Uncharted Antarctica: East and West Peninsula – Ocean Endeavour, Dec. 2023
Uncharted Antarctica: East and West Peninsula – Ocean Endeavour, Dec. 2023
About the Antarctica East & West: Peninsula in Depth Itinerary
This epic 14-day expedition brings you to a side of the Antarctic Peninsula even the luckiest of travelers don’t often see. You’ll experience the best of polar travel, including abundant wildlife, important historical sites, and ice—lots of ice. Embarking from Ushuaia, Argentina, you’ll traverse the legendary Drake Passage to arrive at Elephant Island, which gave […]
About the Antarctica East & West: Peninsula in Depth Itinerary
This epic 14-day expedition brings you to a side of the Antarctic Peninsula even the luckiest of travelers don’t often see. You’ll experience the best of polar travel, including abundant wildlife, important historical sites, and ice—lots of ice. Embarking from Ushuaia, Argentina, you’ll traverse the legendary Drake Passage to arrive at Elephant Island, which gave Ernest Shackleton’s crew refuge in 1916. From this significant start you’ll move on to see enormous penguin colonies up close; zodiac cruise among icebergs that look like art; walk around and explore historic and operating scientific bases; and take a zodiac ride to see humpback and killer whales—all the while surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Antarctica. Expedition in Brief • Get to know Antarctica intimately during this 14-day trip • Venture into the Weddell Sea on the remote east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula • Cross the Lemaire Channel • Step back in time to experience Antarctic exploration in abandoned yet perfectly preserved bases * Itineraries on our website are intended only as a guide and you should consult our team for detailed itineraries on specific voyages.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina - pre night hotel
On arrival at Ushuaia Airport, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. The first night of your voyage is spent in the quaint town of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). The day is at leisure and you are free to explore, maybe making a few last minute purchases from the many shops or artisan markets, or relaxing in a café. Avenida San Martin is the main street and there are some excellent museums to visit or you may prefer to wander the streets taking in the town’s dramatic setting, with views of the mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south.
Day 2: Embarkation
This morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia, giving you time to wander the streets of this quaint port town, or discover Tierra del Fuego National Park. Transfer to the pier of Ushuaia for embarkation in the late afternoon. You will be welcomed on board the Ocean Endeavour by the Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers. This evening we set sail through the Beagle Channel that was named after the British ship the HMS Beagle. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America, and is rich in wildlife. Keep a look out for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels and black-browed albatross from the deck as well as sea lion colonies. Enjoy your first taste of life at sea and a welcome dinner. The air is likely to be filled with anticipation, as your next view of land will be of Antarctica – the White Continent.
Days 3-4: Crossing the Drake Passage
The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your expedition team.
You will spend this time preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures presented by your expedition team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.
Day 5-7: East Antarctic Peninsula
In the real spirit of exploration, day five will hope to see the bow of the Ocean Endeavour round the eastern end of Antarctic Sound and point south toward the truly wild coastlines of the Peninsula’s eastern side. It’s within this ice-laden sea that Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men sledged and floated their way north from their crushed and sunken vessel and bordering this vast expanse is an endless coastline of dramatic basaltic beaches, towering islands that rise straight from the sea and a spattering of remote archipelagos barely seen by human eyes since the heroic era. From here, the options for exploration are endless. From the secluded Danger Islands to the north, the historically important and penguin-covered Paulet Island, the sweeping Prince Gustav Channel to the south or the protected and glacier- lined coves of Duse Bay. Over three days in this area, we will work with ice conditions to land and zodiac cruise around as many remote locations as possible. Keep an eye out for minke whales as captain and expedition leader navigate the scenic channels around the eagle island group and for the most intrepid: prepare for a polar plunge like none other or even a chance to step onto your very own piece of sea ice. Whatever the weather delivers, what we are sure to find here is a rare Antarctic experience and the closest one is likely to get to a true sense of exploration on planet Earth.
Days 8-11: West Antarctic Peninsula - Weddell Sea
Following our three days of discovery on the Peninsula’s east side, the Ocean Endeavour will plot a course to transit Antarctic Sound and to visit the more well-trodden western shores. As we attempt to enter the sound, a collection of tabular icebergs typically serves as a gateway from east to west and locations like Esperanza Station and the volcanic cliffs of Brown Bluff are viable landing points along the way. From here on out, we return to the more familiar sights and sounds of gentoo penguin colonies, a collection of Argentine and Chilean bases observable on craggy points and we lower the zodiacs again to explore famous sites like Orne Harbour, Paradise Bay or Port Lockroy. While the east side afforded us the most true sense of isolation and wilderness observable on Earth, the contrast becomes apparent on the western side as no excursion lasts long without the presence of gentoo or chinstrap penguins parading through the early- season snow and marine mammals hauling themselves onto ice-floes. After our four days of excursions in this region, we will again turn north to cross the Bransfield Strait. As we thread the Ocean Endeavour through South Shetland Islands, we will take to the aft deck of the Ocean Endeavour once more for a final toast to the Antarctic, to discovery and to the new horizon ahead.
Days 12-13: Crossing the Drake Passage
Over days 12 and 13 we will watch as the outline of the Antarctic continent disappears over the horizon and again the albatross and seabirds of the open ocean join us for the voyage north. Whether enjoying some time out on deck to take in the sea air or making the most of our expert guides’ presentations, this is a great time to reflect on the journey behind us and all that we discovered on the Antarctic Peninsula over the previous days. For those still looking to brush up on their Antarctic knowledge, our guides will be out on deck binoculars in hand to help identify the amazing sea life that abounds in this part of the world. At night, we will take the opportunity to celebrate together and to share stories about this once in a lifetime voyage.
Days 14: Disembarkation in Ushuaia
Following a steady night in the protection of the Beagle Channel, the early morning of our 14th day will see the Ocean Endeavour come alongside Ushuaia’s pier. Followed by breakfast, an 8am disembarkation means plenty of time to wrap up your exploration of Ushuaia before a short drive to the airport for any afternoon flight departures. Our guides will join you on the dock to say farewell and to wave goodbye to the ship’s team and crew who have shared the journey with you.
Welcome Aboard the Ocean Endeavour
The Ocean Endeavour allows you to explore Antarctica while enjoying the class and comfort of a four-star hotel. Featuring one expedition team member for every eight travellers, you can take full advantage of one of the best staff-passenger ratios in Antarctica, with a greater level of personal service and more time with our onboard experts. Complete with contemporary interiors, lounges for learning and reflection, Zodiacs for remote exploration, breath taking 360° views from the deck, an emphasis on sustainability and exciting activities, the Ocean Endeavour is ideally suited for polar expedition cruising.
• Travellers will enjoy one of the best expedition staff to passenger ratio (1:8) in Antarctica. • Book a single occupancy cabin for the price of an interior twin share berth or a twin porthole berth. • Our strict sustainable travel policy means these expeditions are carbon offset, all seafood is sustainably sourced and we aim to avoid single-use plastic on board. • A large fleet of Zodiacs enables all passengers to be off the ship at one time. There are also two gangways on each side of the vessel to minimise queuing. • Forward facing photography Zodiacs are available. These Zodiacs are designed for comfort and uninterrupted views. • Passengers can enjoy educational lectures from our expert expedition team on the history, ecology and geology of the area. • A variety of health and wellness activities are available on board, including a sauna, saltwater swimming pool, spa and gym. • A wide range of optional outdoor activities are on offer, including snowshoeing, camping and kayaking. • Enjoy Chef-prepared meals. • One-night hotel accommodation in Ushuaia is included at the start of your trip. • Extensive amenities including a restaurant, polar boutique, expedition lounges, bar, sun deck and library
- Name of Vessel: The Ocean Endeavor
- Type of Vessel: Ice strengthened expedition vessel
Built: Poland 1981
Ice Class: 1B Length: 137m (332ft)
Breadth: 11m (36ft)
Max Draft: 5.6m (18ft)
Cruising Speed: 15 knots
Propulsion: 4 Skoda Sulzer engines (4,355 horsepower per engine)
Electricity: 220 volts/60Hz
Passenger Capacity: 200 (maximum) Crew: 124
SAFETY EQUIPMENT Lifeboats: 6 / Life rafts: 8
The Ocean Endeavour carries six fully enclosed lifeboats and eight life rafts. The capacity for which exceeds SOLAS requirements, with at least 25% more space than the number of passengers and crew on board. It also has an ice-strengthened hull.
Cabins & Amenities
Restaurant • Nautical lounge • Polar library • Gym • Swimming pool • Saunas • Spa facilities • Lecture theatre • Polar boutique • Sun deck and plenty of deck space for observation • Elevator access (Decks 4, 5 and 6) • Clinic with licensed Doctor • Wi-Fi in certain public areas (charges apply) • 24-hour tea and coffee available • Onboard laundry service (charges apply)
Excellent option for families – Plenty of triple cabins available for friends or family members traveling together!
INSIDE THE OCEAN ENDEAVOUR
Often recommended for its unrivalled sense of space, the Ocean Endeavour has plenty of open and airy communal areas that allow travellers to bask in the unrivalled beauty of passing polar scenery. Housing 10 different categories of cabin, the Ocean Endeavour appeals to clients of all ages and budgets. From smaller single occupancy cabins (with no single supplement) to larger double suites, there’s plenty of choice. All cabins also come with a hairdryer, bathrobe(s), climate control, a TV, radio and safe.
- Travellers will enjoy one of the best expedition staff to passenger ratio (1:8) in Antarctica.
- Book a single occupancy cabin for the price of an interior twin share berth.
- Our strict sustainable travel policy means these cruises are double carbon offset, all seafood is sustainably sourced and we aim to avoid single-use plastic on board.
- A large fleet of Zodiacs enables all passengers to be off the ship at one time. There are also two gangways on each side of the vessel to minimise queuing.
- Forward facing photography Zodiacs are available. These Zodiacs are designed for comfort and uninterrupted views.
- Passengers can enjoy educational lectures from our expert expedition team on the history, ecology and geology of the area.
- A variety of health and wellness activities are available on board, including a sauna, saltwater swimming pool, spa and gym.
- A wide range of optional outdoor activities are on offer, including snowshoeing, camping and kayaking.
- Chef-prepared meals.
- One night in a hotel in Ushuaia included at the start of the trip. • Extensive amenities including a restaurant, polar boutique, expedition lounges, bar, sun deck and library.
- Boots provided on loan.
- Jacket- A ruggared water-proof outer shell will be provided on board on loan for the duration of the cruise. A top quality insulated mid layer for underneath and for use around the outer decks on the ship is provided to ALL travellers This layer is to keep and take home.
A small ship cruise to Antarctica is unlike any other, and an Antarctic expedition aboard the Ocean Endeavour will take you to places you never thought possible. Where else in the world can you take part in additional activities such as sea-kayaking, camping and snowshoeing, dedicated photography workshops as well as off-ship explorations to witness Antarctica from a different perspective. Zodiac cruising and onshore hiking is included with every departure and adventure activity groups are led by three guides with a designated Zodiac. Each off-ship excursion is accompanied by expedition guides meaning you have the expert knowledge and assurance of the crew.
Zodiac Cruising & Shore Excursions/Landings – INCLUDED
Yoga – INCLUDED
Polar Plunge – INCLUDED
Extra adventure options
Kayaking Program – USD $ 1,299 per person
Camping – USD $399 per person
Snowshoeing – USD $399 per person
Private Photography Workshop – USD $ 1,299 per person
Forward Zodiac Cruising – USD $50 per person (spaces limited & subject to availability)