Begin this 11-day Antarctic adventure in Ushuaia, Argentina aboard the MV Plancius. Cross the infamous Drake Passage and head towards the Antarctic Peninsula. Search for wildlife such as albatross, penguins, whales and seals while sailing through the Antarctic waters and amongst icebergs. Keep an open mind while exploring Antarctica, as this itinerary may change due to weather and ice. Each day is determined by the Expedition Leader.
Sail across the infamous Drake Passage to reach the Antarctic Peninsula
Zodiac cruise between icebergs and fjords
Observe wildlife such as penguins, albatross, whales, and seals
Enjoy trips ashore each day to explore the Antarctic landscape
The 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, 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.
During these two days, sail across the Drake Passage. When crossing the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area, see 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.
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice and dramatically different wildlife below and above. First pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.
Site visits 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 – Be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance to encounter humpback and minke whales.
Port Lockroy - After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, get the chance to visit the former British research station- now a museum and post office- of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Have the chance to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping here, and when conditions are right, snowshoe around the shore.
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures. There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels.) In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here, find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station and thousands of cape petrels – along with kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape.
As an alternative, engage in activities near Half Moon Island. Here, chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
The return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, be 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.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary is determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post- land arrangements.
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Please Note: It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure, the MV Plancius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $25 per passenger per night.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!