Day 1 Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina
In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
Day 2-3 At Sea
- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. When you cross 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.
The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait between Robert Island and Greenwich Island or McFarlane Strait between Greenwich Island and Livingston Island if the conditions are favorable. Then you might be able to enter Antarctic waters in the late evening of the third day and see Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands. If the conditions do not allow for maneuvering through the English Strait, then continue sailing south of Livingston. These volcanic islands or the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins and southern giant petrels.
Day 4-9 Antarctica
- 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
Start your first day in Antarctica with a landing at Hannah Point, and find a nice variety of gentoo penguins, chinstraps and southern giant petrels, as well as elephant seals hauling out on the beach.
At Deception Island, a landing is attempted. Deception itself is a subducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape pigeons and many Dominican gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Further south call at Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island. It contains a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. In Neko Harbor and Paradise Bay, with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent and zodiac cruise between the icebergs in the inner parts of the amazing waterway of Paradise Bay.
Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island, offering Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. Also try to land at Pléneau Island with fair chances to encounter humpback and minke whales. Overnight head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, and cross the Polar Circle in the morning. Aim to make a landing at the abandoned British station on Detaille Island, which is likely to be your furthest south. The landscape is very impressive with very high mountains and huge glaciers.
The expedition may reach the Fish Islands on the way northwards where it encounters one of the southernmost Adélie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing north again through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where you may encounter leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales.