This Antarctic Peninsula Cruise includes landings on the Antarctic Peninsula as well as the South Shetland Islands, the 335-mile-long chain of islands located about 500 miles from Tierra del Fuego and about 75 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula. This volcanic archipelago consists of 11 major islands and numerous smaller ones. Visit Deception Island and Half Moon Island, among other key sites in this 80% glaciated archipelago, to scout out penguins, sea birds and seals. On board the 114-passenger M/V Plancius, you will share the experience with other adventurous voyagers to the final frontier, Antarctica.
Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina
In the afternoon, 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.Accommodations: M/V PlanciusIncluded Meals:
Days 2-3 - The Drake Passage
During these two days you will sail across the Drake Passage. This famous passage is notorious for its high winds and rolling seas. Crossing it is as much a part of the Antarctic experience as penguins and krill. All the great explorers have braved the Drake Passage.
After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up-welling zone. This area is home to varieties of albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, and petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, glimpse our first icebergs. If the winds are favorable we might do our first landing in Antarctic waters in the evening of the third day at Aitcho Island or Penguin Island at the South Shetlands. These volcanic islands 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.Accommodations: M/V PlanciusIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Days 4-9 - Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, will be a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. If landing on Danco Island, observe Chinstrap Penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater Seals. In Neko Harbour there is the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. Enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. In Paradise Bay again with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, there is the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again. Enjoy the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. In this area there are good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales.
Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island to find Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales. A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica will give you an insight about the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south we may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, for a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel, hopefully permission is granted to visit the British research station and post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy there may be a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags.
Heading North through the Gerlache Strait, arrive at the South Shetland Islands. Sail to Deception Island which is a sub-ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor 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. The ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. Enjoy the opportunity for a long walk and kayak trip which will depend on site availability and weather conditions.
Leave from here and sail to Half Moon Island, to find a variety of Chinstrap Penguins. Seals often haul out on the beach. These volcanic islands of 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. The voyage continues through a narrow Strait to the open sea with direction Ushuaia.Accommodations: M/V PlanciusIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Days 10-11 - The Drake Passage
The journey continues back across the Drake with time to reflect on what we have experienced, looking through photos and talking with the naturalists about all the wildlife and history of Antarctica.Accommodations: M/V PlanciusIncluded Meals:
breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 12 - Ushuaia, Argentina
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast. Transfer to airport for flights returning home or trip extension.Accommodations:
Read this itinerary as a guide only; exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife encountered. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.
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.
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, including mandatory emergency evacuation insurance; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
If world fuel prices will reach or exceed US $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure, we reserve the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $25 per night per passenger, to be paid.
Solo travelers willing to share can reserve a quadruple, triple or twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth or berths goes unsold, you will not be penalized. For those who desire single occupancy, cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the twin rate.
Families & Children:
Children under 16 years old in Superior, Family Triple and/or Family Quadruple cabins receive a 40% discount. Parents are entirely responsible for their children at all times, on land and on board; there is no onboard day care or nursery facility.
Arrival & Departure:
The Antarctic Peninsula Including South Shetland Islands Cruise begins and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina. Embarkation time is between 4:00 – 5:00pm on day of departure. We strongly advise all passengers to arrive the night prior to departure and get a hotel in Ushuaia to avoid baggage and flight delays. The ship sails around 6:00pm on day of departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day between 8:30 – 9:00am. Plan flights to depart Ushuaia anytime after noon on the final day. Get a free flight quote
Payment & Cancellation:
In order to confirm this trip, a 20% deposit is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form
, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
90 or more days - 20% of the total price
89 to 60 days - 50% of the total price
59 to 0 days - 100% of the total price
Terms & Conditions:
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions
. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.
Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Please note that you must purchase your travel insurance policy within 14 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Click the link below for a selection of policies from our partners at Travelex.
Hiking time for most landings will be a couple of hours roundtrip with lots of time to stop to study, photograph and enjoy the flora and fauna. Various add-on activities are available on the Antarctic Peninsula Including South Shetland Islands Cruise. For the 2013/14 season, the following may be available: camping $500pp/night, kayaking $430pp, snowshoeing free.
The Antarctic Peninsula Including South Shetland Islands Cruise will be enjoyed by anyone who is in good health, has full mobility, and leads an active life. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join any off-vessel excursions, passengers must be able to navigate the steep, 30-stair, gang-way, un-assisted both down and up. Daily excursions from the boat will be made in Zodiacs. Some landings are dry but many are "wet", requiring cautious footing on slippery rocks. The boat staff will be on hand to assist. You are traveling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.
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