Marine Mammals of Antarctica


The ultimate whale watching and wildlife expedition.

By March, the short Antarctic summer is drawing to a close. Penguin chicks are almost fully-grown and quickly shedding their downy coats in preparation to take to the sea before the long winter. March is a time of great activity in and under the water where we have historically encountered a high concentration of whales, in particular Humpback and Minke. Crabeater, Weddell and Leopard seals also often grace us with their presence, as they rest and store energy that will sustain them over the cold months ahead.

Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina — We arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s most southerly city, where you board our expedition ship. In the early evening we set sail, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Days 2 – 3: Drake Passage — We cross the Drake Passage, excitedly making our way closer to the white continent. Our expedition crew prepares us for our adventure with a series of presentations on everything Antarctic, but with a particular focus on the marine mammals we hope to encounter. We will see our first icebergs, a huge variety of seabirds, and, with luck, several whale species. Watching wales fully breach out of the sea is a sight you’ll remember forever.

Days 4 – 7: Antarctic Peninsula — In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula we take every opportunity to explore our surroundings in inflatable Zodiac boats. Planned excursions might include Wilhelmina Bay and the southerly Petermann Island, where we observe Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds, as well as a variety of penguins – including several colonies of the comical Adélie penguin. We also hope to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and may be lucky to observe Orcas and Minke whales along the way. This is the optimal time of the season for whale encounters and we visit several well known whale ‘hot-spots’. If ice conditions allow we attempt a transit of the dramatic Lemaire Channel. In addition to our whale encounters, we enjoy a regular program of exploration on and off the ship. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides, while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is a memorable activity and our sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship. Our photography guide will be on hand to help you with your camera handling, image composition and the unique light found in Antarctica. All around us there are oddly-shaped icebergs that look like sculptures and the size of the colossal ‘tabular’ icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf defy belief. After several busy days of exploration along the Peninsula, we head north across the Bransfield Strait, bound for the South Shetland Islands. This is an important whale migration corridor and frequent sightings can be expected of humpbacks and even the fast moving orca.

Day 8: South Shetland Island and Deception Island — The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. Several other landing sites nearby tempt us including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we often encounter Weddell seals. In the evening, we navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.

Days 9 – 10: Drake Passage — We leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. We celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition with a special dinner.

Day 11: Ushuaia, Argentina — In the early morning we arrive back in Ushuaia. After disembarkation you are transferred to your Ushuaia hotel or the airport for your onward journey.

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.


Itinerary details

Voyage:
Marine Mammals of Antarctica
Duration:
10 nights / 11 days
Start:
Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish:
Ushuaia, Argentina
Vessel:
Akademik Sergey Vavilov


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Season 2018/2019

DateTriple ShareTwin Semi PrivateTwin Private SuperiorShackleton SuiteOne Ocean Suite
Mar 3, 2019
Mar 13, 2019
US$8,695US$10,795US$11,795US$12,795US$13,995US$15,895
Mar 23, 2019
Apr 2, 2019
US$8,695US$10,795US$11,795US$12,795US$13,995US$15,895

Season 2019/2020

DateTriple ShareTwin Semi PrivateTwin Private SuperiorShackleton SuiteOne Ocean Suite
Mar 5, 2020
Mar 15, 2020
US$9,095US$11,295US$12,295US$13,395US$14,595US$16,595

INCLUDED

Booking Documentation

  • Extensive pre-departure information package
  • Onboard Information Folder

Personalized Services

  • Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts
  • Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures

Activities

  • All zodiac and landing excursions
  • Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga

Board and Lodging

  • All meals during the voyage prepared by our chefs
  • Welcome reception & welcome dinner
  •  Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
  • Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
  • Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
  • Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
  • Natural essential oil amenities
  • Services of English speaking medical officer

Multimedia Room

  • Use of multimedia room to download images. Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers

Expedition Gear Package for duration of the voyage – valued at US$1,000

  • Windproof / waterproof jacket and bib pants
  • Comfortable insulated rubber boots
  • Water resistant binoculars
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Trekking poles available on shore

Transfers

  • From/ to designated meeting points to/from the ship
  • Additional transfers in welcome / departure cities (only applicable on certain departures)
  • Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin

Optional

  • Sea Kayaking at an extra cost of US$695 per person –  (Epic Antarctica: US$1590 per person). Pre-registration required at time of booking. Confirmed access to kayak at any offered excursion. Limited to 16 passengers per voyage. Includes high quality kayaking equipment.
  • Overnight Camping, including high quality equipment. No pre-registration required. Camping is available on select departures only and can be affected by itinerary and weather conditions. Please see your full itinerary for further details.

NOT INCLUDED

  • International and national airfares
  • Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
  • Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival / departure cities
  • Meals & transfers in arrival / departure cities
  • Personal expenses
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Massages from registered therapist
  • Personal laundry charges
  • Postage, telephone calls & email set up
  • Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
  • Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
  • Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
  • Gratuities to staff and crew

CHILDREN & YOUTH DISCOUNT

17 years & under: 25% OFF

18 – 21 years: 20% OFF (for those who can prove they are in full time education)