including Deception Island, South Shetland Islands
Start/Finish: Ushuaia, Argentina
Prices from €6,300
Plancius: 12 December (C, K, SS, D), 3 February (C, K, D)
Hondius: 24 December (C, K, SS), 12 January (C, K, SS), 31 January (C, K)
Ortelius: 3 January (C, K, D)
Janssonius: 4 January (C, K, SS), 1 February (C, K), 11 February (C, K)
11 nights/12 days
Hondius: 19 February (C, K, PW)
Plancius: 20 March (WW, D)
10 nights/11 days
Hondius: 13 December (C, K, SS), 22 January (C, K)
Janssonius: 11 January (C, K, SS), 21 January (C, K), 31 January (C, K)
Plancius: 1 February (C, K, D)
11 nights/12 days
C - Camping*, D - Diving*, K - Kayaking*, SS - Snow-Shoeing*, PW - Photo Workshop*,WW - Whale Watching Voyages
* These are optional activities
Voyages at the end of the season are often described as Whale Watching voyages , this is because by this time of year penguins have finished breeding and have left their colonies, however whales are now in Antarctica in their greatest abundance.
This is the 'classic' voyage to Antarctica, which stops at the South Shetland Islands as well as the main part of the Antarctica Peninsula further south. The South Shetland Islands are fascinating place to visit due to their geology e.g. the active volcano Deception Island and their numerous historical sites. However time is always limited on these voyages and for some it may be better to choose a voyage that bypasses the islands and spends extra time further south, but for others the South Shetland Islands are a key location in Antarctica.
POSSIBLE ROUTE MAP
A colony of gentoo penguins on Danco Island in the Errera Channel
The m/v Ortelius at Neko Harbour
The stunning scenery in Paradise Harbour
The Penguin Post Office and former British baseat Port Lockroy on Goudier Island
A glacier on Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands
Sea water steaming on the beach in the active volcano of Deception Island, South Shetland Islands
A chinstrap penguin colony on Half-Moon Island with Livingston Island in the background, South Shetland Islands
James at Port Lockroy
To make a booking, or to ask any questions you have about the voyage and its suitability for you, please contact us. James has guided on this voyage before and will be happy to discuss all aspects of the trip with you.
PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed for our vessel is 10.5 knots.
Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey
Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip ofSouth America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort
town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2 - 3: Path of the polar explorers
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does
the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.
Day 4 - 7: Enter the Antarctic
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.
Sites you may visit include:
Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that can be found nearby.
Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales.
Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping in this area, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore and to the old ski-way at nearby Damoy Point.
Day 8: Scenes of South Shetland
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape. As an alternative, you may be able to engage in activities near Half Moon Island. Here chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 9 - 10: Familiar seas, familiar friends
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Day 11: There and back again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
11 NIGHTS / 12 DAYS Version
This voyage includes an extra day in Antarctica between days 4 & 8, giving you the opportunity to make additional landings and see additional wildlife.
Our Green Promise
If you book this expedition cruise through us we will pay your carbon offset for you and provide a certificate on completion of your expedition.
PER PERSON CARBON DIOXIDE GENERATED BY THIS EXPEDITION
11 DAYS = 7.7T
12 DAYS = 8.4T
It is your responsibility to book your travel to and from the start and finish of the expedition. This is normally a flight. If you would like to carbon offset this cost please use our carbon offset calculator here.