Quest for the Antarctic Circle
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This exciting Antarctic journey provides a modern twist on a much loved classic, combining flights and an expedition cruise to the Antarctic Circle. For a relatively short voyage, this trip packs a serious punch and offers fantastic scenery, wildlife, historic and scientific interest.
- Fly to Stanley in the Falkland Islands, a charming British town
- Visit classic locations such as Petermann Island and the iceberg ‘graveyard’ at Pleneau Island
- Transit the Lemaire Channel and make a continental landings in the South Shetland Islands for outstanding hiking opportunities
- Explore on shore by foot, observing wildlife colonies, visiting historic huts and science bases, photograph icebergs, penguins, sea and bird life and the incredible landscapes
- From King George Island in Antarctica fly back to Punta Arenas, Chile, saving more than two days crossing back to South America
2018 & 2019 Departures:
Akademik Sergey Vavilov
2018: December 29
2019: February 09
2019: January 12
2018 & 2019 Pricing:
US$11,195 – Triple
US$13,195 to $13,295 – Twin Semi-Private
US$14,295 – Twin Private
US$14,995 – Superior
US$16,495 – Shackelton Suite
US$18,095 to $18,195 – One Ocean Suite
Single Prices: Single travellers willing to share with another traveller of the same gender pay the per person, twin price (not applicable in triple cabins or suites). Single-use of cabin rates are 1.5X the per person twin rate for cabins (not available in the Triple category or suites); 2X the per person twin rate for single occupancy in a suite.
Kayaking Option US$795
Prices are shown in US$, per person, based on three people sharing a triple cabin, two people sharing a twin cabin and one person in a single.
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Our journey commences this morning in Punta Arenas. Here we board our 90 minuted flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is home to 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a charming rural town in coastal Britain, with brightly coloured houses, flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There will be time to explore the town before embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we cast off, bound for Antarctica, and the adventure of a lifetime.
This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day our on-board experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. If we enjoy good sailing conditions crossing to Antarctica, we may include a visit to the very historic location of Elephant Island – a place central to the Shackleton story.
This morning we awaken to the snowy landscape of King George Island, the largest in the South Shetlands group. There are two landing sites here – a visit depends on weather conditions. In the afternoon we continue our journey south, navigating into the broad expanse of the Bransfield Strait. This is an important migration corridor for wildlife, and we keep a lookout for whales. Large icebergs will be present from this point onwards and make for striking photographs. By morning, the towering mountain peaks of the Antarctic continent loom into view. We aim to make landfall around Wilhelmina Bay. This is a truly remarkable location, where we often encounter large pods of humpback whales as we cruise in the Zodiacs.
We encourage you to spend time on the outer decks soaking up the scenery as we navigate south. We pass through the ice strewn waters making our way towards out ultimate objective, the Antarctic Circle. Given favorable ice conditions, our first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Crystal Sound. A favored landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut from the 1950’s. This region marks our turnaround point and we return in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of theAntarctic Peninsula. We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn something of the important climate-related research happening here, and if the conditions allow, we will give you the opportunity to camp overnight onshore, a truly memorable experience. Petermann Island is home to an Adelie penguin rookery. The smallest of the Antarctic penguins, Adelies nest here and share the location with Gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants. Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Massive icebergs run aground in the shallows and constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastical shapes. For many, a Zodiac cruise here may well be a highlight of the voyage.
We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica itself. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. By morning we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is where Australian aviation pioneer, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour. This is another great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition.
This morning we are anchored off King George Island. We transfer to the airstrip for the two-hour flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile. On arrival, a transfer is provided to downtown hotel.
- Charter flights from Punta Arenas to Stanley, Falkland Islands and from King George Island to Punta Arenas
- Voyage aboard either the Akademik Sergey Vavilov as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Return airfare to/from Punta Arenas, Chile
- Taxes, fees and airline surcharges
- Sea kayaking – US$795
- Gratuities to ship personnel
- Items of a personal nature
- Travel insurance (mandatory emergency evacuation coverage)
Safety always comes first and that means weather, ice, wildlife, political or other conditions may require us to modify the itinerary as we go. We consider this half the intrigue of Polar exploring. Every expedition we undertake is a little different. It may mean we have to cancel certain landings and shore excursions if conditions are not suitable, but we always find other fun things to do! Polar exploring is not predictable which is one of the many reasons we think it is so special.
Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.