The great star-actors of Antarctica are the penguins, and in total seven species could appear before your very own eyes on this special 11-day Antarctic cruise. This classic cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula is a wonderful way to maximize your polar voyage experience while observing wildlife in its natural habitat. Expert naturalist guides onboard share their knowledge of the varied wildlife and the history of the region. They are valuable resources for spotting wildlife from the ship and on zodiac excursions.
Day 1 : Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina | Embark Days 2-3 : Drake Passage Days 4-8 : Antarctic Peninsula Days 9-10 : Drake Passage Day 11 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark
Cross the infamous Drake Passage to the Antarctic Peninsula
Find up to seven species of penguin including gentoo and Adélie
Watch for humpback, minke, and fin whales in the Lemaire Channel
Set foot on the Antarctic Continent in the beautiful Neko Harbor
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.
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.
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.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
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4 quadruple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins). Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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2 triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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23 twin cabins with portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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10 twin cabins with windows, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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6 superior cabins with double beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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1 suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Ortelius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
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
- Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangements
- Transfers to the vessel in Ushuaia and Ascension and from the vessel in Ascension and Praia
- 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.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!