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Antarctica - Discovery and Learning Voyage

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard MV Plancius
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Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and enjoy the most dramatic scenery and the widest variety of wildlife in Antarctica on this special 11-day cruise. Visit the volcanic islands of the South Shetlands and explore the wide variety of flora and fauna in South Shetland. This classic route to the Antarctic Peninsula aboard MV Plancius is a popular way to make the most of your polar voyage experience.
Surfacing Humpback WhalesIt's a beautiful day in the ArcticAn old icebergA contemplative Chinstrap penguinLemaire channel reflection
Highlights
  • Sail across the Drake Passage - enjoy bird watching and spotting icebergs
  • 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
  • Explore the wide variety of flora and fauna in the South Shetland Islands
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark

In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes and right at the Beagle Channel shore. Sail through this scenic waterway during the afternoon.

Day 2-3: Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. When crosing the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may 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. Near the South Shetland Islands, catch a glimpse of the first icebergs.

Day 4-7: Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Graystone 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.

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.
 
There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping in this area, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore and to the old ski-way at nearby Damoy Point.

Day 8: South Shetland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 you 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, you may be able to 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.

Day 9-10: Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
In the Drake Passage again have a chance of seeing many seabirds while taking advantage of the knowledge of your lecture team.

Day 11: Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast. Transfer to the airport in Ushuaia for your return flight home. 

Ship/Hotel

MV Plancius

MV Plancius
MV Plancius
MV Plancius

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$8,650
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)
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Comprehensive Pre- and Post-voyage Information Materials
     
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
     
  •  Luggage Transfer from Pick-up Point to the Vessel on the Day of Embarkation in Ushuaia
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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