Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 6 full days in Antarctica = 12 planned ‘off ship’ excursions
- With only 88 passengers onboard everyone can go ashore together
- No adventure activities are offered on this trip
- Consecutively high customer reviews for the ship’s Latino staff
- One departure only in February when conditions are most favourable
Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia
Embark your ship in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
Day 2-3: At sea towards Antarctica
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.
The vessel's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.
The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage, our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.
Days 4-9: Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands and Polar Circle
Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula's remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adelie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other sea birds you are likely to encounter Weddell, Crabeater, Fur and Leopard seals as well as Minke and Orca whales at close range. At this time of year, it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.
As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faraday, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.
On our way North, we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent-shaped Half Moon Island, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.
Days 10-11: At sea towards Ushuaia
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.
Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia
We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark after breakfast.
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.
What our customers think
The trip was even better than expected. The highlight was crossing the polar circle and seeing icebergs the size of skyscrapers - who knew ice could be so incredible!?
Linda, Illinois February 2017
About The Ship
- A 3-4* expedition ship carrying 88 guests
- Well priced with wide cabin choice
- Friendly, experienced mainly Latino staff
- 1C ice class rating
- Only zodiac landings & excursions
- Rubber boots are provided on loan
I appreciated the expedition team who were hugely knowledgeable and great company.
Luke Errington Founder, Swoop Antarctica
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.
Standard Plus Triple
Standard Plus Twin
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $7640
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. A child under 16 years old accompanied by 2 adults travels free of charge in a Triple Superior or Triple Suite cabin. Please contact us for details.
- Detailed post-expedition log
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation & meals during the voyage on full board
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
- Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes & any entry fees to landing sites
- Parka jacket not provided
- Flights to & from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- 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)