National Geographic Epic Antarctica
The 35-day National Geographic Epic Antarctica is an extraordinary voyage that crosses the Drake Passage, the Ross Sea, sails along West Antarctica, and explores Macquarie Island and New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands. This is a rare opportunity to truly follow in the footsteps of explorers Scott, Ross, Amundsen and Shackleton. Perhaps only a few thousand people in history have ever made this voyage.
West Antarctica is big and bold and offers a different experience during every voyage because activities are fully dependent on weather conditions and pack ice. The captain and crew’s goal is to find a place to “park” the ship so guests can disembark on the frozen sea and go on ice walks, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Afterwards, retreat to the ship’s sauna, yoga room, library or bar. The 126-guest National Geographic Endurance has a polar ice class 5 rating, state-of-the-art educational equipment and highly qualified naturalist guides, who create an in-depth intellectual and exploratory experience. Watch her crush through ice from the bridge or out on deck and enjoy the highest technologies in ice-stable sailing.
Unique to this polar expedition is Nat Geo Endurance’s special permission to explore the strictly regulated and highly protected sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand. Considered “bird central” by top ornithologists the world over, New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands are home to 99 recorded bird species, including albatross, Antarctic terns and Snares crested penguins. Rich flora, fauna, prolific birdlife and an interesting human history captivate this unique polar cruise destination and are a perfect addition to this epic voyage to Antarctica.
At the bottom of the world, several opportunities present themselves to hike and explore via Zodiac and kayak. Spot colonies of Adelie penguins, lazy seals and majestic whales. Hope to visit Coulman Island to meet and photograph emperor penguins, the largest of all penguins. Stare up at the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest, covering 182,000 square miles and towering 200 feet above the sea. Macquarie Island, located south of New Zealand, is home to thousands of seals and millions of penguins and is a designated World Heritage site, where four species of penguins including royal, gentoo, southern rockhopper and king penguins, breed.
If you are wondering if the 35-day National Geographic Epic Antarctica voyage is the one for you, contact our polar experts at AdventureSmith Explorations, who can vouch that the beauty of the seventh continent is worth seeing. And if you’re going to make the journey, why not make it an epic one. To sail the length of the Antarctic continent from New Zealand to Argentina, to follow in the footsteps of the world’s bravest explorers and to see what ice and solitude truly feels like, try this incredible Epic Antarctica small ship expedition.