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About the Antarctic Circle Expedition Cruise Itinerary
These voyages combine the splendor of the Antarctica Peninsula voyages with a specific goal – to get to 66 degrees 33.7′ South. These Antarctic expeditions offer you the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula and very few travelers have ever been so far south. By crossing the Antarctic Circle, you will experience seldom visited iceberg graveyards and scientific bases on this southern expedition. You’ll enjoy more time for communing with penguins and visits to less-frequented landing sites. In brief:
- Extend your time in Antarctica and make landings in less frequented sites south of the Antarctic Circle;
- Incredible icebergs
- Millions of penguins – Adélie, gentoo, chinstrap
- 5 species of seals – crabeater, Weddell, leopard, fur and southern elephant
- Whales – humpback, minke, orca
- Visit historic research stations in the area of Marguerite Bay
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Today is the first day of your adventure in the world’s southernmost city at the tip of Argentina. Embark on your Antarctic cruise in the afternoon. Start to become familiar with the expedition staff and ship. In the early evening, set sail and begin the voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
Day 2-3: Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as you get ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere on board as our numerous Polar experts prepare you for your adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, cross the Antarctic Convergence where you will notice a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, 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.
Days 4-8: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, the goal is to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. The first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay. Given favorable ice conditions, the captain will push our exploration even further southward, looking for historic and wildlife sites. From the most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), we will make our way north along the Antarctic Peninsula, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula. Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, the Lemaire Channel, the Neumeyer Channel and the Gerlache Strait will all feature in the itinerary. Landing sites might include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay, Petermann Island and the Yalours, where you will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as an abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of the comical Adelie penguin.
At Half Moon Island you will visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. The team also hopes to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to spot orcas and Minke whales as the trip goes. The expedition staff plan on walking ashore on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbour or Neko Harbour. Although it will not be your first glimpse of the Antarctic, a walk ashore on the Continent will evoke emotions to carry with you for the rest of your life. The scenery here is amazing. In particular the oddly shaped icebergs looking like sculptures, as well as the colossal ‘tabular’ icebergs that break away from the continent’s ice shelf. Expect to feel transformed as you experience twilight from the very bottom of the planet.
Days 9-10: Crossing the Antarctic Circle
By this point in your Antarctic adventure, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like bergy bits and pancake ice will seem normal, yet there are still many tales to be told. Enjoy Antarctica tourism as we head north, with Zodiac excursions filling your days. Your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations while giving you time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced.
Days 11-12: Drake Passage
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, time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, celebrate the conclusion of the Polar expedition at a special dinner.
Day 13: Ushuaia
In the early morning, 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.
Welcome Aboard the Ocean Endeavour
Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable, well-appointed small expedition ship expertly engineered to explore the Polar Regions. The ship has an ice-strengthened hull, zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, generous deck space and advanced navigation equipment.
The ship offers a superb guest experience with a nautical lounge, two restaurants, sundeck, and plenty of deck space for observation of polar landscapes, and lounges for learning and reflection. The ship’s interiors have a contemporary aesthetic that provides a bright and spacious feel to the cabins and common spaces.
Endeavour is focused on health and wellness. From the newly-built saunas, to the pool, gym, hot tub and wellness café with a juice bar, the ship will offer guests onboard services and amenities that will enhance their Polar expedition experience. The ship also has a Polar Boutique, where guests can buy gifts as well as gear they might need for the voyage.
- Guests: 199
- Staff & Crew: 124
- Length: 137 meters
- Draft: 5.6 meters
- Ice Class: 1B
- Cruising speed: 15 knots
- Lifeboats: 6 fully enclosed
Cabins & Amenities
- Two restaurants
- Nautical lounge
- Polar library
- Newly built saunas and spa facilities
- Wellness café
- Lecture Theatre
- Polar Boutique
- Sundeck and plenty of deck space for observation
- Cruise Price does not include international airfare. Port charges are included. All cabins are outside, with two lower beds and private shower and toilet. Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
- Single cabin prices are 1.7 times the cost of the appropriate twin-share prices listed above except for superior and above which are 2x the price listed above.
- Snowshoeing (included)
- Zodiac Cruising (included)
- Kayaking (additional charge)
- Stand-up Paddleboarding (additional charge)
- Camping (additional charge)
- Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
- Shipboard accomodation with daily housekeeping
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
- Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
- An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person
- Pre-night hotel in Ushuaia with breakfast included
- Group transfer to hotel upon arrival in Ushuaia