Sailing in comfort aboard the comforable and well appointed Akademik Ioffe, we begin this 12 - night, 13-day expedition at the tip of South America onboard Antarctica's mobile wilderness lodge. We chart a course through the Drake Passage and might make landfall in the South Shetland Islands prior to reaching the Antarctic Peninsula. When we arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula, be prepared to be dazzled. Even our experienced staff members many of whom have visited the southern region a hundred times or more are still astonished by its pristine beauty.
The abundance of wildlife is truly extraordinary including five seal species, massive penguin rookeries of gentoo, Adélie and chinstrap as well as a profusion of seabirds from albatross to skuas. It is nature you will experience up close and personal on frequent specialized excursions inland and on water.
Our journey may take us south of the Lemaire Channel to the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, or reverse depending on ice and weather conditions. Our goal is to enter Antarctic waters prepared to undertake extraordinary outdoor pursuits that will excite, awe and inspire people who revel in the outdoors. For those enrolled in our traditional sea kayaking program, there will be an optional opportunity to participate in an overnight sea kayak and camping excursion led by our kayak guides. For others interested in camping but not of the small boat variety, we endeavour to camp on the ice amidst the Polar landscape sometime in the coming days. Ideal weather and just the right campsite make this experience a life changing memory.
There are numerous areas within the peninsula and surrounding archipelago that offer extraordinary ski touring opportunities. Experienced high alpine ski touring guides will skin-up and lead you into the beauty and remote wilderness of Antarctica, whilst choosing the most appealing ski line descent.We also offer snowshoeing and all of our traditional activities (walking, hiking, zodiac cruising) on this voyage. There are a handful of preferred landing sites where we enjoy these activities, which allow us to appreciate varied terrain amidst Antarctic snow pack. Our hiking options range depending on the landing sites we visit. Remember it is your choice whether to be the contemplative wanderer amidst the rocky shore, or the long distance hiker to the outer limits. Just let us know. For keen photographers interested in field photography of either adventure pursuits or landscape, join our expedition team and specialty photographers for extended shore excursions or very early excursions aimed at capturing these specialty subjects with a remarkable backdrop.
It is our priority to combine preferable weather conditions with all of our outdoor pursuits to achieve both awe-inspiring outdoor experiences, paired with outdoor education and learned information on Antarctica and its protected environment.
Day 1: Ushuaia - Today is the first day of our adventure. As we board the Akademik Ioffe in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city at the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with ‘our home’ for the next 13 days we cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead of us. In the early evening, we set sail and begin our voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
Days 2 - 3: Drake Passage - Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as we make our way ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard, as our Polar experts and educational professionals prepare us for our adventures with presentations and courses on everything Antarctic, from wildlife and history, to first aid and snow safety. Eventually, we will cross the Antarctic Convergence where we will notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, we will witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species some of which are known on occasion to breach from the sea.
Days 4 - 10: Antarctic Peninsula - In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiacs to incorporate our expedition goals and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Planned excursions may include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay and the southerly Petermann Island, where we will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as a shocking abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of the comical Adélie penguin.
Amongst these varied landing sites and extraordinary bays for cruising, we find ourselves delving into our expedition field photography program as well as our hiking, snow-shoeing, sea kayaking, and ski touring programs. Using the weather as our guide, we endeavour to extend ourselves beyond the standard limits of expedition cruising itineraries. With a flexible hospitality team we are able to spend more time onshore in our chosen environment to meet all of our expeditionary goals. By offering an expedition snowshoe program as well as our traditional snowshoe program we plan to offer higher hiking options with the expedition snowshoe option.
By following the skin trails of our ski touring group, we can achieve amazing views of the surrounding area. This option has been designed for those intrepid adventurers who enjoy awaking early (0400 hrs) to gain extraordinary views and experiences. Our traditional snowshoe program is available to those who want to lead the pack whilst hiking on our chosen landing sites. Sometimes track through the early deep snow is best done by snowshoe.
Once alongside the peninsula we plan to launch our overnight kayaking experience. After packing the kayaks with the necessary gear for our adventure we leave the ship and paddle into a chosen destination for a two night camping experience.
Once we land we expect to spend two to three hours stretching our legs and exploring. Some of you may ascend to a walk-able summit to take in the views with massive icebergs in every direction. We also look for a possible campsite and assemble our tents for the wonderful experience of camping in Antarctica.
Specifics for our overnight kayak and ski touring program will also depend on weather and avalanche safety. With our focus on the experience rather than the number of penguins we see, we have the flexibility to launch our outdoor pursuits in the right area and for the required length of time. We envisage the ability to offer a couple of ski touring options throughout the time in Antarctica.
Days 11 - 12: Drake Passage - As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, we have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. This sailing time is optimal for reviewing your newfound ‘field photography’ skills and learning more from our onboard presentation staff and educational experts. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition with a special dinner onboard.
Days 13: Ushuaia - In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.
Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions, the planned itinerary will be updated at the time of final preparations as well as throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favourable conditions.
|Dates & Rates||Cabins (all Prices in US$ Dollar)|
|Date||Triple Share||Twin Semi
|Start Nov 06, 2017
End Nov 18, 2017
(K H LC E P S Y W)
DETAILS FOR SPECIAL ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES ON THIS VOYAGE:
Sea Kayaking – pre-booked option, fee of US$795. Maximum number of clients is 16.
Overnight Sea Kayaking – pre-booked option for those already enrolled in the standard sea kayak program. Additional fee of US$300. Sea kayak & camping experience is necessary and participation in option is dependent upon our Sea Kayak Guide approval onboard. Max number of clients is 6, min 4.
Ski Touring – pre-booked option, fee of US$750. Back country experience essential and participation in this option is dependent upon our Ski Touring Guide approval onboard. Gear is not provided by our. Please review our required gear list prior to departure. Max number of clients is 12, min 6.
Expedition Snowshoeing – pre-booked option, fee of US$45, gear is provided. Maximum 12 people.
Expedition Field Photography- pre-booked option, fee of US$45. Maximum of 18 people.
Overnight Camping - no pre-booking necessary, no additional fee, gear is provided. No maximum.
Hiking- no pre-booking necessary, no additional fee,No maximum.
Traditional Snowshoeing - no pre-booking necessary, no additional fee, gear is provided. 10 pairs of snowshoes will be available.
As with all of our expeditions, safety is our top priority. For that reason weather, ice or other conditions may require us to change our itinerary and shore excursions as we go, however that is half the fun of Polar exploring. Predictability is a word that has no relevance in this environment.
Extensive program of relevant educational presentations
Advice from experienced team of naturalists
Advice and encouragement from resident photographer
All Zodiac excursions
On board welcome reception
On board welcome dinner
One Ocean Farewell Dinner (hosted by our Captain)
All meals during the voyage prepared by onboard professional chefs
Afternoon tea with fresh snacks each afternoon
Coffee, tea, hot chocolate throughout the day
Onboard medical officer
Access to our special programs on board (such as hiking, photography)
Overnight camping- please note that this activity is free of charge, we provide all
the necessary equipment and gear and you can decide once on board if you wish to participate – no pre booking required. Camping is only available on some departures.
Use of multimedia station. We have a multimedia room where you can download your photos at the end of the day if you wish,
Please note that the kayaking activity is an extra cost at US$795 per person (if you wish to participate please let us know at time of booking as we have limited space).
Foul weather gear set – rain jacket, bib pants and Lacrosse gumboots (wellington boots) Or SeaLine water proof backpack, Bushnell waterproof binoculars and Lacrosse gumboots (wellington boots) (Carrying Wellington boots in your luggage can add to weight limit imposed by the airlines .
Transfers from the meeting point in Ushuaia to the pier to board the ship on day 1 of the cruise and transfers from the pier to the meeting point or airport on the last day of the cruise
Visa and passport fees, airport departure taxes
Pre-cruise or post-cruise hotel accommodation
Personal laundry charges
Postage, telephone calls, drinks, medical expenses
Meals / accommodation / transfers in welcome/departure cities
Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
Gratuities to staff and crew