Antarctica Off the Beaten Track
This voyage has been designed for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers. It also has great appeal to those who wish to experience Antarctica in springtime. The added bonus is you will enjoy several additional days of exploration compared to the 10-night voyages.
Only on this departure in Antarctica, extended hikes, snowshoeing, enhanced photography excursions, overnight sea kayaking and ski touring are possible combined on one voyage.
Passengers benefit from the expedition ship being used as a mobile basecamp wilderness lodge to discover the white continent at everyone’s own pace! Travelling on a true small expedition ship with high ice rating unlocks great wildlife sightings, because Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penguin colonies, whales, seals and sea birds return to the plentiful feeding grounds of the Antarctic peninsula.
Day 1: Punta Arenas – We board the ship this afternoon. Excitement is in the air as we cast off. Next stop, Antarctica, and the adventure of a lifetime!
Days 2 – 3: Drake Passage – The great pelagic seabirds are constant companions as we cross the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will show you the best techniques. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of informative and entertaining presentations.
Days 4 – 5: Antarctic Peninsula – We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of Antarctica are laid out before us. Over the next week, our itinerary is intentionally flexible to account for early season ice conditions and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions. Our planned exploration starts in vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighboring Cierva Cove – both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica.
Days 6 – 10: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands – Our days are spent exploring on and off the ship in the company of our expert guides. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, and exploration of historic huts and science stations. Zodiac cruising in the ice is always a thrill. Based on site conditions, the ski touring group may set off to explore the pristine terrain with our experienced mountaineering guides. The expedition snow-shoe group may follow in the tracks of the skiers, climbing to high points which afford breathtaking views. The sea kayakers will head out on excursions which may last all day. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to spend an entire day with our expedition photographer on an all-day field workshop. Everyone aboard will have an opportunity to camp onshore for the night in Antarctica if the weather co-operates. In the comfort and safety of our expedition ship, we range as far south as ice conditions permit; hopefully we are able to navigate to Neko Harbour and into the Errera Channel. Witnessing the migration of the penguins early in the season, as they busily re-establish their rookeries and prepare nests, is a fascinating experience. Cuverville Island is always a highlight and is home to one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies on this stretch of coastline. The adventure is not over and we plan an additional day of exploration in the South Shetland Islands. In the evening, we navigate into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.
Days 11 – 12: Drake Passage and Cape Horn -As we make our way back to Ushuaia we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Days 13: Ushuaia, Argentina – In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.
Please note: 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.