Experience the mysterious sixth continent, Antarctica on this tour & cruise. No place on earth compares to this remote paradise of snow, ice, water and rocks. After spending ten nights on board your vessel exploring this wonderful part of the world, we are certain that you will leave Antarctica with a completely different perspective than when they arrived. It is simply breathtaking and on this comfortable adventure aboard an Expedition Ship you will have a front row seat to view one of the last hide-outs in the world. This once in a lifetime experience will exceed your expectations and create visual memories that will last a lifetime. This journey will take you on an exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula where you will encounter colossal icebergs and ice landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see. Hardy adventurers or those with a yen for history have the chance to camp out on the ice overnight and feel the thrill similar to the explorers who first found this mysterious continent.
Cruise Departure Dates:
aboard Akademic Sergey Vavilov: 2014: Feb 24, Mar 6,16, Dec 10 /// 2015: Jan 27, Mar 6
aboard Akademic Ioffe: 2014: Dec 8,18 //// 2015: Jan 21, Mar 5
Welcome aboard!Take some time to get settled in to your cabin, and explore the length of the ship.
Enjoy a shared transfer from your hotel to the port.
In the early evening, you set sail and begin your voyage leaving behind Ushuaia, and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as you make your way ever closer to the white continent. You'll eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as the numerous Polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history.
Eventually, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence where you'll notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, you will witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species some of which are known on occasion to fully breach from the sea.
A chain of islands located north and on the ‘weather’ side of the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands are known for their more maritime climate and an abundance of wildlife. You'll cruise these volcanic islands in search of chinstrap penguin rookeries, perhaps the wafting ‘steam’ of a Southern Elephant seal wallow or perhaps the signs of exploration left on the beaches in the form of tri-pots and abandoned whaling stations. The crew hopes to make a visit to Deception Island, with a goal of visiting the chinstrap penguin rookery at Baily Head. If weather precludes this, you will attempt a landing inside this active volcanic caldera.
At about 25 nautical miles long and about 10 nautical miles wide, the Antarctic Sound separates Joinville Island from the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As you sail into the sound, you will look to our starboard and the vastness of the Antarctic icecap, imagining the sweeping katabatic (gravity-driven) winds that this region is famous for.
Enjoy another day in Antarctica Peninsula and get ready to be dazzled. The abundance of wildlife here is truly extraordinary including five seal species, massive penguin rookeries of gentoo, Adélies and chinstraps as well as a profusion of seabirds from albatross to skuas. It is nature you will experience up close and personal on frequent excursions inland.
Planned excursions may include Paulet Island, Brown Bluff and even the southerly Snow Hill Island, where you will observe Weddell and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as a shocking abundance of penguins.
Enjoy a hiking tour in Antarctica. Imagine standing high up on a slope, overlooking an ice-filled bay. Wind riffles the surface of the bay, kayaks glide across it. You turn to your partner and smile as you realize that Antarctica was everything that you had imagined it would be. Images of snow, ice, mountains and glaciers dominate our ideas of what we will experience on a voyage to Antarctica. You will introduce you to a new view of Antarctica!
Join us in an optional activity. Imagine the swish of water is it passes your hull, or the clack of brash ice against your paddle blade. Sea kayaking in Antarctica allows you to experience another side of this magnificent destination. Even the smallest piece of brash ice requires a navigation decision that you as skipper of your own little boat will be required to make. Bumping through the ice, gliding across a glassy bay with the mountains and glaciers reflected in the water, or dodging a raft of porpoising penguins are experiences shared by sea kayakers in Antarctica. With a combined role of safety and interpretation, they will guide and introduce you to a slower paced, quieter Antarctica. The kayak excursions will be offered in conjunction with the Zodiac excursions whenever weather conditions permit. Kayak Guides and Adventure Concierges will help to explain the choices of activities at each landing site and provide some suggestions on what to participate in, based on your own interests.
As you leave this magical place and make your way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, you have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days.
Enjoy your last night on the ship. Share your experience with your fellow travellers or simply relax while you return to Ushuaia. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, you celebrate the conclusion of your polar expedition at a special dinner.
In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.
The Akademik Sergey Vavilov ship, Scandinavian-built for the Russian Academy of Science, was designed to travel quietly during hydro-acoustic research. Up to 107 guests can be accommodated aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov, each cabin providing an outside position and exterior view. This ship is maneuverable yet exceptionally stable, as external stabilizers and a built-in trimming system provide necessary stability. Akademik Sergey Vavilov has an ice-strengthened hull and a cruising speed in open water of 14.5 knots. The ship is outfitted with fully enclosed lifeboats, ship-to-shore communications via satellite, platform for optional kayaking & camping, a fleet of Zodiacs, panoramic observation lounge, clinic with licensed doctor, and an elevator between decks 1 and 5.
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