Day 1: End of the World, Start of a Journey
Your voyage begins at Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, and nicknamed “The End of the World”. Starting in the afternoon, you embark and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the rest 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 – 5: Enter the Antarctic
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. Sites you may visit include:
* Cuverville Island – The island houses a massive colony of gentoo penguins as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas.
* 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.
Day 6 – 8: Through the Gullet
After a comfortable night of sailing, you wake among the many islands south of Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle. At this point, a voyage through the aptly named Gullet – a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Continent – is possible if the ice isn’t too thick. You can explore this area either from the prow of the ship or the edge of a Zodiac, getting the closest possible contact with the polar terrain as you venture southward. Along the way, you may enjoy the following visits:
* Pourquoi Pas Island – . This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty, glacier-crowded mountains.
* Horseshoe Island – Location of the former British Base Y, a remnant of the 1950s that is now unmanned though still equipped with almost all the technology it had while in service.
* Stonington Island – Home to the former US East Base and British Base E, which was occupied until 1975, this island marks the southernmost landing site of the trip – 68° south
* Hanusse Bay – Enjoy the scattered icebergs of this scenic bay, which offers a good chance of spotting whales.
Day 9 – 11: The whales of Crystal Sound
You are near the Antarctic Circle again, cutting north through the countless ice floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are likely, and your approach to the Fish Islands offers the possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing. Whatever the case, the views beyond comparison in this area. There may also be more Adélie penguins congregating among the bergs nearby. Petermann & Pléneau Islands provide a great variety of birdlife, along with possibilities for Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are highly popular among leopard and crabeater seals. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo penguins can also be found here.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 12 - 13: 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 14: Back in Ushuaia
We arrive in Ushuaia early in the morning, where you will disembark after breakfast.