If you’re looking for a more efficient Antarctic experience, this is it. You will cruise south across the Drake Passage and experience the first Antarctic land and wildlife sightings with your fellow shipmates.
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. Once the voyage is complete we skip the Drake Passage by flying from King George Island to Punta Arenas and spend a night here.
Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.
Day 1 - Ushuaia
Day 1 is an arrival day and you can arrive at any time. This quaint city at the southernmost tip of South America is your gateway to Antarctica. The city itself provides a wide range of jewellery shops, cafés, gear shops and restaurants to explore before your voyage. Outside the city, snow-capped mountains and hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park offer ample adventure activities if you enjoy exploring nature. Accommodation: If you arrive earlier or wish to extend your stay and need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.
Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day
You will embark in the afternoon, with a journey through the picturesque Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Historic visitors who have traversed this channel include Charles Darwin, who journeyed through this region in the famous HMS Beagle. As we continue south, travelers will keep watch on deck for seabirds, seals and dolphins that can approach the vessel.
Day 3-4 - Drake Passage
As we cross the Drake Passage, our team of experts will be out on deck to help us spot whales and identify seabirds. We also have the chance to take part in the onboard presentation series, preparing us for our adventure to the 'White Continent'. Talks on wildlife, ice and polar history will create enormous anticipation that continues to build as we cross the Antarctic Convergence. Here the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean meet the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We will also notice a sharp drop in temperature at this point. Huge icebergs loom up against the horizon and seabirds such as the wandering albatross and petrels are regularly sighted.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 5-7 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctica
Massive floating icebergs become more common as you get closer to land and you catch your first glimpse of the Peninsula, with its grand snow-covered mountains. In addition to spotting icebergs, you’ll likely spot Adélie penguins chilling out on ice floes and minke or humpback whales feeding and swimming in the frigid waters.
As soon as possible, the Zodiacs will be readied for your first landing in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Experiencing this immense wilderness up close for the first time can be a numbing experience. The silence is great, the vastness is even greater. Thankfully the noisy locals – penguins and seals – are there to remind you that this wonderful landscape isn’t just a dream.
Your Expedition Team will monitor the ice and weather conditions to determine which landing sites can be visited. With many sites to choose from, each expedition presents new opportunities for exploring the white continent by Zodiac and land. Swimming in Antarctica is perhaps the most adventurous option to tempt you, by taking a Polar Plunge in the water at Neko Harbour!
A typical day in this wildlife wonderland will be spent listening to calving glaciers at Petermann Island, watching penguins waddle around a beach, or taking a hike atop a hill for a panoramic view of Port Lockroy. Whatever you prefer, the photographic opportunities are endless.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner
Day 8 - Disembarkation and Flight From King George Island
As the ship turns north, you’ll say goodbye to the penguins, as well as many of your shipmates. With only the Drake Passage ahead, you’ll disembark and enjoy a bit of time on King George Island before flying off to Punta Arenas, Chile. Once you’re in Punta Arenas, we’ll transfer you from the airport to your hotel, where you’re free to explore and enjoy a final dinner out.
PLEASE NOTE: There is a luggage limit of 15kg checked baggage and 5kg hand baggage on the flight and this is strictly adhered to.
Day 9 - Punta Arenas
After breakfast, you will make your own way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flight.