If you wish to get to the Antarctic Polar Circle we offer you 2 interesting options: a trip of 12 days and other of 15 days. The first cruise of 12 days - 11 nights leaves from Ushuaia´s Port to the South Shetland Islands archipelago, getting to the Aitcho & Penguin Islands, which will take us 2 days to navigate the South Shetland Islands. From day 4 we will start our journey to the Polar circle, which will take 5 days of navigation to know it well. Our first disembark is in Punta Hannah, the fauna will be waiting for us, from barbijo penguins, imperial cormoranes, antarctic pigeons, Wilson´s Petrels, among others. Then we will descend in Deception Island. We will continue to the south to Orne´s Port, place where the whalers´ships meet, then we will go to Neko Port and Paradise Bay.
We will navigate by the amazing Lemaire Channel, later, if the weather lets us, we will descend in Pleneau Island, which will be our last attraction before departing again to the north, Cristal Sound, a characteristic place because of its high mountains and very huge glaciers. Before changing our navigation route, the last place to visit is Detaille Island, near the Loubet coast. We will come back by the Neumayer Channel and the Gerlache Strait, arriving in Melchior archipelago, in Dallman Bay. Finally, Ushuaia will be waiting for us, going through the Drakee Strait, finishing an antarctic adventure in the Polar circle.
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12 days - 11 nights
Day 1 - Ushuaia, Beagle Channel
In the afternoon, we will embark in Ushuaia and we will navigate by the Beagle Channel, located in the southern limit of Southamerica. Their geographical limits are Tierra del Fuego Island in the north and, from the west to the east, there are several islands which delimit it, that is the case for Navarino, Picton, New, Hoste, London, among others, defining the south limit of the channel.
Day 2 to 3 - Drake Passage, Antarctic Convergence, Aitcho & Pingüino
We will start our navigation route to the rough sea Drake, going through its homonym Passage, also called Hoces Sea, which delimits Southamerica with the Antartic continent, at Cape Horn level and South Shetland Islands. Drake is the conexion between the Pacific Ocean and Scotia Sea. This passage is very well known because of its turbulent waters which move strongly all the ships which cross it. We will go through the Antartic convergence, also named as Antartic Frontal Polar Area, which is a known line which surrounds the Antartica in that area in which the warm waters of the sub-antartic area prevail over the frozen waters of the Antartic Glaciar Ocean. Later, we will cross the Antartic Circumpolar Current which comunicates the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, which conserve the warm waters far from the Antartic Continent.
There we will have the opportunity to watch a great variety of sea birds, such as different species of albatrosses (wandering, grey and black) and petrels (fulmares, del cabo, Wilson, Blue and Antartic). If the weather conditions are appropriate, the night of the third day we may do the first disembark in Aitcho Islands, also known as Aitcho islet, or in Penguin Island, also known as Georges Islands. Both of them are in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, delimited by the Drake Passage in the north and the Bransfield Strait in the south. This archipelago has three claims at the moment, which protect the rights for sovereignty of the suscriber members. In spite of the intense wind currents and the predominant fog during the day, these islands still offer many natural charms in their diverse flora and fauna. We may run into Papua penguins, Barbijo and huge petrels which mix between lichens, moss and herbs of the region.
Day 4 to 9 - Polar Circle & Antarctic Peninsula
From this day on, we will start the traditional voyage by the Polar Circle and the Antartic Peninsula which will be confirmed at the moment of crossing by the Expedition Leader on board. When the summer ends, the vast majority of the penguins start leaving the nest territory because the young penguins are now big, they have their first plumage and they are now able to get into the sea to find their food for themselves. This is the ideal navigation period through the Antartic Polar Circle, because during this we will be able to watch whales, seals and leopard seals. We will descend in Hannah Point, a narrow peninsula with a particular sculpt which ascends until high tops and deep vertical cliff edges which goes from 30 to 50 metres of altitude over the level of the sea. There we will able to bump into a great quantity of fauna, breed in the very same area, of which the Barbijo, Red beak, Gold Head penguins, imperial cormoran, antartic pigeons and Wilson and Giants petrel stresses, among others. We will also try to disembark in Deception Island.
This island is the top of the most important active crater that we may find in the basin of the Bransfielg Strait, and it gave rise to a natural port along the time. For those who love trekking, they will be able to do some hiking in the island while the ship enters into Foster Bay through its unique crack of 150 metres wide: Neptuno´s Bellows, which allows to communicate the big bay with the outside. We will find a great quantity of thermal lagoons of high temperature in the island, as Foster Bay degrees are very superior to the external temperature of the sea. In the island, we will also be able to visit the ruins of the old norwegian whaler stations and watch different species of sea birds. We will navigate to the south until find Orne Port. This was an old point of whaler fleets and expedition vessels meeting. The Black Nunatak Hill stands out, also known as the Antartica Semaphore, among the navigators. It is a 200 metres high hill aand it is very famous as it doesn´t accumulate snow, because it falls so strong that it doesn´t let place it firmly. We will be able to appreciate a magnificent view from this point to the steep island of Cuverville, located between the mountain relief of the Antartica Peninsula and Danco Island.
This dark island is also known as Cavelier of Cuverville Island, which turns into a colony that receives a great quantity of Papua penguins for breeding during the summer. We will continue our crosssing until getting to Neko Port and Paradise Bay. Both of them are natural ports of the Antartica which are used for the ships so they can get to the continent. Neko Port has an extensive beach made of stone and mud which has a rocky extension which ends in a temporaly steep covered in snow. During the journey for both points, we will try to disembark in zodiac ships so we can see the big icebergs and the interior of deep fjords which are characteristic in the region. We will have the chance to navigate by the impressive Lemaire Channel, also called "the glaciers cemetery" because of its permanent action of ice fusion. This channel is located between glaciers and we will have the opportunity to see several whales, seals and seagulls, among others. The channel also has big columns which are considered by many visitors as one of the most impressive natural beauties of the voyage.
We will go to Petermann Island, which is at the west of the Antartic peninsula, and where we may find the southern colony of Papua penguins. Then we will try to disembark in Pleneau Island, a humble islet of 1 kilometre and a half, where we will have the opportunity to watch seals, Minke and Finland whales, among others. We will continue the journey to the south with the Argentinian Islands to the south of the polar circle where we fill find the impressive area of high mountains and big glaciers of Cristal Sound. There we will finally appreciate the most remote point of the voyage: the little rocky island Detaille, located opposite to the Loubet coast. We will embark on our return to the north, this time by the Neumayer Channel and the Gerlache Strait to arrive finally in Melchior archipelago which has different islands in Dallman Bay. This archipelago has a base with the same name which belongs to the argentinian territory. There we will make our final disembark in zodiac boats, so we can have the last opportunity to navigate between the icebergs and watch leopard seals, crab seals and whales.
Day 10 to 11 - Drake Passage
We will navigate once again by the Drake Passage, taking into account the less extension crossing which divides the antartic continent from the southamerican territory.
Day 12 - Return to Ushuaia
We will arrive in the southern city of the World in the morning: Ushuaia, located in the Beagle Channel coast in the bay with the same name.
Overview of the Antarctic Circle
This border, one of the parallels that mark the maps of the Earth, is located at latitude 66 ° 33' south of the Equator and marks the Antarctic Territory according to one of the definitions. The Antarctic Circle experiences a period of 24 hours of continuous light at least once a year, which means that the Sun is above the horizon for a whole day. The reason for this phenomenon is that the axis of the earth is tilted by 23.5 degrees. But in addition there is a day in the year in which the Sun stays below the line of the horizon, for the same reason.
On these voyages one can expect temperatures below 0º C (32º F), in part because trips to the Antarctic Circle are planned in summer. The reason for this is that in this time of the year the possibilities to find big ice packs which can interfere with our program are limited.
Flora and Fauna
South of Lemaire Canal the high-Antarctic climate equals the low-Antarctic one. As a result, vegetation is scarcer and species of Antarctic penguins such as Adélie penguin slowly replaces Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins. Mammals like killer whales, humpback whales, leopard seals and Weddell seals are frequently seen during our voyages to the Antarctic Circle.
Map of Route
All rates are per person in american dollars, in double twin accommodation. The prices in dollars apply for all the sales made outside Europe. A 5% of discount will be granted for bookings of one or more consecutive voyages (except for the programa "Atlantic Odyssey"). Please, consider that all the dates and prices are subjet to possible changes. All the trips operate with a minimum of 70 passengers. The "Plancius" can accommodate a top of 110 passengers.
Individual occupancy (single base)
All the cabins are available for Single occupancy to 1.7 times the price for this cabin.
- Trip on board as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals during the trip on board, including snacks, coffee and tea
- Free use for rubber boats and snowshoes
- Regular Transfer from the cruise to Ushuaia Airport (right after the disembarkation)
- All land tours and activities during the voyage in Zodiac boats
- Conference programs by well known naturalists and coordination by the experimented team expedition
- All taxes and port expenses during the program
- Informative reading material before embarking
Services not included:
Any air prices (regular or charter flights), any previous and/ or later service to the cruise, transfers to the cruise; passport and visa expenses; any arrival or return govern taxes in the country, meals on land, luggage, cancellationa and personal insurance (which is advisable), expenses for excess luggage and any other aditional expense, such as laundry, bar, drinks or calls; also the tips to waitresses and other personal service on board, after the trips.