Day 1 Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark
In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located in the shadow of the Andes mountains and right at the shore of the Beagle Channel. Sail through this scenic waterway during the afternoon.
Day 2-3 Drake Passage
- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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.
Day 4-7 Antarctic Peninsula
- 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
A typical itinerary in the South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board.
Sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. Enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. Potential landing sites include:
Cuverville and Danco Island
On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, find a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. On Danco Island observe chinstrap penguins and possibly Weddell and crabeater Seals.
In Neko Harbour take the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level.
With its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, take the opportunity to cruise in a zodiac between icebergs in the inner parts of Paradise Bay. There is a possibility that you may see humpback whales and minke whales.
Pleneau and Petermann Island
Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island, where you can find Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter humpback and minke whales. A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica provides insight about the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south you may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station and receive a warm welcome from the station crew.
After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, visit the British research station and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, enjoy a landing on Jougla Point with gentoo penguins and imperial shags.
Sailing north through Gerlache Strait, arrive at Wilhelmina Bay where you can see feeding Humpback whales. You may embark on a Zodiac cruise if the conditions allow ending at the wreck of Guvernøren an old whaling vessel that burned here in 1915. Around Melchior Islands amidst a beautiful landscape with icebergs, where you may encounter more whales but also Leopard seal and Crabeater seals. This area offers excellent opportunities for kayaking and camping in the pristine Antarctic environment.
Day 8 South Shetland Islands
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape.
As an alternative, you may be able to engage in activities near Half Moon Island. Here chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 9-10 Drake Passage
- 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
In the Drake Passage, have another chance to spot seabirds and take advantage of the knowledgeable lecture team.
Day 11 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark
In the morning, arrive in Ushuaia and disembark. Transfer to the airport for your connecting flight home.