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A young seal rests on the shore

Antarctic Peninsula Adventure - From Punta Arenas

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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This classic 11-day voyage features many of the well-known landing sites such as Neko, Paradise and Orne Harbour, Cuverville Island, and the Errera Channel. Ice conditions permitting, transit the spectacular Lemaire Channel. Witness expansive landscapes, sizable Adelie penguin rookeries, and see the large tabular icebergs that have drifted north from the Bellingshausen Sea. Visit Deception Island and other nearby locations such as Half Moon Island, Hannah Point, or Yankee Harbour. On this voyage, experience outstanding wildlife observation, visits to historic sites and science stations, and presentations from polar experts.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Punta Arenas, Argentina | Embark
Days 2-3 : The Drake Passage
Days 4-7 : South Shetland Islands | Antarctica
Day 8 : South Shetland Islands
Days 9-10 : The Drake Passage
Day 11 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore the Gerlache coastline, home to gentoo & Adelie penguin rookeries
  • Hike on shore and visit wildlife colonies with expert naturalist guides
  • Zodiac cruise among the ice searching for seals and whales
  • Sail into the dramatic flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island

Ship

RCGS Resolute

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A young seal rests on the shore An ocean of icebergs. A humpback whale surfaces close to the zodiac Kayaking through the icy waters. Zodiac tours through the ice.

Day 1 Punta Arenas, Argentina | Embark

Today is the first day of your adventure. Gather at a central meeting point and transfer to the wharf where you embark your expedition ship. After settling in to your cabin and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air and you can enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner. Chart a course through the Straits of Magellan and be on your way, bound for Antarctica – and what promises to be an incredible adventure.

Day 2-3 The Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as you make your way ever closer to the white continent. Giant petrels, albatross and smaller Cape petrels are your companions as the ship transits the Drake Passage. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as your numerous polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, cross the Antarctic Convergence where you notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, witness all kinds of spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species who occasionally flaunt their size in full breach.

Day 4-7 South Shetland Islands | Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before you. Even your experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, take a moment to pause and reflect on this incredible sight. Take a deep breath – you have arrived. This is Antarctica.

The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets, and numerous small islands. The Gerlache coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow.

Rocky outcrops, known as ‘nunataks’ are home to gentoo, Adelie, and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. Encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal, usually found hauled out on an ice floe. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are present much of the time as they feed on the vast schools of krill. Sightings of orca are not uncommon.

Your activity program is in full swing and all guests are encourageds to choose how their adventure unfolds. Every day an exciting range of activities is planned, including guided hikes on shore (both short and long) and visits to wildlife colonies with your expert naturalist guides. The historic huts and science stations located along the peninsula provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice searching for seals and whales is a memorable activity. Meanwhile, the sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship experiencing Antarctica from an entirely different perspective. The resident photography guide is on hand to help you with your camera handling and image composition. Maybe what you really want to do is sit on a rock, simply watching the penguins come and go from the water? Make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show.

Planned excursions along the Antarctic Peninsula could include Cierva Cove or Mikklesen Harbour, Danco Island, the Melchior Islands, and Fournier Bay - or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the gentoo penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favorite location and one where you can frequently encounter playful humpback whales. Nearby Paradise Harbour is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route to a viewpoint providing expansive views. Andvord Bay and Neko Harbour provide yet another continental landing opportunity. It is somewhere along this stretch of coastline that camping is planned. All the right gear and equipment and an expert team are provided - all you need is an adventurous spirit! Camping always depends on the weather and it is never guaranteed. Camping is included and you can decide to participate on the day. There is no need to pre-book

After several busy days of exploration along the Peninsula, head north across the Bransfield Strait, bound for the South Shetland Islands. This is an important whale migration corridor and you can expect sightings of humpbacks, or the resident pod of orca that inhabit this stretch of water.

Day 8 South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
By morning arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, the ship sails into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around you as you explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where the Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins, made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike, high up onto the rim of the crater.

After leaving Deception Island, cruise along the coast of Livingston Island which in a sunny day is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the South Shetland's including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour. This is another great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. Hannah Point, with its elephant seal colony and nesting Antarctic petrels, is another possibility. In the evening, navigate north through McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage.

Day 9-10 The Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you make your way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and you can enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by your Expedition Leader. Join the photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 11 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests are transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.

RCGS Resolute

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RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, portholes, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
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Twin Private Cabin
Deck 4. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
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Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
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Superior Plus Cabin
Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large picture windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom.
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 6. 22 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 6. 44 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed with matching club chairs, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.

Notes

Please note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and is subject to change.

Your Expedition Includes: 
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
  • Transfers from a central meeting point in Punta Arenas on Day 1 and from the port to the airport (or a downtown hotels) at the conclusion of your voyage on Day 11
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar/lounge, plus in-cabin tea and coffee-making facilities
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty, and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc).
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests plus access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads,file back up and management
  • An emergency-trained Physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness cener including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking program available (additional charge of US$795pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
The Expedition does not include:
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges, or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – US$12-15 per day)

Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
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Erin Correia
Erin C

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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