Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands


Cruise south to the South Shetland Islands and beyond to the frozen southern continent. Watch as the clearing mist reveals some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth. Experience one of the most pristine regions in the world first-hand and enjoy the possible close encounters with spouting whales, lounging seals, and the penguins that may very well be just as curious about you as you are about them. See how a landscape can take on a drastic change within only a few kilometres of distance as you transition from the South Shetlands down to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Itinerary

Day 1: In the afternoon we embark our vessel m/v Ortelius in 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, en-route to the Antarctic Peninsula where we cross the Antarctic Convergence – During these two days we will 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 meet 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.

Days 4 – 7: Antarctica! On Cuverville Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo Penguins – We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. If we land on Ronge Island we can observe Gentoo Penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater Seals. In Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. We enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. In Paradise Bay again with its myriad icebergs, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again. We shall have the opportunity for a zodiac cruise in the inner parts of this amazing water way. In this area we have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, we hope to get a chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.
On our way North through the Gerlache Strait we finally arrive at the South Shetland Islands. We will sail to Deception Island. Our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. We hope for a good long walk and kayak trip which will depend on site availability and weather conditions.
Deception 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 Petrels and many Kelp 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.
We leave from here and sail to Half Moon Island where we will find Chinstrap Penguins. Weddell Seals often haul out on the beach. These volcanic islands of 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. Our voyage continues through a narrow Strait to the open sea with direction Ushuaia.

Days 8: South Shetland Islands – The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, 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. In Deception Island our ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows. 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 Petrels and many Kelp 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. Alternatively we may try to land at Hannah Point at Livingston Island. The area is closed off to visitors for part of the season as it is a high density wildlife area with species such as Chinstrap penguins, Gentoo penguins, and Southern Elephant seals. Around noon we depart for the Drake Passage.

Days 9 – 10: At sea, towards Ushuaia – On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 11: The end of our voyage. We disembark m/v Ortelius in the maorning in Ushuaia – We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast.

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.


Itinerary details

Voyage:
Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands
Duration:
9 nights / 10 days
Start:
Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish:
Ushuaia, Argentina
Vessel:
M/V Ortelius


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Season 2018/2019

CodeDateQuadruple PortholeTriple PortholeTwin PortholeTwin WindowTwin Deluxe Superior
OTL25-19Dec 9, 2018
Dec 18, 2018
SOLD OUTSOLD OUTUS$7,900US$8,400SOLD OUTUS$9,600

Fares include

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • During voyages OTL23-18, OTL22-19, OTL27-20 and OTL28-20: ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

All rates are quoted per person, based on twin occupancy. 5% discount will be granted for bookings for one or more consecutive voyages (except on legs within the Atlantic Odyssey).

Single traveller

Single travellers can choose between “single occupancy” at a supplement of 1,7 x the Twin or Superior cabin rate , or “sharing basis” in Twin, Triple or Quadruple category at no additional cost.

Children

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40 % discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults).

“Basecamp”

During our “Basecamp” departures all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshops as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge. Please review our separate “Basecamp” brochure for further details.

Helicopters

Helicopters will be on board during voyages OTL23-18, OTL22-19, OTL27-20 and OTL28-20. Providing the conditions, such as but not limited to ice and weather conditions, are suitable, the captain of the vessel will position the vessel at a safe and (for the helicopters and helicopter pilots) feasible distance from the intended landing site. Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers will enable us to offer the scheduled shore excursions, but every passenger who participates in those mentioned voyages, understands and accepts that no guarantees can be given, including a specific amount of helicopter time. For further information please consult our Helicopter Manual.