In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes mountains and right at the shore of the Beagle Channel. Sail through this scenic waterway during the afternoon.
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 of the voyage.
A typical itinerary in the South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board.
Sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. Enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. Potential landing sites include:
Cuverville and Danco 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. On Danco Island observe chinstrap penguins and possibly Weddell and crabeater Seals. In Neko Harbour take the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level.
With its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, take the opportunity to cruise in a zodiac between icebergs in the inner parts of Paradise Bay. There is a possibility that you may see humpback whales and minke whales.
Pleneau and Petermann Island
Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island, where you can find Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter humpback and minke whales. A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica provides insight about the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south you may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station and receive a warm welcome from the station crew.
After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, visit the British research station and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, enjoy a landing on Jougla Point with gentoo penguins and imperial shags.
Sailing north through Gerlache Strait, arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where you may encounter leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales.
South Shetland Islands
Heading north through the Gerlache Strait, finally arrive at the South Shetland Islands and sail to Deception Island. Venture to Deception Island through Neptune's Bellows. Weather permitting, enjoy a long walk and kayak trip here. Deception is a subducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape petrels and many kelp 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.
Sail to Half Moon Island and find chinstrap penguins. Weddell 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.
In the Drake Passage, have another chance to spot seabirds and take advantage of the knowledge of the lecture team.
In the morning, arrive in Ushuaia and disembark. Transfer to the airport for your connecting flight home.
|Quadruple Porthole||Triple Porthole||Twin Porthole||Twin Window||Twin Deluxe||Superior|
|Camping Option: $180|
Kayaking Option: $465