South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Next Departure
Jan. 3, 2021
See all departures
Duration
10 days
See the itinerary
Activities
, Kayaking, Photography, Zodiac

This is our classic 10-day voyage to the Great White Continent. Experience the incredible wildlife, stunning mountain scenery and gigantic icebergs in 10 action-packed days.

Onboard our strong, ice-classed expedition vessel, Ocean Atlantic, we are sure to get close to the dramatic coastlines. Zodiac cruising and shore landings are an important and considerable part of the planned itinerary, enabling all expedition guests to set foot several times on the Antarctic continent, as well as the many surrounding sub-antarctic islands.

Departing Ushuaia in Argentina, we cross the mighty Drake Passage en-route for the South Shetland Islands, making Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and fascinating lookuots along the way. Continuing southward, deep into the inlets of Antarctica, we pass the famous Gerlache Strait, where 3000-ft ice cliffs rise straight out of the still water. On no other journey can you exprience so much pristine nature and varied wildlife in so few days!
When Ocean Atlantic returns to Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, depending on weather conditions, we might pass close to the mythical Cape Horn - the southermost point on South America; a celebrated maritime landmark.

Any voyage to Antarctica is an adventure, but with a maximum capacity of 198 guests aboard Ocean Atlantic, this cruise offers a unique experience for the few. Shore landings, excursions, lectures and whale safaris are easily accommodated to help you enjoy a matchless expedition experience.

Day 1

Arrival Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. In the afternoon, we board our ship, Ocean Atlantic.

Our journey begins as we navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.

Day 2-3

At Sea - Cross Drake Passage

Sailing onward, we cross the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake Passage is known for rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, called the Roaring Fifties. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, Ocean Atlantic, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly-qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement, and you will complete the crossing twice!

In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view. Weather permitting, we will catch our first sight of seals and penguins! The area is also well-know for its abundance of birds.

DAY 4-5

South Shetland Islands

Over the next two days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience our ancestors only dreamed of. During these days we will explore the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way.
Weather permitting, our projected landfalls include: King George Island; Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.

DAY 6-7

Antarctic Peninsula

As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals. 
Wildlife abounds along our projected route along the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas and much more.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all our passengers and staff. 

For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, Ocean Atlantic has excellent public areas such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for our passengers to spend their spare time. Our ship is staffed by experts in the field who will also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice and wildlife. 

DAY 8-9

Depart Antarctica - At Sea

We depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. En-route, we will cross Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.
During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board which will provide the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers equally passionate for discovering the world, enjoy the lectures by our expedition on board, visit our shop or relax at leisure on our ship’s facilities, designed to provide a comfortable, relaxing time.

DAY 10

Back to Ushuaia and disembarkation

This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our tour, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home. 
If you would like to extend your trip and explore more of Argentina and Brazil, we offer several extensions, including:
• Buenos Aires - Wine Tasting, Tango & The Pampas (4 days)
• Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro & Iguazu (7 days)

Inclusions

10-day cruise with accommodation in a shared double cabin featuring ensuite facilities

All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary

Expedition parka

Rubber boot rentals

Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team

English-speaking expedition team

Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks

Free tea and coffee 24 hours daily

Taxes

Guiding and lectures by our experienced expedition leader and team
 

Special photo workshop
 

Welcome and farewell cocktails
 

Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!

Exclusions

Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary

Single room supplement and cabin upgrades

Meals not on board the ship

Beverages (other than coffee and tea)

Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 13.5 per person per day)

Personal expenses

Transfers to/from the ship

Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’

Science trip: Science and Tourism - Hand in Hand, Antarctica Jan 05, 2020

Science trip: Science and Tourism - Hand in Hand

This cruise is special, as two polar scientists will participate - a biogeochemist and a biologist. As part of this cruise, the scientists will take samples and measurements at each landing site, while giving guests hands-on experience on how scientific studies are conducted and data are collected in the field.

The aim of the research done on board this trip is to study and quantify the impact of penguins on soil formation, soil nutrient cycles and greenhouse gas emissions. The scientists and guests will be sampling soil and making greenhouse gas measurements along a transect near penguin colonies at each relevant landing site. The number of guests who can work with the scientists on land is limited to eight people at any one time, but most will be able to join the scientists at least once at one of the landings sites.Each day on the cruise, guests are invited to a 30 min. presentation on topics related to climate change, greenhouse gasses, marine and terrestrial biology, ecology, conservation and biogeography with a specific focus on the polar regions.

The presentations are also intended to kick-start awareness and discussion between guests. In combination with the measurements done in the field, the scientific theme of the cruise will make this journey particularly interesting for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the polar regions and climate change, and how science conducted in the field can increase our general understanding of the environment.Hands-on experience on land, as well as presentations on board, are of course free to all guests.

Bo Elberling

Scientist

Prof. Bo Elberling is a soil scientist working at the University of Copenhagen. Bo will share his interest and knowledge on climate change, greenhouse gasses, soil formation and nutrient turnover.

Elise Biersma

Bologist

Dr. Elise Biersma, an evolutionary biologist working at the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK. Elise will share her interest and knowledge on biogeography, evolutionary history and ecology of polar organisms.

Adventure options

Kayaking

Glide through the waters and take in the royal grace of the icebergs, see the varied birds and seals, and maybe even the whales in their natural habitat under the supervision of experienced kayak guides, who will...

Photography

We always have a dedicated expedition photographer onboard to document the voyage and share their passion for photography through lectures and during landings and zodiac cruises.

Zodiac

Essential for expedition cruises, Zodiacs are robust boats that can go up on a beach, a rocky outcrop, a river bank or even an ice floe push through bergy bits of ice floating in the water. This is definitely one...

Departure dates

Date
Info
Ship
Jan. 3, 2021
 
Jan. 12, 2021
 
Jan. 21, 2021
SOLD OUT
Jan. 30, 2021
 
Nov. 5, 2021
 
Nov. 8, 2021
 
Nov. 23, 2021
 
Jan. 6, 2022
 
Jan. 15, 2022
 
Jan. 20, 2022
 
Feb. 12, 2022
 
Feb. 25, 2022