Day 1: Ushuaia, ArgentinaAfter boarding Polar Pioneer mid-afternoon, you set sail along the Beagle Channel before turning south towards Antarctica.
Day 2: At seaAs you cross the Drake Passage, the temperature begins to fall. You will be busy with lectures and safety briefings in preparation for your first landing.
Day 3: At sea/South Shetland IslandsBy mid-afternoon you should be in iceberg waters. If all goes well, you may have your first penguin encounter on one of the South Shetland Islands.
Day 4: Antarctic SoundIn the early hours of the morning, you hope to be among the towering corridors of icebergs in Antarctic Sound. A narrow passage, alive with penguins, guards the entrance to the Weddell Sea.
Days 5 - 7: Weddell SeaThree days of exploring in the whale- and seal-rich Weddell Sea, where your activities will be controlled by the movement of ice. Huge glaciers pour down between the mountains from the polar plateau, and the surface of the ocean is covered with plates of ice the size of city blocks. One of your aims is to visit the fossil-rich shores of Seymour Island.
Days 8 - 9: Antarctic PeninsulaYou plan to visit the beautiful western flanks of the Antarctic Peninsula, exploring the Gerlache Strait, Neumayer Channel and Paradise Harbour area.
Days 10 - 11: Drake PassageYou will cross the Drake Passage with magnificent albatrosses in our wake. The last shipboard lectures give you time to polish your Antarctic education before you make a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn.
Day 12: Ushuaia, ArgentinaYou cruise up the Beagle Channel in the early morning before docking in Ushuaia. After transferring to a city hotel, there is time to explore the central town area or perhaps visit the nearby Tierra del Fuego mountains.
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.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage, including coverage for emergency medical evacuation. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The policy provider, policy number and emergency contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. 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.
Sea Kayaking Option: $995 per person (2/28/2014). Traveling in these sturdy, easy-handling, reliable kayaks is an exciting, low impact way to explore the stunning bays and wildlife breeding grounds along the Peninsula. If you wish to take this option, please advise us when you make your booking as numbers are limited. Please note, some sea kayaking experience is necessary.
Cabin accommodations on the ship; all meals onboard; all shore excursions; lectures and guide services; medical service of the resident medical officer onboard; boots (for loan onboard); port taxes and service charges.
Airfare; accommodation or transfers before or after the cruise; visa, passport and vaccination charges and airport departure taxes; hotels and meals not included in ship cruise itinerary; fuel surcharge may apply; sea kayaking option; items of a personal nature; travel insurance; gratuities to the ship crew are left to the discretion of the passenger.