Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 7 full days in Antarctica = 14 planned ‘off ship’ excursions
- Enhanced program of off-ship activities, including overnight sea kayaking
- With small groups, a large staff and a heated mudroom, this expedition ship is ideal
- Complimentary hiking, snowshoeing, camping, photography workshops, yoga. Kayaking and skiing at additional charge
- Includes the loan of a parka jacket, boots, waterproof trousers, backpack and binoculars
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2-3: Drake Passage - At Sea towards Antarctica
Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering Albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we transit the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will show you the best techniques. Join the ship's Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day, our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.
Days 4-5: South Shetland Islands and Northern Peninsula, Antarctica
We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of the South Shetland Islands are laid out before us. Depending on ice and weather conditions, we plan on entering the McFarlane Strait, which separates Greenwich and Livingstone Islands. Half Moon Island or nearby Yankee Harbor are possible landing sites. A short way to the south-west lies Deception Island: a flooded volcanic caldera. Navigating the ship into the narrow passage takes great skill. The old whaling station here begs exploration and there are some fantastic hikes available along the black sand beach to investigate the old aircraft hangar and other relics. A hike of several kilometers up to a high-point known as Neptune's Window is another option.
Overnight we cross the Bransfield Strait and are now along the coastline of continental Antarctica. Over the next four days, our itinerary is deliberately flexible to account for early season ice conditions and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions at several of our favorite landing sites. Our planned exploration starts in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighboring Cierva Cove: both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica.
Days 6-9: Gerlache Strait Region, Antarctica
Heading south along the coastline of the continent, our busy program of activities will now be in full swing. Our days are spent exploring on and off the ship. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is always a memorable activity.
Based on site characteristics, the ski touring group may set off to explore the pristine terrain and range several kilometers inland with our experienced mountaineering guides. What a unique thrill it is to carve "fresh tracks" in the virgin snow of Antarctica. The expedition's snowshoe group may follow in the tracks of the skiers, climbing to high points which afford breathtaking views. If you are not up to the more strenuous snowshoeing program, you will be able to try this unique activity at many of our landing sites.
Our expedition sea kayakers will head out on excursions which may last all day. An overnight kayak/camping excursion is available to the more adventurous in the group. Everyone aboard will have an opportunity to camp on shore for the night in Antarctica if the weather conditions co-operate. We have all the gear to keep you warm, dry and as comfortable as possible. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to spend an entire day with our expedition photographer, on an all-day field workshop.
We range as far south as ice conditions permit and hope to navigate as far as Neko Harbour and into the Errera Channel. Witnessing the migration of the penguins early in the season, as they busily re-establish their rookeries and prepare nests is a fascinating experience.
Day 10: South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
The adventure is not over and we plan an additional day of exploration in the South Shetlands. Prevailing weather conditions will dictate our landing locations. Aitcho Island is another possibility and is a great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. King George Island also has a number of interesting landing sites. In the evening, we navigate into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.
Days 11-12: Drake Passage - return to South America
As we make our way back to Ushuaia, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and backup your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It's a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 13: Ushuaia, Argentina
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise, enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.
NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.
About The Ship
Built in Finland in 1993, few expedition ships are capable of delivering such a well-appointed, comfortable Antarctic experience on board such a safe and ice strengthened vessel. Spacious cabins, modern stabilising and an outstanding expedition staff all help to enhance the adventure.
What really attracts me to this outstanding ship is her large cabins, fast speed and high ice class rating. Few expedition ships can touch her.
Alex Mudd Polar Specialist
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $11295
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.5 to 2 times the cost of a single berth, please contact us for details. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin.
Children are welcome. 25% discount young traveller discount up to 17 years and 20% off for those aged 18 - 21. Please contact us for details
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation and meals during the voyage on full board
- Access to wellness area (Finnish sauna, plunge pool filled with sea water, hot tub)
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Activities including camping, snowshoeing and trekking
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Loan of rubber boots, waterproof pants and parka jacket
- Loan of rucksack and binoculars
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to landing sites
- Free access to multimedia room and download stations
- Optional adventure activities (e.g. kayaking and skiing)
- Any flights to/ from voyage start and end points
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature - laundry, beverages, etc
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)