Day 1: Ushuaia
Your voyage begins at Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet - nicknamed The End of the World. Embark on the afternoon and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2 – 3: Path of the Polar Explorers
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you will experience what the first polar explorers felt: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale blasting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary - You'll notice the variations on the landscape and lifeforms, not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight.
Day 4 – 9: Entering Antarctica
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. Places you might visit includes:
* Neumayer Channel – The vessel may position itself here, launching its multiple basecamp activities from the protected waters around Wiencke Island. You can enjoy the splendors of this alpine environment at sea with Zodiac and kayaking trips, or if you’re in the mood for a walk, there are possible snowshoe hikes and soft-climb mountaineering options farther inland
* Port Lockroy – Settlement of a former British research station – now a museum and post office. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping here, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore.
* Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you can sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals. Kayaking, glacier walks, and more ambitious mountaineering trips are the potential activities of this location.
* Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow. Opportunities for Zodiac cruising and kayaking provide you the closest possible views
* Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters. Chances of seeing humpback and minke whales.
* Errera Channel – Possible sites in this area include Danco Island and Cuverville Island, but also the lesser known Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island.
On your last day of near-shore activities, you pass the Melchior Islands toward the open sea. Keep a sharp lookout for humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. You might also shoot for Half Moon Island, in the South Shetlands, with further chances for activities.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 10 – 11: Familiar Seas, Familiar Friends
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now.
Day 12: Back in Ushuaia
We arrive in Ushuaia early in the morning, where you will disembark after breakfast.