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About the Quest for the Antarctic Circle Itinerary
- Extend your time in Antarctica and make landings in less frequented sites south of the Antarctic Circle;
- Incredible icebergs
- Millions of penguins – Adélie, gentoo, chinstrap
- 5 species of seals – crabeater, Weddell, leopard, fur and southern elephant
- Whales – humpback, minke, orca
- Visit historic research stations in the area of Marguerite Bay
Day 1: Embarkation in Ushuaia
Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, you will be greeted by Expedition Team and ships’ officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on our early evening sail down the Beagle Channel past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Day 2-3: Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as you get ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere on board as our numerous Polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, cross the Antarctic Convergence where you will notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species some of which are known on occasion to fully breach from the sea.
Days 4-10: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, the goal is to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. The first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay. Given favorable ice conditions, the captain will push our exploration even further southward, looking for historic and wildlife sites. From the most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), we will make our way north along the Antarctic Peninsula, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula. Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, the Lemaire Channel, the Neumeyer Channel and the Gerlache Strait will all feature in the itinerary. Landing sites might include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay, Petermann Island and the Yalours, where you will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as an abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of the comical Adelie penguin.
At Half Moon Island you will visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. The team also hopes to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to spot orcas and Minke whales as the trip goes. The expedition staff plan on walking ashore on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbour or Neko Harbour. Although it will not be your first glimpse of the Antarctic, a walk ashore on the Continent will evoke emotions to carry with you for the rest of your life. The scenery here is amazing. In particular the oddly shaped icebergs looking like sculptures, as well as the colossal ‘tabular’ icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf. Expect to feel transformed as you experience twilight from the very bottom of the planet.
Days 11-12: Drake Passage
As you leave this magical place and make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of the Polar expedition at a special dinner.
Day 13: Ushuaia
In the early morning, arrive back in Ushuaia. 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.
Welcome Aboard the Plancius
The Plancius was originally built as a hydrographic research vessel in the service of the Dutch government. In 2007, the current owner purchased her and since then she has undergone a total refit and refurbishment to prepare her for carrying passengers on polar expeditions. All of the cabins have outside views and are comfortable and well-appointed with private facilities and all lower beds (either twin or double). All cabins have ample storage facilities and a writing desk and chair, as well as a flat screen TV for viewing movies. The Plancius is equipped with state-of-the-art safety systems, including new radar, communication, and other navigation equipment, as well as the most modern fire and flood prevention systems.
- Passenger Capacity: 110 passengers max
- Staff & Crew: 45
- Ice class: 1D
- Length: 89 metres (267 feet)
- Breadth: 14.5 meters (43 feet)
- Max Draft: 4.5 metres (15 feet)
- Speed: 10-12 knots maximum
Cabins & Amenities
- All cabins have exterior views (porthole or window) and private facilities
- Library stocked with polar books
- Observation lounge / Bar
- Adventure options on most departures
- Leica Akademie Photo Workshop
- Single Supplement is 1.7 times the standard rate.
- Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required. Airfare is not included in these prices.
- Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.
- Camping – $190 per night, max 30 people
- Kayaking – $465 per voyage, max 14 people
- Snowshoeing – no charge but sign-up required
- Photo Workshop – $420 per trip or Free during “Basecamp Plancius” and Whales, Wildlife and Photography voyage.
- Max 14 people. All photo workshops are powered by renowned Leica Akademie.
- All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.