The name of this itinerary is Antarctica: Discovery & Learning. They are the classic itineraries to Antarctica but with an extra aggregate, as optional activities such as camping, kayaking and snowshoeing are offered. These adventure tourism activities have an additional cost and a limited number of participants, except hiking with snowshoes that are totally free and with no limit of passengers. Several activities outside the ship will be organized. We will depend on exogenous factors that force us to change our daily itinerary, such as dominant wind, ice, weather conditions and wildlife behavior. We sail in the Zodiac boats to visit the penguin colonies. We will make sightings from the Zodiac boats observing imposing icebergs and enjoying the fauna throughout the rocky coast.
10 days 9 nights
Day 1 - Ushuaia
The trip begins at the southern tip of South America, on the island of Tierra del Fuego, more precisely, in Ushuaia, the city closest to Antarctica. In the afternoon of the first day, embarkation begins at the port of the homonymous city in order to set sail at sunset in a southerly direction through the waters of the Beagle Channel.
Day 2 to 3 - Going through the Drake Passage
During the next two days in the Drake Passage, we were informed of the experience that the famous explorers who came to these latitudes of the planet had to define the first cartographies of these Antarctic areas: We find very moving seas, salty and fresh breezes and in the presence of a whale to accompany us on the tour. It crosses the Antarctic Convergence, defined as the Antarctic biological limit, since the temperate waters of the sub-antarctic seas are mixed with the icy waters of the antarctic ocean. You also begin to see the transformation of marine fauna and birds. We begin to see wandering albatrosses, gray-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled albatrosses, checkerboard petrels, storm petrels, blue petrels and antarctic petrels.
Day 4 to 7 - Entering Antarctica
During the course of these days we will arrive in Antarctica. The Antarctic Peninsula is the most important geographical accident on the White Continent. Located in the western region of Antarctica, in front of South America, in the west surrounded by the Bellingshausen Sea and in the east by the Weddell Sea. The landscape is made up of snow-covered gray mountains, cracked ice towers of whitish blue, and very dissimilar marine fauna with respect to the sub-antarctic area. We leave behind the snowy peaks of the Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel to navigate between the Brabant and Anvers Islands.
Some of the sites you can visit include:
- Danco Island On this island we can see the Papua penguins that nest in this area, but they are not alone, we also see Weddell seals and crabs that inhabit the island.
- Puerto Neko The landscape takes us, the fantastic snow-covered glaciers that look like carved by the wind are truly epic. In Puerto Neko you can navigate in Zodiac boats to disembark near the alpine peaks.
- Paradise Bay In this bay we can sail in the Zodiac boats and have a good chance of observing humpback whales and Minke whales.
- Pléneau & Peterman Islands If the Lemaire channel is free of ice, depending on the weather conditions we will navigate through this channel to witness Adelia penguins, blue-eyed cormorants and leopard seals. As in Paradise Bay, on these islands you can see humpback whales and Minke.
- Port Lockroy Once we cross the Neumayer channel, we visit the historic english base, which is currently a museum and works as a postal mail, located on Goudier Island. It is contemplated to carry out activities in the vicinity of the island, in Punta Jougla, to spot Papua penguins and blue-eyed cormorants. This area is ideal for kayaking and also for camping, and if conditions permit us you can go trekking with snowshoes along the coast of the island.
- Guillermina Bay & Guvernøren Reaching Guillermina Bay has a specific objective: The encounter with humpback whales. We sail with the Zodiac boats to reach the place where the wreck of the Guvernøren, a whaling ship that was set on fire at the beginning of the 20th century in 1915. We see more marine fauna in the vicinity of the Melchior Islands, in a landscape full of icebergs, to spot whales, leopard seals and crabs.
Day 8 to 9 - Towards the crossing of the Drake
Upon returning to Ushuaia through the Drake Passage, we will feel totally privileged to have stepped on Antarctica. The adventure will always accompany us. They will already be thinking about the next trip, since the attraction of Antarctica is very strong, as many have experienced before. The return trip is far from lonely. During the crossing of the Drake once again the seabirds that accompanied him during the journey to the south receive him.
Day 10 - Ushuaia
Every adventure, regardless of its greatness, must eventually come to an end. It is time to disembark at the port of Ushuaia, on the Island of Tierra del Fuego, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure is.
Note: The expeditions can be 10 or 11 days depending on the date of departure, they stay longer in the antarctic peninsula.
Map of Route
Additional activities that can be done during the trip
We can camp at night in Antarctica. We can spend a night camping under the Antarctic night sky. We provide camping equipment, this activity has an additional cost of USD 190 per person. The maximum capacity of people to camp is 24 passengers. Book the activity in advance so you don't run out of place.
Kayak is another optional activity that you can enjoy on this trip. It is a special way to explore the coasts of the southern pole regions. We descend from the boat in calm waters over a bay that is protected from wind and currents. This optional activity costs USD 465 per person with a maximum capacity for kayaking of 26 places.
We offer a variety of snowshoe walks that adapt to the type of experience you want to have and the level of activity you want to do. Never walked with snowshoes? It is not a problem! We will help you with the technical aspects and shortly you will be walking through the pristine snows that cover the antarctic landscapes. This optional activity is FREE.
Special Activities Hondius
Being a Hondius passenger comes with its share of benefits, including a wide range of totally unique activities. In addition to the vibrant musical acts and performances, Hondius offers a wide range of interactive workshops that explore topics such as astronomy, navigation and other related fields. These interactive workshops, captivating exhibits and vibrant performances are planned both on the boat and in nature.
- The trip on board the ship mentioned as indicated in the itinerary.
- All meals during the trip on board the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
- All excursions and activities in Zodiac boats during the trip.
- Conference program dictated by naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition team.
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
- Transfer of luggage from the hotel to the ship on boarding day, in Ushuaia.
- Group transfer with prior notice from the ship to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarking).
- All service and port taxes during the program.
- Informative reading material before embarking.
Services not included:
- Regular or charter air flights.
- Procedures before or after the start of the trip.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Meals not included in the trip.
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (highly recommended).
- Excess baggage charges and all personal items such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunications charges.
- The tip at the end of the trip for the waiters and other on-board service personnel (guidelines will be provided).