13 days - 12 nuits
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 - Scenes from South Shetland Islands
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but offer subtle pleasures: there is a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and a small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). On Deception Island, the ship sails through Neptune's bellows and enters the flooded caldera. Here you will find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of petrels and seagulls, southern and brown polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. A good walk is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape. As an alternative, we can disembark for activities near Half Moon Island. Here, chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often hit the beach near Base de Cámara, an Argentine scientific research station.
Day 5 - 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 6 - 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 7 to 8 - Views of Punta Valdivia & Bays of the Brabant Island
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.
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.
Some of the places where you can disembark:
- Views of Valdivia Point Staying on the west coast of Graham Land, he arrives at Valdivia Point, named after the German ship Valdivia by the Swedish Antarctic expedition of Otto Nordenskjöld. Further west you can also see Challenger Island and Bluff Island.
- Wilhelmina Bay A probable place to see the feeding of humpback whales. If conditions permit, you can even embark on a zodiac cruise to the ghost shipwreck of the Guvernøren, a whaling ship that caught fire here in 1915.
- Brabant Island Bays Then continue sailing to the western side of Brabant Island, exploring Avicenna Bay, Buls Bay and the Freud Passage that inspires analysis. Brabant Island is the second largest in the Palmer archipelago and is located between Liège Island and Anvers Island that separate it by the Schollaert Canal. On the other hand, the Gerlache Strait separates Brabant Island from the Danco Coast, which is part of the Antarctic Peninsula. This island is 53 km long and 25 km wide and Parry Mountain is the highest on the island at 2,500 meters high.
Days 9 to 10 - Last days on the Antarctic Peninsula
Places you can visit for the past two days in Antarctica may 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.
- 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.
Day 11 to 12 - 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 13 - 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).