DAY 1: Punta Arenas
Start your journey by exploring the charming streets and rugged coastline of Punta Arenas, Chile on the shores of the historic Strait of Magellan. Established on the wealth of the Patagonian wool export industry, the town’s splendour has been continued by a shift in focus to facilitating Antarctic exploration and research. It’s from the Punta Arenas post office that Sir Robert Falcon Scott penned his 400 letters announcing his return from the Antarctic and the town also hosted Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men for the closure of their harrowing Endurance expedition - all of which and more is detailed in the town’s newly built $50million International Antarctic Centre - adorned with an ice-like facade and an homage to Shackleton’s adventurous spirit - the centre’s museum is a brilliant opportunity to learn about the history, ice and animals that await you on the voyage ahead.
DAY 2: Embarkation in Punta Arenas
Today you will be transferred from your hotel to the port where you will board The Ocean Endeavour. You will begin by traversing the Strait of Magellan before turning south for the legendary Drake Passage.
DAY 3-4: Drake Passage
At sea, the rare and gracious albatross and other sea birds will escort our vessel toward the frozen continent. While out on-board team of experts introduce you to the Antarctic through lectures and workshops, the Ocean Endeavour’s spacious bridge provides a warm viewing station for spotting whales and other marine mammals. At night, the expedition team offer tales of their journeys in the south and we invite you to get to know your shipmates at the bar or in the lounge.
DAY 5: Antarctic Peninsula - Day 5 to 8
On the morning of the fifth day of our voyage, large icebergs and the shape of the volcanic South Shetland Islands can be seen from the Ocean Endeavour’s bridge. We’ll spend the day exploring this Antarctic archipelago - a string of islands that is frequented by chinstrap penguins, elephant seals and fur seals. The feeling of a true expedition will come to life as we take to the water in our fleet of zodiacs and make our first Antarctic excursion.
Over the coming days, we’ll voyage further south across the Bransfield strait and into the icy coves of continental Antarctic Peninsula. Sprawling gentoo penguin colonies will provide for a sensory immersion into the continent’s ecology and the seals and whales that thrive in these waters will be a highlight of our first few landings and zodiac cruises. It’s also here that the true extent of Antarctic glacial ice can be witnessed. Famous sites like Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour or Skontorp Cove will draw the captain’s gaze as we seek the region’s most stunning icy vistas for camping, snowshoeing and kayaking adventures. As well as sites rich in natural history, we will also endeavour to visit a working science base as well as seek out historic huts and landmarks that punctuate the white wilderness.
DAY 9-10: Drake Passage
Following the incredible experience of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, The Ocean Endeavour will head north for Cape Horn. During the hours sailing for South America, lectures and workshops in photo editing will make sure your photographic memories of the days past are polished and stored safely. And for the final evenings’ programming, an Antarctic quiz will test your knowledge of all you’ve learned about the continent and its inhabitants, an Antarctic auction will give you the chance to give back to conservation and other efforts in the region and just before we arrive in Ushuaia, a voyage slideshow will recap all we’ve enjoyed along the way.
DAY 11: Disembarkation in Ushuaia
Once you have bid farewell to your crew and fellow passengers, you will be free to explore the world's most southern city. Ushuaia is home to a gorgeous collection of cobblestone streets all within walking distance of wilderness hiking tails, glaciers and vistas of the historic Beagle channel. Gaze over your vessel one last time from the heights of the Martial Glacier or opt for a more subdued experience in one of the main street's cosy cafes.