Not only does this 14-day expedition include the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, it also offers the opportunity to venture further south across the Antarctic Circle. As you head towards a milestone few travelers reach, you feel you are in a world without borders, sailing through an endless stretch of sea, snow, and ice.
Spot wildlife and be mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica
Watch penguins waddling on the beach and listen to calving icebergs
Visit historic research stations in the area of Marguerite Bay
Learn about Antarctica’s geology and wildlife from onboard lecturers
Begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small, bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentinean town is an ideal gateway to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy some hand crafted chocolate at a café in town.
The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting is along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.
The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. Gaze out across the sea and get to know your shipmates and Expedition Team as you sail. Time over these two days are spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. Learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.
Day 5-7: The Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands
With the Drake Passage left in your wake, make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready as the continent’s coastline makes its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. See plentiful icebergs floating by and admire the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.
As exciting as it can be from on-board, true explorations occur when disembarking and setting foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor, or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites are visited, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.
Spend your days spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33’ S. Celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!
Make a toast and take pride in knowing you have made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people.
By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins is matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and pancake ice seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions continue to fill your days, while the Expedition Team helps to fill any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.
Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away. Excited conversations with your new-found friends make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve visited over the course of your voyage.
Day 14: Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark
Say goodbye to your Expedition Team and your fellow travelers. Disembark in the morning so that you may catch your homeward bound flights.
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.