MONDAY 3rd December
In the morning we will visit the Tierra Del Fuego National Park, a 4 hour round trip tour and get to see some gorgeous mountain chains, forests, rocky sea coast and local wildlife.
Ushuaia – In the afternoon around 4/5pm we will embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
TUES/ WED 4th / 5th December
Days 2 & 3: at sea – During these two days we will sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we will arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see 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 should spot our first icebergs.
THUR – MON 6th/7th/8th/9th/10th December Days 4 – 8:
We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. If we land on Danco Island we can observe Chinstrap Penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater Seals. In Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level.
We will have the chance to enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. In Paradise Bay, again with its myriad of icebergs and deep cut fjords we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again. Once again we can embark on zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. In this area we have a good chance of seeing Humpback Whales and Minke Whales.
We then sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island where we can find Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.
In this area there are good possibilities of encountering Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales.
A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica will give us an insight about the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south we may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where we will receive a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel, we hope to get permission to visit the British research station and post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy we may also land on Jougla Point where we may come across Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags.
On our way North through the Gerlache Strait we will finally arrive at the South Shetland Islands. We will then sail on to Deception Island. Our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island.
We hope for a good long walk and kayak trip which will depend on site availability and weather conditions.
Deception is a sub-ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here we will encounter 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.
We leave from here and sail to Half Moon Island, where we will find a variety of Chinstrap Penguins. Seals often haul out on the beach.
These volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels.
Our voyage will continue through a narrow Strait to the open sea in the direction Ushuaia.
TUES/ WED 11th / 12th December
Days 9 – 10
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
THURSDAY 13th December
Day 11 Ushuaia – We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. We will be taken direct to the airport so we can check in our main bags andthen take a taxi back to Ushuaia to enjoy some time there before our late afternoon flight back to Buenos Aires .