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Antarctica - Polar Circle
Crossing the Polar Circle
This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.
End of the world, start of a journey
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.
Path of the polar explorers
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.
Days 4 - 9 At SeaOn Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
Sights of late summer Antarctica
Options for Antarctic Peninsula activities are many, and no less great during the late summer. Humpback whales are prolific in this region, gorging themselves on krill before their migration north. The penguin chicks are also fledging, stirring up activity on the beaches while sleek leopard seals lie in wait, poised to attack the less fortunate ones.
Sites for your Antarctic adventures may include:
Livingston Island â€“ Here you find a wide variety of gentoo and chinstrap penguins on Hannah Point, as well as southern giant petrels and elephant seals hauling out onto the beach.
Deception Island â€“ Actually a subducted crater, this island opens into the sea and creates a natural harbor for the ship. Hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and multiple bird species â€“ cape petrels, kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns â€“ can be seen here. Wilsonâ€™s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.
Cuverville Island â€“ A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and RongĂ© Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas.
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. You might also be able to set foot on the continent here.
Paradise Bay â€“ You could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales.
PlĂ©neau & Petermann Islands â€“ If the ice allows it, you may sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of AdĂ©lie penguins and blue-eyed shags. Thereâ€™s also a good chance youâ€™ll encounter humpback and minke whales as well as leopard seals.
Crystal Sound â€“ Your journey takes you south along the Argentine Islands to this ice-packed body of water, and from here across the Polar Circle in the morning.
Detaille Island â€“ You may make a landing at an abandoned British research station here, taking in the islandâ€™s lofty mountains and imposing glaciers.
Fish Islands â€“ Further north you encounter one of the southernmost AdĂ©lie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Melchior Islands â€“ These islands offer a beautiful landscape rich with icebergs. Leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales are found here, and there are excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Familiar seas, familiar friends
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.
Day 12 UshuaiaMeals: Breakfast
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: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Plancius is 10.5 knots.
Price IncludesVoyage Aboard the Designated Vessel As Indicated in the Itinerary.
Meals As Mentioned
Free Use of Rubber Boots and Snow Shoes
Program of Lectures
Luggage Transfer from Pick-up Point to the Vessel on the Day of Embarkation
All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program.
Comprehensive Pre-Departure Material
Price Does Not IncludeAir
Pre- and Post Land Arrangements.
Government Arrival and Departure Taxes.
Baggage, Cancellation and Personal Insurance (which Is Strongly Recommended
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