14 days

Crossing the Circle: From Buenos Aires 2015 - 2017

Crossing the Circle: From Buenos Aires 2015 - 2017

Camping in tents on Antarctica

Ushuaia

Whales

‘Slicing the silence’, voyage to Antarctica

Seals and seabirds of the Beagle Channel

The land beyond the Antarctic Circle

Cruise the Beagle Channel

Antarctica’s seabirds

Light of the Antarctic

Seals

South Shetland Islands

Argentina's capital Buenos Aires

The epic icebergs and landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula

Trip rating
  • This expedition offers you an in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. Extended time in the region allows you to go beyond the Antarctic Peninsula and venture south of the Antarctic Circle, home to fantastic ice formations and wildlife including the Weddell seal. Enjoy time to commune with penguins and make visits to less-frequented landing sites.

    Given good ice conditions, travel further south than other Peregrine expeditions, crossing the Antarctic Circle at 66°33 S. You’ll experience a great diversity of environments and landscapes, which will provide unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities. Join us for the quintessential Antarctic experience for polar travellers! 

     

    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 - Camping

    Camping is an available option on select departures. The crew will determine the best spot and conditions to undertake this adventure and all equipment is provided. Spend the night under the Antarctic sky with your shipmates. Numbers are limited.

    Optional Extra - Stand-Up Paddleboarding

    Combining surfing with kayaking or canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding gives you a personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Taken in small groups in good weather conditions on calm bays and harbours, with Zodiac accompaniment, paddleboarding is offered via signup on-board the ship on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Included Option - Photography

    Antarctica is one of the most photogenic destinations in the world. Penguins amble across pebbled beaches, whales spy-hop from the blue sea and sparkling icebergs tower in this serene, yet dramatic environment. Whether you own a serious SLR or a simple point-and-shoot, our on-board photography expert provides you with hands-on instruction and technical tips to ensure that you capture the best of your Antarctica experience.

     

    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

    • Follow in the path of historic explorers as you cross the legendary Drake Passage. Weather permitting, squeeze through the photogenic Lemaire Channel between the mountains of Booth Island and the Antarctic continent
    • Get right up close to an incredible range of wildlife, such as minke, humpback and orca whales and gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a leopard seal
    • Few people ever get the opportunity to set foot on the Great White Continent or venture as deep into Antarctica as the Antarctic Circle, but you'll be one of them
    • A diversity of possible landing sites and activities allows you to see the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula from multiple perspectives

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Bienvenidos. Welcome to Argentina. Your Antarctic Explorer adventure begins with an overnight stay in Buenos Aires. Meet your leader and shipmates for a welcome meeting this evening at the hotel. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you have time during the day, explore the leafy boulevards, hip galleries and European architecture of Buenos Aires. In the evening, perhaps head out for a steak dinner with your new travel companions. 

     

     
    Note: A transfer from Buenos Aires airport to the hotel is not included, nor are any meals today. If you arrive early into the city or wish to extend your stay and need accommodation, please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

    Day 2 - Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

    After breakfast at the hotel take a private charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. The port of Ushuaia is known as the town at 'the end of the world'. Enjoy a little free time to explore before boarding the ship and cruising out through the Beagle Channel this afternoon. The channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Named after the British ship the HMS Beagle, this passage of water is rich with birdlife, so keep an eye out for penguins, cormorants, petrels, and Black-browed Albatross from the deck.  

    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3-4 - Crossing the Drake Passage

    Head into the legendary Drake Passage, named after the English explorer, Sir Francis Drake. Conditions through the passage can be unpredictable, so hope for smooth sailing but please be prepared for the possibility of rough seas. Take some time getting to know your shipmates and keep watch for seabirds, whales and dolphins. On-board experts will make presentations about the whaling history and wildlife of Antarctica, as well as preparing you for the activities ahead.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5-7 - South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula

    With the Drake Passage behind you, have your camera ready as you approach the Antarctic coastline. Watch the ocean surface for curious whales breaching before your eyes. Over the next few days you'll make several expeditions via Zodiac to explore the Antarctic Peninsula. Perhaps visit Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour or Paradise Bay. Watch penguins waddling on a beach, listen to the crack of a calving glacier near Petermann Island or explore the historic Port Lockroy. You may like to take a polar plunge in the icy waters or kayak among whales (subject to availability). While weather dictates which landing sites you can visit, your expedition team will ensure that each one presents exciting new wildlife opportunities and natural attractions.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-9 - The Antarctic Circle

    Few people can say they’ve crossed the Antarctic Circle, but you'll be one of them. Celebrate in style by sharing a glass of champagne with your shipmates. This part of the world is home to Weddell seals, the midnight sun and some of the most spectacular ice formations you'll see in Antarctica. While not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to remember. The event usually happens while at sea, so be sure to head up to the bridge and snap a photo of the GPS reading 66° 33’ S.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 10-11 - Northbound along the Antarctic Peninsula

    Spend the next two days travelling north along the western Antarctic Peninsula and back towards the Drake Passage. Weather permitting, continue to journey out in the Zodiac and make landings twice a day. As always, your expedition team will be on the lookout for wildlife. By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and 'pancake ice' will seem normal too.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12-13 - Drake Passage to Ushuaia

    Leave Antarctica behind and head back through Drake Passage. The expedition team will round up their series of lectures, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve seen over the course of the voyage.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14 - Disembarkation in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina

    After a shipboard breakfast this morning, the group will disembark in Ushuaia and make a short excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Afterwards, you'll be transferred to the airport for your charter flight back to Buenos Aires, where your Antarctic adventure comes to an end. The flight will arrive into Buenos Aires at approximately 5.00 pm, but we recommend that any onward flights are booked after 8.00 pm in case of delays. 

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Buenos Aires 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.
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
    • All luggage handling aboard ship.
    • Emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person.
    • Group transfer from Buenos Aires hotel to the airport.
    • Return charter flights from Buenos Aires (EZE) to Ushuaia (USH).
    • Group transfer from Ushuaia Airport to the ship on embarkation day.
    • Group transfer from the ship to Ushuaia Airport on disembarkation.
    • Excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park on disembarkation day before going to the airport.

    Not Included

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

    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.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY - BUENOS AIRES

    Wile travelling, there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities.  We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together an only on main, well-lit thoroughfares.  Be particularly vigilant on public transport.  Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

     

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPBA15
Start City: Buenos Aires
End City: Buenos Aires
Style: Polar

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