In the afternoon, we embark at 4pm in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the picturesque southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through the Beagle Channel for Antarctica, entering the Drake Passage after midnight.
Day 2 and Day 3
During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the cir-cum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may meet Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black-browed Albatrosses, Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we glimpse at the first icebergs and with a bit of luck we disembark on Aitcho Island, home of gentoo and chinstrap penguin colonies.
Day 4 – Day 8
At Deception Island, we will try to land at Baily Head with a colony of ten thousands of Chinstrap Penguins. Deception Island is a huge volcano of which the crater opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Pigeons and many Dominican Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.Good walkers may hike from Baily Head over the ridge of the crater into Whalers Bay, while our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune´s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island.
Elephant seals - Antarctica On our way to the south sailing through the Gerlache Strait we have great chances to see many Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. In Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. We shall have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords.
We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island offering Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. We also try to land at Pleneau Island with Elephant Seals. In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales. gentoo penguin Antarctica We head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, south of the polar circle. The landscape is very impres-sive with very high mountains and huge glaciers. At the Fish Islands we land at one of the southernmost Adelie Penguin and Blue-eyed Shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. At Detaille Island, south of the Polar Circle, in Crystal Sound we reach probably our farthest south.
Sailing north through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, we arrive at Inverleith Harbour, where we may have our last zodiac cruises of the voyage.
Day 10 and Day 11
Today we leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Now is the chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week, as well as enjoy some final lectures from the expedition staff as you return to Ushuaia.
After breakfast we disembark and passengers make their own way to the airport or their hotel. If you fly to Buenos Aires, book an afternoon flight. You arrive in the capital in the evening and will probably have to overnight there.
Add Tour: Very Best of Argentina
This is a unique opportunity to explore the magical underwater world of Antarctica. Our experienced Antarctic Dive Masters guide us through this fantastic, and largely unexplored, underwater paradise. We dive around the wonderful sculpted ice formations of icebergs, encounter rich marine life from soft corals and fish to marine mammals, and even experience the remarkable underwater sounds of the frozen continent.
Diving in Antarctica is very different to diving in other parts of the world. The contrasting colors are spectacular - from the blue and white icebergs to the dark sea floor - and the area has a rich invertebrate life (including many different species of anemones, echinoderms, crayfish and coral sponges). We should encounter krill in their natural environment and hope to see penguins and possibly even seals underwater. Visibility is usually 5-15 meters (16-50 feet), depending on the position, current and proximity to penguin rookeries.
All diving will take place in the Peninsula area and, weather and ice permitting, we plan to have up to two dives per day over the two days' diving. Our maximum dive depth will be about 15 meters (50 feet).
Chinstrap - Antarctica Divers must be certified to PADI Advanced Open Water diver (or equivalent) - certificates will need to be shown onboard - and must also have dry suit diving experience (20 dives recommended). We will provide the tanks and weight belts. All other equipment needed would be provided by the diver.
Note that the day you dive, you do not particpate in land excursions.