Destination: More Antarctic Cruises
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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.)Contact us about this trip Share
Please note: The interary below is for the January 9, 2015 departure. The itinerary for the February 11, 2015 departure operates in reverse order.
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. The February 11th Voyage starts in Bluff, New Zealand and offers the same itinerary as described hereunder, but in reverse.
We arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and sail in the early morning through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pléneau Island, where Elephant Seals 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 Imperial Cormorants (Blue-eyed Shags). Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873–74.
Sailing south through the Penola Strait, we cross the Polar Circle and 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. Detaille Island was discovered by the French expedition of Charcot (1903–05) and named for a share holder in the Magellan Whaling Company. From 1956 till 1959, The British Antarctic Survey had their "Station W" located on Detaille Island. On both locations we may observe Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.
Bellingshausen Sea, where we may see our first pack-ice.
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 by its own. It is sporadically visited by passenger vessels. On earlier landings groups of Elephant Seals and colonies of Southern Fulmars and Cape Pigeons were seen.
These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, which—depending on ice-conditions—will give us glimpses of the Antarctic Continent, 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 fulmar petrels. If the sea-ice allows, we will try to land on Shephard Island in Marie Byrd Land among colonies of Chinstrap Penguins and South Polar Skua's. Shephard Island was discovered by the US Antarctic Expeditions (USAS) of 1939–41 and was named after one of the promoters of this expedition: John Shephard.
We approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front of 30 meters high. We intend to offer a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf. 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. For us it is perhaps a chance to climb on the shelf as well.
Along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the west.
In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Bird 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. We will further make attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base (New Zealand). If ice and weather conditions are favourable, we will use the helicopters to offer landings. From Castle Rock we will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. We will have a view into Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, where on our planet you are closest to the conditions on Mars. For the Dry Valleys we plan to use our helicopters. This is just one example of helicopter use during this epic voyage.
Sailing northward along the eastern west coast of the Ross Sea ,we pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Station in Terra Nova Bay and further cape Hallet.
Cape Adare 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.
At sea, working our way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea.
We sail along Scott Island.
Campbell Island is a sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and an Unesco World Heritage Site, 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, Greyheaded, Blackbrowed, and Lightmantled Sooty 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.
We arrive in Bluff (New Zealand) where passengers depart for their homebound journey. The February 11, 2015 departure ends in Ushuaia, Argentina and starts in Bluff, New Zeland and offers the same itinerary as described above, but in reverse.
Special note: crossing the Date Line:
Both voyages have a total duration of 31 nights/32 days. However, looking at the starting and ending dates of the voyages, it would, at first, appear that one is 32 nights and the other is 30 nights. This is explained by the fact that we cross the International Date Line at 180 degrees longitude.
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.