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Penguins gather by the ocean.

Atlantic Odyssey Including Antarctic Peninsula to St. Helena

Example 33 Day Cruise aboard MV Plancius
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Begin your 33-day polar cruise experience in Ushuaia and visit the most remote islands in the world. Cross the Drake Passage and head towards the Antarctic Peninsula. Explore the South Georgia, South Orkney Islands, Tristan da Cunha, and St. Helena. Sail through the scenic waterway while you search for rare species, many of them not found anywhere else in the world. Isolated local communities can also be visited.
A humpback whale lifts its fluke Photographing Penguins in South Georgia.A settlement on the island of Saint Helena.Lemaire channel reflectionWhale bones at the Grytviken whaling stationWhaling station in GrytvikenIn touch with nature in StromnessPenguins gather by the ocean.
Highlights
  • Sail across the Drake Passage and spot your first icebergs
  • Meet gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas
  • Explore the Antarctic Continent and visit the old British research station
  • Visit the Grytviken Museum and the grave of Sir Ernest Shackelton
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia | Embark

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2-3: Drake Passage

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, and maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, but the avian life changes too. 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 are a few of the birds you might see.

Day 4-7: Antarctica

Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.

Sites you may visit include:  
 
Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that can be found nearby.

Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
 
Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales.

Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you could sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There is also a possibility you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals.

Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. 
 
At the nearby sites, such as Damoy Point there may be the opportunity for snowshoeing to the old ski-way, this is also one of our favorite camping sites.

Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren  – This is a great place to spot humpback whales. You also may embark on a Zodiac cruise ending at the ghostly wreck of the Guvernøren, a whaling vessel that caught fire here in 1915. Around the Melchior Islands, amid a frozen landscape peopled with icebergs, you may encounter even more whales, leopard seals, and crabeater seals.

Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 8-9: At Sea

On the way north while crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 10: Ushuaia

In the afternoon, new passengers embark in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, located at the Beagle Channel. Sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening

Day 11-13: At Sea

Spend these days sailing eastwards toward South Georgia. After passing the Antarctic Convergence, which is a natural boundary formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic waters, we enter the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, but the bird life changes, too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. 

Day 14-16: South Georgia

Today, visit some of the world’s top king penguin rookeries. This time of year you have a good chance of seeing these animals nesting on eggs, with their chicks nearby. The rookeries are sometimes overflowing, with penguins traveling to and from the beach.
Possible visits in this region include:

Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – Here you can see not only the massive king penguin colony but also elephant seals and limitless fur seal pups playing in the surf.

Grytviken – We also have the opportunity to check out this abandoned whaling station, where king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do! You might also see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave here.

Cooper Bay – This is a fine place for a Zodiac cruise, and this bay also houses a rookery of macaroni penguins. King penguins, pintails, and giant petrels may also appear here.

Moltke Harbour – Located in Royal Bay, this scenic spot gives you the chance to see the huge king penguin colony that lives here. 

Day 17-21: At Sea

A pleasant tailwind often accompanies the vessel through the westerlies, and on both sides of the Antarctic Convergence, you might see large numbers of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds.

Day 22: Gough Island

Approach Gough Island for a zodiac cruise around Quest Bay, weather permitting. Here you might see northern rockhopper penguins and sub-Antarctic fur seals. In previous years, it has been possible for us to circumnavigate most of Gough Island’s 33-mile circumference, taking in this area’s splendid scenery and abundant wildlife.

Day 23-26: Tristan da Cunha

The remote islands of Tristan da Cunha are famed for their plentiful bird populations, which include rockhopper penguins, several species of albatross, petrels, skuas, terns, and many others. Our goal during this stage of our voyage is to visit the small settlement on the west side of the main island, but we might also land at Seal Bay on the south side of Tristan da Cunha or at Sandy Point on the east side.

In these stunning locations, you could encounter such exotic wildlife as yellow-nosed albatrosses and sub-Antarctic fur seals, all while exploring a rarely visited spot. We also intend to land at Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island, both of which offer great views of beautiful seabirds ranging from yellow-nosed albatrosses to brown noddies.

Two days are reserved at Tristan da Cunha in case of bad weather, but please remember that nature determines our itineraries here: Since the beginning of the Atlantic Odyssey cruise in 1998, adverse weather led to the cancellation of 35% of Tristan da Cunha landings. If we have to divert for safety reasons, we will find good alternatives.

Day 27-30: At Sea

Seabirds and dolphins indigenous to this region often follow the vessel.

Day 31-32: St. Helena

After you land at Jamestown on Saint Helena Island, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the area’s local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic bird life. You can pay a visit to Longwood House, where Napoleon died in exile; walk the 699-step Jacob’s Ladder, if you’re feeling ambitious; or snorkel the shallows offshore, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish. 

Day 33: St. Helena | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After you land at Jamestown on Saint Helena Island, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the area’s local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic bird life. You can pay a visit to Longwood House, where Napoleon died in exile; walk the 699-step Jacob’s Ladder, if you’re feeling ambitious; or snorkel the shallows offshore, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish. 

Disembark after breakfast and fly home from Jamestown.

Ship/Hotel

MV Plancius

MV Plancius
MV Plancius

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$15,750 2-3 travelers
Quadruple Porthole
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Quadruple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Quadruple Porthole
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Triple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin porthole cabin
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Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin with window
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Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
Twin Deluxe
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Twin Deluxe
2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
Superior
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Superior
10 twin superior cabins. Lower berth - double bed. (ca. 21 m2)

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.
- Single occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share twin price
-Children between the ages of 3-15 will be discounted 40% in triple or quad cabins, one child per cabin.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Plancius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
Included
  • 32 Breakfasts, 31 Lunches, 32 Dinners
  • 32 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  •  Luggage Transfer from Pick-up Point to the Vessel on the Day of Embarkation in Ushuaia
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Medical travel insurance, including emergency medical attention and evacuation coverage with a minimum of $100,000 of evacuation coverage is required.
  • Parkas are not provided on your cruise. Please bring your own windproof, waterproof, insulated parka with you. You will want to make sure it is roomy enough to fit warm layers underneath. Click here for information about parka rental.

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
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