December 6 - 19, 2012
Itinerary subject to change due to climate, conditions,or unforeseeable circumstances.
Day One: Ushuaia Arrive
Ushuaia the world’s southernmost city on the tip of Argentina, Transfer from Ushuaia Airport to hotel with overnight lodging at Hotel Altos. Day Two: Ushuaia / Transfer / Embarkation Breakfast at Hotel Altos then a free day to explore the fasinating city of Ushuaia. Transfer to ship for a 4 pm boarding provided. Board your ship and settle into your “home” for the next 11 days. In the early evening, you set sail and begin your voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
Days 3-4: Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage there is excitement in the air as you make your way ever closer to the white continent. Soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as numerous Polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence where you will notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, you witness all kinds of spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species who may occasionally flaunt their size in full breach.
Days 5-9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, explore by inflatable Zodiac boats to marvel up close at nature’s glory. Planned excursions might include Neko Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay and even the southerly Petermann Island, where you can observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as a shocking abundance of penguin species including some very large colonies of the comical Adelie penguin. At Half Moon Island, observe a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. You may also see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to observe killer and Minke whales. You finally arrive on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Bay or Neko Harbor. Prepare to be dazzled by your first glimpse of the continent. The scenery here is amazing. In particular, you will be struck by the oddly-shaped icebergs that look like sculptures, as well as the colossal tabular icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf. Hopefully the weather will be mild enough to allow you to step foot on the White Continent itself. Some may wish to camp on shore overnight. Whatever your vantage point whether it is onboard or onshore expect to feel transformed as you experience a twilight from the very bottom of the planet.
Days 10-11: Drake Passage
As you leave this magical place and make your way back, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, you will spend the time sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of your Polar expedition at a special dinner.
Day 12: Ushuaia / Disembarkation
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.