- Starts at: Ushuaia or Stanley
- Ends at: Ushuaia, Argentina
- Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights
Is your dream to explore Antarctica in true adventurer style – on foot, ski, paddles and camping on ice? Then this is the voyage for you! This very special voyage has been designed for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers, with extended hikes, snowshoeing, enhanced photography excursions, overnight sea kayaking and ski touring (the only voyage to the Antarctic to offer ski touring).
Your expedition ship is used as a mobile basecamp / wilderness lodge so that you can discover the white continent at your own pace during the Antarctic spring – the ideal time for wildlife sightings when Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penguin colonies, whales, seals and sea birds return to the Antarctic Peninsula’s plentiful feeding grounds.
You will board the expedition ship in Ushuaia – the world’s southernmost city at the tip of Argentina, or Port Stanley, setting sail in the early evening to begin the voyage charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
The great pelagic seabirds are constant companions as we cross the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will show you the best techniques. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of informative and entertaining presentations.
You will awaken today to a view of the magnificent snowy peaks of Antarctica laid out before you. Over the next week, your itinerary is intentionally flexible to account for early season ice conditions and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions. Our planned exploration starts in vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighboring Cierva Cove – both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica.
Our days are spent exploring on and off the ship in the company of our expert guides. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, and exploration of historic huts and science stations. Zodiac cruising in the ice is always a thrill. Based on site conditions, the ski touring group may set off to explore the pristine terrain with our experienced mountaineering guides. The expedition snow-shoe group may follow in the tracks of the skiers, climbing to high points which afford breathtaking views. The sea kayakers will head out on excursions which may last all day. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to spend an entire day with our expedition photographer on an all-day field workshop. Everyone aboard will have an opportunity to camp onshore for the night in Antarctica if the weather co-operates. In the comfort and safety of our expedition ship, we range as far south as ice conditions permit; hopefully we are able to navigate to Neko Harbour and into the Errera Channel. Witnessing the migration of the penguins early in the season, as they busily re-establish their rookeries and prepare nests, is a fascinating experience. Cuverville Island is always a highlight and is home to one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies on this stretch of coastline. The adventure is not over and we plan an additional day of exploration in the South Shetland Islands. In the evening, we navigate into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.
As we make our way back to Ushuaia we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.
...with a whale expert! Outings onboard zodiacs, or from the bow of the ship: here is the chance to see these majestic giants up close and personal as they float asleep like semi-submerged submarines, fluke, 'spy hop', breach, hunt and feed.
Snow-shoeing is the perfect ‘mean of transport’ over snow and ice. Our top notch guides will lead you across the snow pack where you will be able to experience the essence of polar explorers’ foray into the unknown. This activity is offered during the early season when snow and ice are accessible from our landing sites.
The early Antarctic season offers a fabulous opportunity for those looking to ski up to the most breath-taking scenaries in the world. With our highly experienced certified guides you will be taken into the pristine wilderness of the White Continent which very few have access to.
There will be numerous opportunities to photograph and capture truly wonderful moments. From multimedia presentations to group workshops on the outer decks or in a Zodiac, our on board photographer will offer advice and instruction.
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 adventure activities with extra cost).
- 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.
- Adventure Options with extra cost
- 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