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Antarctica
  • 11 days/10 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $9,300 / person
  • (Varying single supplement)

Discover our Antarctica Cruises!

Experience the best of the Antarctic Peninsula on this 11-day exploration of our southern-most continent. Explore the “frozen dessert” by snowshoe, kayak, and on the deck of the ship. Observe the abundant wildlife in their icy home and get up close and personal with an iceberg. Visit research stations and learn the history of the discovery and exploration of this isolated continent.

  • Hiking
  • Paddling
  • Small Ship
  • Wine / Gourmet

Activity Level: Easy

About
This Tour

Sliding penguins, slumbering seals, 3,000-foot ice walls, and surreal sunsets. The Antarctic Peninsula is home to the most dramatic scenery and the largest variety of wildlife in Antarctica. Enjoy nature at her best, navigating iceberg-laden waters and White Continent wilderness by small ship, zodiac, kayak, and on foot.

  • Board your small ship in Ushuaia, Argentina, making your way south toward the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Convergence; you’ll know you’re near when you begin sighting wandering albatrosses, blue petrels, and icebergs
  • Kayak the tranquil waters surrounding Jougla Point, coming nose-to-beak with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags
  • Hike a massive glacier on the Antarctic continent and count the fur, elephant, and leopard seals basking on ice floes in Neko Harbor
  • Sail Lemaire Channel beneath Booth Island’s towering peaks, keeping an eye out for humpback, minke, and fin whales
  • Get a glimpse into the lives of the people who live there year-round with a stop at a scientific work station
  • Soak up a technicolor sunset before curling up in the comfort of a waterproof bivouac bag during an optional open-air camping excursion

 

Antarctic penguins
Photo: Antarctic penguins

Elephant seals, this far south, what a treat. Elephant seals and penguins existing in harmonious indifference...inspiring! Today was an amazing day of wildlife, man vs. ice, more flying penguins and just plain fun.

Troy Glennon Seattle, WA

Itinerary
& Map

Tour Itinerary

11 days/10 nights

Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 1: Ushuaia
Ushuaia
Meals Included:  D
Overnight: M/v Plancius

Get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

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.

About the M/v Plancius
M/v "Plancius" was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman."

The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 114-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea).

M/v "Plancius" is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag. The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view.

M/v "Plancius" has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 3), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Plancius was built for Ice conditions. To reach these ice-conditions she has a strengthened bow and stern.

Day 2 & 3: Drake Passage
Drake Passage
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/v Plancius

During these 2 days we sail across the Drake Passage, the body of water connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

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.

Day 5 - 8: Antarctica
Antarctica
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/v Plancius

On days 5 through 8, e will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island.

We'll sail to the Neumayer Channel, where we position our ship for the multi activity base camp. The protected waters around Wiencke Island will become our playground for all activities.

In this alpine environment there are great opportunities to scout the region on foot, per zodiac and during kayak trips. Walkers will find opportunities to use snowshoes on hikes near the shore lines and the mountaineers will find their challenge by climbing hills and viewpoints further inland, i.e. Jabet Peak (1,770 ft).

All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions.

We plan to stay 2 overnights at anchor in order to implement two camp nights and two full activity days. We will visit the British research station and the post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island.

Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags. We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Booth Island, Pleneau and Petermann Island where we can find Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales.

Our second Basecamp night will be erected near the Continent; we choose a camp site which is suitable and close to next day’s activity.

The mountaineers hope to reach the summit of Mt. Demaria (3,000 ft) at Waddington Bay. 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 have time to visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where we will receive a warm welcome from the station crew.

In the afternoon at Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of a huge glacier and enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises, hikes and kayak excursions.

A small group of mountaineers may climb up on higher grounds of the glacier.

We will spend the night at Neko or near Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore. We will leave Neko Harbour in the early morning after breaking our last camp.

We sail via Melchior Islands towards the open sea of the Drake Passage. We have again a chance of seeing many seabirds.

Day 9 & 10: Drake Passage
Drake Passage
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: M/v Plancius

On days 9 & 10, on our way north, we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 11: Ushuaia
Ushuaia
Meals Included:  B

On our final day, we arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

* Austin Adventures is proudly offering this trip in conjunction with Oceanwide Expeditions. 

** 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.

Dates, Rates
& Details

Start planning your next adventure now. See the information below for the rates and selection of available dates. For additional information on dates and availability, please contact our travel specialists.

  • 11 days/10 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $9,300 / person
  • (Varying single supplement)

Departure Dates

    Additional Trip Information

    Departure

    Embarkation is between 4:00 - 5:00 pm on day of departure.

    • We recommend that all passengers arrive the night prior to departure in Ushuaia to avoid any delays from flights or lost luggage.
    • Hotel night is not included.
    • Transfers from airport to hotel and from hotel to the pier are not included.
    • Passengers are asked to make their own way to the port on day of embarkation.
    • It is not allowed to board the ship before 4:00pm as the crew is getting the ship ready for your arrival.

    Disembarkation is between 8:30 - 9:00 am on the last day of the voyage.

    • The transfer from the ship to the airport is included in the cruise rate.
    • You can catch a flight out of Ushuaia anytime after 12:00 Noon on that day.
    Activities
    • Hiking: The possibilities to hike longer distances in the Antarctic are limited by mountains and glaciers. In general the longest hikes can last up to two hours.
    • Kayaking: Basic kayaking experience is required and physical fitness is essential.
    • Photo Workshop: For beginner and advanced photographers alike under the supervision of a photo expert on board. No previous experience required.
    • Snowshoeing: Easy and does not require any technical skills.
    • Mountaineering (optional): This is a technical and more strenuous activity for mountaineers who wish to walk beyond the shore radius in order to reach higher grounds and viewpoints. Mountaineers walk in rope parties under the leadership of a certified mountain guide mostly across glaciated environment. Mountaineering knowledge is preferable, but not required. Physical fitness is essential.
    Meals

    All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea are included. Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.

    Included in Trip Price
    • Voyage aboard the M/v Plancius vessel & cabin with private facilities.
    • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee, and tea.
    • Fully trained, first-aid certified, knowledgeable expedition leaders.
    • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
    • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
    • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
    • Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags.
    • Pre-departure and packing information.
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
    Not Included in Trip Price
    • Gratuities for stewards and other service personnel aboard the vessel.
    • Transfer to the vessel.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
    • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
    • Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
    • All types of personal insurance.
    • Personal expenses (i.e. laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges).
    Photos

    A few more reasons why you've gotta go…

    • 1. You can't get any further south than Antarctica!
    • 2. Antarctica is considered a desert, only receiving an average of 8 inches of precipitation each year, and almost the entire continent is covered in ice over one mile thick.
    • 3. At any one point in time, there are between 1,000 and 5,000 people living and working at research stations throughout the continent.
    • 4. Native to Antarctica, the emperor penguin is the largest penguin species in the world. They mate in the winter, and will travel up to 75 miles to reach their mate.
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