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Penguins in Antarctica

Antarctic Peninsula Adventure

2021 - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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Explore the wildlife-rich shores and waters of remote Antarctica on this 12-day small ship cruise on the RCGS Resolute. Your classic expedition features many of the well-known landing sites such as Neko, Paradise, and Orne Harbours, Cuverville Island and the Errera Channel - and ice conditions permitting, the ship may transit the Laramie Channel. Hardy adventurers or those with an interest in history have the chance to camp out on the ice overnight and feel the thrill and audacity of early explorers who attempted to conquer this continent. The abundance of wildlife here is truly extraordinary, including five seal species, massive penguin rookeries of Gentoo, Adelies, and chinstraps, as well as seabirds from albatross to skuas. Prepare to be dazzled - Antarctica gets under your skin unlike any other place on earth!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 : Ushuaia | Embark
Days 3-4 : At Sea - Towards Antarctica
Days 5-8 : South Shetland Islands | Antarctica
Day 9 : South Shetland Islands
Days 10-11 : Drake Passage
Day 12 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

Highlights

  • Learn about Antarctic wildlife and history from your expert guides
  • Observe breeding colonies of chinstrap penguins
  • Search for humpback, orca, and minke whales
  • Take frequent trips ashore to explore the polar landscape on foot

Ship

RCGS Resolute

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Penguins in Antarctica A group of travellers sail around a penguin colony off the shores of Antarctica Blue ice of Antarctica Fur seal paradise in Antarctica Polar research station

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina

Your journey to Antarctica commences in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. Upon arrival, 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. One of the southernmost cities in the world, windswept Ushuaia is the gateway to Tierra del Fuego National park where hiking enthusiasts and wildlife aficionados will discover the beauty of the area.

Day 2 Ushuaia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Begin your journey with a transfer to the pier to embark our expedition ship. After settling into your cabins and exploring the vessel, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 3-4 At Sea - Towards Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 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. You 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 our 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 our modern research vessel. Throughout the day the onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations you can hope to visit in the coming days. As you approach the coastline of Antarctica, anticipate an increase in whale sightings.

Day 5-8 South Shetland Islands | Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Today you'll awake to the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before you. Even your experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, will 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. You will frequently 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 you are encouraged to choose how your adventure unfolds. Every day an exciting range of activities is planned for you, including guided hikes on shore (both short and long), 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 explore several miles from the ship experiencing Antarctica from an entirely different perspective. The resident photography guide will be 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 Mikkelsen 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 playful humpback whales are frequently found. 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.

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 9 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 will sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around 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 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 on a sunny day is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the South Shetlands 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. Hannah Point, with its elephant seal colony and nesting Antarctic petrels - is another possibility. In the evening, navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage.

Day 10-11 Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
As you make your way back to South America, the educational presentations continue, 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, you can hope to 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 the early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 12 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

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

RCGS Resolute

Ushuaia - Hotels

Per person starting at
$11,795
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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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 at a hotel in Ushuaia the night before the voyage commences.
  • Transfer from the hotel to the port on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or a downtown location on disembarkation day
  • 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 Adventure Concierge 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:
  • 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 (i.e. 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 $15-20 per person per day)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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.
Lindsay Gompf

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