After spending 8 nights onboard the Akademik Sergey Vavilov exploring the Antarctic Peninsula we feel recharged and invigorated to approach the new year. This specially designed and succinct voyage captures the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula region in a condensed 9 day voyage. For those interested in exploring this incredible region, and are limited by time - this is our answer to create majestic memories to the holiday season that last a lifetime.
This specialty departure also includes a feature focused around families who enjoy spending their time together exploring and sharing adventures. With special guests and a unique program to cater to the younger crowd, all ages can engage onboard.
Meals included: 1 dinner
Today is the beginning of our southern adventure. Ushuaia in Argentinean Patagonia, the world’s southernmost city, is where we board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, your home for the next 9 days. Even as we sail down the Beagle Channel in the early evening we may see our first wildlife and start to become familiar with shipboard life. As you meet the impressive team of naturalists who will provide you with a greater understanding of our exotic destination and the creatures that inhabit it you share a bond with Charles Darwin, Captain Fitz Roy and the crew of the Beagle who explored and named this waterway.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Crossing the Drake Passage, there’s considerable excitement in the air as we make our way towards to the white continent. You’ll readily fall into the relaxed and friendly atmosphere onboard as our time is divided between watching albatross follow in our wake and presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife and history to Zodiac protocols and the environment. Then we cross 60°S, the geopolitical boundary of Antarctica and pass through the Antarctic Convergence where there’s a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the much colder waters of the Southern Ocean. During these sea days there’s the element of the unexpected as we may see giant icebergs and the seabirds unique to this part of the world and perhaps the world’s largest whales that live in this boundless ocean.
Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
In the bays and coves of the Antarctic Peninsula, we intend to utilize every moment to explore by inflatable Zodiac craft that serve both as stable photographic platforms and let us easily land on wild beaches. Our sail plan will be selected from the wealth of sites in this most-accessible part of Antarctica and may include beautiful, continental Neko or Paradise harbours, the large Gentoo penguin colonies of Cuverville or Danco Islands, and iceberg-strewn Wilhelmina Bay and Cierva Cove. At any of these locations Humpback, Minke or even Orca whales may make a surprise appearance and we’ll also be looking for Crabeater, Weddell and Leopard seals in the water or basking on the ice. We intend to spend a day in the South Shetland Islands, perhaps at Half Moon Island where a colony of chinstrap penguins share the island with a variety of seals and some blue-eyed shags. Our aim is to give you the best opportunity to maximize your Antarctic experience as you like. So it’s possible that on a single excursion some of us may walk up onto a glacier for a high vantage point while others stay down with the penguins near the beach and a third group go cruising the ice in Zodiacs seeking seals and whales. And there’s normally time for everyone to do whatever combination of these activities you like. Whether it’s the endlessly entertaining antics of penguins and their chicks, the photographic opportunities of seals on ice or the infinite sculptural shapes and rich hues of icebergs you’ll experience it all. We intend to spend a light-filled night camping on shore and to land on the continent itself. Whether your vantage point is onboard or onshore, expect to feel enriched by spending Christmas in the strange, wondrous and ethereal domain at the bottom of the planet.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Heading north, back across the Drake Passage towards the Antarctic Convergence, the albatross return and there’s time to reflect on your Antarctic experience. We’ll be aiming for Cape Horn and, if conditions allow, we’ll round this ultimate mariner’s landmark as we sail briefly into the Pacific Ocean and back into the Atlantic on our way past the islands that form the tip of South America. On our last night onboard we sail westwards along the Beagle Channel while we celebrate the conclusion of our Antarctic Christmas voyage at a special Captain’s dinner.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. After breakfast it is time to say farewell to new friends among the crew and staff and fellow passengers. You will be transported directly from the ship to hotels or to the airport for your flight home. It certainly will have been a Christmas to remember.
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 forms. You will be sent the forms by post which includes a cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed and returned to Peregrine or your travel agent.
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!
2 July 2013