Marine Mammals of Antarctica Cruise

A group of walrus rest on the sand.
iStock
Albatross cruising the Drake Passage to Antarctica
istock
A huge colony of king penguins.
Pair of King penguins on an Antarctica cruise
Peyton McCollum
Humpback whale dive
Daisy Gilardini
Relax in the luxurious sauna.
Daisy Gilardini
Enjoy delicious meals in the dining room.
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 Ioffe is excited to invite you on the launch of this expedition, which takes advantage of all the most up-to-date technology 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

      Drake Passage

      Much excitement is in the air as you cross the Drake Passage, 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 in the ship's presentation room about Arctic marine life. Scan the frigid waters for whales feasting on krill, icebergs, and an array of seabirds.

      Days 4-8

        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 excellent opportunities 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 wildlife from the very bottom of the planet.

        Days 9-10

          Drake Passage

          Make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn. Spend this time sharing and reflecting on the wonderful adventure of the last few days. Onboard photographic experts provide tips and tricks for managing your digital photos to ensure the 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

            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.
             Main Deck TripleTwin Semi-PrivateTwin PrivateSuperiorShackleton SuiteOne Ocean Suite
            2015-Mar-15$6,795$9,195$9,995$10,395$10,795$11,995
            Optional Kayaking: $795
            Optional Camping: Complimentary
            - 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.
            - Standard twin cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price.

            Deposit & Payment

            Initial deposit is $1700 for Antarctic Voyages, $2100 for Arctic Voyages, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. Alternatively, you can register online here.

            Final payment is due 100 days prior to departure by bank transfer, check or credit card. All final payments by credit card may be subject to a surcharge and maximum of $20,000 charge.

            Click here to see a copy of our Terms and Conditions

            Cancellation Policy

            Days Prior to departureFee
            91 days or moreFull deposit
            90 days or less100% trip cost