Booking for : Adventure : Antarctica

Adventure : Antarctica

Tour Details

Recommended by Elaine’s Travel  Co

It is very rare that a travel agent can offer personal experience of Antarctica but here at Elaine’s travel we can offer first hand advise based on real experiences of this ice-bound seventh continent. Elaine was fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks down in the Antarctic with Paul Goldstein and Chris Packham on a truly memorable expedition.

An expedition to Antarctica is the ultimate wilderness destination, an amazingly pristine area navigable only by small ice-strengthened vessels, and it is the most unexplored place on the planet. Until recently Antarctica was only accessible to men and women who plan their pioneering expeditions. However, following strict environmental guidelines, Small Groups on expedition vessels can now follow in the footsteps of those famous explorers like Shackleton and Scott and navigate through sea-sculpted bergs and groaning, crumbling glaciers to discover sights rarely seen by humanity.

Essential Info

Group Information

The Ocean Diamond takes a maximum capacity of 189 passengers and the Ocean Adventurer takes a maximum capacity of 132 passengers. Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions.

The aim on this voyage is to head as far south as ice and weather permit.

After a few days exploring the ‘deep south’, there are further shore excursions on the northerly route along the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship is small enough to navigate through the narrow Lemaire Channel, with glacial walls towering high on both sides, leading to a jigsaw of jewel-like islands that are home to huge penguin rookeries, Elephant seals and countless seabirds. There are also whales: imagine a pair of Humpbacks, at least 30 tonnes of mammal, rising imperiously against a turquoise ice-wall viewed from a Zodiac only metres away, and you have the essence of the Antarctic.

Visas: Argentina: Antarctica

nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

No visa required for holders of British passport. No visa required for British passport holders.

Is This Trip For you? : Travelling ConditionsThe voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere onboard is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

Weather

Late Spring and Early Summer-  October & November

The start of the season and the most adventurous time to travel. You’ll encounter truly breathtaking, exquisitely sculpted icebergs emerging from their frozen hibernation. Many of these blue bergs house courting, nesting, and brooding penguins.

High Summer – December, January & February

Close to the solstice, you’ll experience almost perpetual daylight. These are the mildest months when the first Adelie and Gentoo penguin chicks are hatched. As the water warms the whale sightings also improve.

Late Summer – February & March

This is the time for some incredible encounters with whales, especially Minkes and Humpbacks. The receding ice allows for further exploration and penguin colonies are very active with adults feeding their chicks.

 

 

Why you choose this package!

  • Visit the stunning Antarctic Peninsula
  • Cross the Antarctic Circle at 66° 33’ S
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff
  • 12 nights on the ship
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions
  • All meals while on the ship
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
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1 : Board Ship,Sail along the Beagle Channel.

The morning is free to explore Ushuaia and the surrounding area, to do some last minute shopping, stroll around Ushuaia and down to the port or maybe go for a walk in the nearby National Park. The transfer to the ship takes place in the afternoon. Once on board, there is a get together for introductions to the expedition team, to learn about the ship and its layout, talk about the itinerary for the next 13 days and participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. Departure from Ushuaia is normally around 6:00 p.m, and we set sail through the Beagle Channel in the early evening. The long days mean plenty of evening light in which to experience the beauty of the channel and to perhaps enjoy your first wildlife sightings.
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2-3 ,Drake Passage

Sea conditions in the Drake Passage can vary from dead calm (known as 'Drake Lake'), to rough and stormy (known as 'Drake Shake'). As you cross the Drake Passage our team of experts is out on deck to help you spot whales and identify seabirds. There is also a programme of talks, covering the wildlife, the ice, and polar history to prepare you for your adventure to the 'White Continent'. The excitement intensifies as you cross the Antarctic Convergence, where the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean meet the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. You feel the change as the air gets cooler. Huge icebergs loom up against the horizon in increasing numbers, and Wandering albatrosses, petrels and other birds which thrive in this cold, remote ocean are frequently seen.
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4-10,Shetland Islands Group

Our itinerary for these days is necessarily flexible, and will be decided upon by your expedition leader in consultation with the ship's captain. It will depend on ice and weather conditions, and may start by sailing as far south as possible, hopefully to the Antarctic Circle, and then working our way back north along the peninsula and finally visiting the off-shore Shetland Islands group. On the other hand the order may be reversed, first cruising among the volcanic South Shetland Islands before travelling to the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, and further south.
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4-10 cont,King George Islands

The itinerary focuses on the areas with the greatest promise of wildlife, and frequent shore excursions are planned at perhaps Livingston, Half Moon, Aicho or King George Islands. This area is a favoured feeding ground for Humpback whales and, with luck, you may see them dining on krill. Nearby, around 80,000 Adelie penguins have established one of the largest rookeries, alongside Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins, providing great opportunities for photography. At crescent-shaped Half Moon Island, a breeding colony of Chinstrap penguins shares their territory with Fur seals and Blue-eyed shags; while at Livingston Island you may observe Weddell seals, Elephant seals, skuas, Giant petrels, Antarctic terns and rookeries of Chinstrap, Gentoo and Macaroni penguins.
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4-10 cont,Deception Island

Weather permitting you may also enter the flooded caldera of Deception Island, a recently active volcano and one of the most perfect crater islands in the world. Steam rises from the black sand beaches in places along its shores where the cold Antarctic waters mix with the steaming thermal waters of the bay - although this is very much dependant on the tide and the hot water flow. You may also observe the island's large Chinstrap penguin colony and enjoy spectacular walks to the higher points of the crater rim.
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4-10 cont,Paradise Harbour

We may visit Paradise Harbour further south or Hope Bay to the north, both situated on the Antarctic mainland, to see some of the most dramatic scenery the continent has to offer. Here, there are further opportunities for spectacular photography. Ringed with overhanging ice cliffs, the bay is filled with a wild assortment of floating icebergs that reflect a stunning array of the colours, including the most exquisite blues, turquoise and indigo. On one or two occasions we may also go ashore to visit some of the research stations maintained by several different countries on the peninsula or offshore islands.
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4-10 cont,Antarctic Circle

Back on board whilst we cruise between landing points, you will be tempted to spend time out on deck if conditions are calm, just watching and marvelling at the glory of the passing scenery. Penguins are often seen 'porpoising' in the water, or resting on ice flows, which pass by the ship, and the scenery of the Lemaire Channel can be absolutely breathtaking. South of this channel we hope that the seas will be clear enough to take us right down to the Antarctic Circle; the scenery remains outstanding, and although there's no 'marker on the sand', it's a great feeling to know when we've reached the line.
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11-12,Sail back through the Drake Passage.

Leaving the Antarctic Peninsula behind our ship heads back across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage. The crossing is completed with the rounding of Cape Horn, weather permitting.
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13,Disembark and end Ushuaia.

In the early morning we arrive back in Ushuaia where your voyage ends. You will be transferred either to town on to the airport for your onward flight to Buenos Aires.

Additional Info

  • Duration : 14 Days
  • Person : 1
  • Kids : Over 18 Only
  • Price : £6800.00 from
  • Location : Antarctic Peninsula

Need Help!

For further information or to answer any questions you may have, please do not hesitate to contact us.

01672 558800

enquiries@elainestravel.co.uk

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  • Email: enquiries@elainestravel.co.uk
  • Phone: Tel 01672 558800

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