath – you have arrived.

The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves, inlets, and numerous islands. The landscape features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops, known as ‘nunataks’ are home to gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. Encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal, often found relaxing on an ice floe. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are found in sizeable numbers feeding on the rich krill blooms. Sightings of orca are not uncommon as well.

Enjoy several days of exploration as the activity program is in full swing, allowing you to choose how your adventure unfolds. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with your expert naturalist guides, while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is a memorable activity and the sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship. Your photography guide is on hand to help you with your camera handling, image composition, and the peculiar light found in Antarctica. 

Planned excursions could include Cierva Cove, Danco Island, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favorite location and one where you can encounter playful humpback whales. Paradise Bay is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route providing stunning 360 degree views.

Day 8 South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After several busy days of exploration along the Peninsula, head north across the Bransfield Strait, bound for the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and, if the weather conditions allow, the ship sails into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic location. History is all around you as you explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden structures. 

On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where you may encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is a great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. In the evening, navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.

Day 9-10 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As the ship makes its way back to South America, the educational presentations continue as you enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by your Expedition Leader. Join the photography experts in the multimedia room to download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 11 Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
In the early morning, arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Transfer to your hotel or to the airport for return flights home.

Akademik Ioffe

Deals

Save $1000
Early Bird Savings - Book by December 31 and receive $1,000 in Flight Credit.
Applies to Dec 18, 2017 departure
Save $500
Last Minute Savings - Book now and save $500.
Applies to Dec 18, 2016 departure
Per person starting at
$8,795
The Triple Cabins.
Select a Date
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

  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kevin M

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

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