Christmas in Antarctica
Join us for the ultimate ‘White Christmas’ on a memorable voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula. Towering glaciers, amazing wildlife encounters, snow-covered landscapes, massive icebergs and the option to choose your favorite activities each day make this voyage the perfect way to spend the holiday season.
In the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula, we spend our days off the ship exploring by Zodiac boat, making several shore landings each day in the company of our expert guides. We discover Antarctica and its remarkable wildlife through photography, zodiac excursions, hiking onshore, and, for the more adventurous, camping and sea kayaking. Visits to historic huts and the opportunity to visit a working research station add another dimension to the voyage. This popular 10-night expedition, at the height of the Antarctic summer, features many of the well-known landing sites such as Neko, Paradise and Orne Harbours, Cuverville Island and the Erera Channel – and, ice conditions permitting, we hope to transit the spectacular Lemaire Channel. A final highlight will be a visit to the beautiful South Shetland Islands where we hope to visit Deception Island and nearby locations such as Half Moon Island or Hannah Point.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina – Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s most southerly city, where you board your expedition ship. In the early evening we set sail along the Beagle Channel and push out into the Drake Passage, towards Antarctica.
Days 2 – 3: Drake Passage – Giant petrels, albatross and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we transit towards Antarctica. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history.
Days 4 – 7: Antarctic Peninsula – Take a deep breath – you have arrived. Welcome to Antarctica! This morning the magnificent snowy peaks are laid out before us. It’s a a truly awesome sight. The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets and numerous small islands. The Gerlache coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops are home to gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We frequently encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are present much of the time as they feed on the vast schools of krill. Sightings of orca are not uncommon. Every day we plan an exciting range of activities including guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides. The historic huts and science stations located along the peninsula provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and potential future. Zodiac cruising among the ice searching for seals and whales is amemorable activity. Meanwhile, the sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship. Our resident photography guide will be on hand to help you with your camera setting and image composition. Somewhere along this stretch of coastline we plan a night on shore, camping in Antarctica. We have all the right gear and equipment and an expert team to make it happen – all you need is an adventurous spirit!
Day 8-10: South Shetland Islands and Deception Island – After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island, a very dramatic location. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with its rusted relics and dilapidated wooden buildings.
Days 11: King George Island and Punta Arenas – We will arrive at King George Island and transfer ashore by Zodiac to take the short flight into Punta Arenas, Chile.
POST VOYAGE HOTEL INCLUDED: This itinerary includes a complimentary hotel night in Punta Arenas for all guests returning from King George Island at the end of the voyage. This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to some cozy restaurants, cafes and bars – including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ at the Hotel Jose Nogueira – a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.
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.