The Ross Sea Antarctica

From Santiago to Santiago
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Tour Description

Journey into wild and remote Antarctica.

Across the Antarctic Circle and beyond to the Ross Sea, the Ross Ice Shelf, Charcot Island, Peter I Island, Bellingshausen Sea, Siple Island, Ruppert Coast ...these are truly off the beaten track destinations in Antarctica. The outstanding new luxury exploration vessel, the Le Commandant-Charcot, has been designed especially to take you to these remote polar regions.  This hybrid-electric polar exploration ship powered by LNG considers the environment, and provides you with plenty of comfort at the same time, including panoramic restaurants and an indoor swimming pool.

With luck we will encounter the elusive emperor penguin. Witness other incredible Antarctic wildlife: Adelie penguins, Ross seals, crabeater seals, leopard seals, Minke whales, sea birds, plus there is plenty of time to explore on inflatable zodiacs and make shore landings. This is an outstanding adventure to the white continent. 

Viva's Best Bits...

"Sail on a sleek and elegant vessel with a fantastic mix of luxury and revolutionary technology to remote and off the beaten track spots in Antarctic, Peter I Island has been described as like landing on the moon!" Tara, Team Viva

Encounter the legendary Emperor Penguin, the largest of all penguin species - the emperor is found in only a few hard to reach areas of Antarctica

Sail in the heart of the Ross Sea, one the world’s last marine sanctuaries, this is pretty much as close to the South Pole as you can cruise!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Santiago

Arrive Santiago anytime. We recommend arriving at least 1 or 2 days before departure to allow time for you to enjoy and explore Chile’s capital city and cultural centre.

Dinner is included tonight at your hotel

Overnight in a hotel in Santiago

Day 2
Fly Santiago to Ushuaia Embarkation Day

Early morning transfer to Santiago Airport for your charter flight to Ushuaia (Included).
A light morning breakfast will be served before leaving for the airport for your Santiago/Ushuaia flight.
Upon arrival into Ushuaia some free time may be permitted before boarding Le Commandant-Charcot

A Light Breakfast and Dinner is Included today

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 3-4
Drake Passage

Use your days spent in the Drake Passage to familiarise yourself with your ship and deepen your knowledge of the Antarctic. The Expedition Leader will first present the IAATO rules of conduct that must be observed during landings in the region and will explain everything you need to know about the Zodiac® outings. Lectures about the history and wildlife of the Antarctic will be an opportunity for you to learn more about this magical region, where every cruise is a unique experience. From the ship’s bridge, you will experience exceptional sailing moments before joining the naturalist-guides on your ship’s exterior decks to look out for albatrosses, cape petrels, and other seabirds flying over the Drake Passage

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 5
Crossing the Antarctic Circle

Weather permitting, we'll cross the mythic line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This iconic area demarcates the point from which it is possible to view the midnight sun during the December solstice. Within this circle, the sun remains above the horizon for 24 consecutive hours at least once a year. Crossing this line, an experience known to few people, is sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your cruise through the polar regions

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 6
Charcot Island

When he discovered this island surrounded by sea ice in 1910 from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ? as he mapped Alexander Island, Jean-Baptiste Charcot had not be able to get less than 40 miles away from it. Situated in a zone that experiences frequent low-pressure systems and regular cloud cover, the island remains in many ways an enigma. It is entirely covered in ice and sheer cliffs, with the exception of the rocky outcrops extending over a dozen kilometres in the far north-west. The ice in the narrowest part of Wilkins Sound has been cracking in recent times, thus officially detaching this island from its neighbour, Alexander Island, lying 50 km away. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds, such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 7
Peter I Island

You will then head for the legendary Peter I Island. Located 450 km away from the Atlantic coast, it was discovered in 1821 by the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named it in honour of the Russian tsar Peter the Great. In 1909, Captain Charcot sighted it for the first time from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ?, but was unable to land there: “In the parting mists, one or two miles away, an enormous black mass shrouded in clouds appears suddenly before us: it is Peter I Island.” Surrounded by pack ice and with about 95% of its surface covered by ice, this volcanic island, whose highest peak reaches 1,640 metres, is protected by ice cliffs some 40 metres tall, making any approach difficult.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 8-9
Bellinghausen Sea

Stretching from the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula to the Amundsen Sea, the Bellingshausen Sea was named after the Russian admiral and explorer who has been attributed the first confirmed sighting of mainland Antarctica, in 1820. Its waters surround, among others, two of the largest islands in the Antarctic: Alexander Island and Thurston Island. You will sail amid ice floe, blocks of sea ice and majestic icebergs. The coastal areas along the Bellingshausen Sea are home to large colonies of emperor penguins. Depending on the season, you may get the chance to observe some of these creatures in the open sea.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 10
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, the world’s first luxury polar exploration vessel and the first PC2-class polar cruise ship capable of sailing into the very heart of the ice, on seas and oceans which the frozen conditions render inaccessible to ordinary ships. Le Commandant-Charcot is fitted with oceanographic and scientific equipment selected by a committee of experts. Take advantage of the on-board lectures and opportunities for discussion with these specialists to learn more about the poles. Participate in furthering scientific research with us and let us discover together what these fascinating destinations have yet to reveal to us.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 11
Siple Island

This island is dominated by Mount Siple, a dormant, potentially active shield volcano rising to an altitude of 3,000 metres. Entirely covered in a thick layer of ice, the gentle slopes of this cone are said to have been climbed, but no proof has yet been found of this feat. For now, it is thus considered Antarctica’s highest unclimbed peak. At the foot of this icy giant, you could have the good fortune of being welcomed by a colony of Adelie penguins and of admiring the magnificent Thurston Glacier.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 12
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, as we continue at sea

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 13
Ruppert Coast

This quasi-unexplored coast along Marie Byrd Land is one of the only territories in the world to have never been claimed by any country, making it a terra nullius. It was the American colonel Jacob Ruppert who made the first aerial reconnaissance flight along this coast, during the second Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1933-1935). A Soviet research station was established there in 1980, before being officially abandoned in 1990.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 14
Cape Colbeck

This ice-covered cape, which forms the northwestern extremity of Marie Byrd Land, was discovered in January 1902 by the British National Antarctic Expedition. It was named in honour of Captain William Colbeck, one of the first explorers to have overwintered in Antarctica, during the Southern Cross expedition of 1899. This majestic cape delimits the western portion of the vast bay that contains the Ross Sea, the world’s largest marine protected area.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 15
The Ross Sea

“The last ocean” is what scientists from all around the world call this deep bay that runs along the edge of Antarctica between Marie Byrd Land and Victoria Land. Since 2016, the world’s largest marine protected area has been keeping this last marine ecosystem intact. The theatre of the most impressive expeditions, it was discovered by James Clark Ross between 1839 and 1843. It was then that he discovered the enormous ice barrier formed by a gigantic ice shelf extending out to the open sea and from which titanic icebergs are calved. One third of the world’s Adelie penguin population lives in the area where this barrier breaks into icebergs. The currents maintain polynyas there, vast areas of persistent open water surrounded by sea ice. These give the penguins access to food. You may also get the chance to spot Ross seals, one of the rarest protected species in the Antarctic.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 16
The Ross Ice Shelf

The southern half of the Ross Sea is dominated by the largest ice shelf in the world, with a surface area equivalent to that of France. You will be awestruck by the majesty of this ice barrier which, far from being smooth and uniform, is ridged with caves, deep caverns, ledges, bays and promontories in infinite shades of blue carved out of it by the elements. Its vertiginous walls can reach up to 100 metres above sea level and some of them are several hundred metres deep. According to Sir Ernest Shackleton, some of the cavities could have contained Le Nimrod, his ship during the expedition he led to the South Pole between 1907 and 1909.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 17
At Sea

Enjoy the amenities onboard as you cruise at sea.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 18
Ruppert Coast

This quasi-unexplored coast along Marie Byrd Land is one of the only territories in the world to have never been claimed by any country, making it a terra nullius. It was the American colonel Jacob Ruppert who made the first aerial reconnaissance flight along this coast, during the second Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1933-1935). A Soviet research station was established there in 1980, before being officially abandoned in 1990.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 19
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, as we continue at sea

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 20-22
Burke Island Peter I Island

Cruise to Burke Island.

You will then head for the legendary Peter I Island. Located 450 km away from the Atlantic coast, it was discovered in 1821 by the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, who named it in honour of the Russian tsar Peter the Great. In 1909, Captain Charcot sighted it for the first time from aboard the Pourquoi Pas ?, but was unable to land there: “In the parting mists, one or two miles away, an enormous black mass shrouded in clouds appears suddenly before us: it is Peter I Island.” Surrounded by pack ice and with about 95% of its surface covered by ice, this volcanic island, whose highest peak reaches 1,640 metres, is protected by ice cliffs some 40 metres tall, making any approach difficult.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 23
At Sea

Spend exceptional moments sailing aboard Le Commandant-Charcot, as we continue at sea

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 24-25
Crossing the Drake Passage

If there is one place, one sea, one waterway dreaded by tourists, researchers and hardened seafarers alike, it is undoubtedly Drake Passage. Situated at the latitude of the infamous Furious Fifties winds, between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands, it is the shortest route to connect Antarctica to South America. Seasoned navigators will tell you that you must earn your visit to the White Continent! As the Antarctic convergence zone where cold currents rising up from the South Pole meet warmer equatorial water masses, Drake Passage harbours a very diverse marine fauna. Don't forget to look to the sky to catch a glimpse of elegant albatross and Cape petrels, playfully floating about in the wind around your ship.

All meals included

Overnight onboard Le Commandant-Charcot in your selected cabin

Day 26
Disembarkation in Ushuaia Fly to Santiago

Arrival back into Ushuaia this morning, and transfer to the airport for your departing flight to Santiago. Services end upon arrival into Santiago Airport.

We recommend you stay at least 1 night in Santiago post-cruise, as we are unable to confirm the flight times until closer to travel.

Need help with pre or post cruise travel arrangements? Interested in extending your stay to visit other amazing destinations in Latin America. Be sure to ask your travel adviser for more details

NOTE:
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the IAATO.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 24 nights on board Le Commondant Charcot
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 1 night pre cruise accommodation in Santiago
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals while on board the cruise
  • Included Copy 20 Open bar & room service 24 hours (conditions apply)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Return charter flight from/to Santiago/Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 20 Outings and shore visits in Zodiacs with a team of experienced naturalist guides
  • Included Copy 20 Lectures and information sessions hosted by our naturalist-guides
  • Included Copy 20 Parka to keep & boots to Loan while on the cruise
  • Included Copy 31 activities: Hovercraft, Hot Air Balloon, Kayaking, Zodiacs, Hiking & Snowmobiles
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Travel Insurance, Gratuities / Tips are not included
  • Included Copy 7 Personal expenses, such as laundry, onboard communication (telephone calls, faxes and email service)
Transportation
Le Commandant Charcot | Antarctic Cruise Ship

270 (200 in Antarctica) Passengers

Activities

  • Included Outings and shore visits in Zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides
  • Included Sailing the Ross Sea, one of the most extreme and conserved universes in the Antarctic.
  • Included Minke whales, orcas, seal, Adelie and emperor penguins
  • Included Sail as close as possible to the South Pole
  • Included Walking and Hiking opportunities
  • Included Venture beyond Antarctic Polar Circle
  • Included Active options: Snowmobiles, hovercraft, hot air balloons
  • Included Participate in scientific research
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

26 days

Price from

$30,352 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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