Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 7 full days in Antarctica = 14 planned ‘off ship’ excursions
- Flights save time and avoid you sailing the Drake Passage twice
- An outstanding feature of this ship is its stability & high passenger to staff ratio
- Complimentary camping, hiking & photo workshops. Kayaking (additional 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: Punta Arenas, Chile to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
Our journey commences this morning in the southern Chilean city of Punta Arenas. We meet at a central location before transferring to the airport for our scheduled flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. (This flight is included in the price of your voyage). After a short 90-minute journey we are met on arrival and transferred to the pier.
Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal Britain. It is charming with brightly coloured houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. The waterfront memorial, built to commemorate the lives of the servicemen lost during the Falklands War in the early 1980's, is a sobering reminder of recent history. There is time to explore the town before we make our way to the ship for embarkation. 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, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Days 2-3: At Sea towards Antarctica
We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its biodiversity and showcases an abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as make our way south. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to 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, the wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.
If we enjoy good sailing conditions crossing to Antarctica, we may include a visit to the very historic location of Elephant Island a place central to the Shackleton story. It is from here that Shackleton and four of his companions set off on their epic ocean crossing to South Georgia 100 years ago. Shore landings at Point Wild are notoriously tricky due to surging swell onto the rocky beach. Nevertheless this a thrilling place to visit.
Days 4-5: King George Island and Antarctic Peninsula
This morning we are in position at King George Island - the largest in the South Shetlands group. There are two landing sites here and a visit depends on the prevailing weather conditions. Penguin Island and nearby Turret Point offer good opportunities for shore landings to view Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins. Southern giant petrels, kelp gulls and Antarctic terns are also known to nest here. This afternoon we continue our journey south, navigating into the broad expanse of the Bransfield Straight making our way ever closer to the Antarctic coastline. This is an important migration corridor for wildlife and we keep a lookout for whales in the waters surrounding the ship. Large icebergs will be present from this point onwards and make for striking photographs in the evening light. By morning, the towering mountain peaks of the Antarctic continent loom into view and we should make landfall around Wilhelmina Bay. This is truly an A-list location and a place we often encounter sizeable pods of Humpback whales. We navigate under the towering cliffs of Spigot Peak and into the Errera Channel hoping for a shore landing at Cuverville Island, home to a rookery of Gentoo penguins. It's a fantastic location for a zodiac cruise or a paddle in the sea kayaks.
Days 6-8: Towards the Antarctic Circle and Gerlache Coastline
We encourage you to spend time on the outer decks soaking up the scenery as we navigate south. We pass through the ice-strewn waters making our way towards out ultimate objective, the Antarctic Circle. Given favourable ice conditions, our first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Crystal Sound. A favoured landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut from the 1950s.
This vicinity marks our turnaround point and from now on, we return in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn something 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 a historic British Antarctic Survey hut. If the conditions are right, we aim to offer our overnight camping program to all adventurers somewhere in this vicinity. We have all the gear onboard and an experienced team to make this a night to remember!
Petermann Island is home to an 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 nearby Lemaire Channel. Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just off shore, massive icebergs run around in the shallows. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you can possibly imagine. For many, a zodiac cruise here may well be a highlight of the voyage.
Days 9-10: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
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.
By morning ,we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike here, high up onto the rim of the crater.
On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we sometimes encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is another great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. It's a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Charting a course for King George Island in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 11: King George Island - return to Punta Arenas, Chile
This morning we are anchored off King George Island. We say goodbye to our crew and transfer ashore by zodiac and time permitting, we will explore the surrounding area. There are several important science bases here including Chile's Frei Station and Bellingshausen Station. We are transferred to the airstrip for the two-hour flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile (this flight is included in the price of your voyage). We recommend you spend a night in Punta Arenas in the event of any delays returning from Antarctica today. On arrival, a transfer is provided to several hotel locations downtown. Punta Arenas is an interesting city and also the gateway to the magnificent region of Patagonia.
- All departures include a complimentary hotel night in Punta Arenas (Chile) on Day 11. Dinner on that day is at your leisure. Breakfast and hotel tranfers are included on Day 12.
NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Furthermore, it's important to understand that the charter flight(s) to/ from Antarctica are particularly prone to weather, which requires a flexible flight schedule.
What our customers think
Thank you, thank you, thank you! We had a fabulous time on our cruise. Our expectations were high and they were exceeded by a million percent!
Karen, Pennsylvania February 2017
Beyond my expectations and absolutely breathtaking! I met the most incredible people from my neighbors on the 4th floor to some of the staff members. Seeing the humpback whale cross in front of our zodiac was awesome!!!
Lora & Mitchell, Texas January 2018
Loved the whole experience very impressive. For me the highlight was crossing the Antarctic circle. Unbelievable landscapes and wildlife. Love the perfect organization of the excursions and the zodiac rides. Overall a very good experience.
Tony & Penny, Mississippi January 2018
It was an incredible experience. The icebergs, wildlife and landscapes were hard to all take in.
Al & Natalia, Florida January 2018
Highlights - way too many. Cruising through the ice to the Antarctic Circle in glorious sunshine, Kayaking with humpback whales. Watching a kamikaze penguin come face to face with a leopard seal. Feeling so small, insignificant and wanting to desperately protect the fragility of this amazing continent.
Sam, Hugh & Sofie, UK December 2017
The highlights were all the penguin chicks at Petermann island and going through the Lemaire channel. The wildlife was amazing, especially the penguins and crab eater seals.
Nicole, Illinois January 2017
The ship was much more comfortable than we expected and we enjoyed the informality and friendliness of everyone onboard - perfect choice for us. We are recommending this voyage to all our adventurous friends...
Isobel, UK February 2017
About The Ship
- A 4* expedition ship for only 96 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
Watching this ship from the bridge cut through rough seas really demonstrated her superior strength.
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.
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $17195
All departures include a complimentary hotel night in Punta Arenas (Chile) on Day 11. Dinner is at your leisure on that day. Breakfast and airport transfers are included on Day 12.
Please note that the 7 December and 28 December 2019 departures are from Usuhaia
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.
Optional Adventure Activities
Enhance your trip with the following add ons. Limited places per activity.
Get in contact to check availability.
- Flights P. Arenas/Falklands & Antarctica/P. Arenas
- 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)