A wonderful Antarctic-Atlantic cruise that brings together many interesting ingredients, first visit Antarctica but not limiting us to the classic the white continent, the Atlantic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, but we will headed to practically uninhabited and unfrequented places, including places with difficult access, such as the South Sandwich Islands, and the Cook Islands or the Bellingshausen Island. But we do a 180 degree turn and head to the South Atlantic to discover the hidden islands located between South America and Africa, as the unpredictable Bouvet Island, Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha Islands, Saint Helena (the Island who chose Napoleon Bonaparte to live his last days in exile), Ascension Island and finally to the capital of Cape Verde, Praia. An expedition for the few people who can distinguish the high quality and different.
36 days - 35 nights
Day 1 - Ushuaia
In the afternoon, we will embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southern city of the world, which is surrounded by the last mountain chain (Cordillera de los Andes) and it is bathed by the Beagle Channel waters. We will navigate through the strait.
Day 2 to 3 - Crossing the Drake Passage
We headed towards the Drake Passage. Crossing the Drake Passage is a fitting start to this journey that followed the explorers of Antarctica, who faced the heavy rainstorm to increase the knowledge of the human race about the polar regions. Like them, we too will be transformed in the early days of navigation. The Drake Passage also called Drake Passage separates South America from the White Continent, lies between Cape Horn (Chile) and the South Shetland Islands (Antarctica), connecting the Pacific Ocean to the west with the east Scotia Sea.
Day 4 - South Shetland Islands
As the boat moves steadily toward the south and west in direction to King George Island, we will observe tabular icebergs. When we get to the South Shetland Islands, we try to make at least two landings per day, of course subject to permits, weather, ice and wind conditions. Here is where you can visit a station of active research where scientists are tracking life cycles of birds and icebergs, such as the research station with Chilean flag President Frei or the possibility of going to the base Vernadsky on King George Island, the largest of the Shetland Islands. "This land seems like a fairy tale." Amundsen's words capture the majesty of Antarctica in all its splendor. It is huge, immaculate and glorious. Huge glaciers, some of which cover an area equal to a small city, as shadows are reflected in the calm waters. The sheer size is overwhelming. We will remember the brave and resolute explorers who came before us: Ross, Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. They were also captivated by the antics of the penguins, seals curiosity, and grace of the whales.
Day 5 to 8 - In the sea on the way to the South Sandwich Islands
We sailed for days through the icy sea drifting north of the Weddell Sea. We will witness an impressive crowd of albatrosses, petrels and fulmars. Our goal is to approach the South Sandwich Islands.
Day 9 - South Sandwich Islands
In the South Sandwich Islands under British flag and practically uninhabited little frequented, we will land on South Thule Island, is a volcano with a boiler where we can see the Argentinean base that is abandoned. Other islands are the Cook and the Bellingshausen Island, whose names are due to its discoverers. Both are of volcanic origin with a layer of ice on top, usually are whipped by the wind and covered by fog most of the time. There are a variety of flora, from mosses, lichens and flowering grasses and with abundant wildlife such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap and Southern Giant Petrel, also elephants and sea lions. Next to the islands we will observe magnificent blue icebergs floating on the Weddell Sea. In the blue ice we can find a large colony of Gentoo penguins.
Day 10 to 12 - Near the Antarctic Convergence
Once again at sea having nice winds from the west. Near the Antarctic Convergence we may observe many species of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds.
Day 13 to 14 - Bouvet Island
Bouvet Island is a small island territory without human presence on the Atlantic Ocean, belonging to Norway, is 1,550 km from the white continent and nearly 2,000 miles from South Africa. The epicenter of the Island is an ice-covered crater of an inactive volcano, but dormant. Its shores have black volcanic sand beaches. Due to the unpredictability of landing on Bouvet Island, we must keep two days to increase the chances of landing on this island that is part of the Norwegian territory. We are in the presence of another volcano in Antarctic waters topped with a layer of ice and a rich fauna of seabirds and seals near the coast. On the southwest side of the island we may have the best chance of landing in Larsöya and Kapp Norvegia which are protected from the waves from the west. We can land in Nyröysa, but here we are more exposed and almost off limits because it is a nature reserve without authorization to access because it is a protected area.
Day 15 to 18 - In the sea to Gough Island
The westerly winds accompany us at sea. On both sides of the convergence the sighting of different whale species is normal, now we will begin to see other bird species as we move into warmer waters.
Day 19 - Gough Island
The island Gonçalo Alvares, is another volcanic island located in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. Its highest mountain is Edinburgh Peak with nearly 950 feet high. It integrates along with the island Tristan da Cunha, the UK overseas territory of Saint Helena. The island is inhabited only was invaded by various expeditions throughout history, especially the fishing industry. Its shores are cliffs giving the impossibility of creating protected harbors; the only port is at Quest Bay, on the east coast. Due to the difficulties of approaching it, we will descend in zodiac boats when the weather allows. The scenery is spectacular and with unprecedented abundance of wildlife. It is part of the ecosystem of Afrotropical ecozone, which constitute this island and the archipelago of Tristan da Cunha. It is a protected wildlife reserve known as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1995.
Day 20 to 21 - Tristan da Cunha archipelago
If we imagine a paradise in our minds it will usually leads to a unique island with sandy beaches and lush vegetation and if they are very remote even better, since they are not contaminated of masses of people. The island Tristan da Cunha located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean facing the African coast, depends on another bigger island, St. Helena, both English. The volcanic island has peaks above 2,000 meters and does not exceed a population of 500 people. Is hardly visited by tourists, discovered in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese Tristan da Cunha when got lost while sailing to the Indies.
Their society is regulated by the Island Council which officials divide their properties. There is no television or newspapers, primary and secondary education, then you must migrate to UK or Africa (because of its proximity). The French writer Hervé Bazin narrated a moving letter while passing through these lands, "Les bienhereux of désolation" called Desolation Island. We plan to make a landing on the west side of the main island. We will also be grounded on Nightingale Island and Inaccessible Island with millions of seabirds ranging from Yellow-nosed Albatrosses to Brown noddies. Is not always feasible landing on Tristan da Cunha, 70% of the time we could descend on the island but sometimes bad weather stops all attempts.
Day 22 to 25 - At sea sailing to St. Helena
We will sail for 4 days by the Atlantic Ocean in subtropical waters accompanied by seabirds and dolphins display their intelligence.
Day 26 to 27 - Saint Helena Island: The Napoleon Island
It is one of the most remote inhabited islands on earth and though is known for hosting Napoleon when he was exiled, living his last years of life, this island keeps interest. In 1502 Joao da Nova traveled back to Portugal on a mission to the Portuguese crown, discovered this volcanic island and put Helena by Helena de Constantinopla. It is located 2,789 miles from the West African coastat the level of Angola. It is a desolate place excessively quiet and full of friendly people who greet us with a smile. Unlike Tristan da Cunha St. Helena Island has a good anchorage and accessible place to land ashore. On the island we will have several opportunities to enjoy the local culture, pleasant climate, endemic plants and birds. We will visit the place where Napoleon lived in exile. There is also the chance to explore the island in particular.
Day 28 to 29 - In the sea in search of Ascension Island
We will sail for 2 days to get to this new destination. Ascension Island is of volcanic origin as the rest of the islands, and forty-four craters asleep but dormant (not dead). Among its fauna it highlights the green sea turtle also the grim tern, known as wideawake because it emits a characteristic sound. The colony of terns reaches over a million breeding pairs.
Day 30 - Ascension Island
Ascension is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, midway between America and Africa, 1,287 km northwest of St. Helena. There are small islands that complement such as Boatswain Bird Island as and Bird Rock to the east, the rock Tartar in the West and White Rocks to the south. It is not habited by Indians, its roughly 1,000 people are the vast majority coming from the neighboring island of St. Helena and the rest is made up of English and American. The most important places, are: Georgetown, harbor and capital of Island; Cat Hill is the American military base, Traveller's Hill is the residence of the people working in the Royal Air Force and Two Boats Village where the upper class society lives. The rural area is located on Green Mountain. Once at Island some of our passengers can disembark and take the flight programmed by the Royal Air Force (RAF) bound for Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, UK. The rest will continue the journey to the islands of Cape Verde.
Day 31 to 35 - At sea traveling to Cape Verde
These days we sail across the Atlantic Ocean where we will witness the spring migration of northern birds such as terns and Arctic skuas long tail that keep us company at the intersection of the line of Ecuador (The Line) in our journey to reach our final port in Cape Verde.
Day 36 - Praia, capital of Cape Verde
Praia is the capital of the islands of Cape Verde and the largest population, about 125,000 inhabitants. It is a major export port for coffee, sugar cane and tropical fruits. Charles Darwin visited Praia on his journey with MS Beagle, he dazzled with tropical vegetation and tasted the first bananas in his life. Its colonial monuments are in the Praca Alexandre Albuquerque, this is a beautiful square in the old town. Outsands the Presidential Palace dating from the nineteenth century Igreja Nossa Senhora da Graca (church) and the Palace of Culture.
A panoramic view of the bay and Ilheu Santa Maria is a tiny rock where centuries ago worked a leprosarium, is admire from typical fort of the city. We found an active Fruits and Vegetables Market where you can buy local products of the island, such as bananas. In the early morning we will arrive to Praia and the estimated time of disembarkation will be around 9:00 PM. Once landed the Antarctic-Atlantic expedition to remote locations of our planet earth will end, we live on a very unique and private experience, as very few people were able to discover these almost virgin and remote destinations in the daily world in which dwell the vast majority of human beings.
- Accommodation aboard with daily cleaning service
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard. (Please let us know about any feeding requirement as soon as possible). Unfortunately, the kitchens of the ships cannot prepare kosher food (in accordance with Jewish dietary laws)
- All coastal landings and excursions on Zodiac ships are scheduled according to a daily program
- The guide throughout the trip will be a skilled Expedition Leader, even in the coastal landings and other activities
- The formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers will be made according to the program
- Water-proof expedition boots will be lent for coastal landings
- Hairdryers in each cabin
- Coffee, tea, cocoa and mineral water are available 24 hours a day
- All necessary materials before departure, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
- Group transfers from the hotel to the ship at the embarkation port, and from the ship to the local airport after disembarking, plus all baggage handling aboard
- All taxes of miscellaneous services and port expenses during the program