10 days

Antarctic Express - Fly North 2015 - 2017

Antarctic Express - Fly North 2015 - 2017

Antarctica’s seabirds

Seals

South Shetland Islands

The epic icebergs and landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula

Light of the Antarctic

The presence of silence in Antarctica

Ushuaia

Whales

Seals and seabirds of the Beagle Channel

Cruise the Beagle Channel

Trip rating
  • If you’re looking for an efficient Antarctic experience, this is it. Cruise south across the Drake Passage and make shore visits through the South Shetland Islands as you make your way to the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing aboard your well-appointed expedition vessel, witness Antarctic nature and dazzling landscapes in all their glory. These areas boast an extraordinary abundance of wildlife, including five species of seals and massive rookeries of gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. Another highlight may be observing a variety of whales in close proximity as they crest the surface of the waves. Once the voyage is complete, skip the often turbulent Drake Passage by flying directly from King George Island to Punta Arenas. Please note that weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to the itinerary and alteration of certain shore excursions. 

     

    Optional Extra - Sea Kayaking

    Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers. Our sea-kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, multiple times per voyage, sea-kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. Although kayaking is open to all levels of experience, it is essential that participants have some prior experience, including the ability to do a wet exit. Beginners interested in kayaking should first undertake an introductory kayaking course. Regardless of your level of experience, it is advisable to have some recent practice before commencing your voyage so that you are comfortable while kayaking. 

    Optional Extra - Snowshoeing 

    A novel way to experience the beauty of the polar landscape, and discover remote alcoves and hidden valleys. The rewards of walking atop the snow are well worth the effort, as we're able to visit new places that may be inaccessible on foot. This traditional means of transport across the snow comes from the indigenous people of North America. While you can appreciate a connection with the past, the snowshoes we use today are much lighter and more forgiving than the old wood-weave snowshoes used during the days of the North American fur trade.

     

    More information about your Adventure Options, including the physical requirements and cost of each option is available by contacting Peregrine. Please note that not every option is available on every departure.

     

     

    Possible Landings and Wildlife Sightings - Antarctic Peninsula

    CUVERVILLE ISLAND

    A gentoo penguin rookery is situated on the north end of the island on a rocky beach. Depending on the time of season you visit, you may see them building nests or attending to their chicks. Giant petrels and kelp gulls also breed on the island.

     

    DAMOY POINT

    If you're lucky enough to mail a postcard in Antarctica, you’ll likely pass through Damoy Point. This is the northern entrance to the harbour on which Port Lockroy is located.

     

    DANCO ISLAND

    This small island, 1.6 km (one mile) in length, is easy to explore and home to gentoo penguins. Visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut and watch out for a variety of seabirds such as snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls and blue-eyed shags.

     

    ENTERPRISE ISLAND

    Located in Wilhelmina Bay, this island was once used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise around the island passes by a wrecked whaling ship.

     

    LEMAIRE CHANNEL

    This strait runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, and is one of the most scenic locations on the western coast, especially during sunrise and sunset. The 11 km (6.8 mile) channel may become impassable when ice fills the narrow passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters.

     

    MELCHIOR ISLANDS

    This is a group of low islands in Dallmann Bay, on which you may see male fur seals haul-out at the end of the breeding season to recuperate from their battles for supremacy.

     

    NEKO HARBOUR

    This bay was once used by the floating whale factory ship Neko. You may see some whale vertebrae used by resident gentoo penguins as shelter from the wind. There's an unmanned refuge hut here, erected by Argentina. Climb past the hut and up a steep slope for spectacular views of the glacier-rimmed harbour.

     

    PETERMANN ISLAND

    Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. Adelie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island. The dome of the island rises 200 meters (650 feet) above the sea, offering a challenging hike for panoramic views.

     

    PORT LOCKROY

    Journey to Port Lockroy if weather permits. The harbour is on the west side of Wiencke Island. A secret base was built here during the Second World War as part of Operation Tabarin. It's now designated as a historic site, featuring a museum and the world's southernmost post office. Proceeds from your purchases here support the preservation of historic sites from the Heroic Age of Exploration.

     

    WATERBOAT POINT

    At low tide this historic point is connected to the Antarctic mainland. Zodiacs can be used to explore the area when the tide is in. Two scientists studying penguin behaviour lived in a water boat on the point from 1921-22. The remains of their camp have been designated as an Antarctic historic site.

     

    AITCHO ISLANDS

    This is a group of small islands, some still unnamed, situated in the northern entrance of the English Strait. You can often spot a great mix of wildlife here, including at the established rookeries of gentoo and chinstrap penguins. Southern elephant and fur seals are frequently hauled-out here too.

     

    BAILY HEAD

    Also known as Rancho Point, this area is a rocky headland on the southeastern shore of Deception Island. Chinstrap penguins build nests on slopes leading to a high ridge, which dominates a natural amphitheater and provides a superb setting for landscape photography.

     

    HALF MOON ISLAND

    This crescent-shaped island was known to sealers as early as 1821. Unlike the sealers who liked to keep their best locations secret, we’re happy to bring you ashore on this impressive island. Many Antarctic birds breed here, including chinstrap penguins, shags, Wilson’s storm-petrels, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic terns and skua.

     

    HANNAH POINT

    Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries are located on the point, which is on the south coast of Livingston Island. Due to the rather congested area available to the nesting penguins, you can only visit here from 10 January onwards.

     

    PENDULUM COVE

    Hot geothermal waters are found along the shoreline of this cove, which was named after observations made in 1829 by a British expedition. You may see yellow algae and boiled krill floating on the surface because of the scalding hot water.

     

    PENGUIN ISLAND

    Antarctica has two flowering plants, both of which you can find on Penguin Island: Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. Chinstrap penguins, fur seals and southern elephant seals use the island for breeding purposes.

     

    ROBERT POINT

    A nice spot for Zodiac cruising, this point was known to sealers as early as 1820. Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and pintado breed here, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters.

     

    TELEFON BAY

    Your expedition team will point out where the most recent evidence of volcanic eruption on Deception Island can be seen.

     

    TURRET POINT

    Chinstrap and Adelie penguin rookeries are found on this point, which is situated on the south coast of King George Island. The beaches are often crowded with southern elephant, fur, and Weddell seals hauled-out on the rocks.

     

    WHALER'S BAY

    To reach Whaler’s Bay, sail through the narrow passage of Neptune’s Bellows. The bay was used by whalers from 1906 to 1931 and is part of a protected harbour created by a circular flooded caldera, known as Deception Island. Along with waddling penguins and lounging seals, you’ll see the rusty remains of whaling operations on the beach. Watch for steam rising from geothermally-heated springs along the shoreline.

     

    YANKEE HARBOUR

    Gentoo penguins have established a rookery on this harbour, which is situated on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. You can also see an abandoned Argentine refuge hut and a huge glacier stretching along the east and north sides of the bay. An abandoned try-pot is all that remains of the sealing activity that brought men thousands of miles to seek their fortune.

     

    IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, ice and weather conditions to guide your route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you might experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

     

     

     

     

    Why we love it

    • Journey through the historic Beagle Channel, looking out for rare birdlife from deck with the help of your expedition team
    • A diversity of possible landing sites and activities allows you to see the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula from multiple perspectives
    • Few people ever get the opportunity to set foot on the Great White Continent, but you'll be one of them
    • Get up close to an incredible range of wildlife, such as minke, humpback and orca whales or gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, as well as seals and other seabirds
    • A polar plunge in the Antarctic sea is the most invigorating swim you're ever likely to take. Other optional activities such as sea kayaking can take your adventure to the next level, but book early, as these sell out fast
    • Flying over the famous Drake Passage from King George Island is the fastest, most direct way to travel back to the mainland

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina

    Welcome to Ushuaia and the beginning of your Antarctic adventure. An arrival transfer from the airport to your hotel is included in your voyage fare. Full details will be sent with your final joining instructions. 

     

     
    This quaint city at the southernmost tip of South America is your gateway to the White Continent. Ushuaia features a range of museums, shops and restaurants to explore before your voyage. If you arrive with plenty of time to spare, Tierra del Fuego National Park outside of town offers ample hiking and adventure opportunities.
     
    Notes: If you arrive into Ushuaia early or wish to extend your stay and need accommodation, please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

    Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

    Today board the ship for embarkation in the afternoon. Leave Ushuaia behind and journey through the Beagle Channel, named after the HMS Beagle which once carried Charles Darwin through the area. The waterway is home to a wide variety of seabirds and seals, and rainbows are common here too, so be on the lookout from the deck.  Enjoy a hot drink and relax into your first day on the water.

    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3-4 - Drake Passage

    Sail across the famous Drake Passage. Known for high winds and rolling seas, this part of the trip will strengthen your sea legs. While we hope for calm conditions, please be prepared for possible rough waters. Spend your days on deck looking out for wildlife, poking around in the on-board library or getting to know your shipmates. The expedition team will begin a series of presentations to prepare you for your upcoming Zodiac and land excursions. You officially enter Antarctica when the ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates around 60° south.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5-8 - South Shetland Islands and Antarctica

    Your first glimpse of Antarctica comes in the form of huge floating icebergs. Look out for Adelie penguins waddling across ice floes or for minke or humpback whales swimming in the waters below. As soon as it's feasible, the Zodiacs will be readied for your first landing in the South Shetland Islands or on the Antarctic Peninsula. Your expedition team will monitor the ice and weather conditions to determine which landing sites can be visited over the next four days.

     

     
    With many sites to choose from, each expedition presents new opportunities for exploration and wildlife sightings. A typical day might include visiting a penguin rookery, listening to glaciers calve at Petermann Island or climbing a hill for panoramic views of the continent. A 'polar plunge' in the icy waters of Neko Harbour is sure to really wake you up. 
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9 - Disembarkation and flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas

    Today, say goodbye to the expedition team and disembark the ship at King George Island. Enjoy a bit of time to explore before you take a three-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Punta Arenas, Chile, retracing your original journey with a bird’s-eye-view. On arrival you’ll be transferred from the airport to the hotel, where you can enjoy a final group dinner and reflect on your adventures.

     

     
    Notes: There is a luggage limit of 15 kg for checked baggage and 5 kg for carry-on baggage per person on the charter flight to Punta Arenas. 
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Punta Arenas, Chile

    After breakfast, your Antarctic adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time.

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary.
    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
    • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
    • All shore landings according to the daily program.
    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced expedition leader.
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising according to the daily program.
    • Formal and informal presentations by our expedition team and guest speakers as scheduled.
    • Downloadable photographic journal, documenting the voyage.
    • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
    • A waterproof expeditions parka to keep.
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
    • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials including an informative Antarctic Reader.
    • A group transfer to the ship on embarkation day.
    • Flight from Antarctica to Punta Arenas as specified in the itinerary. (Please note there is a maximum luggage allowance of 15kg check in and 5kg carry on for this flight.)
    • A group transfer upon disembarkation in Punta Arenas from the ship to the hotel.
    • 1 night post-expedition accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast as indicated in the itineraries.
    • A group transfer from Ushuaia airport to the joining hotel on arrival (Conditions apply).

    Not Included

    • Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
    • Passport and visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the joining hotel before embarkation.
    • Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
    • Telecommunications charges.
    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
    • Compulsory Waterproof pants for zodiac landings.
    • Transfer from the hotel to the airport in Punta Arenas at the end of the itinerary.

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Peregrine voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Peregrine representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and Zodiac operations.

    All ships operating in Polar waters must comply with a variety of regulations, codes and industry standards.  All our ships adhere to regulations set by IMO (International Maritime Organisation) including ISM Code (Safety Management System), ISPS Code (for ship and port security), SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and MARPOL (Maritime Pollution Prevention).  IN addition, Quark Expeditions is a full member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and a full member of AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators).

    Quark Expeditions have also been externally audited for it's health and safety programme and have been awarded the British Standard BS8848, the only expedition cruise company to have this accreditation.

  • Our Ships

    Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    This Polar Adventure Ship was built in 1975. Sea Adventurer (formerly know as the Clipper Adventurer) underwent a $13 million conversion in 1998. Her proud reputation is complimented by her well-appointed, elegance. Sea Adventurer is the perfect expedition ship for people who enjoy soft adventures and creature comforts. All cabins have outside views and facilities en suite.

    Sea Adventurer is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and ocean level cruising, yet offers fine dining, and cabins with exterior views and facilities en suite.

    Departure Dates for the Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    • 05 Feb 2016 - 14 Feb 2016
    • 06 Dec 2016 - 15 Dec 2016
    • 13 Jan 2017 - 22 Jan 2017
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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPFN15
Start City: Ushuaia
End City: Punta Arenas
Style: Polar

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