Classic Antarctica

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    Classic Antarctica

    Expedition Cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.

    Duration 10 days

    Ask for LAST MINUTE departures with rates from USD 5000 per person*

    Day 1: Departure from the city of Ushuaia

    Embark in the afternoon and meet your expedition staff and speakers. After making yourself comfortable in your cabin, we will sail through the famous Beagle Channel, through the Mackinlay Pass.
    Days 2 and 3: Crossing the Drake Passage
    Named after the celebrated explorer Sir Francis Drake navigated these waters in 1578, Drake Passage is the site of the Antarctic Convergence, a natural biological barrier where cold polar waters plunge below warmer northern waters. This generates a large amount of nutrients, which sustain the biodiversity of this region.
    Drake Passage also marks the northern limit for many Antarctic seabirds. As we navigate through the passage, our staff will be out on deck with you to help you identify the enormous variety of seabirds, including the albatrosses that follow the USHUAIA.
    The ship's “open bridge” policy will allow you to join our officers on the bridge and learn a few things about sailing, whale watching or just enjoying the view. A complete conference program will be waiting for you.
    The first icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, an archipelago of 20 islands and islets discovered in 1819 by Captain William Smith with his brig Williams. If the conditions in the Drake Passage are favourable, on the third day our expedition staff will accompany you on the first landing and you will experience the fascinating encounter with penguins and seals.
    Days 4 to 7: Discovering the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
    The South Shetland Islands are teeming with wildlife. Vast colonies of penguins, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals, make every day on this group of islands unforgettable. Navigating the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.
    King George Island is the largest island of the South Shetland Islands and is characterized by colonies of Adélie and chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, imperial shags, Antarctic terns and southern giant petrels. There are also scientific bases from different countries. Chinstrap penguins, gilt-fronted penguins, gentoo penguins, as well as elephant seals await you on Livingston Island.
    Learning about the remarkable history of the Antarctic Peninsula will thrill you in a way comparable to the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its incredible landscape, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and the incredible wide variety of wildlife. In addition to penguins and seabirds, you'll also see crabeater, Weddell and leopard seals up close, as well as humpback, minke and orca whales.
    We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful channels always depending on the ice conditions: the Strait of Gerlache, the Neumayer Channel and the Lemaire Channel are narrow passages between towering rocks and spectacular glaciers. We plan to do at least two shore excursions per day. Sites for such excursions may also include:
    Paradise Bay, literally the best named place in the world, is where we will try to make a proper descent to the mainland. After crossing the iceberg-covered waters of the Antarctic Sound we hope to visit the active colonies of Adélie penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and shag on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone shelter here in 1903; ruins that today have been invaded by the nests of penguins.
    Other possible explorations could take us to the Melchior Islands, Cuverville Island, Punta Portal, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island, and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island to visit the southernmost gentoo penguin colony.
    Days 8 and 9: Crossing the Drake Passage
    We will leave the Antarctic Peninsula and head north, crossing the Drake Passage. Join our speakers and naturalists on deck as they search for seabirds and whales, and enjoy some of the final lectures. Take time to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the last few days on the way back to Ushuaia.
    Day 10: Arrival at the port of Ushuaia
    We arrive in Ushuaia early in the morning, where you will disembark after breakfast.
    N.B: The itinerary described above is only a guide. Our exact route and schedule may vary in order to take best advantage of local weather, ice conditions and wildlife viewing opportunities. Changes will be made by the captain and the expedition leader to facilitate the best results for the prevailing conditions. A daily program will be posted on board. Flexibility is the key to success.
    *LAST MINUTE rates are close to the departure date of the boat and are subject to availability. Values ​​are per person in a shared cabin.


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