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Antarctic Wildlife Journey

10 Days FROM USD 7,210

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Overview

This cruise offers the ultimate introduction to the White Continent, the last pristine region of the world and our planet’s last frontier. Embarking and disembarking in the port of Ushuaia, the expertly-planned itinerary includes many of the wildlife and scenic highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. Vast penguin colonies, a spectacular variety of seabirds and an abundance of seals and magnificent whales await you, all set in a breathtaking scenery of imposing mountain ranges, ice-filled channels, beautifully-shaped icebergs and awe-inspiring glaciers. 

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACTSAWJ

Location: Antarctica

Ship: M/V Ushuaia

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • In 10 days, you will get an introduction to the white continent and experience two highlights of this remote region: the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • While crossing the Drake Passage, you may have the chance to spot a wide range of wildlife such as dolphins, whales and orca, as well as seabirds like the mighty Albatross which follow the ship.

  • The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife and are a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.

  • You will have the possibility to step foot on the great white continent to experience some of the most unique wildlife and inspiring scenery in the world.

  • The expedition team will be on hand to assist with your Antarctic experience, providing you with insights on everything Antarctic - from the history and geology, to the incredible wildlife.

CRUISE ITINERARY

Embarkation on the M/V USHUAIA begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Embarkation time is set for 4:00pm and is followed by a welcome drink and an introduction to the crew and expedition staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Ushuaia – Embark on Ship

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. As we sail across the passage, our lecturers will be out with you on deck to teach you about the geography of the area and the sea birds you encounter. The open bridge policy on the USHUAIA allows us to join the officers on the bridge to learn about navigation, watch for marine life and enjoy the views of the open ocean. A full program of lectures will be available during your voyage.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith. With favourable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3 of our voyage.

Drake Passage Crossing - Days 2 to 3

The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rockeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this spectacular island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is an amazing experience. King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands features colonies of nesting Adélie and chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, blue-eyed cormorants, Antarctic terns and Southern giant petrels. It is also home to the scientific bases of many countries. Later we plan to visit Livingston Island where macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguins as well as elephant seals can all be found. There will be plenty of time to explore the pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and its incredible variety of wildlife. We are also likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.

Depending on weather and ice conditions, we hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways including the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel and the Lemaire Channel. The latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings a day including Paradise Bay, perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and a landing on the continent itself. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and blue-eyed cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

Further exploration may take us to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of gentoo penguins.

South Shetland & Antarctic Peninsula-Days 4 to 7

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Return Drake Passage Crossing – Days 8 to 9

We arrive into Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the M/V USHUAIA after breakfast.

*** Important - Please be sure not to book flights out of Ushuaia before 12PM (Noon) on the day of disembarkation from your cruise ship.

Ushuaia – Disembark Ship
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Pricing & date

Antarctic Wildlife Journey from USD 7,210
Departing Ending Duration
14 Nov 2019 23 Nov 2019 10
13 Dec 2019 22 Dec 2019 10
17 Mar 2020 26 Mar 2020 10
26 Mar 2020 04 Apr 2020 10
04 Nov 2020 13 Nov 2020 10
02 Dec 2020 11 Dec 2020 10
11 Dec 2020 20 Dec 2020 10
20 Dec 2020 29 Dec 2020 10
08 Jan 2021 17 Jan 2021 10
07 Feb 2021 16 Feb 2021 10
26 Mar 2021 04 Apr 2021 10
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Important Information

  • Shipboard accommodation 

    All meals onboard

    All scheduled landings/excursions

    Guiding and lectures by expedition leader and team 

    English-speaking expedition team 

    All port fees

    All landing fees

    Detailed post-expedition log

     

    EXCLUSIONS:

    Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city

    Visa fees (if applicable)

    Travel Insurance 

    Beverages (other than coffee and tea)

    Personal expenses such as laundry, onboard communication (telephonce calls, faxes, email service) 

    Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)

    Pre or post cruise travel expenses 

    Transfers to/from the pier in Ushuaia 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • No single surcharge if willing to share (Category A, B and C cabin classes only). 

  • Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions. 

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC

RECOMMENDATION XVIII-1, ADOPTED AT THE ANTARCTIC TREATY MEETING, KYOTO, 1994

Activities in the Antarctic are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959 and associated agreements, referred to collectively as the Antarctic Treaty System. The Treaty established Antarctica as a zone of peace and science.

In 1991, the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties adopted the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which designates the Antarctic as a natural reserve. The Protocol sets out environmental principles, procedures and obligations for the comprehensive protection of the Antarctic environment, and its dependent and associated ecosystems. The Consultative Parties have agreed that as far as possible and in accordance with their legal system, the provisions of the Protocol should be applied as appropriate. The Environmental Protocol was ratified in January 1998.

The Environmental Protocol applies to tourism and non-governmental activities, as well as governmental activities in the Antarctic Treaty Area. It is intended to ensure that these activities, do not have adverse impacts on the Antarctic environment, or on its scientific and aesthetic values.

This Guidance for Visitors to the Antarctic is intended to ensure that all visitors are aware of, and are therefore able to comply with, the Treaty and the Protocol. Visitors are, of course, bound by national laws and regulations applicable to activities in the Antarctic.

PROTECT ANTARCTIC WILDLIFE

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.

Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.

Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting.

Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.

Do not use guns or explosives. Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.

Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic, such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats, or house plants.

RESPECT PROTECTED AREAS

A variety of areas in the Antarctic have been afforded special protection because of their particular ecological, scientific, historic, or other values. Entry into certain areas may be prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by an appropriate national authority.

Activities in and near designated Historic Sites and Monuments and certain other areas may be subject to special restrictions.

Know the locations of areas that have been afforded special protection and any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near them.

Observe applicable restrictions.

Do not damage, remove, or destroy Historic Sites or Monuments or any artifacts associated with them.

RESPECT SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Do not interfere with scientific research, facilities or equipment.

Obtain permission before visiting Antarctic science and support facilities; reconfirm arrangements 24-72 hours before arrival; and comply with the rules regarding such visits.

Do not interfere with, or remove, scientific equipment or marker posts, and do not disturb experimental study sites, field camps, or supplies.

BE SAFE

Be prepared for severe and changeable weather and ensure that your equipment and clothing meet Antarctic standards. Remember that the Antarctic environment is inhospitable, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous.

Know your capabilities and the dangers posed by the Antarctic environment, and act accordingly. Plan activities with safety in mind at all times.

Keep a safe distance from all wildlife, both on land and at sea.

Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders; do not stray from your group.

Do not walk onto glaciers or large snow fields without the proper equipment and experience; there is a real danger of falling into hidden crevasses.

Do not expect a rescue service. Self-sufficiency is increased and risks reduced by sound planning, quality equipment, and trained personnel.

Do not enter emergency refuges (except in emergencies). If you use equipment or food from a refuge, inform the nearest research station or national authority once the emergency is over.

Respect any smoking restrictions, particularly around buildings, and take great care to safeguard against the danger of fire. This is a real hazard in the dry environment of Antarctica.

KEEP ANTARCTICA PRISTINE

Antarctica remains relatively pristine, the largest wilderness area on Earth. It has not yet been subjected to large-scale human perturbations. Please keep it that way.

Do not dispose of litter or garbage on land. Open burning is prohibited.

Do not disturb or pollute lakes or streams. Any materials discarded at sea must be disposed of properly.

Do not paint or engrave names or graffiti on rocks or buildings.

Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or man-made artifacts as a souvenir, including rocks, bones, eggs, fossils, and parts or contents of buildings.

Do not deface or vandalize buildings or emergency refuges, whether occupied, abandoned, or unoccupied.

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