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Crossing the Circle

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Overview

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Sailing in comfort aboard one of our luxurious and comfortable ships, we begin this 14-night expedition at the tip of South America. We will chart a course through the Drake Passage and along the Antarctic Peninsula with the ambition of crossing the Antarctic Circle.

The farther south we go, the more sea ice we are likely to encounter. Our aim is to cross the Circle before getting stopped by this ice. Should we arrive at 66°33’S, we will become members of very small band of explorers and adventurous travelers who have made it this far south.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACPLISCC

Location: Antarctica

Ship: Island Sky

CRUISE ITINERARY

We’ve eliminated the anxiety of missed connections and flight delays by providing a two-night hotel stay at the beautiful Arakur Resort & Spa. Most flights arrive in Ushuaia in the late afternoon or early evening. Bring your bathing suit, lounge in the spa, or take a bath, and then get over your jet lag with good night’s sleep. You’ll have a full day on day two to relax at the resort or explore town, before embarkation on day three.

Arrival

Today is all yours: explore some of the sights that Ushuaia has to offer, from museums to Argentinean leather markets, or continue relaxing at the lovely Arakur. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and meet some of your fellow travelers. All guests need to arrive at the hotel no later than the evening of day two.

Ushuaia

After a complimentary buffet breakfast, you’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. Once on board, you’ll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the ship’s officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past porpoising Magellanic penguins, Rock Cormorant, and Black-browed Albatross.

Embarkation

As we make our way ever closer to the white continent, numerous Polar Experts will prepare you with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, we’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.

Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in SeaBird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. We’re likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species. If we’re lucky, we may see some of them fully breach from the sea.

Drake Passage - Day 4 & 5

In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we will hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.

Our first sight of land will likely be that of the South Shetland Islands. These highly volcanic islands offer amazing abundance and beauty. We may visit Half Moon Island nestled inside Livingston’s eastern shore, or conditions permitting visit historic Deception Island. Being further north, sub-Antarctic species are more commonly found here, including Chinstrap penguins and Southern Elephant seals

South Shetland Islands - Day 6 & 7

As we head south across the Bransfield Strait, we sail towards the Antarctic Circle. From our most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), we will make our way back north, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, or the living museums of Detaille or Horseshoe Island are some of the less visited places of the Antarctic Peninsula. These waters are significantly further south making sea ice more common. The ice ultimately directs what adventures we will have in these lesser traveled waterways.

Antarctic Circle - Day 8 & 10

Heading Southwest, we enter Gerlache Strait and Trinity Coast. Here we may explore picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, or Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell and Crabeater seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.

Antarctic Peninsula - Day 11 to 13

As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.

Drake Passage - Day 14 & 15

Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.

Ushuaia disembarkation
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Pricing & date

Departing Ending Duration
10 Feb 2020 25 Feb 2020 16
31 Jan 2021 15 Feb 2021 16
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SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

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.​​