Discover one of the most isolated places on the planet: Antarctica! The itinerary for your 11 day / 10 night expedition is as follows:
- Day1: Depart from Ushuaia
In the afternoon you will board the USHUAIA and meet the staff who will accompany you during the expedition. Once in your cabin, you will sail along the famous Beagle Channel and Mackinlay Pass.
- Day 2 and 3: Crossing the Drake Passage
On the 2nd day of your cruise, you will cross the Drake Passage. This place was explored for the very first time by the famous explorer Sir Francis Drake in 1578! It is at the Atlantic convergence, a natural barrier where the cold polar waters mingle with the warmer waters from the North.
Feel free to chat to the sailors, professors and experts on board. They will help you identify the amazing varieties of seabird and learn more about navigation. You will be able to find out everything you want to know.
On the third day, you will begin to spot icebergs and snowcapped mountains, indicating that you have reached the South Shetland Islands. If the conditions are good, the professors and naturalists will accompany you on to land to discover the penguins and wild seals that live there!
- Day 4 to 8: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
The South Shetland Islands are a true paradise for fauna! During the next part of your expedition, You will see vast colonies of Penguins as well as beaches bursting with sea lions and elephant seals.
You will sail through the narrow passage into Deception Island caldera before visiting King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands. There you will discover colonies of Adélie penguins as well as other penguins, kelp gulls, cormorants and many other animal species. With a bit of luck, you might even be able to find some scientists in the middle of their research!
Once or twice a day, you will climb into a zodiac to explore the land and ice. You will relive the excitement of the very first explorers to discover this isolated continent. You will discover an unspoiled landscape of snow, ice, mountains and rivers. Next you will explore Paradise Bay, a magical place where more than 100,000 couples of Adélie penguins come to mate. It was also here, in 1903, that the explorer Nordenskjöld built a stone shelter, now in ruins and populated by penguins. If you explore further, you will visit sites such as the Melchior Islands, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pleneau Island and Petermann Island.
During your cruise, you are likely to come across numerous animals such as Weddell seals, crabs, penguins, leopard seals, minke whales, killer whales and humpback whales.
You will sail along some of the most beautiful watercourses in the world: the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel and the Lemaire Channel (depending on the thickness of the ice floe). These narrow passages between rocky walls and immense glaciers will give you a spectacular view!
- Day 9 & 10: Return trip through Drake Passage
On the 9th and 10th days, you will cross the Drake Passage and return to Ushuaia. You will join the professors and naturalists on deck to try to spot some whales as you admire the fabulous icy landscape! These final few days in Antarctica will be a chance to reflect on the wonderful adventures you've had during this unforgettable trip!
- Day 11: Arrival in Ushuaia
You will arrive in the port of Ushuaia in the morning and leave the boat after breakfast. This will be the end of your expedition to the Antarctic peninsula!