|Trip Length||11||Trip Code||UU - AD - 4|
|Tour Group||1 - 88||Age Range||Open|
Antarctic Cruise Classic 11: Tour Information
11 Day Expedition Travelling to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, This expedition offers you the ideal introduction to the Great White Continent. Departing from and finishing in the port of Ushuaia, we take in the most exciting sights of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Our program is orientated to the viewing of wildlife and the breathtaking scenery of narrow waterways, glaciers, icebergs and the rugged mountains. The itinerary given below is the 11 day expedition. Of course no two expeditions can be exactly the same so the itinerary outlined here is for your guidance only: the Captain and the Expedition Leader will assess conditions daily with the intention of maximizing your time ashore. This means taking full advantage of opportunities to land passengers with our zodiacs and making best use of the light of the long summer days.
Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia
Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 4 to 8: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
Day 9 & 10: At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
Day 11: Arrival in Ushuaia
Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.
Depart from Ushuaia
Embark in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
Crossing the Drake Passage
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions’ lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The M.V. Ushuaia‘s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well. The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favourable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.
Days 4-8 (10 day cruises spend 1 day less on the Peninsula)
Exploring South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island. The Antarctic Peninsula?s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range. We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins. Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.
Arrival at Ushuaia
We arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark after breakfast.
M/V Ushuaia Deck Plan
All rates per person, based on twin or triple occupancy. Two dedicated Premier single cabins are available at a special single rate. A limited number of twin cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth in the Suites and Superior may be occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate.
Local Tour Payments (LTP) or a Kitty payment, if stated is paid direct to your tour leader / crew on day 1.
DATES, PRICES & AVAILABILITY:
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|Prices:||All prices Charged in Australian Dollars|
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