PLA31 Polar Circle - Antarctic Peninsula 2012/2013
A typical itinerary to the Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated below. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Day 1: Ushuaia - In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
Days 2 & 3: At sea - During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see 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. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs. The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait between Robert Island and Greenwich Island or Mc Farlane Strait between Greenwich Island and Livingston Island if the conditions are favorable. Then we might be able to enter Antarctic waters in the late evening of the third day and see Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands. If the conditions do not allow us to manoeuvre through the English Strait then we continue sailing South of Livingston. These volcanic islands or the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and southern Giant Petrels.
Days 4 – 9: Antarctica - We may start our first day in Antarctica with a landing at Hannah Point, where we will find a nice variety of Gentoo Penguins, Chinstraps and southern Giant Petrels, as well as Elephant Seals hauling out on the beach. At Deception Island, we will try to land. Deception itself is a sub ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Pigeons and many Dominican Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns.
Wilson's Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Good walkers may hike from Baily Head over the ridge of the crater into Whalers Bay, while our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune's Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. On our way further South we will sail to Orne Islands with large colonies of Chinstrap Penguins and a beautiful view across the Gerlache Strait or to Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island. It contains a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. In Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. We shall have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords.
We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island offering Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. We also try to land at Pleneau Island with Elephant Seals and fair chances to encounter Humpback, Minke and Fin Whales. We head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, south of the polar circle. The landscape is very impressive with very high mountains and huge glaciers. At the Fish Islands we land at one of the southernmost Adelie Penguin and Blue-eyed Shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. At Detaille Island, south of the Polar Circle, in Crystal Sound we reach probably our farthest south. Sailing north again through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, we arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where we may encounter Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals and whales.
Days 10 - 11: At sea - On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Day 12: Ushuaia - We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
- PLA31 Polar Circle - Antarctic Peninsula 2012/2013
- 11 nights / 12 days
- Voyage code:
- Start date:
- end date:
- m/v Plancius
- Trip options:
Leica Akademie Photo Workshop
- Twin Window:
- € 6.590 USD$ 9,190
- Twin Porthole:
- € 6.290 USD$ 8,790
- Triple Porthole:
- € 5.790 USD$ 8,090
- Quadruple Porthole:
- € 5.290 USD$ 7,390
- Twin Deluxe:
- € 6.990 USD$ 9,790
- € 7.750 USD$ 10,850
- Field camping:
- € 90 p.p. USD$ 125 p.p.
- Scuba Diving:
- € 350 p.p. USD$ 490 p.p.
- € 290 p.p. USD$ 400 p.p.
- Leica Akademie Photo Workshop:
€ 300 p.p.
USD$ 420 p.p.
On some Arctic and Antarctic voyages we offer an exciting 'open air' camping option, which gives an intensive experience of the Arctic and Antarctic wilderness. Special gear and field equipment will be provided: tents, wind and waterproof bivouac bags (lightweight alternative to a tent system). This shelter will protect you from the elements during the night in the open air of the Arctic and the Antarctic. Mattresses and polar sleeping bags provide comfort during the night. The maximum number of participants for this camping option is 30 participants per night. One expedition guide will conduct the activity ashore. Camping is always subject to weather, local site and environmental regulations. 1 night has to be booked prior to the trip; any extra nights (if those are possible) must be arranged onboard. Additional nights will be charged by the Hotel Manager. For more details please refer to the activity manual.
Please click here if you want to download the full version of the Field Camping Manual with all details and information needed for preparing your trip.
Divers must be advanced and experienced in dry suit and cold water diving. We hope for 1-2 different dives per day parallel to all other activities. Diving depends on local ice and weather conditions. Dive masters and dive guides are responsible for safety during operation. Basic equipment is onboard (scuba tanks, compressors, weights and diving essentials. Divers bring their personal gear. For more details please refer to the activity manual.
In general we plan to at least offer 4 kayaking days. Basic kayaking experience is required and physical fitness is essential. Parallel to all other activities we are planning on offering kayaking excursions during morning and / or afternoon landings. The final decision on those excursions will be met by the Expedition Leader. Victory Adventure will provide kayaks and neoprene wet suits. Kayakers will bring their own personal gear. Kayaking is subject to weather and prevailing ice conditions. For more details please refer to the activity manual.
Please click here if you want to download the full version of the Kayaking Manual with all details and information needed for preparing your trip (equipment list, faq, etc.)
Leica Akademie Photo Workshop
On selected voyages and "Basecamp Plancius" voyages VAE is going to offer photo workshops for beginners and advanced photographers under the supervision of a photo expert on board. Everybody is welcome to participate, no previous experience required. The workshop group (up to 20 participants per guide per landing, and up to 14 participants per guide on supplemented voyages) will be accompanied by the photo expert during activity ashore. Participants with a special interest in photography will bring their personal photo equipment. During cruise days everybody will be able to listen into photo lectures and workshops in order to learn more about objects, exposures and photo composition. The workshop does not intend to instruct on how to use specific camera models, but more to give an insight on better photo results by respecting basic rules of photography. Photographers can also take part in other activities of their choice. Photo workshops are free of charge on Basecamp voyages, and supplemented on other activity coded voyages. The photo workshop must be pre-booked with VAE's reservation departments prior to departure.
Character of photo workshops: Basecamp Plancius and other non supplemented voyages: free "try out" activity for everybody, participants also dip into other activities, group size up to 20 participants per photo guide and landing, daily changing groups, workshop content not too specialised, target group "beginners to experts" who wish to receive daily photo tuition. During photo workshops powered by Leica Akademie (see attached dates & rates), participants can test Leica camera equipment free of charge.
Activity coded & supplemented voyages: Leica Akademie photo workshop, up to 14 participants will be instructed by a photo guide lecturer of Leica Akademie, homogeneous group, progressive workshop sessions specialise on improving specific photo skills, Leica photo equipment can be tested (cameras and objectives), target group "experts and those who want to become experts".
• Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
• All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
• Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes aboard
• Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
• All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
• Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
• Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).