Arrive in Ushuaia, ArgentinaArrive at Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Make your way to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure. Visit the Argentinean leather markets and succulent lamb dishes that make Patagonia famous as you explore the southernmost town in the world. Highlights of Ushuaia include an award-winning museum and trips to nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park and its popular “Train at the End of the World.”
EmbarkArrive at the ship in the afternoon, where you are greeted by your Expedition Team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on your early evening sail down the Beagle Channel past Magellanic penguin, rock cormorant, and sea lion colonies. Your Antarctic cruise has begun!
Crossing the Drake PassageAs your ship sails south, wildlife spotting opportunities include albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. The Expedition Team is out on deck as well, looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Ship experts hold informative and entertaining presentations on the wildlife, history, and geology of Antarctica. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety are also held in the ship's comfortable lounge. The length of this journey depends on sea conditions, but you can expect to approach the South Shetland Islands in the evening of Day 4.
South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
The land of superlatives: Antarctica! The Expedition Leader and Captain create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The route you take highlights the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the humpback whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. You may make a stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as an historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.
All the while, Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory leopard seals and the aggressive Antarctic fur seal. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and orca sightings are also common.
At SeaThe journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with final opportunities for spotting seabirds and looking for whales. The Expedition Team run their last lectures and presentations, recapping the great Antarctic adventure that you have gone through.
Disembark in Ushuaia, ArgentinaArrive in Ushuaia early this morning to disembark for your continued journey home.