A true journey of discovery, ranging from the most famous attractions of the Antarctic Peninsula to the less crowded as the volcanic Peter Island. A full exploration program along the outer edges of the ice sheet in the Amundsen Sea, the starting point through which Roald Amundsen gained access to the platform to finally reach the South Pole in 1911. An entertaining navigation through the Ross Sea, a tour by the shelters of British explorers such as Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott (only if ice conditions are favorable) and Campbell Island completes this exciting proposal of Antarctic Odyssey.
Ushuaia - BLUFF / BLUFF - Ushuaia
The first departure of January 9th 2015 the departure is from Ushuaia to Bluff, New Zealand, as it is written in the explicit itinerary below, however, the second departure on February 11th 2015 is from the port of Bluff in New Zealand, one day after the arrival of the first trip to Ushuaia, the journey is the opposite of the first one.
32 days -31 nights
Day 1 - Depart from Ushuaia
This fantastic tour starts in the evening at the southernmost port in the world located in Ushuaia, the capital of Argentinean province of Tierra del Fuego. After boarding the vessel, the M/V Ortelius will go by the Beagle channel, away from the bay to the open ocean showing a beautiful night landscape.
Day 2 to 3 - Sailing through the Drake Passage towards Peninsul
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.
Day 4 - Pléneau and PetermanIslands
After passing the Antarctic Convergence, the ship sails through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to getting to the peninsula in the early morning. The first tour is in Pléneau Island where the seals rest on the distant coast beaches. Gentoo penguins, kelp gulls and skuas jealously guard their nests and newborn chicks. Pleneau Island was the first explored island by the French Antarctic Expedition in 1903-1905 commanded by Jean-Baptiste Charcot, and recently was named after the expedition's photographer Paul Pléneau. The tour continues to Petermann Island, named after the German geographer August Peterman who was part of the German Expedition team in 1873 and 1874. There Adélie penguin colonies and gentoo can be observed in addition to imperial and blue-eyed shags.
Day 5 - Beyond the Antarctic Circle: Fish Island
Moving south through the Penola Strait, crossing the polar circle down to Fish Island. These small island rest at the east of the Flouder islands and are called "The Minnows", were first explored by John Rymill in his British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37). The Detaille Island was discovered by the French expedition of Charcot (1903-1905) and named after a stockholder of the whaling company Magellan. From 1956 to 1959, the British Antarctic Service had its "Station W" placed on this small island. In both corners Adélie penguins, shags and blue eyes can be watched.
Day 6 to 7 - In the Bellingshausen Sea: Ice Shelf Bellinghausen
Crossing the Bellingshausen Sea we can see the first ice sheet. This water, which are named after the Russian explorer Fabian G. von Bellingshausen, emerging from the Antarctic Ocean, west of the peninsula between the islands Thurston and Alexander I.
Day 8 - Peter Island
On the waters of the Bellingshausen, Peter I or Norwegian Peter I Oy is an uninhabited volcanic island 19km long, which was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and then named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. At present, it is claimed by Norway because they consider that as part of its territory and very sporadically receive cruise ships. In previous landings, staff members from the offices from the shipping spotted sea elephants groups and colonies of silver petrels and southern fulmars and cape pigeons.
Day 9 to 14 - By the waters of the Amundsen
For days we will go through the Amundsen Sea and the limits of the ice shelf. As the boat takes advantage of the coastal current west, if conditions are good, barrier gives a clear picture of the Antarctic continent. Navigating through ice is amazing with a view of some emperor penguins, groups of seals on floating ice and orcas and minke whales along the icy edge, usually accompanied by different species of southern petrels. If the sea ice is affordable, we will try to land on Shephard islands, between colonies of chinstrap penguins and skuas. Located in Marie Byrd Land, the island was named by the surname of one of the promoters of the American expedition from 1939-1941.
Day 15 - Ross Ice Shelf
The boat will come closer to the Ross Ice Shelf, a huge floating mass with a front of 600 km long, with an average of 30 meters high. In the Bay of Whales located on the east side, near the Roosevelt Island (named like that in 1934 by the aviator Richard Byrd in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Ronald Amundsen got access to the barrier and ventured to the south pole, where finally arrived on December 14th of 1911. A year later, would become the grave of Robert Falcon Scott the English expeditionary and his crew as they returned from their journey to the South Pole. It is also an opportunity for all travelers to climb to the magnificent platform.
Day 16 - Throughout the Ross Ice Shelf, sailing west.
Day 17 to 21 - Ross Sea Islands, Cape Royds and Cape Evans
In the Ross Sea there is an island of the same name, protected by the Erebus, Terror and Bird mountains with all the landmarks that played such an important role in the tragic British expedition of the last century, as Ernest Schakleton's cottage in Cape Royds. If the ice condition is favorable, we will also visit the cottage in Cape Evans where Robert Falcon Scott lived, which served as the basis for Scott and his men to undertake their journey to the South Pole. We will try to achieve a tour of the American McMurdo Station in New Zealand in the Scott Base. From Castle Rock contemplates a breathtaking view of the vast ice shelf that extends toward the pole and a beautiful view of the Taylor Valley, one of the dry valleys that most resemble the conditions of the planet Mars in our Earth.
Day 22 to 23 - From the West Coast of the Ross Sea to the station in Terranova
Navigating north along the eastern part of the west coast of the Ross Sea, that passes through the ice tongue Drygalski and Italian station at Terra Nova Bay and Cape Hallet.
Day 24 - Cape Adare and the largest Adélie colony
Cape Adare was the place chosen for a group of expeditioners passed the first winter in the Antarctic. The shelter where the Norwegian Borchgrevink spent the cold days of 1899, surrounded by the world´s largest colony of Adélie penguins. This place was discovered by Clark Ross in the mid-nineteenth century and baptized it with the name of a personal friend, Viscount Adare. The most famous expeditions that raveled this area were the Southern Cross and Aurora who laid the basis for their camp, as well as the Terra Nova expedition in the early twentieth century, today the Terra Nova camp is a synonym of ruins.
Day 25 - In the sea.
Day 26 - By the sea to the Scott Island and Pillar Haggitt
The Scott Island is a tiny island that is uninhabited, with volcanic origin on the Antarctic Ocean. It is located approximately 495 km north-east of Cape Adare. Its dimensions are very small, only 365 meters long and about 173 meters wide. Nearby Scott Island can be seen the Pillar Haggitt. The island consists mostly of rock structure and has two cove beaches.
Day 27 to 29 to 30 - By the sea to the recovered Campbell Island, New Zealand
We head north to discover on Campbell Island, a natural reserve where it nests Royal Albatross. The Campbell Islands are a group of subantarctic islands of New Zealand. Formed by the largest, Campbell, and three smaller islands: Dent, Folly, and Jaquemart. The Campbell Island is known Motu Ihupuku in the Maori language, is a remote island in the Pacific Ocean, is the main island of the Campbell Island. It is owned by New Zealand subantarctic reservation. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known for its lush and flourishing vegetation. Following a trail of lush greenery we will arrive at lookouts to observe the Royal Albatross nests and can take pictures of the interesting fauna, such as yellow-eyed penguins, royal albatross and New Zealand sea lions that inhabit the Enderby Island with red-headed parakeets. With mountainous characteristics, Campbell Island was discovered in the early nineteenth century by a sailor named Hasselburgh that was sailing through the area with his ship Perseverance, who was owned by the Australian company Campbell, this is the cause of your current name. Throughout the nineteenth century the wildlife was devastated due to the indiscriminate hunting of seals, seal elephants and sea lions, but over time was recovered. Even the rat that was introduced over 200 years ago on the island, at the beginning of the XXI century was eradicated. Today seabirds abound, especially the teal Campbell, which is considered the rarest. Also different species of penguins, like the Rockhopper Penguin. The fauna is composed by a colony of real albatross, sea elephants and penguins and especially a large colony of albatross in Col-Lyall Saddle.
Day 31 - Sailing to New Zealand
At sea, we headed to the port of Invercargill in New Zealand. Invercargill is a city located further south in New Zealand's land, it is the commercial area of Southland, located on the margins of the Oreti River.
Day 32 - End of the Antarctic Odyssey, reaching Bluff, New Zealand
End of the long journey in the port of Invercargill, New Zealand, where passengers depart back to their countries. Bluff is the port of the Southland region, is New Zealand's southernmost town. Bluff is near Invercargill, just about 29 km away.
Note: The detailed itinerary is only a guide and all the programs are conditional on the prevailing ice conditions and weather in the area, plus the facility for landings and the best conditions for wildlife observation. The final route is determined by the Expedition Leader on board, considering that flexibility is a priority in such expeditions.
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.