This well-established expedition cruise offers you the ideal introduction to Antarctica. Departing and finishing in the port of Ushuaia in Argentina, the itinerary visits prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and the neighboring South Shetland Islands. This program will emphasize wildlife viewing, possible visits to scientific bases, and the breathtaking scenery with narrow waterways, glaciers, icebergs and rugged mountains.
Days 1-2: Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Arrive in Ushuaia, a small town at the "end of the world" surrounded by rugged peaks and glaciers, and transfer independently to your conveniently located hotel. The following day, in the afternoon, the Expedition Team gets you settled aboard your ship as you sail into the Beagle Channel to start your Antarctic expedition.
Days 3-4: Crossing the Drake Passage
Prepare for rough water, but do not be disappointed if your crossing is smooth sailing. The Drake is always changing.
Days 5-9: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Many factors play a role in shaping the expeditionÂ’s progress. We attempt to leave the ship to explore in a range of activity levels at least twice a day. Perhaps, youÂ’ll feel salt spray on your face as the Zodiac weaves in and around grounded icebergs in Pleneau Bay. You could scramble to the top of a craggy hill for an unforgettable view of an icy chasm near Port Lockroy. You could sit quietly on a pebbled beach and wait for a curious penguin chick to approach or plunge into the frigid Antarctic waters. Explore the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula with adventurers who enjoy camping, kayaking, cross Â–country skiing, mountaineering and other active pursuits. Over the course of the austral spring and summer, the sun lingers longer and longer, melting snow and ice. Wildlife abounds: chicks hatch and fledge, and pods of whales breach in a deep bay where a calving iceberg has churned up krill, the local delicacy. The natural cycle of life ensures that every expedition is different. And that every expedition is full of surprises! In Antarctica, silence is so complete that interruptions become indelible memories: noisy penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, the boom and crack of a calving glacier near Petermann Island. Then there is the sound of breathing as your arms pump and your legs power you up an incline on cross-country skis. As you sail from island to shore to bay during four days in the Peninsula, the Expedition Team provides opportunities for contemplation, to test your endurance and engage your curiosity.
Days 10-11: Drake Passage
Today you leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. In between bird watching and whale watching, and enjoying some final lectures by our expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review our adventures before returning to Ushuaia.
Day 12: Ushuaia
You disembark after breakfast and are transferred to the airport for your independent flights home.