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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 Ushuaia
Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration), the ice-strengthened vessel Ushuaia is designed for polar travel and Antarctica expeditions. This small cruise ship was refurbished in 2014 to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 44 comfortable cabins and suites. Ushuaia is very well laid out and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline. All cabins include a desk and ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an observation lounge and bar, a conference room with modern multimedia equipment, a well-stocked library, a changing room and a small infirmary.
- Passenger Capacity: 88 (maximum)
- Crew & Staff: 38
- Length: 84.7 meters
- Breadth: 5.48 meters
- Gross tonnage: 2,923
- Cruising Speed: 12 knots
- Max Speed: 14 knots
- Zodiacs: 7
- Electrical outlets: 110 v
- Ice Class: 1C
- Shipyard: Toledo, Ohio
Cabins & Amenities
All cabins include a desk and ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an observation lounge and bar, a conference room with modern multimedia equipment, a well-stocked library, a changing room and a small infirmary.
- Four Decks
- Dining Room (one open seating)
- Observation Lounge / Lecture Room, Bar & Library
- Panorama Deck
- Gift Shop
- Changing Room
- Dates do NOT include one day prior to departure
- All expedition rates are per person in US dollars, based on shared occupancy.
- Standard twins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share price.
- Family special for both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons: a child (under 16 years) accompanied by two adults travels free of charge in a triple Superior cabin or a triple Suite.