Antarctic whale adventure 2018
Ice Tracks Signature Voyage 25 Feb-8 Mar 2018
Early Bird Booking Discount of USD 1500 per person
when booking before 31 December 2016.
Ice Tracks has developed a special new itinerary for the whale watching season in the South. The Antarctic Ultimate Whale Adventure offers a unique opportunity to join an Antarctic expedition to study the larger baleen whales such as Fin and Blue which are often seen during the crossing of the Drake Passage, as well as the more coastal and friendly Humpback, Minke and Orca whales.
This voyage embarking in Ushuaia will offer a fabulous opportunity to learn how climate change and global warming are affecting whales and other krill predators.
Sailing at the end of the Austral summer will bring us into contact with a vast number of whales that are about to finish their feeding before the onset of winter. With their bellies full of Krill they are friendly and curious of our inflatable rubber dinghies, most often than not providing us with incredible close up encounters.
We will also look at the movement patterns of Humpback whales around the Antarctic Peninsula to understand how they are being affected by changes to their environment. Humpback whales are the most abundant whales around the Peninsula and there is growing evidence that while many migrate to tropical breeding grounds some remain in ice-free areas for longer periods due to warming climates. We will survey well-known whale feeding grounds, in search of these giants.
Participants will learn how to record whale numbers, help to conduct photo surveys, determine movement patterns and identify individual animals. We hope to document behaviour of whales that have previously been fitted with satellite tracking devices.
Whales are coming back and their number are rising. Almost 1.6?million whales were killed in the southern ocean between 1904 and 1986 and much of the whaling took place on and around the island of South Georgia, known as the gateway to Antarctica. Today only the haunting ruins of the whaling stations remain. A reminder of an industry that brought men untold fortunes and many species of whales close to extinction. As we spend time with these goliaths of the sea you cannot help but be overcome with the privilege.
But it is not all about whales – this voyage is also about Antarctica. You can only marvel at the ocean dotted with ghostly, floating tabular icebergs, the remnants of fractured ice shelves. Soaring snow covered mountains corrugated with glaciers that sweep down into the ocean with bays littered with Crabeater, Leopard and Weddell seals resting on ice floes. Head further South and Chinstrap, Adelie and Gentoo penguins corral stones into nests and the albatross continually soar above the ship as if to safe guard its passage.