With tabular icebergs and pack ice to the horizon, the Weddell Sea shares its secrets reluctantly. Consider stories of Nordenskjold and Shackleton, then join our ice-experienced Russian captain and crew, our knowledgeable expedition staff and like-minded adventurers on a voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula’s wild side. It’s home to some of the world’s largest Adélie penguin rookeries, a repository of exquisite Gondwana fossils and seldom visited landings. We also visit top sites along the Peninsula’s west coast..
After boarding Polar Pioneer in Ushuaia mid-afternoon, we set sail along the Beagle Channel then turn south.
As we cross the Drake Passage, the temperature begins to fall. We are busy with lectures and safety briefings in preparation for our first landing.
By mid-afternoon we should be in iceberg waters. If all goes well we may encounter our first penguin on one of the South Shetland Islands.
In the early hours of the morning we hope to be among the towering corridors of icebergs in Antarctic Sound. A narrow passage, alive with penguins, guards the entrance to the Weddell Sea.
Day 5 – 7
Three days of exploring in the whale – and seal -rich Weddell Sea, where our activities will be controlled by the movement of ice. Huge glaciers pour down between the mountains from the polar plateau, and the surface of the ocean is covered with plates of ice the size of city blocks. One of our aims is to visit the fossil-rich shores of Seymour Island.
Day 8 – 9
We plan to visit the beautiful western flanks of the Antarctic Peninsula, exploring the Gerlache Strait, Neumayer Channel, and Paradise Harbour.
Day 10 – 11
We will cross the Drake Passage with magnificent albatrosses in our wake. The last shipboard lectures give us time to polish our Antarctic education before making a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn, weather permitting.
We cruise up the Beagle Channel in the early morning before docking in Ushuaia. We farewell new found friends, some transferring to hotels with time to explore the town, others continuing their travels in South America or heading home.*
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Embark: March 04, 2011 (Ushuaia)
Disembark: March 15, 2011 (Ushuaia)
Duration: 11 nights/12 days
Cabin: Quadruple private
*Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.