Embark on the ultimate Antarctic Peninsula expedition, carefully planned to cover both renowned destinations and unexpected treasures. Over a span of nine full days during the peak of summer, witness the rapid growth of penguin chicks, the weaning of fur seal pups, and the increasing presence of whales feasting on krill. With extended daylight hours, you'll have ample time for various activities like Zodiac excursions, hiking, snowshoeing, snorkeling, and kayaking to explore the region.
Upon arrival in Ushuaia, you will be greeted by a representative and transferred to your designated pre-voyage hotel along with fellow expeditioners. For those already in Ushuaia, please proceed to your hotel. Hotel check-in begins at 3.00 pm. During the afternoon, visit the hospitality desk located in the lobby of Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort at Luis Fernando Martial 1650 between 8.00 am - 12.00 pm or 3.00 pm - 7.00 pm to obtain your luggage tags and confirm your participation in the Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise (sea lion island) scheduled for the following day. The team will provide details about your embarkation day, address any queries, and offer guidance on dining options and last-minute purchases.
Expeditioners arriving after 7.00 pm will find a welcome pack at the check-in. We kindly request that you visit the hospitality desk between 8.00 am - 10.00 am on the following day. The remaining part of your day is free for your leisure, and all meals today are at your expense.
Assigned accommodations: Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel.
In the morning, savor breakfast and complete your check-out. Please make sure your cabin luggage is equipped with cabin tags that clearly display your name and cabin number. Bring your cabin luggage to the hotel reception, either before or during check-out. It will be securely stored and subsequently transferred directly to the port for clearance, where it will be placed in your cabin prior to your arrival on board. Remember to keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.
You have the morning at your disposal to explore Ushuaia.
For those interested in the afternoon catamaran cruise, we'll regroup in the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm, ready for a 1.00 pm transfer to the port. We'll embark on a catamaran journey along the Beagle Channel, heading towards the iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. While passing the Bridges Archipelago, we'll slow down to observe colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants basking on the rocky formations, with frequent sightings of gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses, and cauquenes. During the cruise, you can relish panoramic vistas of the city and the adjacent mountain range, all while hearing intriguing stories about the region's people and communities.
Alternatively, if you prefer a more relaxed day, meet at your hotel lobby at 3.45 pm for a transfer to the pier to commence your embarkation.
Upon boarding, you'll have the opportunity to settle into your cabin before participating in essential mandatory briefings. As the ship departs from the port, we'll gather on the deck to initiate the adventure, enjoying breathtaking views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.
In the evening, acquaint yourself with your fellow expeditioners, the welcoming expedition team, and the crew during a special welcome dinner, marking the commencement of an exciting Antarctic journey.
While embarking on the crossing of the Drake Passage, we take advantage of this time to acclimate to the sea's movements. The expedition team provides essential wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures in preparation for the initial landing, and commences a lecture series to deepen your knowledge of Antarctica's history, wildlife, and environment.
Wildlife encounters begin as we observe and capture the beauty of numerous seabirds, such as magnificent albatrosses and large petrels trailing the vessel. On days spent at sea, you have the option to utilize the ship's amenities, including the gym, wellness center, or simply relax in one of the observation lounges.
Approaching the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of the fourth day, anticipation mounts as everyone gathers on an observation deck, eagerly searching for the first iceberg. The ocean transforms as we cross the Antarctic Convergence, immersing ourselves in the surreal presence of drifting ice sculptures. The memory of your inaugural encounter with a substantial iceberg is likely to endure a lifetime. If conditions and time allow, we may strive for the initial Antarctic landing by late afternoon.
Describing the sensation of arriving in Antarctica is a near-impossible task. Witnessing your first iceberg and inhaling the exceptionally fresh, crisp air is an experience that will etch itself into your memory forever.
The Antarctic Peninsula is a thriving hub of wildlife during late spring, offering ample time to immerse yourself in the surrounding environment. Over the next eight days, you'll acclimate to the natural rhythms of life on the Antarctic Peninsula.
With extended time for exploration, our plan is to introduce you to well-loved locations along the peninsula and perhaps even stumble upon new favorites along the way.
Upon arrival, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands beckon exploration, offering a multitude of options. Due to our southern location, you'll bask in approximately 18-24 hours of daylight, allowing you to craft your days as leisurely or bustling as you desire.
Guided by our seasoned expedition team, experts in countless journeys to this region, your daily voyage is thoughtfully designed based on prevailing weather, ice conditions, and wildlife opportunities.
Typically, we conduct landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. Before embarking on Zodiac cruises along striking ice cliffs or amidst grounded icebergs, be sure to bundle up and keep a keen eye out for whales, seals, and agile porpoising penguins. These Zodiacs serve as transportation from the ship to the land, where you can explore penguin rookeries, historical huts, and cherished sites along the peninsula.
While ashore, our goal is to engage in light hikes along pebbly beaches or up snow-draped ridges leading to vistas of towering mountains and oceans dotted with ice. If you've opted for any additional activities, you'll have the opportunity to partake whenever conditions permit. And for those intrepid polar plungers, the thrilling polar plunge awaits you at any time during the voyage, so stay tuned for announcements from the expedition team and prepare for a truly invigorating dip!
Beyond Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may undertake ship cruises through the narrow, dramatic straits separating islands from the mainland, or linger in picturesque bays, providing opportunities to admire sculptural icebergs and capture breathtaking scenery with your camera. This is an ideal moment to relish the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (open at the captain's discretion) for unobstructed views of Antarctica in all its grandeur. Listen closely for the echoing creaks and deep rumbles of glaciers as they calve into the sea, and savor a serene moment in this astonishing, untouched realm of the radiant white continent.
Enjoy a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before we re-enter the Drake Passage for the return journey to South America.
With lectures and film presentations to complete the Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced. We hope you become ambassadors for Antarctica telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.
As we approach the tip of South America, the Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.
In the early morning, we'll cruise along the Beagle Channel and gently dock in Ushuaia, allowing passengers to disembark around 8:00 am. It's time to bid farewell to the expedition team and fellow travelers, carrying with us a deeper appreciation for the incredible forces of nature.
Upon disembarkation, passengers with flights departing before 2:00 pm will be directly transferred to Ushuaia Airport. Those who plan to continue their journey within this remarkable region will be transported to their post-voyage Ushuaia accommodations. For passengers with flights scheduled after 2:00 pm, there's an opportunity to explore Ushuaia until the afternoon airport transfer, details of which will be provided onboard prior to disembarkation.
Note: To account for any potential delays, we recommend not booking flights departing from Ushuaia before 12:00 pm on the day of disembarkation.