Day 1 Ushuaia
On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.
There will be an evening a briefing at 7:30pm to run through details of embarkation the following day. Ushuaia is the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego, with a dramatic setting overlooking the Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains. It is a major port for Antarctic bound vessels and an interesting city to explore.
Day 2 Embarkation
This morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia and pick up any essential supplies before boarding the ship in the mid-afternoon. Highlights of Ushuaia include the award-winning Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia, (Maritime & Prison of Ushuaia Museum), located in Ushuaia’s former prison, in buildings dating back to 1906, and nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park that can be reached by the “End of the World Train”. Stroll along the main street of Avenida San Martin with its many cafes, shops and restaurants, explore the Argentinean leather markets and maybe taste a succulent lamb dish for which Patagonia is famous.
This afternoon, you will be transferred together with your fellow expeditioners to the pier to board your vessel. On embarkation you will meet the expedition crew and be shown to your suite. In the early evening we sail down the majestic Beagle Channel past magellanic penguin, rock cormorant and sea lion colonies as we head towards Antarctica. We will enter the legendary Drake Passage just after midnight.
Day 3-4 Drake Passage
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling waves, maybe even a fin whale blasting up a column of sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight – always an exciting moment for those aboard. Our lecture program will commence during this time and continue for the duration of the cruise. Be prepared to be astounded by legendary tales, find out more about the unique flora and fauna of this part of the world, and learn about the geology of the Antarctic.
Day 5-10 Enter the Antarctica
We arrive to Antarctica. The world’s most pristine wilderness. Grey stone peaks greet us, 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. Sites you may visit during your time here may include:
Cuverville Island – Stabbing up between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, Cuverville houses a colony of several thousand gentoo penguins, as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas.
Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that may be found nearby.
Crystal Sound – If conditions permit, you may enjoy a landing in this ice-packed body of water.
Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, We may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities for kayaking and camping here.
Paradise Bay – You may be able to walk on the Continent again at this location, or to take a Zodiac cruise in the sprawling, ice-flecked waters. Here you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales.
Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren – This is a great place to spot humpback whales, and you also may embark on a Zodiac cruise. Around the ghostly wreck of Guvernøren, a whaling vessel that caught fire here in 1915. Around the Melchior Islands, amid a frozen landscape peopled with icebergs, you may encounter even more whales, leopard seals, and crabeater seals.
King George Island – Heading to the South Shetland Islands, the aim is a landing at the Chinese Great Wall Station. There are also Russia, Argentine, and Uruguayan research stations in this area. Onboard your adventure you will have plenty of free time, as well as enjoy some fantastic hospitality!
Day 11 Return to Drake
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. The return crossing is always a great time to relive the experiences with your fellow passengers, and check through some of the incredible photography taken by the group.
Day 12 Ushuaia
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, after the journey of a life time.