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Ortelius | Polar Circle Voyage 2022

14 Days FROM USD 8,850

Overview

All aboard the MV Ortelius. Today you will start your 15 day voyage from Ushuaia in Argentina, across the Drake Passage to the world's most remote continent, Antarctica. An expedition rather than a holiday, be prepared to encounter wild weather, bitter beauty and abundant wildlife. Vast landscapes are softened by the appearance of Gentoo penguins and different seal species while the icy ocean we hope will offer sightings of Humpback and Minke whales, in various locations as we sail.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACOWOPC

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic Circle

Ship: Ortelius

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

CRUISE ITINERARY

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.

Embarkation in Ushuaia

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.

Path of Polar Explorers - Days 2 to 3

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.

The intended route for you Antarctic adventure includes:

Cuverville Island – A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas.

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.

Entering Antarctica - Day 4 to 5

After a comfortable night of sailing, you wake among the many islands south of Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle. At this point, a voyage through the aptly named Gullet – a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Continent is possible if the ice isn’t too dense. You can explore this area from the prow of the ship getting the closest possible contact with the polar terrain as you venture southward. Along the way, you may enjoy the following visits:

Pourquoi Pas Island – You might circumnavigate this island, named after the ship of the famous French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty, glacier-crowded mountains.

Hanusse Bay – Enjoy the scattered icebergs of this scenic bay, which offers a good chance of spotting whales.

Stonington Island – Home to the former US East Base and British Base E, which was occupied until 1975, this island marks the southernmost landing site of the trip – 68 degrees south. If a landing here is possible, your road turns north again afterward, through the Gunnel Channel.

Through The Gullet - Days 6 to 8

You are near the Antarctic Circle again, cutting north through the countless ice floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are likely, and your approach to the Fish Islands offers the possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing. Whatever the case, the views beyond comparison in this area. There may also be more Adélie penguins congregating among the bergs nearby. Petermann & Pléneau Islands provide a great variety of birdlife, along with possibilities for Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are highly popular among leopard and crabeater seals. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo penguins can also be found here.

The Whales of Crystal Sound - Day 9 to 11

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.

Crossing The Drake - Days 12 to 13

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.

Disembarkation in Ushuaia
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Pricing & date

Ortelius | Polar Circle Voyage 2022 from USD 8,850
Departing Ending Duration
19 Mar 2022 01 Apr 2022 14
20 Mar 2023 02 Apr 2023 14

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board ship 
    Pre scheduled group departure transfer Ushuaia port - airport (disembarkation day)
    All meals whilst on board
    All scheduled landings and excursions 
    Complimentary use of rubber boots for duration of voyage
    All taxes and port fees
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition team

    Exclusions 

    International flights
    Optional activities not mentioned as included
    Travel and medical insurance
    Personal expenses 
    Beverages (other than tea and coffee) 
    Gratuities for the staff and crew

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

  • Please note this itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

We appreciate that voyages to the Antarctic to have an impact on this pristine environment. In light of this, all our voyages are double carbon offset. In addition, we strive to eliminate as many single use plastics as possible from our supply chain. In choosing this voyage you are also supporting the fantastic work done by the Antarctic Science Foundation (ASF) and their work in understanding and protecting this unique destination. In addition all voyages support the Mawsons Huts Foundation (MHF). The MHF support the legacy of Sir Douglas Mawson, the legendary Antarctic explorer and scientist. As a member of IAATO we follow strict guidelines appointed by the Antarctic Treaty System to go above and beyond in support of minimizing negative impacts on this pristine landscape. We also encourage clients to look to book pre-and post- accommodation with us, where local businesses will be supported. Our clients also receive restaurant recommendations which support locally owned restaurants.

We carefully select all ships we work with and choose smaller sized vessels to create less impact. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in the Antarctic’s delicate ecosystem. We view the voyage to the Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller ships 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. The waste is carried back to the home port to allow for environmentally conscious waste management and disposal.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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