This extended voyage combines the best of the Western Antarctic Peninsula with the less visited, and more remote eastern side. You will be astounded by the abundant penguin rookeries, incredible icebergs and unforgettable landing sites. A perfect voyage if you’re looking for an in depth and unique exploration of this majestic continent.
Note: Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.
Your Antarctic adventure begins with an overnight stay in the southernmost city in the world - Ushuaia, Argentina. If you arrive early, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy around the Tierra del Fuego archipelago; the city also offers a wide range of shops for dining and shopping. A night in a hotel is included in the voyage price. No meals are included on Day 1. 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.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Today you join your ship and head south towards Antarctica! Named for the British ship HMS Beagle, the Beagle Channel will be your gateway to the south, charming you with an abundance of birdlife. You’ll likely spot penguins, cormorants, petrels, and black-browed albatross here. Once through the channel you’ll say goodbye to land and prepare to spend your first night at sea.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
The Drake Passage, named after Sir Francis Drake, is the legendary body of water that separates South America and Antarctica. Smooth or rough, the crossing of the Drake is a rite of passage for any true Antarctic adventurer. These two days will give you time to get to know the Expedition Team and your fellow shipmates while participating in educational programs onboard.
Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
After a couple of days at sea, you’ll finally arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula. You can expect icebergs to become a more common occurrence as we approach land and make our way along the western coast of the Peninsula. Possible landing sites include Melchiors, Wilhelmina Bay, Cuverville Island and Orne Harbour. Glaciers, penguin colonies and breaching humpback whales will highlight your days, while friendly seals are plentiful in these waters as well. You can also expect to encounter what is arguably the most formidable Antarctic predator - the fearless leopard seal.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Having sailed northwards along the Peninsula you will begin your passage through the Antarctic Sound. This stretch of water separates the western side of the Peninsula from the Weddell Sea and is riddled with huge pieces of ice emanating from the Larsen Ice Shelf, so have your cameras ready! Your Expedition Team will educate you in all things ice, as this sea is home to the world’s most impressive floes and tabular icebergs - exponentially bigger and more visually impressive than on the other side of the Peninsula. Antarctic Sound itself offers great places for you to get ashore and stretch your legs at landing sites that are home to nesting Adelie and gentoo penguins. Snow and pintado petrels as well as kelp gulls also call this area home. Once your ship passes through the Sound, it will be time to venture out by Zodiac to cruise amongst the sea of ‘ice giants’ that float here – among the largest icebergs you’re likely to see anywhere. If conditions permit, we’ll continue further south to the historic hut on Snow Hill Island, which contains objects from a 1902 Antarctic expedition and now functions as a living museum. Your journey then turns northwards, with Paulet Island being one of your possible landings. The island is a 350 meter high volcanic cone that juts dramatically out of the sea. You’ll discover this island to be a bird and seal paradise. Over 100,000 pairs of Adelie penguins breed here, along with blue-eyed shags, snowy sheathbills and kelp gulls. Fur and Weddell seals haul out onshore here, while leopard seals often hunt offshore.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
The South Shetlands will be sure to add variety to your voyage as your time spent in Antarctica comes to a close. Just north of the Peninsula, the South Shetlands offer landings where you can see the vegetation of Antarctica - tiny mosses, lichens and algae. You’ll want to give your cameras a final workout here too, as this will be your last day to photograph the seals and penguins of Antarctica.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
As you cross the Drake on the way back to Ushuaia, the lecture program continues. Armed with a collection of new memories and stories, reminiscing about the sights and sounds of Antarctica is inevitable. Share photos with your newfound friends, or, weather permitting, spend time on deck and enjoy your last days at sea.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
After breakfast aboard the ship, our staff will transfer you and your luggage to the airport for your homeward flights. 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.
In addition to the above inclusions, voyages on the Sea Spirit include:
• 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 host hotel before embarkation and lunch on specified Fly and Cruise programs.
• 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.
• Massage services on the Ocean Diamond are available for onboard purchase.
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 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
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.
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 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).
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 and places are limited.
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.
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!
23 October 2012