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Ross Sea Voyage - Ushuaia to New Zealand

 

Overview

Location: Antarctica
Destination: More Antarctic Cruises
Starting at: $25,700

 

Description

A true Discovery voyage including the southern Antarctic Peninsula, the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island. Visit the outer fringes of the pack-ice in the Amundsen sea, Roald Amundsen’s starting point where he finally reached the South Pole in 1911, sailing voyage in the Ross sea, the huts of British explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott, Mc Murdo Station, the Dry Valleys and Macquarie Island. (No Single Supplement available for these tours.)

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Ship

Ortelius Ortelius
Polar Cruise Ships
Capacity: 106

Cabin description & deck plan

 
 
 

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

QUADRUPLETRIPLETWIN PortholeTWIN WindowTWIN DeluxeTWIN Superior
Jan 13, 2017 - Feb 14, 2017$25,700
 
$27,900
 
$32,750
 
$33,850
 
$35,550
 
$37,300
 
 

Itinerary

DAY 1

In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

DAYS 2 & 3

At sea

DAY 4

We arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and in the morning sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pléneau Island, where fur seals may haul-out on the beaches. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are confirmed breeders. Pléneau Island was first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903-05 of Jean-Baptiste Charcot and was named after his expedition’s photographer Paul Pléneau. We will also visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adélie and Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74.

DAY 5

Sailing south through the Penola Strait, we arrive at the Fish Islands. The small islands lying east of Flouder Island are called the Minnows, first charted by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37) of John Rymill. We may observe Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags among myriads of large icebergs. We may set foot on the Continent for the first time in the stunning setting of Prospect Point.

DAYS 6 & 7

Bellingshausen Sea, where we may see our first pack-ice.

DAY 8

Peter I Island or in Norwegian Peter I Øy is an uninhabited volcanic island (19 kilometres long) in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and was named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. It is claimed by Norway and considered a territory on its own. It is very rarely visited by passenger vessels due to the exposed nature of the place. If the weather conditions allow, we are likely to attempt a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island.

DAYS 9 - 14

These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, while we take advantage of the west-going Antarctic coastal current. The sailing along and through the ice is very lively, with sightings of single straggling Emperor Penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and also Orca's and Minke Whales along the ice-edge, often accompanied by different species of fulmarine petrels.

DAY 15

We approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 30 meters high. In the Bay of Whales at the eastern side of the shelf, close to Roosevelt Island (named by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd in 1934 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Roald Amundsen gained access to the Shelf and ventured to the South Pole, where he finally arrived on 14 December 1911. Also the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area at Kainan Bay in 1912. We intend to attempt a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf if conditions allow for it.

DAY 16

Along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the west.

DAYS 17 - 21

In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd with all the famous spots which played such an important role in the dramatic British expeditions of the last century such as Cape Royds with the cabin of Ernest Shackleton. We also intend to visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott; from Hut Point, Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. If ice blocks access and weather conditions are otherwise favourable, we have the option to use the helicopters to offer landings in one or more places in this area. We will further make attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base - the New Zealand equivalent. From McMurdo Station we may offer a substantial 10 km hike to Castle Rock were we will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. We will land in by Helicopter in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys. The conditions here are the closest you get to the conditions on Mars anywhere on Planet Earth.

DAYS 22 - 23

Sailing northward along the west coast of the Ross Sea, we pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Mario Zucchelli Station in Terra Nova Bay. Should the ice prevent us from entering Terra Nova Bay we may progress further north were we find the specially protected area of Cape Hallet with a large Adélie Penguin rookery.

DAY 24

We will attempt to make a landing at Cape Adare. This is the place where people for the very first time wintered on the Antarctic Continent. The hut where the Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in 1899 is surrounded by the largest colony of Adélie Penguins in the World.

DAYS 25 - 29

Working our way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea and start our journey north through the Southern Ocean. Depending on weather conditions we may opt to set a course sailing by Scott Island.

DAY 30

We plan to visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, with a luxuriant and blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is fantastic with a large and easily accessible colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses on the main island and breeding Wandering, Campbell, Grey-headed, Black-browed, and Light-mantled Albatrosses on the satellite islands. Also three penguin species, Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested and Yellow-Eyed Penguins breed here. In the 18th century seals were hunted to extinction, but Elephant Seals, Fur Seals and Sea Lions have recovered.

DAY 31

At sea

DAY 32

We arrive in Bluff where passengers depart for their homebound journey.

Included

  • Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • Free use of rubber boots
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia or Bluff (directly after disembarkation)
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
  • Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
  • 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

Highlights

  • Conditions permitting, helicopter landings at Peter I Island, The Ross Ice-shelf, the Dry Valleys, Mc Murdo Station, Cape Evans (hut of Scott) and Cape Royds (hut of Shackleton).
  • Visit Sub-Antarctica Campbell Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Opportunities to see a wide variety of Antarctic wildlife including: fur and elephant seals; Adélie, Gentoo and chinstrap penguins, Orca and Minke whales, several sepecie of albatross and other seabirds and more
  • Follow in the tracks of great Antarctic explorers including Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen
  • 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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