Whales and seals are frequently seen during Antarctic Circle voyages. This border, located at Latitude 66° 33′ South, experiences 24 hours of continuous daylight at least once in the year. Detaille Island in Crystal Sound is the farthest south that we will probably reach at 66°52’ South. Be overcome by dramatic scenery with huge icebergs, glaciers, high mountains and the abundant wildlife. The ice-strengthened M/V Ortelius is an ideal way to travel to Antarctica, with a maximum of 106 passengers accompanied by expert lecturers and guides, assuring maximum wildlife opportunities
Whales and seals are frequently seen during Antarctic Circle voyages. This border, located at Latitude 66° 33′ South, experiences 24 hours of continuous daylight at least once in the year. Detaille Island in Crystal Sound is the farthest south that we will probably reach at 66°52’ South. Be overcome by dramatic scenery with huge icebergs, glaciers, high mountains and the abundant wildlife. The ice-strengthened M/V Ortelius is an ideal way to travel to Antarctica, with a maximum of 106 passengers accompanied by expert lecturers and guides, assuring maximum wildlife opportunities.
Day 1: DEPARTURE FROM USHUAIA In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening. Days 2 - 3: AT SEA During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs. The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait between Robert Island and Greenwich Island or Mc Farlane Strait between Greenwich Island and Livingston Island if the conditions are favorable. Then we might be able to enter Antarctic waters in the late evening of the third day and see Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands. If the conditions do not allow us to manoeuvre through the English Strait then we continue sailing South of Livingston. These volcanic islands or the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and southern Giant Petrels. Days 4 - 11 or 12: ANTARCTICA We may start our first day in Antarctica with a landing at Hannah Point, where we will find a nice variety of Gentoo Penguins, Chinstraps and southern Giant Petrels, as well as Elephant Seals hauling out on the beach. At Deception Island, we will try to land. Deception itself is a sub ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Pigeons and many Dominican Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Good walkers may hike from Baily Head over the ridge of the crater into Whalers Bay, while our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. On our way further South we will sail to Orne Islands with large colonies of Chinstrap Penguins and a beautiful view across the Gerlache Strait or to Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island. It contains a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. In Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. We shall have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island offering Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. We also try to land at Pleneau Island with Elephant Seals and fair chances to encounter Humpback, Minke and Fin Whales. We head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, south of the polar circle. The landscape is very impressive with very high mountains and huge glaciers. At the Fish Islands we land at one of the southernmost Adelie Penguin and Blue-eyed Shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. At Detaille Island, south of the Polar Circle, in Crystal Sound we reach probably our farthest south. Sailing north again through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, we arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where we may encounter Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals and whales. Days 12 - 13 (or 13-14): AT SEA On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage. Day 14 or 15: ARRIVAL IN USHUAIA We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. PLEASE NOTE: A typical itinerary to the Polar Circle & Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated above. Some departures are longer than others. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Included Voyage as indicated in the itinerary. All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea. Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes. Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation). All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac. Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff. All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program. Comprehensive pre-departure material. Excluded Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights. Pre- and post land arrangements. Transfers to the vessel. Passport and visa expenses. Government arrival and departure taxes. Meals ashore. Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended). Excess baggage charges. All items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges. The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided). Rates, Share and Sole Use policy All rates are quoted per person, based on shared twin, triple or quad occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with another person of the same gender at the shared rate. Twin and Superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the share rate. Children Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40 % discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults). Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.