Polar Circle Quest

 

Overview

Location: Antarctica
Destination: Antarctic Peninsula Cruises
Starting at: $7,610

 

Description

Cruise to Antarctica, making numerous shore landings on the peninsula to explore the continent's wildlife and landscapes, then sail south across the Antarctic Circle. Onboard naturalists guides help you interpret all we encounter along the way.

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Ship

Ushuaia Ushuaia
Expedition Ships
Capacity: 84

Cabin description & deck plan

 
 
 

Rates & Dates Prices are per person and shown in USD.

TWIN Semi-private, InsideTWIN Semi-private, OutsideTWIN PrivateSUPERIOR PrivateSUITE Private
Feb 11, 2015 - Feb 22, 2015$7,610
 
$9,380
 
$11,770
 
$12,430
 
$13,070
 
 

Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Days 2-3: Crossing The Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, the naturalist staff will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.

The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Days 4-9: Exploring South Shetland Islands and The Antarctic Peninsula and Endeavor to Cross the Polar Circle

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.

As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.

On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Days 10-11: At Sea Crossing the Drake Passage, Northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 12: Arrival at Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

Included

  • Voyage aboard the Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the Ushuaia
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material
  • Detailed post-expedition log

Highlights

  • Sail South of the Polar Circle
  • Explore the spectacular Antarctic wilderness in a casual atmosphere of like-minded travelers
  • Experience abundant wildlife including immense penguin colonies and other seabirds, seals and even some of the great whales at close range
  • Sail south of the Antarctic Circle
  • Cruise in comfort along towering icebergs, serrated maritime mountains and luminous glaciers
  • Optional opportunities to kayak and camp during the cruise
  • Zodiac landing craft allow visitation on remote shorelines and otherwise inaccessible areas
  • Ship allows an "open bridge policy" to observe its sophisticated navigation equipment and provides an excellent location to view wildlife and the landscape (subject to weather and critical navigation maneuvers)
  • Expert naturalist guides
  • Sail south of the Antarctic Circle

 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.

 
 
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