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Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea via Cape Horn
15 days - Prices $12,995 - $26,995

Departures:

01/24/2014


See entire List of Trips

Ship(s): Sea Spirit

 

Trip Highlights:

Voyage to the remote, wild east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula aboard a luxury vessel with opportunities to camp and kayak.


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Want more info about this trip
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Rates: $12,995 - $26,995

Summary: This extended voyage combines the best of the Western Peninsula with the less visited, more remote eastern side with a landing at Cape Horn. Be astounded by the abundant penguin rookeries, incredible icebergs and unforgettable landing sites. This Weddell Sea and Peninsula voyage provides an ideal, in-depth exploration of this majestic continent from imposing, majestic tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea to the 100,000 pairs of Adélie Penguins at the Paulet Island rookery. Along the voyage, learn more about the spectacular wildlife and scenery from lecturers and educational presentations. See the Peninsula up close from Zodiac cruises, landing ashore, or through kayaking and camping options.


Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
The Antarctic adventure begins with an overnight stay in the southernmost city in the world - Ushuaia, Argentina. If you arrive early, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy around the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, and the city offers a wide range of shops for dining and shopping.

Day 2: Embarkation Day
Today, board your ship and head south towards Antarctica! Named for the British ship HMS Beagle, the Beagle Channel will be your gateway to the south, charming you with an abundance of birdlife. You’ll likely spot penguins, cormorants, petrels, and black-browed albatross. Once through the channel, you’ll say goodbye to land and prepare to spend your first night at sea.

Days 3 - 4: Crossing the Drake Passage
The Drake Passage, named after Sir Francis Drake, is the legendary body of water that separates South America and Antarctica. Smooth or rough, the crossing of the Drake is a rite of passage for any true Antarctic adventurer. These two days will give you time to get to know the Expedition Team and your fellow shipmates while participating in educational programs onboard.

Days 5 - 8: Antarctic Peninsula
After a couple of days at sea, you’ll finally arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula. You can expect icebergs to become a more common occurrence as you approach land and make the way along the western coast of the Peninsula. Possible landing sites include Melchiors, Wilhelmina Bay, Cuverville Island and Orne Harbour. Glaciers, penguin colonies and breaching Humpback Whales will highlight your days, while friendly seals are plentiful in these waters. You can also expect to encounter what is arguably the most formidable Antarctic predator - the Leopard Seal.

Days 9 - 11: Antarctic Sound / Weddell Sea
Having sailed northwards along the Peninsula, you will begin your passage through the Antarctic Sound. This stretch of water separates the western side of the Peninsula from the Weddell Sea and is known to be riddled with huge pieces of ice emanating from the Larsen Ice Shelf, so have your cameras ready! The Antarctic Sound itself offers great places for you to get ashore and stretch your legs at landing sites that are home to nesting Adélie and Gentoo penguins. Once your ship passes through the Sound, find yourself in Erebus and Terror Gulf. Dwarfed by the ice, you’ll venture out by Zodiacs to cruise amongst the sea of ice giants. Push southwards even further, with the goal of visiting Snow Hill Island. The wooden hut on Snow Hill Island was built in 1902 by the main party of the Swedish South Polar Expedition led by Otto Nordenskjöld. This historic hut contains original objects from the expedition and functions as a living museum.

Your journey then turns northwards, with Paulet Island being one of your possible landings. The island is a 350-meter-high volcanic cone that juts dramatically out of the sea. You’ll discover this island to be a bird and seal paradise. Over 100,000 pairs of Adélie Penguins breed here, along with Blue-eyed Shags, Snowy Sheathbills and Kelp Gulls. Fur Seals and Weddell Seals haul out onshore, while Leopard Seals often hunt offshore.

Day 12: South Shetlands
The South Shetlands will be sure to add variety to your voyage as time spent in Antarctica comes to a close. Just north of the Peninsula, the South Shetlands offer landings where you can see the vegetation of Antarctica - tiny mosses, lichens and algae. You’ll want to give your cameras a final workout here too, as this will be your last day to photograph the seals and penguins of Antarctica.

Days 13 - 14: Crossing the Drake Passage
The lecture program continues while crossing the Drake on the way back to Ushuaia. Armed with a collection of new memories and stories, reminiscing about the sights and sounds of Antarctica is inevitable. Share photos with your newfound friends, or, weather permitting, spend time on deck and enjoy the last days at sea.

Day 15: Ushuaia, Argentina
After breakfast aboard the ship, the staff will transfer you and your luggage to the airport for homeward flights.


Notes:

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Cape Horn Landing: Landing at Cape Horn will either occur at the beginning or the end of the trip and is subject to weather conditions.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Expert in Residence:
Join Jonathan Shackleton, cousin of the Irish Kildare-born Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, on this voyage of a lifetime. Jonathan is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, in Natural Sciences and was awarded his Masters Degree from Ohio State University for work in Arctic Alaska. As a lecturer and guide, Jonathan has accompanied 30 groups on trips to the Antarctic in the past 15 years as historian, guide, photographer and Zodiac driver. Highlights of Jonathan’s visits have been landing on Elephant Island at Point Wild, visiting Ernest Shackleton's grave on South Georgia, travelling to the Ross Sea, landing at Cape Adare, and visiting two of the largest emperor penguin colonies in the world. Jonathan was a member of the first group to visit the emperor penguin colony at Snow Hill.

Camping Option: $225 per person; minimum age 16 years. No camping experience is necessary to participate in this program. Sleeping bags and all safety equipment are provided. Space is limited; request at time of booking.

Sea Kayaking Option: $950 per person; minimum age 16 years. Please note that some kayaking experience is recommended in order to participate in this program. Space is limited; request at time of booking.

Included:
Group transfers in Ushuaia from the airport to local hotel; one night pre-expedition hotel accommodation at a four-star hotel with breakfast, as indicated in the itinerary (The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available), five-star hotel for guests in Deluxe, Premium and Owner's suites; group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the ship on embarkation day; group transfers from the ship to the local airport on disembarkation; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage, “open bar” offering unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (please inform of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.); leadership throughout the voyage by your experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities; formal and informal presentations by your Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled; Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an official parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; a 10 Mb card for access to the ship’s wireless internet connection; comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard ship; Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person*.

Not Included:
Any airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; supplements for adventure options; fuel surcharge may apply.

*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.

 


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