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This Antarctic cruise is almost the same as the Antarctica Classic Cruise aboard the MS Expedition, but it has the added benefit of being 2 days longer! This means there is even more time to enjoy the Antarctic Peninsula!
With vivid emerald, violet tints, intense blue and crimson light, the Antarctic is anything but a world of white desolation. This Antarctic Cruise is a true adventure to a world of immense scale and visual splendour. Passing huge icebergs in the flat calm of a polar morning will reshape the way you look at your world. Encounter huge whales, enormous rookeries of penguins and stunning landscapes few have ever witnessed.
This 13-day Antarctic Cruise will introduce you to the magic of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, and the many wonderful sights they both have to offer. Encounter leopard seals lazing on ice floes and immense rookeries of penguins surrounded by towering glaciers. The Expedition’s expert guides and lecturers offer knowledge and insights that really bring the nature and history of the region to life and serve to create an adventure of a lifetime.
Arrive Ushuaia Arrive into Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, at any time. Make your way to the hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure. Sitting on the shores of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia actually means 'the bay facing westward' in the language of the original Yamna inhabitants. Once a penal colony (the presidio was disbanded in the 1940s) for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals, Ushuaia is now a major tourist attraction, particularly for people such as ourselves cruising to Antarctica. The town of 40,000 is also offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina.
On day 2 you will board the expedition ship. You will have the morning free to do any last minute shopping, an optional excursion to Tierra Del Fuego National Park or a good hike up to the Marshall Glacier. The evening is spent on board the ship watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel. Please note that while it is our intention of adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.
On the first day on board, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview. Your ship will head out of the famous Beagle Channel and make its way over the infamous Drakes Passage towards the Antarctic Peninsula.
This is the day you get a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next 4 days you will be navigating southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. G Adventures' goal is to attempt 2 excursions per day, while they navigate through the area. But your itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that you encounter. The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife activity. Penguins gather with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and beaches, and numerous albatross and other seabirds trail in our wake.
There is plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. The Peninsula also has a remarkable history and, during the voyage, we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.
Keeping a lookout from the Bridge or the deck of the ship, as we thread our way along the continent, you'll feel the same sense of excitement as many of those early explorers. Antarctica is a continent of superlatives. It is the coldest, windiest, driest, iciest and highest of all the major landmasses in the world. It is the continent with the longest nights and the longest days and it is home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife. It is also one of the last true wilderness areas left on earth – largely unchanged since the early explorers and whalers first landed on its inhospitable shores less than two centuries ago.
The lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth, minus 89.2°C, was recorded on July 21, 1983, at Vostok Station. Winds have been recorded at 200 mph in the interior of the continent and the average annual water precipitation in the interior is only about 50 mm.
Thanks to the abundance of the small, shrimp like krill as the basis of the food chain, many species of whales make the water south of the Antarctic Convergence their summer home. Penguins have been grouped into 18 species and 6 genera, with most making their homes in Antarctica and the sub Antarctic islands, though others are native to the coasts of Australia, South Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands. Penguins are speedy and agile swimmers, but extremely slow on land.
The regions we visit aboard MS Expedition are inhabited by 6 different species including the giant King Penguin who can grow up to 1 metre in height (found only on South Georgia Island); the Adelie Penguin named after French explorer Dumont d’Urville’s wife; the Chinstrap Penguin identified by the distinctive black line connecting the black cap to below the chin; the Gentoo Penguin with its orange bill and white flash above and behind its eyes; and the Macaroni Penguin (Only on South Georgia Island) who number roughly 12 million and are easily identified by the orange tassels meeting between the eyes.
You will leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. In between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by the on board expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia.
Arrive back in Ushuaia and disembark the ship. Head to the airport for your onward flight.
Expedition: Pack your parka and climb aboard the M/S Expedition for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Led by a great team of naturalists, biologists, anthropologists and historians, you will cruise the world’s most remote coastlines and get up close with incredible wildlife and amazing scenery.
Light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels.
1. Please note: While it is G Adventures' intention of adhere to the route described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On your first day onboard, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.
2. Medical questionnaires are required for all passengers traveling to Antarctica.
3. Passengers booked in a Category 5 suite will receive a free Canada Goose jacket.
Max 132 on the M/S Expedition in Antarctica.
All meals included on board the ship. Breakfast included at the hotel.
Drinks and tips while on the ship are not included.
Onboard the MS Expedition you’ll find a diversity of gourmet, international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time.
There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub or the lounge.
M/S Expedition, Bus, and Zodiac.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). British passport holders do not require a visa to enter Argentina. Please speak to your Latin Routes Travel Specialist for up to date advice.
With a maximum of 136 passengers, the M/S Expedition provides an intimate small ship cruising experience for your Antarctic Cruise. Completely refurbished in 2009, she boasts spacious cabins, each featuring ocean-facing windows or portholes and all with private en-suite facilities. Large common areas and observation decks provide panoramic views of the distinctive landscapes of one of the most remote regions on earth. The ship also has some nice touches including a Sauna to warm up after an afternoon exploring and a large BBQ deck area at the back of the ship - weather permitting!
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