Cruise south to the South Shetland Islands and beyond to the frozen southern continent. Watch as the clearing mist reveals some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth. Experience one of the most pristine regions in the world first-hand and enjoy the possible close encounters with spouting whales, lounging seals, and the penguins that may very well be just as curious about you as you are about them. See how a landscape can take on a drastic change within only a few kilometres of distance as you transition from the South Shetlands down to the Antarctic Peninsula.
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 of South 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
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
|Ship name||Cabin Name||Price||Sale Price||Departs on||Returns on|
|m/v Plancius||Quadruple Porthole||$8,400||NA||Feb 1st, 2023||Feb 11th, 2023|
|m/v Plancius||Triple Porthole||$10,350||NA||Feb 1st, 2023||Feb 11th, 2023|
|m/v Plancius||Twin Porthole||$10,350||NA||Feb 1st, 2023||Feb 11th, 2023|
|m/v Plancius||Twin Window||$10,800||NA||Feb 1st, 2023||Feb 11th, 2023|
|m/v Plancius||Twin Deluxe||$11,450||NA||Feb 1st, 2023||Feb 11th, 2023|
|m/v Plancius||Superior||$12,350||NA||Feb 1st, 2023||Feb 11th, 2023|
|m/v Hondius||Quadruple Porthole||$8,650||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Triple Porthole||$9,700||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Porthole||$10,700||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Window||$11,150||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Deluxe||$11,800||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Superior||$12,650||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Junior Suite||$13,450||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|
|m/v Hondius||Grand Suite with private balcony||$15,400||NA||Jan 22nd, 2024||Feb 1st, 2024|