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.
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.
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)