Set a course for the Antarctic Peninsula on this 10-day trip aboard the comfortable expedition ship Akademik Ioffe. We make visits to the Shetland Islands as well as a number of landing sites on the peninsula where we explore the wildlife and scenery that makes Antarctica such a magical destination.
• Cannot be combined with other offers
• Available on new bookings only
• TravelWild reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time and without prior notification
|Main Deck Triple||Twin Semi Private||Twin Private||Superior Cabin||Shackleton Suite||One Ocean Suite|
|Feb 20, 2018 - Mar 2, 2018||$9,195|
|Mar 2, 2018 - Mar 12, 2018||$8,295|
|Mar 22, 2018 - Apr 1, 2018||$8,295|
Day 1 / Ushuaia, Argentina
Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2 - 3 / Drake Passage - At Sea towards Antarctica
Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we transit the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife, history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.
Days 4 - 7 / Gerlache Strait and Antarctic Peninsula exploration
We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, will take a moment to pause and reflect on the immense power of Antarctica. Take a deep breath – you have arrived.
The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets and numerous islands. The landscape features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops, known as ‘nunataks’ are home to gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We frequently encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal, often found relaxing on an ice floe. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are found in sizeable numbers feeding on the rich krill blooms. Sightings of orca are not uncommon.
We enjoy several days of exploration and our activity program is in full swing, allowing guests to choose how their adventure unfolds. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides, while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is a memorable activity and our sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship. Our photography guide will be on hand to help you with your camera handling, image composition and the peculiar light found in Antarctica.
Planned excursions could include Cierva Cove, Danco Island, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favorite location and one where we frequently encounter playful humpback whales. Paradise Bay is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route providing stunning 360? degree views.
Day 8 / South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
After several busy days of exploration along the Peninsula, we head north across the Bransfield Strait, bound for the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and, if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic location. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden structures. On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we often encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is a great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. In the evening, we navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.
Days 9 - 10 / Drake Passage – return to South America
As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 11 / Ushuaia, Argentina
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.
About our Itinerary: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.
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.