Antarctica Off the Beaten Track
Like the ‘Antarctica Classic’, this 13-day expedition will introduce you to the magic of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula during the pristine Antarctic spring, and offers you two additional days to explore the Peninsula.
Anticipate exciting ice navigation on the ship and be among the first to visit many of the well known sites this season. What makes this journey so special is the enhanced program of off-ship activities available. Taking advantage of the optimal snow conditions in November, this voyage offers a range of additional activities which complement the already busy schedule. For those with some experience, back-country ski touring is offered. Snow-shoeing is another exciting option with maximum snow coverage and hard packed base. The expedition also plans to camp ashore at least one night and a full day ‘field photography’ workshop. All this is complemented with an exceptional series of onboard presentations, led by adventurers, marine biologists, naturalists, historians and a resident photography professional.
Length of Travel: 14 Days
Itinerary in Brief
- Day 1: Embarkation
- Days 2-3: Crossing the Drake Passage
- Days 4-5: South Shetland Islands
- Days 6 -11: Antarctic Peninsula
- Day 12-13: Cross the Drake Passage
- Day 14: Arrive to Ushuaia
* Special Notes
Camping included free of charge.
Extras: Ski touring, kayaking, overnight kayaking, expedition photography, snowshoeing.
Day 1: Embarkation
Embarkation begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel.
Days 2-3: Drake Passage
The adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The ship is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean. Take in daily lectures from your expedition team and keep an eye out for the first sightings of icebergs, whales, and albatross following in the ship’s wake.
Days 4-5: Northern Antarctic Peninsula
We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of Antarctica are laid out before us. Over the next week, our itinerary is intentionally flexible to account for early season ice conditions and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions. Our planned exploration starts in vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighboring Cierva Cove – both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica.
Days 6-11: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Our days are spent exploring on and off the ship in the company of our expert guides. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, and exploration of historic huts and science stations. Zodiac cruising in the ice is always a thrill. Based on site conditions, the ski touring group may set off to explore the pristine terrain with our experienced mountaineering guides. The expedition snow-shoe group may follow in the tracks of the skiers, climbing to high points which afford breathtaking views. The sea kayakers will head out on excursions which may last all day. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to spend an entire day with our expedition photographer on an all-day field workshop. Everyone aboard will have an opportunity to camp onshore for the night in Antarctica if the weather co-operates. In the comfort and safety of our expedition ship, we range as far south as ice conditions permit; hopefully we are able to navigate to Neko Harbour and into the Errera Channel. Witnessing the migration of the penguins early in the season, as they busily re-establish their rookeries and prepare nests, is a fascinating experience. Cuverville Island is always a highlight and is home to one of the largest gentoo penguin colonies on this stretch of coastline. Orne Harbour is dominated by Spiggot Peak – a towering landmark seen from miles away. There’s a great hike here up to a colony of chinstrap penguins. The adventure is not over and we plan an additional day of exploration in the South Shetland Islands. Prevailing weather conditions will dictate our landing locations which may include Hannah Point on Livingston Island. In the evening, we navigate into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.
Days 12-13: Drake Passage
Today begins the journey north to our home port of Ushuaia. Review the highlights of your Antarctic experience with our lecturers and staff. Keep your eyes open on the observation deck for some final whale sightings.
Day 14: Disembarkation
Disembark in the morning.