|Antarctica, Argentina, Chile|
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 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.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
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.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
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.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
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.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
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.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
After breakfast, you will make your own way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flight.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region. We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.Visas and Permits
Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. 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 Punta Arenas and also again at the end of your voyage. To facilitate matters, our ground operators in Ushuaia or Punta Arenas 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 Punta Arenas, 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. For Fly/Cruise itineraries departing from Punta Arenas (Chile) or if your flight to Ushuaia travels via Santiago, tourist visas are required for Chile for some nationalities. Please check with your travel agent. For the voyages 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. The fee will be valid for multiple re-entries within a period of one year as of the date of first entry. Effective October 31, 2012, payment must be made entirely ONLINE and fees can no longer be paid on arrival at any 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
Australians, Americans, Canadians, New Zealanders or British do not currently require a visa for Chile. For all other nationalities please reconfirm your visa requirements with your travel agent. If you are entering Chile at Santiago International Airport as a tourist, some nationalities are required to pay a reciprocity fee (Australians US$95, Canadians US$132, Americans US$140). The fee does not apply to travellers arriving at other airports or entering the country via land borders.Insurance
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. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.
Pre Departure Information
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.
1912: The Year the World Discovered Antarctica - Chris Turney: To the Ends of the Earth: the Transglobal Expedition - Ranulph Feinnes: Scott and Amundsen - Roland Huntford: Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage - Alfred LansingArgentina
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 MartinezChile
Crisis in Allende’s Chile-E Kaufman The Pinochet Decade-P O’Brien & J Roddick
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).
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.
Contingency Plan for 2012-2014 Antarctic Express (Fly South & North and Cruise South, Fly North) Programs.
Quark Expeditions will make every effort to ensure the Antarctic Express programs takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and is beyond the control of Quark Expeditions. We strongly recommend that all expedition guests purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance. Please ask your Polar Travel Advisor about travel Insurance.
On Fly South itineraries, in the unlikely event that the charter flight is unable to fly on Day 2 due to weather delays, Quark Expeditions will provide an additional night hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas and a ½ day tour.
On Day 3 should the charter flight not be able to take off by 1400hrs, Quark Expeditions will officially cancel the voyage and provide letters for all clients to submit to their travel insurance providers under trip delay/Interruption and cancellation clause.
QUARK AND PEREGRINE EXPEDITIONS WILL NOT OFFER PASSENGERS A REFUND IN THE EVENT OF TRIP CANCELLATION. QUARK AND PEREGRINE EXPEDITIONS WILL NOT OFFER PASSENGERS COMPENSATION IN THE EVENT OF A DELAY.
IF THE CHARTER FLIGHT IS NOT ABLE TO TAKE OFF BY 1400 HRS ON DAY 3. Quark Expeditions will make every effort to assist passengers with rebooking hotels or flights, but this will be at the cost of the passengers, and Quark Expeditions strongly recommends that all clients contact their insurance provider prior to changing any reservations.
Passengers on board the ship during these delays will remain on board with no additional cost until the the charter flight is able to operate. Quark Expeditions advises all clients to book changeable airlines tickets along with cancellation and interruption insurance to assist with additional airline change fees. We advise all passengers to have flexible travel arrangements upon disembarkation of the voyage if delays arise. Quark Expeditions will not be held responsible for any change/cancellations fees due to weather related delays or any other delays arising from force majeure.
Please note that the exploratory nature of this expedition involving weather, ice, wildlife or other mitigating factors may require that unscheduled or last-minute changes be made to the itinerary, sometimes resulting in the cancellation of certain shore excursions. Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, within the limits of safety and time constraints.
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!
7 January 2014