Henry Worsley’s Final Voyage South
Ushuaia to Ushuaia
30 November – 18 December
19 days /18 nights
Henry Worsley returns to Grytviken on the glorious island of South Georgia. Ice Tracks is honoured to be taking the ashes of a great polar man who tragically lost his life traversing Antarctica, to be laid to rest in Grytviken.
Here amongst sailors and whalers, lies Henry’s hero, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his right hand man, Frank Wild, whose remains we returned five years ago to be buried alongside his beloved ‘Boss’.
The South Georgia government have made a special case by generously consenting to this venture and agreeing to the setting up of a plaque in the Whaler’s church to commemorate a much loved man who strode in the footsteps of Scott, Amundsen and Shackleton.
We plan to celebrate Henry’s life on this special commemorative voyage that will include a church service in the Whaler’s church before we head South and share with you the Antarctica he so loved.
“ bathed in glorious sunshine and reflecting in its deeps the high peaks around, whilst the sea birds, “souls of old mariners,” circle in sweeping flights above its surface and fill the air with the melancholy of their cries. An ideal resting place this for the great explorer who felt, more than most men, the glamour of such surrrondings”. Frank Wild writing about Shackleton’s final resting place.
Day 1 – Ushuaia
Today is the first day of our adventure. As we board the Akademik Ioffe in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city near the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with ‘our home’ for the next 18 days we cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead of us. In the early evening, we set sail and begin our voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
Days 2-3 – Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as we make our way ever closer to the white continent. Eventually, we will cross the Antarctic Convergence where we will notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, we will witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species some of which are known on occasion to breach from the sea.
Day 2 – At sea
Our guests have the chance to spend plenty of time with our onboard polar experts. They will be educating us as we go on the wonders of Antarctica. Sailing northeast, we will likely be joined by swooping seabirds including the wandering albatross, who we will come to know well on this journey.
Days 3-4 – Falkland Islands
Our plan will be to explore the islands of the West Falkland Archipelago, home to a profusion of seabirds and migratory birds including the black-browed albatross. On Carcass Island, we will observe nesting Magellanic penguins along with oystercatchers, geese and the flightless steamer duck who is a permanent Falkland resident. The next day we will make a stop in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands.
Days 5-6 – At sea
Now we sail southeast bound for the island of South Georgia. These days at sea are never dull. Much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals as well as seabirds. The anticipation grows particularly as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and notice a dramatic drop in temperature.
Day 7-9 – South Georgia
Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on the island of South Georgia – the gateway to Antarctica. Cruising the protected waters of the eastern coast we plan to make landfall and experience penguin colonies that simply take your breath away. The ghosts of Grytviken whaling station (Greet-vik-in) will welcome us as we spend much of the day steeped in the history of this once crucial stop-over for past explorers. The Norwegian Whaler’s church, that held Shackleton’s funeral neary 100 years ago will again uphold the service for the passing of another great polar explorer, Henry Worsley. We shall proceed to the cemetery that overlooks Cumberland Bay to lay Henry’s ashes and where we will pay our respects to Shackleton and his right hand man Frank Wild. Never will there be a toast of such great importance as we drink to all these extraordinary men who have enriched the annals of Polar history.
Days 10-12 – Sea and South Orkneys
As we cross the Scotia Sea, sailing ever closer to Antarctica, we hope to visit the South Orkney Islands. Linked to the Antarctic Peninsula by an enormous sub-marine mountain range these islands, often shrouded in mist, are protected by large icebergs and sea ice.If we are lucky, there will be an excursion to Coronation Island to observe penguins nesting in moss beds alongside graceful snow petrels. We may also stop at the remote island of Laurie and visit the Argentinean meteorological station located there.
Days 13-16 – South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Mainland
Elephant Island, en route to the South Shetland Islands, will be our next destination if conditions are suitable. Next, we will cross among the South Shetland Islands just off the Antarctic Peninsula. Weather permitting, we will visit the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island, the perfect museum of natural and exploration history. Finally, after so much anticipation, we will arrive at the Antarctic mainland in Paradise Harbour or Hope Bay. The scenery here from the colossal icebergs to the seemingly endless Antarctic ice sheet is truly breathtaking.
Days 17-18 – Drake Passage
As we leave this magical place and make our way back, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, we have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition at a special dinner.
Day 19 – Ushuaia
In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. 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.
We are very proud to offer one of the best sea kayaking programs ever!!! Whether you are an experienced kayaker or you want to try it for the first time, this activity will allow you to enjoy another side of this magnificent destination.
Price per person: U$S 795
Read more about Sea Kayaking in the Polar Regions
In the Polar Regions the sun shines 24/7 allowing krill and other crustaceans to grow in abundance. Whales take full advantage of this feast before the “big freeze” forces them to head to the Tropics. Humpbacks float along our zodiacs, Orcas set the heart racing and the curious minke whales never fail to delight. And ‘don’t rule out seeing Blue whales or the less common beaked whales!
Read more about Whale watching
Throughout our voyage, there will be numerous opportunities to photograph and capture truly wonderful moments, fluting whales, diving penguins, soaring albatross and rather rotund beached seals to name a few! From multimedia presentations to group workshops on the outer decks or in a Zodiac, our on board photographer will offer advice and instruction. He/she will be available to work with you and encourage you to look at scenes or events in a different way in order to capture them as best as possible.
Read more about Photography in the Polar Regions
Included in the price of this voyage:
– Itinerary/pre-departure information
– Transfers from the meeting point to the ship
– Transfer from ship to airport or central location at disembarkation
– Extensive program of relevant educational presentations
– Advice from experienced team of naturalists and resident photographer
– All Zodiac excursions and landings
– Welcome Cocktail and Farewell Dinner hosted by our Captain
– All meals during the voyage prepared by onboard professional chefs. Afternoon tea with fresh snacks each afternoon. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate throughout the day (24/7)
– Onboard medical officer
– All activities offered on board (except kayaking).
– Use of multimedia station to download and process your photos.
-All port fees
Not included in the price of this voyage:
– International and Domestic airfares
– Visa and passport fees, airport departure taxes
– Pre-cruise or post-cruise hotel accommodation, meals, transfers in arrival/departure cities (unless otherwise stated in your invoice)
– Personal laundry and personal expenses (Postage, telephone, internet, bar bill, medical expenses)
– Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
– Trip interruption / cancellation insurance (optional)
– Gratuities to staff and crew
Should you wish to simplify packing, we are proud to offer a full complement of outdoor expedition gear for you on board:
Free of charge foul weather gear package including jacket, bib pants and wellington boots. The package also includes roll-top waterproof knapsacks, Bushnell® or Nikon binoculars and walking poles to use during the voyage.
We have a Wellness program on the ships which includes a gym, sauna, hot tub, massage room and plunge pool for icy dips if you so wish! Early morning stretching and yoga sessions followed by healthy breakfast are a great way to start your expedition day.
Proof of our Polar Commitment
When traveling with Ice Tracks Expeditions, you will discover how much we care about the places and people we visit. We demonstrate this by finding ways to give back as well as taking away so many incredible memories.
Read more about our Giving Back Program.