11 Nights Antarctica - Weddell Sea Explorer

11 Nights Antarctica - Weddell Sea Explorer

$8,400.00Price

The great Weddell Sea not only features massive tabular icebergs, wildly dramatic landscapes, and fascinating historical sites, but it is also one of the best places in Antarctica for viewing iconic wildlife like whales, seals, juvenile emperor penguins, and many other rarely seen seabirds.

  • Note: please see Prices and Departures section for departure dates and voyage lengths.

     

     

    Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey

    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. 

     

    Day 2 – 3: Path of the polar explorers

    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.

     

    Day 4: Brown Bluff, Madder Cliffs and nesting penguins

    This morning we hope to land at Brown Bluff with its impressive scenery and nesting Adelie penguins. In the afternoon, we head across the Antarctic Sound to Kinnes Cove for a landing, where you can see the nearby Madder Cliffs with their subtle red coloration as well as nearby gentoo penguins.

     

    Day 5: Antarctic sound islands and history

    Today we explore the southern end of the Antarctic Sound, including the islands of Jonassen, Andersson, and Rosamel, depending on conditions. In the afternoon, we head to Paulet Island, where an historic hut remains from the 1903 Swedish Antarctic Expedition of Otto Nordenskiöld. This hut enabled the team, whose ship had been crushed in sea ice, to survive until they were rescued.

     

    Day 6: Panorama from Devil Island

    The aim is to spend the day on and around Devil Island, an impressive landing site that gives us the chance to ascend the summit and take in breathtaking views of Erebus and Terror Gulf, as well as our ship anchored in the bay below.

     

    Day 7: The marvels of James Ross Island

    Today you can explore the area of Herbert Sound, named after the great explorer Sir Wally Herbert. We will focus our attention on the area of the Naze Peninsula and Comb Ridge on James Ross Island.

     

    Day 8: Exploring remote islands

    We sail as close as the ice allows to the northwest area of Erebus and Terror Gulf, where the Beak and Eagle islands await us. As with other islands in this group, they are volcanic in origin. Beak island has two freshwater lakes that are home to unique ecosystems, and Eagle Island offers spectacular scenery. It is most famous for being the hottest place in Antarctica during a heatwave that melted 20% of the island’s snow and ice in 2020.

     

    Day 9: Craters, hot springs, and abandoned whaling stations

    The next plan is to visit Deception Island. Actually a subducted crater, this island opens into the sea and creates a natural harbor for the ship. Hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and multiple bird species – cape petrels, kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns – can be seen here. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

     

    Day 10 – 11: Familiar seas, familiar friends

    Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, we are 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.

     

    Day 12: There and back again

    Every adventure, no matter how great, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia with memories that will accompany you wherever your next journey leads.