Starting in Ushuaia, we head to the world’s most remote continent: Antarctica! For ten days, we’ll sail along the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, exploring the bays and trekking onto the continent, as often as possible. We’ll sail down the Beagle Channel accompanied by albatross, then head across the Drake Passage toward the mainland. Along the way, we’ll see the most stunning wilderness areas on earth, rugged and savage, teeming with extensive wildlife. We’ll watch for Weddell seals, Elephant seals and rookeries of penguins. Along the coast, we’ll see icebergs, massive mountains and ice shelves. On land we’ll explore an old whaling station on Deception Island, and perhaps take a thermal dip in the waters at Pendulum Cove. Our ship is the mv Plancius, a 120-passenger ship. This is not a private charter, but it should be a fun, friendly group from around the world. This is truly a voyage of a lifetime during which, weather and ice conditions permitting, you will encounter the ever-changing world of Antarctica.
February 7 to 17, 2019 – US $10,250.00
Optional Tour Choices:
$7175 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy private use of a double occupancy berth) – Please note that your deposit will be an additional $1000.
$1600 per person Upgrade cost for Shared Superior Cabin
$9895 Upgrade cost for Superior Cabin, single occupancy
$200 per person Camping for one night on the ice (subject to availability and weather, but must be reserved in advance)
$485 per person Guided Kayak excursion for 3-4 hours (subject to availability and weather, but must be reserved in advance)
(-$2300) for passengers willing to stay in a four-berth cabin.
(-$600) for passengers willing to stay in a twin porthole (rather than twin window) room.
Shared accommodations aboard our Expedition ship; All meals on board the ship; Expedition leaders and lecturers; All shore excursions by Zodiac boat; Lectures, videos, slide and film shows; Free use of rubber boots for shore landings; Opportunity for kayaking and/or camping on the ice for a night, subject to availability (for additional charge); Resident on-board medical officer; Transfer from ship to Ushuaia Airport on morning of disembarkation; HE Travel tour director (pending minimum participation) and assistance from local guides; Assistance with flights and extra nights in Buenos Aires or Ushuaia available upon request; HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Airfare to and from Ushuaia (we strongly suggest arriving at least one day, and preferably two days before sailing and departing 12:00 noon or later on final tour day); Visa, entry fee and passport fees (US, Canadian and Australian citizens must pay a Reciprocity Fee BEFORE departure from home; citizens of most other countries do not need visas); Airport departure taxes; Transfers from Ushuaia Airport to hotel and from hotel in Ushuaia to ship; Hotel nights in Ushuaia, Buenos Aires or other locations in Argentina; Warm weather clothing other than rubber boots that the ship loans while on board; Alcoholic drinks; Personal items such as laundry, telephone calls, and gratuities; FUEL SURCHARGE: Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge if world fuel prices are significantly higher than budgeted when cruise prices were put in place.
After a leisurely day in Ushuaia to get last-minute provisions, walk over to the pier to board our ship in mid-afternoon. Our ship is a former Dutch Navy oceanographic research vessel that has been rebuilt as a comfortable passenger vessel with multiple observation decks, dining room, and private bathrooms.
Later in the afternoon we set sail and follow the Beagle Channel (Canal Beagle) into the evening.
Over the next two days, we will sail across Drake Passage, where the waters of the South Atlantic and the Southern Ocean converge. Some of the birds we’ll see include Petrels (Blue, Wilson’s Storm, and Antarctic); Albatross (Wandering, Grey-Headed, Black-browed, and Light-mantled Sooty); Southern Fulmars; and Cape Pigeons. We’ll begin seeing icebergs as we near the South Shetland Islands.
During our days of sailing, we’ll see the Melchior, Brabant, and Anvers Islands, as well as many others. We’ll have the opportunity to see or visit diverse wildlife colonies (Gentoo Penguins, Brown and South Polar Skuas, Antarctic Terns, Dominican Gulls, Chinstrap Penguins, Adelie Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags, Weddell or Crabeater Seals). We’ll glide past breathtaking scenery of myriad icebergs, deep-cut fjords, glaciers, and alpine peaks.
a gentleman takes a selfie with two lazy seals
From the deck it’s likely we’ll spot Humpback, Minke, and Fin Whales. Zodiac cruises, kayaking, and hiking excursions provide close-up wildlife viewing and a deep appreciation for the unique landscape (and icescape) of the region. Adventurous visitors may enjoy optional camping and kayaking activities (Early pre-registration is required for these activities that always sell out)!
phil sheldon and guests on the HE Travel gay Antarctica Adventure
Visiting Antarctica’s research stations, where visitors always receive a warm welcome, will allow us to learn about modern scientists’ life and work on the White Continent. One of the most prominent is the Vernadsky Research Base, founded by the British after World War II, but sold to the Ukrainian government in 1996. It has two major claims to fame. The first is that scientists here were the first to discover the hole in the ozone layer surrounding the earth.
a seal takes a nap on a dock
The second is the world’s southernmost bar, where visitors can get a quick swig while shopping in their gift shop for souvenirs, or getting post cards stamped with the imprint of the world’s southernmost post office. The bar was created when some bored British scientists commandeered some wood intended for a new pier to instead re-create an English pub. It still retains its original look – except that the menus are now also printed in Cyrillic.
gentlemen with big smiles after plunging into frigid waters in antarctica
After several exhilarating days exploring the ice-covered land of Antarctica, we start our way back across the Drake Passage. We’ll again have the chance to observe a wide variety of seabirds that call this bleak region home.
a group gathers for dinner about the vessel in antarctica
Our journey ends with early morning arrival in Ushuaia Harbor. A mid-morning transfer will be provided to Ushuaia Airport for flights around noon or later, or you can stay in downtown Ushuaia to begin your next adventure.