Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 8 full days in Antarctica = 16 planned ‘off ship’ excursions
- This sturdy ship is renowned for its stability and allows everyone ashore together
- Complimentary camping (with no limit on numbers), photo workshops & yoga. Kayaking (extra cost)
- We like this voyage as it offers the loan of a parka jacket, boots + trousers (the only one to include all three)
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point, 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, who we come to know well on this journey. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions. 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 aim to visit in the coming days.
Days 4-7: Antarctic Circle and lower Antarctic Peninsula
Seeing the continent for the first time will take your breath away. Given favorable ice conditions, our first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Crystal Sound. A favored landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut. "Base W" was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place, providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic visitors. Further exploration this far south is highly dependent on optimal weather and ice conditions. If conditions allow, we may push even further to the south.
This vicinity marks our turnaround point and from now on, we cruise in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several locations in the Fish and Argentine Island archipelagos which allow for zodiac cruising and potential shore landings. We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn of the important climate-related research happening here. A hike over the snowy saddle of nearby Winter Island allows us to stretch our legs and explore the old British Antarctic Survey hut. Petermann Island is home to a sizable Adelie penguin rookery. Adelies - the smallest of the Antarctic penguins nest here and share the location with Gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants. The view to the north of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just off shore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massive icebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you could ever imagine. For many, a zodiac cruise here will be a highlight of the voyage.
Day 8-10: Gerlache Strait and Antarctic Peninsula exploration
We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica itself. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Both locations offer terrific hiking opportunities up to panoramic viewpoints. For the sea kayakers, the paddling opportunities here are endless. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. The good news is, our adventure is not over and we still have several days of exciting exploration ahead.
Orne Harbour is another celebrated location we hope to visit and the hike up to a rocky knoll provides excellent access to a chinstrap penguin rookery. At Cuverville Island, there is a large Gentoo penguin colony which we observe at close quarters. Leopard seals are often sighted cruising the shallows along the landing site. For the kayakers, a full circumnavigation of the island is a real thrill. It is in this vicinity we hope to spend a night ashore camping for those interested if weather conditions permit. We have all the gear and an expert team of guides to make this unique experience happen.
We are now at our most northern point on the Peninsula. Visits to Mikkelson Harbour and nearby Cierva Cove round out what has been a comprehensive exploration of the Gerlache coastline. Tonight, leaving the continent in the soft twilight, we reflect on an incredible week of exploration.
Day 11: South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
Having crossed the Bransfield Straight overnight, we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if conditions allow, we aim to sail the ship into the sunken volcanic caldera at Deception Island or visit nearby Half Moon Island, home to a sizeable colony of rowdy chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. The MacFarlane Strait is a good place to spot Humpback whales. In the early evening, we push into the Drake Passage and chart a course back to South America.
Day 12-13: Drake Passage - return to South America
As we make our way back to South America, 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 14: 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.
- The 08-Jan-2019 departure voyage is 14 days long. It starts in Punta Arenas (Chile) and flies to King George Island, South Shetlands. The voyage ends in Ushuaia (Argentina) after sailing through the Drake Passage.
- The 17-Jan-2019 departure is 14 days long and sails to and from Ushuaia.
- The 19-Feb-2019 departure is 13 days long. It starts in Punta Arenas (Chile) and flies to King George Island, South Shetlands. The voyage ends in Ushuaia (Argentina) after sailing through the Drake Passage.
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
- A 4* expedition ship for only 92 guests
- Everyone can go ashore together
- 1A ice class rating + superior stability
- Camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, photo workshops
- Hot tub & sauna
- Boots, jacket & trousers are provided on loan
Built as solid as a tank, you can feel this ship’s superior stability as soon as you embark.
John Newby 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.
Twin Semi Private
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $13695
- The 7-Jan-2020 departure is 12 days long, with 6 full days in Antarctica
- The 14-Feb-2020 departure is 13 days long, with 7 full days in Antarctica. Sailing from Ushuaia to Antarctica, disembarkation is in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands from were there is a charter flight to Santiago de Chile at additional price of US$495 per person.
- The 21-Feb-2020 departure is 14 days long and sails to and from Ushuaia.
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 & meals during the voyage on full board
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Activities including camping, photo workshops & yoga
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Loan of rubber boots, waterproof pants & 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 & download stations
- Any flights to/ from voyage start & end points
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Optional adventure activities (e.g. kayaking)
- 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)