Day 1: Buenos Aires
Charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia/Argentina, departure 15.00 hrs
Day 2: Drake Passage
Day 3-7: South Shetland Islands , Antarctic Peninsula , South Orkney Islands
The area once believed to be the end of the world becomes the starting point for your adventure. Travel south from the tip of Latin America, the place where Sir Ernest Shackleton’s historic “Endurance” expedition attempted to cross the Antarctic in 1914. The on-board team of experts will get you in the mood for this exciting route with fascinating talks about seafaring history. When you reach the South Shetland Islands, your experts will open up a thrilling chapter in Antarctic exploration and geology. The small, manoeuvrable HANSEATIC inspiration will prove its expedition strength when you travel into the flooded caldera of an extinct volcano that forms Deception Island. Flanked by rock faces up to 50 m (164 ft) in height, the black sand in front of you gives off steam as a testament to a past eruption – and you in the heart of the scenery. Will Paradise Bay be the place where you first set foot on the Antarctic mainland? Snow-covered peaks, imposing icebergs and towering glaciers welcome you in style. Unbelievable views await in the bay of Neko Harbor, surrounded by icebergs with a backdrop of rocky massifs. The monumental dimensions of the Antarctic Peninsula are emphasised by Brown Bluff, its tuff cliffs towering up to 700 m (2,296 ft) between two mighty glaciers. This panorama is accompanied by the cries of countless Dominican gulls, cape petrels and snow petrels. History surrounds you on Elephant Island: polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew spent the winter here after abandoning their ship in the ice. Who would have expected the South Orkney Islands to be more diverse than the Galapagos Islands, with around 1,200 different species? The islands are home to numerous varieties of penguin, whale and seal, as well as leopard seals. In contrast, the Argentinian Orcadas research station – which has been manned since 1904 – houses just a handful of people. Depending on the conditions and approval from the station, you will land in the Zodiacs to gain an impression of life in the area.
Day 8: At Sea
Day 9-10: South Georgia
Steep summits on the horizon announce the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, often known as the “cold Serengeti”. Hundreds of thousands of king penguins blanket the beaches and mountain slopes. The Zodiacs are used several times a day for landings in the rugged coast’s most beautiful spots. With a little luck, you will encounter enormous elephant seals and fur seals when you land in places like Gold Harbour. Chinstrap, macaroni and Adelie penguins and giant petrels fill the island with life. In Grytviken, explore an old wooden church from the whaling era, while Sir Ernest Shackleton’s final resting place reminds you of times gone by. The HANSEATIC inspiration preserves the pioneering spirit of the past – be it on the glass balconies or in the Ocean Academy with its interactive study wall for personal discoveries. Like a floating centre of knowledge, the expedition ship provides a front-row seat for polar wonders along with background knowledge.
Day 11-14: At Sea
Day 15-16: Nightingale/Tristan da Cunha
In the middle of nowhere, around 2,400 km (1,491 mi.) from the nearest settlement, the island group of Tristan da Cunha rises out of the South Atlantic – perhaps the most remote place on earth. The small island of Nightingale, the breeding ground for more than a million seabirds, provides good opportunities for wildlife sightings. When the weather turned rough, hunters would take refuge in the caves carved out by the sea. The almost circular main island of Tristan da Cunha is the peak of an underwater volcano and home to just a few residents. Things might get livelier in the water where, with a little luck, you’ll spot some humpback and sperm whales. In the island’s interior, a patchwork of tiny potato and vegetable fields contrast with the dramatic rocky coast and black beach. A mosaic that will provide one of the many unforgettable moments on this expedition. Look back over your experiences in peace and quiet as you enjoy the comfort on board with some relaxing days at sea. When you arrive in South Africa, you can proudly boast that you have travelled from cape to cape. How many other people can say that?
Day 17-20: At Sea
Day 21: Cape Town/South Africa, arrival 7.00 hrs
Day 21: Buenos Aires