11 days - 10 nights
Day 1 - Departure from the port of Ushuaia
The embarkation is done in the afternoon, in the port of Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego (Argentina), the southernmost city in the world, situated on the shores of the Beagle Channel. The boat slowly will move away from the coast, showing the picturesque bay and its urban panorama. The navigation will be overnight, sailing towards the Drake Passage.
Day 2 to 3 - Sailing through the Drake Passage towards Peninsula
Throughout two days, the ship will move through the Drake Passage, a short and stirred sea route between the American continent and the Antarctic Peninsula. When we get to the Antarctic Convergence, a natural barrier where warm currents from the north mix with cold water from the south determining a wide biodiversity, we will be able to appreciate a numerous sub-Antarctic species. In this area we can see the magnificent wandering albatross, the largest bird that flies over these waters and can measure up to 3.5m; the gray-headed albatross, light-mantled, the dark and black-browed species, pigeons and cape petrels Wilson, blue and also the southern Antarctic fulmar or silver petrel. We cannot avoid mentioning the Gentoo penguins and chinstrap. Near the South Shetland Islands, we can see the first icebergs indicating the arrival to Antarctica. Only in the afternoon of the third day we will see the South Shetland Islands, which are punished by the wind. We can observe a variety of flora, such as mosses, lichens and flowering herbs.
Day 4 - Ice landscapes in the Antarctic Strait: Dundee Island
Glaciers, icebergs and the ice sheet extend towards the horizon. On the north side of the Antarctic Strait is Dundee Island where it is possible to make a landing in Petrel Cove. Here is the Argentine base called Petrel and its large airplane hangar gives an account of the heritage of the base: it was from this track that Licoln Elsworth and Herbert Hollick-Kenyon completed their first flight over the Antarctic continent in 1935.
Dundee Island is located east of the far north east of the Antarctic Peninsula and south of Joinville Island in the Joinville archipelago. At the present time it is totally full of ice and it measures a little more than 25 kilometers long and 18 kilometers wide, with 595 meters high. Thomas Robertson in the late nineteenth century discovered it and named it a port in Scotland, called Dundee, where he sailed to Antarctica in search of whaling, very common in those times.
Argentina in the mid-twentieth century created the Petrel Naval Refuge. Years later, around 1967, the airstrip that had been built to establish the base was enlarged, adding beacons, a metal hangar and new constructions, inaugurating that year the Petrel Air Naval Station.
Day 5 - Navigating along the foot of Wright Ice
We navigate the Wright Ice Foot. Its name is due to the Wilbur and Orville Wright that the first years of the XX century flew in an airplane this zone. The ice foot cartographies are based on photographs taken between 1955 and 1957.
Day 6 - Views of Punta Valdivia
Navigating the west coast of the Land of Graham is possible to access Punta Valdivia, named after the Swedish expedition by Otto Nordenskjöld in honor of the German ship Valdivia. Further west, it is possible to see Challenger Island and Bluff Island. The Land of Graham is a part of the Antarctic Peninsula that borders on the south with the capes Jeremy and Agassiz. In 1964 between the USA and England they agreed to the division of the peninsula into the Land of Graham in the north and the Land of the Palmer in the south. In this way these countries divide the Antarctic Peninsula with the aforementioned names. Argentina uses the name of Tierra de San Martín and Chile, Tierra de O'Higgins for the entire peninsula.
Day 7 - Bays of the Brabant Island
Then we continue sailing to the western side of the island of Brabant, exploring the Bay of Avicenna, the Bay of Buls and the inspiring passage of Freud. The Brabant Island is the second largest of the islands that make up the Palmer Archipelago and lies between Lieja and Anvers Islands, separated by the Strait of Gerlache. Exactly this Strait is separated by the Antarctic Peninsula of the Costa Danco.
Day 8 - Adventure on Anvers Island
On the northeast coast of Antwerp Island it is possible to visit the small island Fournier, separated from the Van Rywyck point (east end of Anvers Island). This site was probably first seen by a German expedition by Eduard Dallmann in 1873-74 but mapped by the French Antarctic Expedition of Jean Baptiste Charcot 1903-5. It was named after the French admiral Ernest Fournier. It is also possible to make a landing at Inverleith port (also on the northeast coast of Antwerp Island) with the possibility of finding an Antarctic tern colony and some Weddell seals. Inverleith Harbor was discovered by whalers who were working in that area. The name is made up of 2 parts: Inver and Leith. Inver means meeting place of rivers or where a river empties into the sea and Leith, is a Scottish town where the whaling company Salvensen & Co. was. that operated in the area.
Day 9 to 10 - Sailing back
While the ship is heading to the Drake Passage in our way back to the American continent we will sight various species of birds such as petrels, albatrosses, terns and cormorants flew over the ship.
Day 11 - Arrival at Ushuaia
The ship reached the port of Ushuaia in the early morning, to land and to end the expedition to Antarctica.
Note: All itineraries described are presented only as a reference. Programs may vary depending on weather and ice conditions in the area, as well as accessibility for landings and the opportunity to observe the local wildlife. The final route will be determined by the Expedition Leader. Flexibility is the key to enjoying the first expedition cruises.
Map of Route
- 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).