This special expedition brings the marine mammals of Antarctica into even sharper focus. With several cetacean and marine mammal specialists joining this 11-day voyage.

Contact us about this trip

Special Offer

Save up to $1200 on select departures when you book by January 31st, 2019!

• Available on new bookings only
• Cannot be combined with other offers
• Discounts available on all cabin categories
• TravelWild reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time and without prior notification

 

Starting from $8,695

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

Main Deck TripleTwin Semi PrivateTwin PrivateSuperior CabinShackleton SuiteOne Ocean Suite
Mar 3, 2019 - Mar 13, 2019$8,695
$7,695
$10,795
$9,795
$11,795
$10,795
$12,795
$11,795
$13,995
$12,995
$15,895
$14,895
Mar 23, 2019 - Apr 2, 2019$8,695
$7,695
$10,795
$9,795
$11,795
$10,795
$12,795
$11,795
$13,995
$12,995
$15,895
$14,895
Mar 5, 2020 - Mar 15, 2020$9,095
$7,895
$11,295
$10,095
$12,295
$11,095
$13,395
$12,195
$14,595
$13,395
$16,595
$15,395

Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation – 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

Crossing the Drake Passage, we sense the anticipation as we make our way ever closer to the white continent. As we cross these fabled waters, our on board naturalists spend their time on deck looking for whales, and in the presentation room leading lively discussions about the marine life of the Antarctic. Crossing the Antarctic Convergence is an exciting event as we scan the waters for marine mammals feeding on the abundance of krill in the frigid waters. Large icebergs will now be a regular feature. The history of early polar exploration is another popular theme. Perhaps you will pick up some valuable tips from our onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle and soft polar light and all the basics of good camera craft.

Day 4-8: Antarctic Peninsula

Now that we have arrived in Antarctica, we plan our route primarily based on typical marine mammal migrations and activity for this time of year. With our knowledge of marine mammal feeding grounds, we can pick and choose the areas to explore. We will modify our itinerary based on sightings and encounters with the whales.

We find at this time of the season the whales are more social and demonstrative, which leads to incredible viewings from the ship and the zodiacs. We spend as much time as possible off the ship, exploring in our inflatable zodiac boats marveling at the magnificent glaciated mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula.

We may get as far south as Peterman Island, cruise the Lemaire Channel and view the magnificent iceberg ‘graveyard’ at Pleneau Island. Other classic sites include Paradise Harbour, Orne Harbour and the dome-shaped Cuverville Island. In all these locations expect to see an abundance of Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, and birds such as skuas and gulls. Adelie, Gentoo and chinstrap penguins all inhabit the region. Wilhelmina Bay is a known whale ‘hotspot’ and a place we are sure to spend some time exploring.

We plan to set foot on the continent in this vicinity and, if the weather allows, some may choose to camp ashore overnight. Other onshore activities could include hikes of up to several miles, visits to historic huts, science stations and places offering incredible views of the coastline and ice-filled bays. Whatever your vantage point, whether it is onboard or onshore expect to feel transformed as you experience twilight and the rich abundance of wildlife from the very bottom of the planet.

The excitement is not yet over. A final highlight will be a visit to the South Shetland Islands. Weather permitting, we hope to visit Deception Island with its sizeable chinstrap penguin rookery at Baily Head. Here, inside the sunken volcanic caldera, is a perfect museum of natural and exploration history, with its old buildings and rusting remnants from the whaling era. For those wanting to stretch their legs, a spectacular hike to the crater rim offers a challenge. Other sites we sometimes visit in the South Shetlands include Half Moon Island, Yankee Harbor or Hannah Point.

Day 9-10: At Sea

Our final days returning to South America are spent catching up on journal entries, or perhaps downloading and reviewing photos in the multi-media room with our photography expert. The wonderful lounge and bar on our ship provides fantastic panoramas and is a great place to sit with a book and a cappuccino. The educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. A particular highlight of our return journey will be frequent sightings of the majestic albatross, petrels and other seabirds as they soar above the ship on the winds of the Drake Passage. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in the soft evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship. It’s a great time to reflect on a special journey to the white continent.

Day 11: Ushuaia

In the early morning, we arrive in the city of Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels, to a meeting place 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.

Akademik Vavilov

Akademik Vavilov

Deckplan & Cabin Photos

Highlights

  • 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
  • Cruise in comfort along towering icebergs, serrated maritime mountains and luminous glaciers
  • 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

Included

  • Voyage as outlined in the itinerary
  • All meals during the voyage
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Extensive program of educational presentations from experienced team of naturalists
  • On board welcome reception and dinner and farewell dinner
  • Afternoon tea with fresh snacks each afternoon
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate throughout the day
  • Onboard medical officer
  • Access to our special programs on board (such as hiking, photography)
  • Overnight camping—please note that this activity is free of charge, we provide all the necessary equipment and gear and you can decide once on board if you wish to participate – no pre booking required. Camping is only available on some departures
  • Rubber boots are available in many sizes as are rain jackets and bib pants
  • Use of multimedia station. We have a multimedia room where you can download your photos at the end of the day if you wish
  • Foul weather gear set – rain jacket, bib pants and Lacrosse gumboots (wellington boots); Or SeaLine water proof backpack, Bushnell waterproof binoculars and Lacrosse gumboots (wellington boots). (Carrying Wellington boots in your luggage can add to weight limit imposed by the airlines.)
  • Transfers from the meeting point in Ushuaia to the pier to board the ship on Day 1 and transfers from the pier to the meeting point or airport on the last day of the cruise

Adventure Options

Sea Kayaking: $795 per person

 

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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