STYLE: Small Ship Expedition Cruise
Trip Code: ACOWAB13
DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)
Start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish: Ushuaia, Argentina
The Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp cruise offers you a myriad of ways to explore and enjoy the Antarctic Region. This expedition allows you to hike, snowshoe, kayak, go mountaineering, and even camp out under the Southern Polar skies.
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.
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.
Places you might visit includes:
Neumayer Channel – The vessel may position itself here, launching its multiple basecamp activities from the protected waters around Wiencke Island. You can enjoy the splendors of this alpine environment at sea with Zodiac and kayaking trips, or if you’re in the mood for a walk, there are possible snowshoe hikes and soft-climb mountaineering options farther inland. Naturally, favorable weather conditions determine the possible activities.
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 here, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore.
Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you can sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals. Kayaking, glacier walks, and more ambitious mountaineering trips are the potential activities of this location.
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 have the chance to make camp here like a true polar explorer (but with a better tent), enjoying a supreme overnight Antarctic adventure.
Errera Channel – Possible sites in this area include Danco Island and Cuverville Island, but also the lesser known (though equally picturesque) Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island.
On your last day of near-shore activities, you pass the Melchior Islands toward the open sea. Keep a sharp lookout for humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. You might also shoot for Half Moon Island, in the South Shetlands, with further chances for activities.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
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.
With its origins in Poland, the M/V Ortelius now plies the waters of the Antarctic and Arctic as an ice-strengthened Polar expedition vessel. It is named after the Flemish cartographer and geographer, Abraham Ortelius, who also created the first modern atlas. Adept at navigating through solid one year sea-ice and loose multi-pack ice, this ship is ideally suited to reaching more remote locations such as the Ross Sea. The comfortable M/V Ortelius accommodates up to 116 passengers. Cabins range from quadruple and triple cabins with portholes and both upper and lower berths, to twin porthole, window and deluxe cabins with lower berths only up to superior cabins which feature a double bed. The ship has plenty of open-deck spaces as well as a large bridge accessible to passengers. Alongside the expedition team that is made up of an expedition leader plus 5 guides/lecturers, the ship is manned by 34 extremely experienced Russian nautical crew, 15 international catering staff and a doctor. On board there are also two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. There are 11 Zodiacs on board, maximising time spent on shore and wildlife opportunities.
With its origins in Poland, the M/V Ortelius now plies the waters of the Antarctic and Arctic as an ice-strengthened Polar expedition vessel. It is named after the Flemish cartographer and geographer, Abraham Ortelius, who also created the first modern atlas. Adept at navigating through solid one year sea-ice and loose multi-pack ice, this ship is ideally suited to reaching more remote locations such as the Ross Sea.
The comfortable M/V Ortelius accommodates up to 116 passengers. Cabins range from quadruple and triple cabins with portholes and both upper and lower berths, to twin porthole, window and deluxe cabins with lower berths only up to superior cabins which feature a double bed. The ship has plenty of open-deck spaces as well as a large bridge accessible to passengers. Alongside the expedition team that is made up of an expedition leader plus 5 guides/lecturers, the ship is manned by 34 extremely experienced Russian nautical crew, 15 international catering staff and a doctor.
On board there are also two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. There are 11 Zodiacs on board, maximising time spent on shore and wildlife opportunities.
Length: 90.95m / 299.4ft
Breadth: 17.20m / 57.8ftMax
Speed: 14.5 knots
Electricity: 240 volts Passenger
Capacity:116 passengers & 52 Crew & Staff
View Ship Details
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
Optional Activities vary for each itinerary. Limited spaces available. Contact your Destination Specialist for pricing & availability.
One step beyond cross-country skiing, in terms of challenge and adventure, mountaineering excursions in Antarctica are the stuff of legends. Push yourself just a little bit further and you can bag an exciting climb to the peak of an Antarctic mountain. Available on selected voyages only and requiring a somewhat decent level of fitness (given the snowy terrain, need for snowshoeing dexterity and uphill walking) mountaineering trips set themselves apart from general snowshoeing excursions, as they cross glaciated areas which require a certain level of care and experience. Groups are usually kept quite small for safety (up to 12 guests), with everyone tied together across the hairiest crevasse crossings. Whilst not an Antarctic activity that’s suitable for everyone, mountaineering is an absolute dream-come-true for the right adventure-seeker.Learn More
For photography enthusiasts of any skill level. You will receive expert advice on taking and producing amazing photos of Antarctica.Learn More
Fall asleep amid the snow-capped mountains as you watch the colours of the Antarctic twilight bounce off the ocean and surrounding glaciers.Learn More
Experience the unforgettable thrill and serenity of kayaking in Antarctica as part of a small, expertly guided paddling group.Learn More
Go even deeper into Antarctica’s interior and reach less visited places where many other visitors simply don’t go!Learn More
|Antarctica Basecamp | Ortelius from USD 9,100|
|30 Nov 2023||12 Dec 2023||13|
|12 Dec 2023||24 Dec 2023||13|
|24 Dec 2023||05 Jan 2024||13|
|04 Mar 2024||16 Mar 2024||13|
|29 Dec 2024||10 Jan 2025||13|
|10 Jan 2025||22 Jan 2025||13|
|01 Jan 1970||13 Jan 1970||13|
All on-board accommodation
All meals throughout voyage
All shore excursions and activities by Zodiac
Program of lectures by experienced guides and naturalists
Complimentary use of rubber boots during voyage
Luggage transfer from pick-up point to vessel on embarkation in Ushuaia
Pre-scheduled group transfer from vessel to airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
Comprehensive pre-departure material
During our 'Basecamp' departures all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, hiking, mountaineering, photo workshops) are free of charge
Any airfare, whether scheduled or charter flights
Pre and post land arrangements
Passport and visa expenses
Government arrival and departure taxes
Meals whilst ashore
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance
Excess baggage charges
All items of a personal nature (such as laundry and telecommunication charges)
Gratuities for crew
Available upon request. Please contact us for more details. No single supplement will apply if willing to share in selected cabins.
Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time. Price is based on Quad Share.
Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.
Departure Date, Fuel Surcharges, Cabin Category, Currency Fluctuations, Seasonality & Availability.