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Antarctica Aboard the M/V Plancius
Classic Antarctica With Deception Island
This Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety of wildlife. Come say hello to whales, seals, and thousands of penguins.
Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed â€śThe End of the World,â€ť and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence â€“ Antarcticaâ€™s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas â€“ you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilsonâ€™s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.
Sites you may visit include:
Danco Island â€“ Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that can be found nearby.
Neko Harbour â€“ An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
Paradise Bay â€“ You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where thereâ€™s a good chance youâ€™ll encounter humpback and minke whales.
Port Lockroy â€“ After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station â€“ now a museum and post office â€“ of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for camping here, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore.
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: Thereâ€™s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptuneâ€™s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels â€“ along with kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape.
As an alternative, you may be able to engage in activities near Half Moon Island. Here chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near CĂˇmara Base, an Argentine scientific research station. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, youâ€™re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. Itâ€™s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Price IncludesFree Use of Rubber Boots for Excursions
Port Charges & Tax
Services of Expedition Guides
Conferences and Shipboard Entertainment
All Ferry Crossings
Entrances Per Itinerary
Accommodations in Select Cabin Category
Transfer from Ship to Airport on Disembarkation
Price Does Not IncludeBaggage, Cancellation and Personal Insurance (which Is Mandatory).
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