Jewels of Antarctica

From Ushuaia to Ushuaia
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Cruising
  • Wildlife
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Tour Description

Join us on our exclusive Antarctica charter on board the brand new MV Hondius. We are delighted to be the charterers of this incredible vessel, offering an amazing, bespoke itinerary. Cruising across the legendary Drake Passage our Antarctic expedition encounters polar wildlife from Day 1. Seabirds of many varieties swoop and dip in the ship's wake and whales are often spotted, drawn to the nutrient-rich Antarctic convergence. The trip is escorted by our full expedition crew and special guests to be announced, who will begin their informative lecture series as we cross the passage and continue throughout the Antarctic cruise.

Spying those first icebergs is always a thrill and then the Great White Continent itself. During our Antarctica cruise, we will venture into and around the ice-filled bays, inlets and tributaries of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. When ice and snow on the peninsula begin to melt, sea mammals arrive in large numbers & penguin chicks begin to venture out and explore. We will also explore; by Zodiac, on foot or even by kayak. Perhaps a minke or humpback whale will join you! Making landfall on Antarctica is an amazing experience and there are opportunities to camp on the ice, visit research stations - both operational and not - and to get up close and personal with the magnificent landscape and wildlife. Your trip to Antarctica ends back in Ushuaia where you will leave with a lifetime's worth of memories. 

Viva's Best Bits...

Opportunity to see Whales

Ideal for our Zodiac operations

Be one of the first to experience the brand new MV Hondius ship

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Ushuaia

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.
There will be an evening briefing at 7:30pm to run through details of embarkation the following day. Ushuaia is the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego, with a dramatic setting overlooking the Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains. It is a major port for Antarctic bound vessels and an interesting city to explore.
Overnight in Ushuaia

Day 2
Embarkation Day - Ushuaia

This morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia and pick up any essential supplies before boarding the ship in the mid-afternoon. Highlights of Ushuaia include the award-winning Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia, (Maritime & Prison of Ushuaia Museum), located in Ushuaia’s former prison, in buildings dating back to 1906, and nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park that can be reached by the “End of the World Train”. Stroll along the main street of Avenida San Martin with its many cafes, shops and restaurants, explore the Argentinean leather markets and maybe taste a succulent lamb dish for which Patagonia is famous.

This afternoon, you will be transferred together with your fellow expeditioners to the pier to board your vessel. On embarkation you will meet the expedition crew and be shown to your suite. In the early evening we sail down the majestic Beagle Channel past magellanic penguin, rock cormorant and sea lion colonies as we head towards Antarctica. We will enter the legendary Drake Passage just after midnight.
Overnight on board MV Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 3-4
Path of the Polar Explorers

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling waves, maybe even a fin whale blasting up a column of sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight – always an exciting moment for those aboard. Our lecture program will commence during this time and continue for the duration of the cruise. Be prepared to be astounded by legendary tales, find out more about the unique flora and fauna of this part of the world, and learn about the geology of the Antarctic.
Overnight on board MV Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 4-10
Enter the Antarctic

We arrive to Antarctica. The world’s most pristine wilderness. Grey stone peaks greet us, 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 during your time here may include: Cuverville Island – Stabbing up between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, Cuverville houses a colony of several thousand gentoo penguins, as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas.
Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that may be found nearby. Crystal Sound – If conditions permit, you may enjoy a landing in this ice-packed body of water. Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, We 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 for kayaking and camping here. Paradise Bay – You may be able to walk on the Continent again at this location, or to take a Zodiac cruise in the sprawling, ice-flecked waters. Here you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales.
Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren – This is a great place to spot humpback whales, and you also may embark on a Zodiac cruise. Around the ghostly wreck of 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. King George Island – Heading to the South Shetland Islands, the aim is a landing at the Chinese Great Wall Station. There are also Russia, Argentine, and Uruguayan research stations in this area. Onboard your adventure you will have plenty of free time, as well as enjoy some fantastic famed hospitality!
Overnight on board MV Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 11
Return to the Drake

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. The return crossing is always a great time to relive the experiences with your fellow passengers, and check through some of the incredible photography taken by the group
Overnight on board MV Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 12
Disembark - Ushuaia

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, after the journey of a life time.
*** Important - Please be sure not to book flights out of Ushuaia before 12PM (Noon) on the day of disembarkation from your cruise ship.
Please note that the above itinerary is just a guide. Antarctica cruises are subject to weather, ice and other local conditions, as such, the actual itinerary is determined as the cruise progresses.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Quad share cabin on board MV Hondius
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available (additional costs apply)
  • Included Copy 20 1 night pre-cruise in Ushuaia
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • Included Copy 7 Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations
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.
  • Included Copy 20 All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • Included Copy 7 Flights - Please ask for assistance
  • Included Copy 7 Visa and passport fees (if applicable)
  • Included Copy 7 Travel insurance
  • Included Copy 7 Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication (telephone calls, faxes, & e-mail service
  • Included Copy 7 Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings at any time
  • Included Copy 7 Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 150,000
  • Included Copy 7 Staff gratuities
  • Included Copy 7 Pre or post-cruise travel expenses
Transportation
MV Hondius

176 in 83 cabins + 72 Staff & Crew Passengers

Click here for dates & prices
Duration

11 days

Price from

$7,950 USD

Per person, twin share

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