This Peregrine journey takes us to one of the world's most awe-inspiring destinations. After making shore visits on our way through the South Shetland Islands we arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula, on the continent of Antarctica, to be immediately dazzled by perhaps the most dramatic scenery to be found anywhere on earth. Sailing aboard our well-appointed expedition vessel, we witness Antarctic nature in all its glory. These areas boast an extraordinary abundance of wildlife, including five species of seals and massive rookeries of gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins as well as a profusion of seabirds ranging from albatross to skuas. Another wildlife highlight may well be observing a variety of magnificent whales in close proximity as they crest the surface of the waves. On the 'White Continent', we also see remarkable landscapes of ice. At Paradise Harbour or Hope Bay we find many icebergs dotting the waters, including some that are colossal in size, containing natural caves that are shrouded in eerie translucent light. On land there is a sweeping ice sheet, masking mountains, filling trenches and binding together an entire continent that is about the size of Africa. Travelling in the company of our experienced expedition crew, some of whom have travelled to Antarctica over 100 times, it still seems astonishing as we reflect on the exploits of the early explorers as they attempted to conquer this beautiful and yet formidable land. Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.
Day 1 is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time. You will be transferred to your hotel in Ushuaia. With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet it has retained an easy going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early, you can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city, or visit the many boutique shops and cafes before for your expedition to Antarctica. Arrival Transfers: Please note an arrival transfer from the airport is included in your voyage fare. Full details will be sent with your final joining instructions. No meals are included on Day 1. Accommodation: If you arrive earlier or wish to extend your stay and need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as we depart - the next time you see land we’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, while we’ll provide safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica we witness something new or unexpected, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other - creating a unique, personal experience. We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal. The majesty of the Peninsula’s mountains will enchant you as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbor, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here you’ll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets! Amidst the peaceful silence of Antarctica, noisy interruptions become indelible memories such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbor. You can make a bit of noise yourself too by listening to the echo of voices bounce off a giant glacier. Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate you on this wonderful part of the world.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
We’ll arrive in Ushuaia in the morning for you to continue your adventure on land or catch your flights home. Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
Also included during expeditions aboard the Sea Spirit:
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
No visas are required to visit the Antarctic continent or its offshore islands. However, you will need to have your passport with you on the ship, as port authorities will wish to inspect passports on departure from Ushuaia or Port Stanley (as the case may be) and also again at the end of your voyage. (To facilitate matters, our ground operators in Ushuaia or Port Stanley will usually collect your passport prior to departure in order that all passengers’ passports may be kept together for the duration of the voyage. After completion of port formalities on the return to Ushuaia or Stanley on the final morning, they will be handed back to you prior to your disembarkation from the ship.) For most departures, your ship departs for the Antarctic continent from the port of Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city, at the southern tip of Argentina. At the time of printing, no visas for Argentina are required by holders of Australian, New Zealand, British, Canadian, U.S.A. or European passports. Passengers holding passports issued by other countries should carefully check the situation with their travel agent or Argentinean consular authorities. If your flight to Ushuaia travels via Santiago, tourist visas are required for Chile for some nationalities. Please check with your travel agent. For a side trip to Iguassu Falls, Australian, USA and British passport holders also require a Brazilian visa if visiting the Brazilian side of the falls. However, New Zealanders and Canadians do not require a visa for this. This visa must be obtained prior to entering the country and, at the time of printing, costs $US60. Please check carefully with your travel agent or your nearest appropriate consulate for up-to-date information before you leave your home country. (There have been suggestions that passengers entering Brazil from Argentina for just a few hours at Iguassu may be able to do so without holding a visa, but we cannot give any guarantees. The only certain way is to hold a visa issued as above.) For the trip scheduled to depart from Port Stanley (and those departures scheduled to visit the Falkland Islands), visitors from Britain, the Commonwealth, North America, Chile and the European Community do not need visas as at the time of printing. Visitors should check their particular situation with us, their travel agent, the nearest British Consulate, or contact the Travel Co-ordinator at the Falkland Island Government Office in London (tel: 020 7222 2375).
Australians, Americans, British, Canadians and New Zealanders, do not currently require a visa for Argentina. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. Please note that when entering Argentine Territory, the following citizens must pay a "reciprocity fee": Australians USD100, Canadians USD75 and Americans USD160. From 20 December 2010, the fee will be valid for multiple re-entries within a period of one year as of the date of first entry. Previously the fee was only collected at Ezeiza International Airport and at Aeroparque Jorge Newbury Airport on arrival but this will now be done entirely ONLINE, effective October 31, 2012 (for arrivals to Aeroparque Jorge Newbury airport) and December 28, 2012 (for arrivals to Ezeiza airport). This fee also needs to be paid online if you are crossing the border into Argentina by land. This price is subject to change and the price on the below website will have the up to date costs. How to pay the reciprocity fee online: • Visit www.migraciones.gov.ar or www.provinciapagos.com.ar and register to start the process • Fill out the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information • Print the payment receipt • Present the printed receipt at Immigration Control on arrival in Argentina. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and entry to the country will be registered
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
On Heroes and Tombs-E Sabato Kiss of the Spider Woman-M Puig Argentina: A City and a Nation-J Scobie Gaucho’s and the Vanishing Frontier-R Slatta Peron & the Enigma of Argentina-T Martinez
These Trip Notes should be read in conjunction with Peregrine’s Antarctica pre-departure information that is provided to you shortly after booking (or which can be requested prior to booking). A second information manual dealing with Antarctic history, geology, geography, marine and bird life will also be provided.
1. Budgeting: in addition to funds for onboard expenses, it is sometimes possible to purchase souvenirs such as books, t-shirts, stamps, postcards, windcheaters, caps and similar items at some of the research stations in the Antarctic Peninsula area. Mail can sometimes be posted from these stations as well. Transactions are usually in US dollars cash.
2. Clothes: please read our Antarctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival in Ushuaia, to protect yourself against the inclement weather.
3. Motion sickness: the waters of the Drake Passage can be some of the roughest seas in the world, although at other times they are so smooth that it is referred to as the 'Drake Lake'! Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.
4. Gratuities: we suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.
5. Sea kayaking: there are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required.
6. Camping: if you chose to camp on the continent, we’ll provide all the required gear such as tents or bivouac (or 'bivy') sacs and sleeping bags. This excursion is managed with strict environmental regulations - a portable toilet is used and absolutely everything is transported back to the ship afterwards. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home, it cannot be booked on the ship. Spaces are limited.
Peregrine Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Peregrine, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrolment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed.
Argentinean Reciprocity Fee (visitor visa)
This will now be done entirely ONLINE, effective October 31, 2012 (for arrivals to Aeroparque airport) and December 28, 2012 (for arrivals to Ezeiza airport).
Until now, this fee was paid upon arrival at the airport. From the dates listed above, US/AUS/CAN tourist or business visitors must pay the reciprocity rates with their credit card through the online system. After these dates, cash payments will NOT be accepted at the airports.
The rates are USD160 for Americans, USD100 for Australians and USD75 for Canadians, for single entry.
How to pay the reciprocity fee online:
• Visit www.migraciones.gov.ar or www.provinciapagos.com.ar and register to start the process
• Fill out the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information
• Print the payment receipt
• Present the printed receipt at Immigration Control on arrival in Argentia. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and entry to the country will be registered
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
28 March 2013