THE X-BOW EXPRESS; DESTINATION ANTARCTICA

New

Next Departure
Nov. 24, 2022
See all departures
Duration
9 days
See the itinerary
Activities
, Lectures, Zodiac

This is our new 9-day voyage to the Great White Continent. Experience the incredible wildlife, stunning mountain scenery and gigantic icebergs in just 9 action-packed days.

Departing Ushuaia in Argentina, we cross the mighty Drake Passage, navigating towards the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic peninsula. Here we will be making Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries and fascinating lookouts along the way. Continuing southward, we pass the famous Deception Island, with its snow capped volcanic cliffs and colonies of penguins. On no other journey can you experience so much pristine nature and varied wildlife in so few days!

When Ocean Albatros returns to Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, depending on weather conditions, we might pass close to the mythical Cape Horn - the southernmost point on South America; a celebrated maritime landmark.

 

We call this trip the X-Bow Express, because the design of our ship allow us to make a solid expedition to Antarctica in only 9 days, allowing our guests to make the most of their valuable time!

 

Any voyage to Antarctica is an adventure, but with a maximum capacity of 186 guests aboard Ocean Albatros, this cruise offers a unique experience for the few. Shore landings, excursions, lectures and Zodiac safaris are easily accommodated to help you enjoy a matchless expedition experience.

 

Onboard our brand new strong, ice-classed expedition vessel, Ocean Albatros, 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, hopefully enabling all expedition guests to set foot on the Antarctic continent, as well as the many surrounding islands.

 

With the patented X-BOW design, the Ocean Victory and Ocean Albatros will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage, and due to the speed of the vessels, we might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland Islands already on Day 3 late in the afternoon.

Day 1

ARRIVAL USHUAIA

Arrive and embark 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 embark the ship Ocean Albatros, our home for the coming days.

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

Day 2-3

AT SEA. DRAKE PASSAGE, POSSIBLE FIRST ZODIAC LANDING

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 strong westerly winds, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself!

 

In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses.

 

Having crossed the Drake, we will explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way.

 

With the patented X-BOW design, the Ocean Albatros will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage, and due to the speed of the vessel, we might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland Islands, weather permitting.

Day 4-6

ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

Over the next days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience our ancestors only dreamed of. During these days we will explore the 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: 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.

 

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.

 

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, our ships offer excellent public areas such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for our passengers to spend their spare time. Our ships are 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 7-8

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. On our way 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 team on board, visit our shop, unwind in the spa or enjoy the ship’s facilities designed to provide a comfortable relaxing time.

Day 9

BACK TO USHUAIA AND DISEMBARKATION

This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our expedition cruise, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home. 

Inclusions

• 9-day cruise with accommodation in a shared outside double stateroom with private facilities

• All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary

• Expedition parka

• Rubber boot rentals

• Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team

• Special Photo Workshop

• English-speaking expedition team

• Visual Journal link after voyage including voyage log, gallery, maps, species list and more!

• Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks

• Free tea and coffee 24 hours a day

• Welcome and farewell cocktails

• Taxes

Exclusions

• Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary

• Single room supplement and stateroom 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

• Transfer to/from the ship

• Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’

Adventure options

Lectures

Our primary focus is knowledge, and we apply this to every aspect of a journey. From the staff that forms our expedition team, to the routes our ship follows, and of course, the program onboard.

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
Nov. 24, 2022
 
Dec. 2, 2022
 
Dec. 10, 2022