Tierra del Fuego - South Shetland Islands - Antarctic Peninsula - Drake Passage
12 days / 11 nights.
Our Classic Antarctica itinerary offers you the perfect introduction to the White Continent. From your departure until your return to the port of Ushuaia, Argentina, you will experience fabulous wildlife and scenic highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.
Each voyage incorporates as much wildlife viewing as possible, with visits to scientific bases and plenty of time to enjoy breathtaking waterways, glaciers, icebergs and rugged mountains.
No two voyages are exactly alike, no matter which Classic Antarctica voyage you choose.
The Captain and Expedition Leader continually assess daily weather conditions and wildlife opportunities, taking advantage of the extended daylight to maximize time ashore.
You will become one of the fortunate few to have set foot on the continent of Antarctica.
Arrive in the southernmost city in the world and transfer independently to the Hotel Los Nires or similar hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore this 'frontier town' at leisure.Day 2.Ushuaia
Spend the morning with a local guide on a group excursion to Tierra del FuegoNational Park, and then enjoy a traditional Argentine BBQ asado lunch. Embark in the afternoon, settle into your cabin, and meet your Expedition Team before the ship sets sail along the scenic Beagle Channel.Day 3 - 5. Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands
Journey across the famous Drake Passage, named after the 16th-century English navigator Sir Francis Drake - an experience in itself. The ship is accompanied much of the way by Albatross- including the magnificent Wandering Albatross - along with an impressive variety of other seabirds. Cross the Antarctic Convergence, a natural border where cold polar waters sink beneath the warmer waters of the more temperate zones.
br> Land is usually sighted for the first time late afternoon on Days 4. the South Shetland Islands, which lie to the north of the Antarctic Peninsula. Visit vast penguin rookeries, land on beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and observe wallowing southern elephant seals. You may also visit one of the many research bases in the archipelago or look for Antarctica's only two flowering plants, which thrive here during the short southern summer.
Often the ship sails through the narrow passage leading into the sunken caldera of DeceptionIsland. Here, if the tide allows, you may dip your toes in the thermal waters of Pendulum Cove.
The Antarctic Peninsula, the most readily accessible part of the White Continent, has some of the best wildlife and scenery. You have plenty of time to experience the special magic of this awe-inspiring wilderness of snow, ice, waterways, and mountains. Expect to see enormous rookeries of Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adélie Penguins. Blue-eyed Shags, Kelp Gulls, CapePetrels, Snowy Sheathbills and Antarctic Terns are also abundant. You may also encounter weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, as well as orcas, humpback, and minke whales.
br> Our exploration of the Antarctic continent often begins with a visit to the aptly named ParadiseBay, or to nearby NekoHarbor. Glaciers fill the calm waters with an amazing vista of icebergs as you set foot on the Antarctic continent itself. When visiting Port Lockroy, you enjoy the thriving penguin colonies and visit a recently renovated former British scientific station that serves as one of the most isolated and intriguing museums in the world. The station also acts as a post office from which you can mail postcards home.
If pack ice and icebergs allow, you navigate some of the most beautiful waterways in the world. Two in particular, the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels, are impressive narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. Some voyages sail south of the Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island, where Adélie and Gentoo Penguins, skuas and Blue-eyed Shags nest close to the landing site.
On our longer voyages, the expedition may also visit the northern tip of the Peninsula to navigate the Antarctic Sound, or 'iceberg alley', where huge tabular icebergs drift north from the Antarctic continent. If weather and ice conditions permit, you land on PauletIsland to see its vast Adélie Penguin rookery.
We bid farewell to Antarctica as we sail north across the Drake Passage. The adventure is not over, as there are more opportunities to watch birds and whales cavorting in the open ocean. Final presentations by our expedition staff enhance the voyage en route to Ushuaia.Day 12: Ushuaia
Disembark after breakfast and transfer by bus to the Antarctic Unit office located at the entrance to the pier. If you are departing on the morning flight, the transfer continues to the airport.Please note:
The itinerary presented here is for the 12-day voyage - the 11-day voyage has one less day along the Antarctic Peninsula.Please note:
Read this itinerary as a guide only; our exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife we encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. Visitstoresearchstationsdependon final permission.
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