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Penguin and landscape

Antarctica - Weddell Sea Explorer

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard MV Plancius
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Take part on this unique 12-day expedition cruise aboard the Plancius where your ship becomes your floating hotel for Antarctic adventures. These voyage include shore based walking expeditions, polar diving, zodiac excursions, wildlife viewing, and much more. Depending on the ice conditions, this cruise takes you into the Weddell Sea to explore James Clark Ross Island and Devil Island, both rarely visited sites in the Antarctic. Also discover the volcanic islands of the South Shetlands where there is a wide variety of flora and fauna including penguins, seals and more. 
Stunning views from your zodiac cruiseElephant seal close upBlue ice of AntarcticaAlbatross cruising the Drake Passage to AntarcticaPenguin and landscape
Highlights
  • Discover rarely visited islands in the Weddell Sea
  • Zodiac cruise past giant icebergs and along icy coastlines
  • Observe a myriad of seabirds on Deception Island and in the Drake Crossing
  • Explore the geology, flora, and fauna of the South Shetland Islands
Activity Level: Moderate
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia | Embark

In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. Sail through this scenic waterway of the Beagle Channel during the evening.

Day 2-3: Across the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 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, where you may meet many species of seabirds including the wandering albatross, grey-headed albatross, black-browed albatross, light-mantled sooty albatross, Cape pigeon, southern fulmar, Wilson's storm petrel, blue petrel and Antarctic petrel. Near the South Shetland Islands, spot your first icebergs.

Day 4: Brown Bluff

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we hope to land at Brown Bluff with its impressive scenery and nesting Adelie penguins. In the afternoon, we head across the Antarctic Sound to Kinnes Cove for a landing, where you can see the nearby Madder Cliffs with their subtle red coloration as well as nearby gentoo penguins.

Day 5: Antarctic Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we explore the southern end of the Antarctic Sound, including the islands of Jonassen, Andersson, and Rosamel, depending on conditions. In the afternoon, we head to Paulet Island, where a historic hut remains from the 1903 Swedish Antarctic Expedition of Otto Nordenskiöld. This hut enabled the team, whose ship had been crushed in sea ice, to survive until they were rescued.

Day 6: Devil Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The aim is to spend the day on and around Devil Island, an impressive landing site that gives us the chance to ascend the summit and take in breathtaking views of Erebus and Terror Gulf, as well as our ship anchored in the bay below.

Day 7: James Ross Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you can explore the area of Herbert Sound, named after the great explorer Sir Wally Herbert. We will focus our attention on the area of the Naze Peninsula and Comb Ridge on James Ross Island.

Day 8: Exploring remote islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We sail as close as the ice allows to the northwest area of Erebus and Terror Gulf, where the Beak and Eagle islands await us. As with other islands in this group, they are volcanic in origin. Beak island has two freshwater lakes that are home to unique ecosystems, and Eagle Island offers spectacular scenery. It is most famous for being the hottest place in Antarctica during a heatwave that melted 20% of the island’s snow and ice in 2020.

Day 9: Deception Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The next plan is to visit Deception Island. Actually a subducted crater, this island opens into the sea and creates a natural harbor for the ship. Hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and multiple bird species – cape petrels, kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns – can be seen here. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

Day 10-11: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
On your way north, be again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 12: Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in the morning and disembark in Ushuaia.

Ship/Hotel

MV Plancius

MV Plancius
MV Plancius
MV Plancius

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,400
Quadruple Porthole
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Quadruple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Quadruple Porthole
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Triple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin porthole cabin
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Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin with window
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Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
Twin Deluxe
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Twin Deluxe
2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
Superior
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Superior
10 twin superior cabins. Lower berth - double bed. (ca. 21 m2)
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Comprehensive Pre- and Post-voyage Information Materials
     
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
     
  • Snowshoes Available on Loan for Shore Excursions on Designated Voyages
  •  Luggage Transfer from Pick-up Point to the Vessel on the Day of Embarkation in Ushuaia
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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