Join this adventurous 12-day expedition cruise, where the ship becomes your base camp for invigorating activities including snowshoeing, mountaineering, kayaking, camping, and exploring in zodiac dinghies. Experience Antarctica's other-wordly landscapes and distinctive wildlife up close and learn how to better capture these magical moments on film with a complimentary photography workshop. Visits to mainland Antarctica and the islands along the peninsula offer numerous opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime adventure and exploration.
Cross the infamous Drake Passage and observe a multitude of seabird species
Enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, excursions in zodiacs, and camping
Camp ashore on the White Continent in Paradise Bay
Spot humpback and minke whales, seals, penguins and various seabirds
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 and begin your upcoming Antarctic adventure.
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 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, spot your first icebergs of the voyage.
Sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. Sail to the Neumayer Channel, where your captain positions your polar expedition ship for the multi-activity base camp. The protected waters around Wiencke Island become your playground for all activities. In this alpine environment there are great opportunities to scout the region on foot, per zodiac and during kayak trips. Walkers find opportunities to use snowshoes on hikes near the shore lines and the mountaineers find their challenge by climbing hills and view points further inland, i.e. Jabet Peak (540 m). All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions.
Plan to stay two overnights at anchor in order to implement two camp nights and two full activity days. Visit the British research station and the post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, embark on a landing on Jougla Point with gentoo penguins and imperial shags. Your polar exploration continues as you sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Booth Island, Pleneau, and Petermann Island where you can find Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter humpback whales, minke whales, and fin whales.
The second Basecamp night is near the Continent where your crew chooses a camp site which is suitable and close to next day’s activity. The mountaineers hope to reach the summit of Mt. Demaria (640 m) at Waddington Bay. A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica gives you insight to the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south you may have time to visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where you receive a warm welcome from the station crew.
In the afternoon at Neko Harbour you have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in the magnificent landscape of a huge glacier. Enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises, hikes, and kayak excursions. A small group of mountaineers may climb up on higher grounds of the glacier. Spend the night at Neko or near Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore. Leave Neko Harbour in the early morning after breaking the last camp. Sail via Melchior Islands towards the open sea of the Drake Passage.
1 suite with 2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, ample storage space.
A Basecamp itinerary to the Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated above. 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 will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
- Voyage aboard the designated 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 aboard the Ortelius
- 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 program
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- During your “Basecamp” departures, all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshop) as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge.
- Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangements
- Transfers to the vessel in Ushuaia
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- 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)
It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed $120 USD per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure the Ortelius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of $25 USD 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!