Renowned for colossal icebergs, perpetual sea ice, and its historic link to Shackleton's Endurance expedition, the Weddell Sea promises unparalleled exploration. Join an authentic Antarctic expedition exploring both the western Antarctic Peninsula and the challenging eastern Weddell Sea, known for formidable pack ice and breathtaking tabular icebergs.
Upon arriving in Punta Arenas, a representative will meet you for a transfer to the hotel. Aim to arrive by 4.00 pm to attend an essential evening briefing. Visit the lobby hospitality desk between 10.00 am – 6.00 pm to collect luggage cabin tags, receive embarkation details, and get information about dining or last-minute purchases. Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas is a city with a rich history and cultural blend. Explore a mix of local and international cuisine at popular restaurants and bars (meals at your expense). At 7.00 pm, join a voyage briefing to confirm transfer times, discuss flight procedures to King George Island, and learn about IAATO regulations.
Accommodation: Hotel Cabo de Hornos (or similar)
In the morning, we'll transfer to Punta Arenas airport for a charter flight to King George Island in Antarctica, weather permitting. The flight takes about one hour and forty-five minutes. Upon arrival on King George Island, the expedition team will welcome you and prepare you for the Zodiac transfer to the vessel. You'll have time to settle into your cabin before essential safety briefings.
Note: King George Island, situated in the South Shetland Islands at the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula, is one of the most remote places on Earth. Safe take-off and landing require a clear sky with perfect visibility. In case of flight delays, a contingency plan will be implemented, prioritizing your safety. Apologies for any potential delays, and refer to the terms and conditions for detailed explanations.
Arriving in Antarctica is an indescribable experience - the sight of the first iceberg and inhaling the incredibly fresh air are moments to cherish. The western Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands await exploration, offering choices amidst 18-24 hours of daylight. The experienced expedition team, well-versed in Antarctic journeys, will craft your daily voyage based on weather, ice, and wildlife conditions.
Expect two daily landings or Zodiac excursions, exploring ice cliffs, grounded icebergs, and encountering whales, seals, and porpoising penguins. Shore visits include penguin rookeries, historic huts, and scenic spots. Optional activities and polar plunges, conditions permitting, add to the adventure. Cruise narrow straits, linger in bays, and relish the observation lounge or bridge for uninterrupted Antarctic views. The Weddell Sea, known for Shackleton's Endurance saga, boasts Antarctic Sound's iceberg alley, with fossil-rich islands and remarkable wildlife encounters, including Adélie penguins, blue-eyed shags, and various whale species.
Conclude your Antarctic adventure with a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before re-entering the Drake Passage for the return journey to South America. Engage in lectures, film presentations, and ample time to appreciate the magic of the Southern Ocean. Reflect on the Antarctic experience, becoming advocates for its conservation. As you approach the tip of South America, weather permitting, the Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn.
Conclude your expedition by cruising up the Beagle Channel in the early morning and docking in Ushuaia. Disembark around 8:00 am, bidding farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers. Passengers with flights departing before 14:00 will be transferred directly to Ushuaia Airport, while those continuing their travels will be transferred to post-voyage Ushuaia accommodation. Passengers flying after 14:00 can explore Ushuaia before an afternoon airport transfer, details provided onboard. For flexibility, it's advised not to book flights departing Ushuaia before 12:00 pm due to potential delays.