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Hiking to a summit with views of the glaciers below

Antarctica - Deep South Circle Crossing

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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This special journey aboard the RCGS Resolute takes you further south than at any other time in the season. Additional days on board allow you to venture as far south as ice conditions permit. Here you will witness stunning landscapes, sizable Adelie penguin rookeries and large flat-topped tabular icebergs that drift north from the Bellingshausen Sea. With favorable weather and ice conditions, you can hope to reach - Marguerite Bay. This is a spectacular location that only a handful of ships visit each season. Every day, explore off of the ship with your expert guides, enjoy shore visits and Zodiac cruises. This trip is ideal for those who love the excitement and spontaneity of small ship exploration in the most remote locations on the planet.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Santiago, Chile
Day 2 : Fly to Stanley, Falkland Islands | Embark
Days 3-5 : At Sea - Towards Antarctica
Days 6-8 : Detaille Island | Marguerite Bay | Lower Antarctic Peninsula
Days 9-11 : Gerlache Strait | Antarctic Peninsula Exploration
Day 12 : South Shetland Islands
Days 13-14 : Drake Passage - Return to Falkland Islands
Day 15 : Stanley | Disembark | Fly Santiago

Highlights

  • View fantastic glaciated scenery of the Antarctic Circle and Gerlache coastline
  • Observe outstanding wildlife on shore and from the ship
  • Visit historic sites and world famous science stations
  • Kayak through the spectacular polar waters

Ship

RCGS Resolute

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Abundant Arctic birdlife Rockhopper penguin sighting Hiking to a summit with views of the glaciers below An old ship rusts in a Falkland Islands harbor Humpback whale

Day 1 Santiago, Chile

Once you’ve arrived in Santiago, the cultural center of Chile, make your way to the hotel for an included pre-voyage stay. This evening, you are encouraged to visit the welcome desk set up in the lobby of the hotel to check in with the representative and to collect luggage tags for your voyage.

Day 2 Fly to Stanley, Falkland Islands | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Depart Santiago this morning on your private air charter (this flight is included in the price of your voyage) direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. You will be met on arrival and transferred from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides your first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making your way to the port, you board your expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into your cabins and exploring the ship, you meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth.

Day 3-5 At Sea - Towards Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Chart a southerly course for Antarctica. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of wildlife. The ship will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as you make your way south. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and the photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of your modern research vessel. Throughout the day your onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations you might visit in the coming days. If you enjoy good sailing conditions crossing to Antarctica, you may include a visit to the very historic location of Elephant Island – a place central to the Shackleton story. Shore landings at Point Wild are notoriously tricky due to surging swell onto the rocky beach. Never the less this is a thrilling place to visit.

Day 6-8 Detaille Island | Marguerite Bay | Lower Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Given optimal ice conditions, aim to sail south of the Antarctic Circle. A favored landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut. ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs, this is a fascinating place, providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic scientists and researchers.

This far south, you are always at the mercy of prevailing ice conditions. Years of experience pushing this far to the south indicates that February gives you the best chance of reaching Marguerite Bay. The ship may take the ‘shortcut’, through a narrow channel known as 'the Gullet' if the passage is ice-free. Otherwise, you could navigate around the outside of Adelaide Island - which will take more time, yet bring you to the same destination.

Marguerite Bay is home to several important science bases -Rothera (UK), San Martin (Argentina), Carvajal (Chile). Visit at least one of these locations. The area is full of history and the British Graham Land Expedition (BGLE) of the early 1930s - led by intrepid Australian explorer, John Rymill, established their southern base in this area. They explored and surveyed large areas of the Antarctic Peninsula by airplane, establishing the Antarctic Peninsula was indeed connected to the main continental landmass - and not just a series of off-shore islands as earlier believed

This vicinity marks your turnaround point and from now on, you cruise in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several locations in the Fish and Argentine Island archipelagos which allow for Zodiac cruising and potential shore landings. Visit a working scientific base to learn of the important climate-related research happening here. A hike over the snowy saddle of nearby Winter Island allows you to stretch your legs and explore the old British Antarctic Survey hut

Day 9-11 Gerlache Strait | Antarctic Peninsula Exploration

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Petermann Island is home to a sizable Adelie penguin rookery. Adelies - the smallest of the Antarctic penguins' nest here and share the location with gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants. The view to the north of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just offshore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massive icebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you could ever imagine. For many, a Zodiac cruise there will be a highlight of the voyage.

Aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on your way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica proper. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Both locations offer terrific hiking opportunities up to panoramic viewpoints. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. The good news is, your adventure is not over and you still have several days of exciting exploration ahead.

Orne Harbour is another spot you hope to visit and the hike up to a rocky knoll provides great access to a chinstrap penguin rookery and jaw-dropping views over the Gerlache Strait. At Cuverville Island, there is a large gentoo penguin colony which you observe at close quarters. Leopard seals are often sighted cruising the shallows along with the landing site. For the kayakers, a full circumnavigation of the island is a real possibility. It is somewhere in this vicinity you can hope to spend a night ashore camping if weather conditions permit. All the gear is available to you and an expert team will make this unique experience happen.

You are now at the most northern point on the Peninsula. Additional visits may include Mikkelson Harbour or nearby Cierva Cove, rounding out what has been a comprehensive exploration of the Gerlache coastline. Tonight, leaving the continent in the soft twilight, you reflect on an incredible 10-days of exploration south of the Circle and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Day 12 South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having crossed the Bransfield Straight overnight, arrive in the South Shetland Islands. If the weather conditions allow, you may sail the ship 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 boiler sand dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike here, high up onto the rim of the crater.

On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where you may encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is another great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise.

Day 13-14 Drake Passage - Return to Falkland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you make your way to Stanley and the Falkland Islands, the educational presentations continue and you can enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by your Expedition Leader. Join your photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. Approaching the coast of the southern Falkland Islands in the early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 15 Stanley | Disembark | Fly Santiago

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning find yourself in the port of Stanley. Say goodbye to your crew and make your way to the airport for your return private air charter to Santiago (included in the price of your voyage). On arrival in Santiago, your journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. A transfer is provided downtown for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile.

RCGS Resolute

Santiago - Hotels

Per person starting at
$17,995
RCGS Resolute Cabin
Select a Date
Main Deck Triple
Located on Deck 3 these cabins feature the option for a double or two single beds and a third Pullman berth, which can fold out from the wall if required. A sectional lounge is placed by the portholes with a writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. A flatscreen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the expedition room and gangway.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Twin Private Cabin
Twin Private cabins are located on Deck 4 and have the option for either a queen or two single configured beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Cabin
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Plus Cabin
Superior Plus cabins are located midships on Deck 5. They are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds. A comfortable lounge is placed by the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample floor to ceiling cabinet storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Shackleton Suite
The Shackleton Suites are situated on Deck 6. Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. Sleeping quarters feature the option for either a queen or two single beds with upgraded linen/ pillows.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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One Ocean Suite
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space. Sleeping quarters feature a queen size bed with upgraded linen/pillows. Included is a comfortable sectional lounge with matching club chairs, a large desk, expansive floor to ceiling cabinetry, and spacious washroom facilities with both a shower and bathtub.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.  

Your expedition includes: 
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
  • A pre-voyage night in our signature hotel in Santiago the night before the voyage commences.
  • Transfer from the hotel to the airport on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation day
  • Private air charter between Santiago (Chile) and Stanley (Falkland Islands) and from Stanley (FalklandIslands) back to Santiago
  • 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 biologists, 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 science stations
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (i.e. marine biologists, naturalists, historians, etc). Onboard or on shore
  • 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 medical physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and AdventureConcierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center including massage options (charge applies for massage and 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 a 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 area
Expedition does not include:
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (i.e. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance-related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • 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)
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount –US$15-20 per day)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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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