Seize the opportunity to venture deep into the Weddell Sea on this pioneering expedition, retracing the path of Nordenskjöld's Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1901-04).
Commence your expedition in the South Shetland Islands, the very place where Nordenskjöld and his team embarked on their initial Antarctic landings before venturing into the Antarctic Sound, the entryway to the Weddell Sea. Follow their incredible journey as you travel farther east, pushing as deep as conditions allow into the Weddell Sea, renowned for its expansive tabular icebergs, diverse wildlife, and historical significance. Be captivated by the extraordinary narrative of Nordenskjöld and his crew, who spent two years exploring this region in a remarkable adventure rivaling Shackleton's Endurance expedition for its feats of survival against unimaginable challenges.
While retracing this historic voyage, be on the lookout for minke and humpback whales, agile penguins, and crabeater and Weddell seals resting on the ice. Your expert expedition team will accompany you, enhancing your expedition with insights, wildlife-watching expertise, and tales of Nordenskjöld's epic odyssey.
Upon your arrival in Ushuaia, a representative will greet you and transfer you to your designated pre-voyage hotel. If you're already in Ushuaia, please proceed to your hotel with check-in available from 3.00 pm. Later in the day, between 3.00 pm and 7.00 pm, visit the hospitality desk at Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort, located at Luis Fernando Martial 1650, to obtain your luggage tags and confirm your participation in the Beagle Channel and Isla de Los Lobos Cruise for the following day. The team will provide embarkation details, address your inquiries, and offer guidance on dining and last-minute purchases. Travelers arriving after 7.00 pm will receive a welcome pack at check-in and are requested to visit the hospitality desk the next morning between 8.00 am and 10.00 am. The rest of the day is free, and meals are at your own expense. Your assigned accommodation will be at either Las Hayas Ushuaia Resort or Los Acebos Ushuaia Hotel.
This morning, enjoy breakfast and check-out. Please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Take your cabin luggage to hotel reception, prior to, or at check-out. Your luggage will be stored and transferred directly to the port for clearance, to be placed in your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.
Your morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia.
Those wishing to join the afternoon catamaran cruise, meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here we board the catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago we’ll slow down to watch colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants sun themselves on the rocky outcrops, while gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses and cauquenes are often sighted. The cruise offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountain range, in addition to hearing tales of the people and communities of the region.
Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at your hotel lobby at 3.00 pm to be transferred to the pier for embarkation.
Once onboard, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before the important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence th adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.
This evening get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.
As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of the time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. The expedition team will help you prepare for the first landing, introducing you to important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and starting the lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.
The Antarctic wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds often seen soaring around the ship, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following the vessel. On sea days, you can enjoy the facilities on board the vessel including the gym, sauna and jacuzzis or relax in one of the observation lounges.
On day four the excitement is palpable as you near the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, with everyone converging on the observation decks to spot their first iceberg. Now that you’re south of the Antarctic Convergence the ocean takes on a whole new character, as you’re surrounded by porpoising penguins and dramatic icebergs. The memory of your first iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime.
Time and weather permitting, we may attempt the first Antarctic landing in the late afternoon.
Arriving in Antarctica is an indescribable experience, marked by the first sight of icebergs and the pristine, crisp air. The journey begins with exploration of the western Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, retracing the footsteps of the historic Nordenskjöld expedition that ventured into the Gerlache and Orleans Straits over a century ago. Your expert expedition team, seasoned in these waters, tailors your daily voyage based on weather, ice conditions, and wildlife opportunities.
Typically, two landings or Zodiac excursions are scheduled daily, allowing you to explore ice cliffs, grounded icebergs, and spot whales, seals, and penguins. You'll venture ashore to visit penguin rookeries, historical sites, and favorite locations on the Peninsula. Optional activities are available when conditions permit, including polar plunges. In addition to shore activities, there are ship cruises in narrow straits and scenic bays, where you can witness sculptural icebergs and stunning landscapes. The observation lounge and the bridge, open at the captain's discretion, provide uninterrupted views of Antarctica. Listen for the sounds of creaking glaciers as they calve into the sea, and take a moment to appreciate the wonder of this unique continent.
The journey continues toward the Weddell Sea, starting in the Antarctic Sound, known as "Iceberg Alley," a region characterized by volcanic peaks and wave-sculpted icebergs. Following the route of Captain Larsen's 1902 voyage with the Swedish Antarctic Expedition, you'll push deeper into the Weddell Sea. This area is famous for its tabular icebergs, extensive sea ice, and diverse wildlife, including seals, seabirds, and Adelie penguins. In this natural amphitheater, where the Swedish Antarctic Expedition unfolded, your expert team will offer lectures on the local wildlife, geology, and the incredible story of Nordenskjöld's expedition.
During this voyage, you'll explore dramatic coastlines, visit historic sites, and learn about the region's fossil discoveries made by Nordenskjöld, revealing clues about Antarctica's prehistoric climate. This expedition celebrates the legacy of those early explorers and their remarkable feats of survival in the unforgiving Antarctic environment.
We say our farewells to the captivating Antarctic scenery and commence our journey back to South America via the Drake Passage. Amid the vastness of the Southern Ocean and its remarkable wildlife, you can interact with the expedition team by attending presentations and viewing polar films. Alternatively, you can socialize with fellow travelers in the bar, library, or on the observation deck to share your experiences. For those seeking a more reflective atmosphere, you can discover a peaceful spot to review your photographs and contemplate your expedition as you head towards the northern hemisphere.
As we near the southern tip of South America, there's a chance that the Captain may steer us closer to the iconic Cape Horn, depending on weather conditions and scheduling. We encourage you to become advocates for Antarctica by sharing your experiences with family, friends, and colleagues. Through your support for its conservation and preservation, you have the potential to inspire others to one day explore this extraordinary region and engage in the remarkable adventures you've had the privilege to experience.
In the early morning hours, we sail through the Beagle Channel, gently pulling into Ushuaia's dock, where disembarkation is expected around 8.00 am. Bid farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a renewed appreciation for the immense power of nature.
Upon disembarkation, passengers with flights departing before 2.00 pm will be directly transferred to Ushuaia Airport. Those fortunate enough to be extending their travels in this breathtaking region will be taken to their post-voyage Ushuaia accommodation. Passengers with flights after 2.00 pm will have the opportunity to explore Ushuaia before an afternoon airport transfer, the details of which will be provided onboard before disembarkation.
Note: At the conclusion of the expedition, we advise against scheduling flights departing from Ushuaia before 12.00 pm to account for potential delays.