When explorers first discovered the Antarctic Peninsula, they found a place truly untouched by man. Before them stood a pristine wilderness with abundant, undaunted wildlife. Antarctica remains very much the same to this day, and it will stand before you much as it did before those early explorers. The waters of Antarctica are home to gentoo, chinstrap, and adélie penguins who form boisterous nesting colonies and raise their downy little chicks. Seals are commonly found reposing on ice floes and whales can be seen gorging on krill.
Antarctica is synonymous with adventure. The season’s long daylight hours give us ample opportunity to venture ashore and to cruise the scenic waterways in Zodiacs. Rugged mountains covered with immense glaciers create a stunning backdrop for your real-life adventure story. Towering icebergs and glittering brash ice move constantly through the scene. It’s what spells out E-P-I-C.
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our expedition. Your hotel accommodation has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city. Take advantage of souvenir shopping and a variety of dining options in the city center.
In the afternoon we provide a group transfer to the pier and welcome you aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through the Beagle Channel on our first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, we head south across the Drake Passage. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies. On the way we cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Briefings, orientations, and lectures from our expert staff prepare you for our arrival in Antarctica.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Our route and exploration opportunities in Antarctica are heavily dependent on weather and ice conditions. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. We take advantage of long daylight hours to exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery, and excursions via Zodiac.
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities. Some stations have a gift shop and post office.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be our first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Deception Island, where the flooded caldera of an active volcano harbors an abandoned whaling station.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies.
At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs.
Our days in Antarctica are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
After our amazing time in Antarctica we cross back north through the bountiful waters of the Drake Passage. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for our End of Voyage ceremonies including slideshow and farewell dinner.
After breakfast we say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where we started. We provide a group transfer to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
1 pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia
Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation
All meals on board throughout the voyage
Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions)
Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka
Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
Welcome and Farewell cocktails
All port fees
Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation
Visa and passport fees (if applicable)
Luggage and trip cancellation insurance
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations
Personal expenses such as laundry and onboard communication (telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service)
Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings
Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 200,000
Pre- or post-cruise travel expenses