Antarctica Discovery and Learning Voyage

From Ushuaia to Ushuaia
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Take an Antarctic cruise where you will explore the frozen wonder of the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands, with the many and varied species of wildlife that will share your journey.  Perhaps, take a Zodiac cruise around the wreck of the Guvernoren, a whaling vessel that was gutted by fire. Or visit the former British research station, now museum, at Port Lockroy. Try snowshoeing in search of penguin colonies and get up close to great throngs of seals. Or kayak where Minke and Humpback whales dive and splash in ice-strewn waters.

Throughout your expedition cruise, the experienced crew and naturalist guides will impart their knowledge on everything Antarctica. From history, astrology, navigation and of course, their impressive understanding of the animals that live in and around the Antarctic Peninsula.

You will be comfortable and well looked after onboard the Hondius, a new and advanced Polar Class 6 cruise ship, perfectly designed for these Antarctic waters.

Viva's Best Bits...

“If you have a cruise booked which offers kayaking or camping, make sure you book this in advance. You don’t wan to miss out on this amazing experience. “ Pia, Team Viva

Discover the breathtaking landscapes of the peninsula and visit iconic sites like Neko Harbour, Danco Island and Paradise Bay

Take time to watch all the wildlife, penguins, seals, whales and more on this Classic Antarctica voyage

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Ushuaia

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2-3
Drake Passage

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

Day 4-7
Antarctica

Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.

Sites you may visit include:

Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that can be found nearby.

Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.

Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales.

Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you could sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There is also a possibility you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals.

Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping here, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore.

Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren – This is a great place to spot humpback whales. You also may embark on a Zodiac cruise ending at the ghostly wreck of the Guvernøren, a whaling vessel that caught fire here in 1915. Around the Melchior Islands, amid a frozen landscape peopled with icebergs, you may encounter even more whales, leopard seals, and crabeater seals.

Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 8
South Shetland Islands

The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape.

As an alternative, you may be able to engage in activities near Half Moon Island. Here chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Day 9-10
Drake Passage

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 11
Ushuaia

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

**please note some departures are one night longer, please ask us for full details

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 10 or 11 nights accommodation onboard Hondius
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Included Copy 20 Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Included Copy 20 Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Included Copy 20 Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Included Copy 20 All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • Included Copy 7 Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights, any visas
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities, laundry, additional drinks, telecommunication charges.
  • Included Copy 7 Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Included Copy 31 Camping, Snowshoeing and kayaking are optional activities
Transportation
MV Hondius | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

176 + 72 Staff & Crew Passengers

Activities

  • Included Try snowshoeing in Antarctica (early season only)
  • Included Great landing sites; perhaps Danco Island, Paradise Bay among others
  • Included Zodiac cruises and shore landings
  • Included Bird lovers - cape petrels, kelp gulls, skuas, Albatross
  • Included Kayaking and camping (optional activities)
  • Included Watch wildlife like leopard seals, Weddell Seals
  • Included Photograph and visit penguin colonies; gentoo, chinstraps...
  • Included Visit hot springs, abandoned whaling stations and historic sites
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

11 days

Price from

$7,300 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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