The Antarctic is one of the few places in the world that can be categorised as being unique. There does not exist a better assessment if we intend futilely try to describe the white continent. It is one of the few natural places that is extremely inhospitable to human habitation whilst a seeming paradise for certain bird and marine life. In the Antarctic, nature dominates the time and space; it imposes on the landscapes a beauty that escapes conventional classification. It is not enough to take hundreds of photos and record hours of videos. It is not possible to trap the silence of this area where the land still shows its primitive form, nearly unaltered. It is difficult to compare and attach descriptions, Antarctic is an experience that has to be seen and felt at first hand and this expedition is close to being the best way that you can live it to the full.
It is the ideal expedition to get to know the most attractive places of the South Shetland Isles and the Antarctic Peninsula, the richest biological region of the white continent. This option allows the observation of the wildlife that has developed in the polar environment, today it is desolate and arid but in prehistoric times it possessed a profuse flora and fauna. During all the itinerary there follows extraordinary landscapes of snow and ice covered mountains and hundreds of glaciers and imposing icebergs that slide slowly through the cold waters of the summer Antarctic, and when the sun does not fall from the horizon, forming the polar night and day. Not one land animal lives in the cold continent; without doubt the diverse wildlife that exists has been developed by the oceans and seas that surround it. Many different species of birds such as seagulls, petrels, cormorants and albatross share their habitats with mammals such as seals, sea lions, whales and orcas.
12 days - 11 nights
Day 1 - Setting sail from the Port of Ushuaia, in the Grand Island of Tierra del Fuego
Ushuaia is the most southern city of the world and the capital of the Argentinean Province of Tierra del Fuego, which is the point of departure of our expedition. In the International Port the M/V Polar Pioneer and all of its crew wait to give a warm welcome to the passengers. Once your cabin has been assigned, from which you can see the immense sea, the check-in takes place. The expedition to the most hidden place on the planet commences with the boat placidly navigating down the Beagle Canal.
Day 2 to 3 - Navigating along the indomitable Drake Passage
Leaving behind the Beagle Canal, the boat enters the famous Drake Passage. This passage was discovered by the captain Sir Francis Drake, in the 16th century, and extends from the Ushuaia Coasts to the Antarctic Peninsula, a distance of 500 nautical miles (1,000kms), to the Cape Horn. The sea, that can be impetuous and temperamental in this area, is visited by errant black capped albatross, cape petrels and cormorants and other sea birds that can be seen from the decks. When we arrive to the South Shetland Islands we have officially entered to the Antarctic.
The Ship's captain will inform us when we cross the Antarctic convergence, or frontal polar zone of the Antarctic, that is the line bordering the entire Continent. This cruise gives evidence of the sudden change of the surface sea temperature from 2.8°C to 5.5°C that at this level facilitates the development of a rich ecosystem. The South Shetland Islands are in an archipelago in the Antarctic Glacier Ocean and are only 120 kilometres from the Antarctic Peninsula. The explorer William Smith baptised them with this name in 1819, describing them as a barren land, covered in snow and inhabited by seals. Its eleven principal islands are supplemented by other small ones and are conformed in two separate groups. Our first stop is made in the largest island of the archipelago: the Aitcho Island.
Day 4 to 9 - We will enter the Antarctic Peninsula at pure adventure
We will step on firm ground in Antarctica; we will enter the Gerlache Strait. On board of zodiac boats we will begin to explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations, we will pass through icebergs with strange shapes. Those who choose to kayak would do it in isolated bays, on the other hand the climbers will attempt at climb virgin peaks. Hike through the Antarctic territory itself generates us a special feeling. We can spot humpback whales, minke, leopard seals crossing between spectacular icebergs. We will squeeze the most of every minute of the day and night as well.
During these days in Antarctica we can camp, kayak, take many photographs and mountaineering. We provide all the camping equipment that you need, there's no better way to witness the impressive silence and the color range of the Antarctic night sky. Camping is an outdoor optional activity organized on board of our boat. Kayak in the remotest corners of the earth is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul. Led by experienced guides, paddle in small groups allows us the opportunity to paddle among icebergs, brash ice and through icebergs of all shapes and sizes. We can also do photography. Antarctica is a dream for photographers. Either sitting quietly in the middle of a colony of penguins, visiting picturesque historical sites or enjoying the excitement of whales and leopard seals. Finally you can practice climbing. We are leaders in climbing exploration in the Antarctic Peninsula, our guides have forged new paths. We try to make at least two alpine climbs and an ice climbing.
Day 10 to 11 - Returning again to the Drake Passage
The boat points its bow to the north to face again the impetuous waters of the Drake Passage. Meanwhile we leave behind the Antarctic Peninsula and the boat life changes to include conferences and talks that go to enrich what we have seen and learnt on our expedition. Together with the activities programmed by the crew and the delicious food on board, we enjoy the return to Ushuaia.
Day 12 - Puerto Williams and flight to Punta Arenas / Ushuaia
We will wake up in the Beagle Channel finishing our Antarctic expedition in the Chilean city of Puerto Williams. After breakfast we will disembark for a tour on the southernmost city in Chile enjoying the beautiful landscape, and then we will head to the airport for the flight with final destination the city of Punta Arenas. Depending on the departure date some programs starts in Punta Arenas and ends in Ushuaia and vice versa, also some of the trips can start and end in Punta Arenas.
Anmerkung: That all our travel programs are subject to weather conditions and landings not always can be guaranteed. Trips to Antarctica are flexible and never a journey are alike therefore the detailed activities on the itineraries are only illustrative reference.
Map of Route
- Cabin on the contracted deck
- Food during the expedition. Wellcoming Reception
- Drinks stated in the wine included
- Reading sector
- Gymnasium and Sauna
- Classes given by Antarctic Specialists
- Reading material available for use of the passengers
- Accident insurance
- Navigation in the Zodiac dinghies
- Available medical service
Services do not include:
- Air Tickets
- Expenses for the emission of visas or passports
- Taxes, Embarkation charges etc
- Transfers that are not declared in the program
- Telephone communications
- Air tickets or Port taxes
- Internet (except for emails without attached files)
- Air tickets or Port taxes
- Food and drink not declared in the menus
- Cancellation charges for flights
- Life and cancellation assurance
- Medical services outside of the ship
- Fuel supplements, if appropriate