- 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
While sailing to Antarctica, every turn can reveal a new and breathtaking adventure. As the pack ice becomes thicker, it’s apparent to everyone that you are moving closer into Antarctica’s vast white wilderness. Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, minke, and orca whales to surface from below the frigid waters. Each day Zodiac departures are attempted, and, if conditions permit, cruise amidst colorful icebergs or step ashore to visit a variety of penguin rookeries and perhaps scientific research stations on complimentary excursions led by your team of natural history experts. A flexible itinerary allows you to take advantage of favorable sea and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain determine your best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife encountered. Here are some of the places you may visit:
Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent): Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-meter-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Adelie and gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and pintado petrels use this as a breeding area. Birds such as the all-white snow petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance. As you explore the area, a Weddell seal may be seen basking in the sunlight. Wait long enough and you might see the Adelie penguins standing along the rocks, finally making their way into the surf.
Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic peninsula): The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. From the ship, observe Argentina’s Base Brown, one of many Antarctic research stations. Here, you can actually set foot on the continent of Antarctica. View the wildlife from sea level while cruising in your Zodiac with one of your experienced Expedition Team members. There’s a good chance come across a crabeater seal relaxing on a nearby ice floe, or if you’re very lucky, your Zodiac driver may locate a pod of minke whales.
Paulet Island: As you arrive, you may well be amazed by the sight of Adelie penguins covering the entire island. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed. On a nearby hill, view a massive colony of blue-eyed shags. Kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills are amongst the birds that breed on Paulet Island, and Wilson’s storm-petrels are regularly seen. Listen as your Expedition Team guide tells of Otto Nordenskjold and his party that over-wintered on the island in 1912. Remnants of their hut still remain. If time permits, take a Zodiac cruise to view impossibly blue icebergs, Crater Lake, and the Adelie penguins making themselves at home on the ice floes.
Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island): Deception Island is home to a collapsed volcano and an excellent example of a caldera where it is believed that the volcano’s summit collapsed with one section sinking far enough to allow the sea to flood the interior. Your team plans to sail inside this breached wall through a narrow entrance called Neptune’s Bellows. Your resident geologist explains the unique volcanic features of the area while your historian introduces you to the whaling history of Deception Island. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.