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Brilliant blue icebergs in Antarctic waters

Antarctica - Polar Circle - Deep South Voyage

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard MV Plancius
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This Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety of wildlife. Come say hello to whales, seals, and thousands of penguins.
Gentoo penguinAlbatross cruising the Drake Passage to AntarcticaThe End of the WorldEmperor & Adelie PenguinsBrilliant blue icebergs in Antarctic waters
Highlights
  • Sail across the Drake Passage - enjoy bird watching and spotting icebergs
  • Set foot on the Antarctic Continent among a magnificent landscape of glaciers
  • Zodiac cruise by alpine peaks and a myriad of icebergs
  • Voyage polar waters in search of massive and elusive whales
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia | Embark

Your 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, you 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. 

Day 2-3: Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. 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 are a few of the birds you might see.

Day 4-5: Entering Antarctica

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Gray stone 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. 
 
The intended route for you Antarctic adventure includes: 
 
Cuverville Island – A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. 
 
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 could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters before sailing to the Lemaire Channel. 

Day 6-8: Antarctic Circle

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
After a comfortable night of sailing, you wake among the many islands south of Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle. At this point, a voyage through the aptly named Gullet – a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Continent is possible if the ice isn’t too dense. You can explore this area from the prow of the ship getting the closest possible contact with the polar terrain as you venture southward.
Along the way, you may enjoy the following visits:
 
Pourquoi Pas Island – You might circumnavigate this island, named after the ship of the famous French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty, glacier-crowded mountains. 
 
Horseshoe Island – This is the location of the former British Base Y, a remnant of the 1950s that is now unmanned though still equipped with almost all the technology it had while in service. 
 
Stonington Island – Home to the former US East Base and British Base E, which was occupied until 1975, this island marks the southernmost landing site of the trip – 68° south. If a landing here is possible, your road turns north again afterward, through the Gunnel Channel.
 
Hanusse Bay – Enjoy the scattered icebergs of this scenic bay, which offers a good chance of spotting whales.

Day 9-11: Crystal Sound

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Near the Antarctic Circle, cutting north through the countless ice floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are likely and the approach to the Fish Islands offers the possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing. Whatever the case, the views are beyond comparison in this area. There may also be more Adélie penguins congregating among the bergs nearby. Petermann & Pléneau Islands provide a great variety of birdlife, along with possibilities for Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are highly popular among leopard and crabeater seals. Minke whales, humpbacks and gentoo penguins can also be found here. 
 
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 12-13: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, be again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south.

Day 14: Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the morning, arrive in Ushuaia and disembark. 

Ship/Hotel

MV Plancius

MV Plancius
MV Plancius
MV Plancius

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$7,550
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
  • 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and 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
     
  • Snowshoes Available on Loan for Shore Excursions on Designated Voyages
  •  Luggage Transfer from Pick-up Point to the Vessel on the Day of Embarkation in Ushuaia
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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