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Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina - Embarkation The journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon from Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. After embarking the expedition ship, settling in to your cabin and exploring the various decks, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime. Days 2-3: Drake Passage Crossing Sailing south towards Antarctica you may be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also possible companions during the transit across the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and a photography expert will show you the best techniques. Join the ship's Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of a modern research vessel. Throughout the day your on board experts will run a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of the locations you will attempt to visit in the coming days. Days 4-5: South Shetland Islands and Northern Peninsula, Antarctica Wake up today among the magnificent snowy peaks of the South Shetland Islands. Depending on ice and weather conditions, enter the McFarlane Strait, which separates Greenwich and Livingstone Islands. Half Moon Island or nearby Yankee Harbour are possible landing sites. A short way to the south-west lies Deception Island – a flooded volcanic caldera. Navigating the ship into the narrow passage takes great skill. The old whaling station here begs exploration and there are some fantastic hikes available along the black sand beach to investigate the old aircraft hangar and other relics. A hike of several kilometres up to a highpoint known as Neptune's Window is another option.
Overnight the ship will cross the Bransfield Strait and continue along the coastline of continental Antarctica. Over the next four days, the itinerary is deliberately flexible to account for early season ice conditions, and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions at several of the favoured landing sites. The planned exploration starts in the vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighbouring Cierva Cove – both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica. Days 6-9: Gerlache Strait Region, Antarctica Heading south along the coastline of the continent, the busy program of activities will now be in full swing. Days are spent exploring on and off the ship. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with the expert naturalist guides, while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is always a memorable activity.
Based on site characteristics, the ski touring group may set off to explore the pristine terrain and range several kilometres inland with the experienced mountaineering guides. What a unique thrill it is to carve 'fresh tracks' in the virgin snow of Antarctica. The expedition snow shoe group may follow in the tracks of the skiers, climbing to high points which afford breathtaking views
The expedition sea kayakers will head out on excursions which may last all day. An overnight kayak/camping excursion is available to the more adventurous in the group. Everyone aboard will have an opportunity to camp onshore for the night in Antarctica if the weather conditions co-operate. All the gear to keep you warm, dry and as comfortable as possible will be provided. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to spend an entire day with an expedition photographer, on an all-day field workshop.
Range as far south as ice conditions permit and try to navigate as far as Neko Harbour and into the Errera Channel. Witnessing the migration of the penguins early in the season, as they busily re establish their rookeries and prepare nests is a fascinating experience. Day 10: South Shetland Islands, Antarctica The adventure is not over and the plan is to have an additional day of exploration in the South Shetlands. Prevailing weather conditions will dictate the landing locations. Aitcho Island is another possibility and is a great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. King George Island also has a number of interesting landing sites. In the evening, navigate into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America. Days 11-12: Drake Passage – return to South America As you make your way back to Ushuaia, the educational presentations continue and you can enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by the Expedition Leader. Join the photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, the hope is to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It's a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship. Day 13: Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina In the early morning arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. Notes
- All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar regions!
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Discover the World