Crossing the Antarctic Circle – 13 days

Photo Jan 28, 12 35 51 PM
These voyages combine the splendor of the Antarctica Peninsula voyages with a specific goal – to get to 66 degrees 33.7′ South. These expeditions offer you the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula and very few travelers have ever been so far south. By crossing the Antarctic Circle, you will experience seldom visited iceberg graveyards and scientific bases. You’ll enjoy more time for communing with penguins and visits to less-frequented landing sites.

In brief:

  • Extend your time in Antarctica and make landings in less frequented sites south of the Antarctic Circle;
  • Incredible icebergs
  • Millions of penguins – Adélie, gentoo, chinstrap
  • 5 species of seals – crabeater, Weddell, leopard, fur and southern elephant
  • Whales – humpback, minke, orca
  • Visit historic research stations in the area of Marguerite Bay.

Itinerary in Brief

  • Day 1: Ushuaia
  • Day 2: Embarkation
  • Days 3-4: At sea
  • Days 5-10: Antarctic Peninsula, crossing the Antarctic Circle
  • Days 11-12: At sea
  • Day 13: Ushuaia disembarkation

Day-by-day itineraries

Special Note:
This trip can be up to 15 days, which adds additional days in Antarctica with each extra day.
Due to the nature of this expedition, weather, ice, or other conditions may require changes be made to the itinerary and/or cancellation of certain shore excursions.
Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, within the limits of safety and time constraints.

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

ushuaia2Today is the first day of your adventure in the world’s southernmost city at the tip of Argentina. Embark in the afternoon. Start to become familiar with the expedition staff and ship. In the early evening, set sail and begin the voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.

Day 2-3: Drake Passage

antarctic4Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as you get ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere on board as our numerous Polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, 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, witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species some of which are known on occasion to fully breach from the sea.

Days 4-10: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

antarctica-zodiacIn the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, the goal is to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. The first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay. Given favorable ice conditions, the captain will push our exploration even further southward, looking for historic and wildlife sites. From the most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), we will make our way north along the Antarctic Peninsula, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula. Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, the Lemaire Channel, the Neumeyer Channel and the Gerlache Strait will all feature in the itinerary. Landing sites might include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay, Petermann Island and the Yalours, where you will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as an abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of the comical Adelie penguin.

At Half Moon Island you will visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. The team also hopes to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to spot orcas and Minke whales as the trip goes. The expedition staff plan on walking ashore on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbour or Neko Harbour. Although it will not be your first glimpse of the Antarctic, a walk ashore on the Continent will evoke emotions to carry with you for the rest of your life. The scenery here is amazing. In particular the oddly shaped icebergs looking like sculptures, as well as the colossal ‘tabular’ icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf. Expect to feel transformed as you experience twilight from the very bottom of the planet.

Days 11-12: Drake Passage

As you leave this magical place and make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of the Polar expedition at a special dinner.

Day 13: Ushuaia

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.