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Ponant: Weddel Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf

12 Days FROM USD 13,960

Overview

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Experience the incredible sights of the Weddell Sea on this unique Antarctic expedition. A voyage that promises incredible landscapes and unforgettable encounters. Discover the immense polar landscapes of Antarctica as you cruise the South Shetland Islands, North Antarctic Peninsula and legendary Larsen Ice shelf. Discover the colossal sights of the Larsen ice sheet as you search for incredible wildlife among immense icebergs and frozen glaciers. 

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACPOWLS

Travel Style: Expedition Cruise

Location: Antarctic Peninsula

Ship: Le Commandant Charcot

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Encounter unique wildlife including Weddell seals, carbeater seals, leopard seals, Adelie penguins and humpback whales

  • Undertake this unforgettable voyage on board Le Commandant Charcot, a state of the art vessel and the first luxury polar expedition vessel. A truly incredible experience combining elegance and luxury.

  • Sail into the very heart of the Weddell Sea, discovering the immensity of the Larsen Ice Shelf.

CRUISE ITINERARY

Capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, Ushuaia is considered the gateway to the White Continent and the South Pole. Nicknamed “El fin del mundo” by the Argentinian people, this city at the end of the world nestles in the shelter of mountains surrounded by fertile plains that the wildlife seem to have chosen as the ultimate sanctuary. With its exceptional site, where the Andes plunge straight into the sea, Ushuaia is one of the most fascinating places on earth, its very name evocative of journeys to the unlikely and the inaccessible.

Embarkation in Ushuaia

Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage.

Crossing the Drake - Day 2 and 3

The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Deception Island, where the flooded caldera of an active volcano harbors an abandoned whaling station.

South Shetland Islands

Throughout your time in the north of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will find yourself in the heart of a spectacular decor in subtle shades of blue and white, surrounded by exceptional wildlife. You will sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, which was trapped by the ice during an important scientific expedition in 1902. The gateway to the Weddell Sea, this sound is filled with gigantic tabular icebergs and plates of sea ice drifting northward from the coastal areas of this vast sea. It is home to Adelie penguins and a great many leopard seals.

North Antarctic Peninsula

Amidst the eerie stillness of the Weddell Sea, you'll wend your way through a veritable labyrinth of dense ice floe and majestic table icebergs. Sweeping ice platforms sculpt a landscape unlike any other, populated by fur seals, penguins, wandering albatross and other imposing seabirds. The Weddell seal, king of this realm, will welcome you to his territory with a haunting cry that pierces the surrounding silence. You'll recognise him by his dark grey coat and spotted belly. Weddell seals have the impressive distinction of being able to stay underwater for more than an hour.

The Weddell Sea

On the Weddell Sea, you will sail close to the gigantic Larsen ice shelves. These floating ice shelves help to prevent the erosion of the Antarctic ice sheet. Over the last fifty years, scientists have however observed regular collapses of these shelves, along giant cracks that can be several hundred kilometres long and deep. In 2017, a portion measuring more than 6,000 km2, so barely smaller than Corsica, had broken off the Larsen C ice shelf, forming one of the largest tabular icebergs in the world. This disintegration is believed to be due in part to global warming and melting sea ice.

Toward the Larsen Shelf - Day 7 and 8

Sailing along the Weddell Sea the day will be spent at your leisure.

The Weddell Sea

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

Crossing the Drake - Day 10 to 11

You will disembark your vessel in Ushuaia where you will bid farewell to your crew and fellow passengers. From here you may make your way to the airport to board your flight home or perhaps continue an adventure in South America.

Disembark in Ushuaia
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Why not start your Antarctic Journey with a visit to the “Paris of the south”? Discover the wonders of Buenos Aires on this 4-day itinerary. Explore a unique fusion of European elegance and Latin American energy as you explore the history of this magnificent city. Take part in a unique tango show or take a break from cities and visit the gaucho town of San Antonio de Areco. Find out more

  • Before embarking on your Antarctic voyage, why not experience the amazing wonders of two of South America’s most vibrant cities. A 9 Day Rio to Buenos Aires journey will be the perfect way to indulge in a mix of Latin American cultural experience and sights. From the awe-inspiring Christ the Redeemer, to the roaring cascades of Iguazu falls and the European avenues of Buenos Aires this is a spectacular way to experience this unique and dynamic corner of our world. Find out more

  • Begin your Antarctic experience by first exploring the dramatic and stunningly beautiful “End of the world”. Start in Buenos Aires, the capital of Tango and a vibrant, historical gem. Experience the wonders of El Calafate a land of stunning beauty and wonder located in the Patagonian steppe before finishing in Ushuaia and witnessing the incredible beauty of the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Find out more

Pricing & date

Ponant: Weddel Sea and Larsen Ice Shelf from USD 13,960
Departing Ending Duration
21 Jan 2022 01 Feb 2022 12
13 Mar 2022 24 Mar 2022 12
24 Mar 2022 04 Apr 2022 12

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation whilst on board Le Commondant
    All meals whilst on board
    Beverages (excluding premium alcohol labels)
    All scheduled landings and excursions
    Guiding and lectures by expedition team 
    Complimentary Polar expedition jacket
    Free use of rubber boots for shore excursions
    All port taxes 
    Kayaking Activities
    Comprehensive pre and post voyage informational material 
    Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia on embarkation day 
    Flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires on disembarkation day 

    Exclusions 

    Airfares to and from embarkation/disembarkation city 
    Visa fees (if applicable) 
    Travel insurance 
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email) 
    Gratuities for the crew
    Pre or post cruise travel expenses
    Optional activities

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • Please note this itinerary may be subject to change due to weather and ice conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures is passionate and dedicated to sustainbility measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

A trip to the Antarctic is a completely different experience and quite unlike any other trip you have probably been on. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in this vulnerable ecosystem. We are fully compliant with all rules set down by the IAATO and all activities are governed by the Antarctic Treaty System. We carefully select all ships we work with and choose them for their small size as this creates far less impact on shore landings with wildlife. We view the voyage to the Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller boats such as ours can navigate narrow waterways and are far less polluting than the larger ships in Antarctic waters. By carrying less passengers, we have far less waste, and all waste is carried back to the home port to allow for environmentally conscious waste management and disposal, unlike some of the larger ships which do not facilitate this. This trip begins in Ushuaia where you will have time to sample local food and shop at local boutiques which we encourage individuals to take part in for experience and in support of the local community. We also try to create opportunity to see research and historical sites including the former research station/now museum of Port Lockroy and engage with local history. We discourage the buying of souvenirs made from endangered species or wrongfully taken from the environment i.e. shells. Our pre-departure pack provides you with all the information required for your tour, from what to take with you to practical advice about how to minimise your impact on the Antarctic environment. This pack highlights initiatives such as waste reduction, and how to appropriately engage with wildlife and the environment around you.

For more information visit our sustainability page.

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