Antarctica + Weddell Sea Adventure aboard the classic <i>mv Ushuaia</i>
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Antarctica + Weddell Sea Adventure aboard the classic mv Ushuaia

Starting at $9,699


Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Accomodations

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This 13-day Antarctica cruise is a must for history buffs! Aboard our nimble Polar expedition vessel, you’ll venture to the South Shetland Islands and along the Antarctic Peninsula into the iceberg-filled Weddell Sea. Thrill to breathtaking natural scenery, observe amazing wildlife, and learn about some of history’s most dramatic Polar expeditions like the Swedish Expedition of 1901.

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Map for Antarctica + Weddell Sea Adventure aboard the classic <i>mv Ushuaia</i>


Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Day 1 - Welcome to Ushuaia
On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the 5-star Arakur Resort & Spa.

Day 2 - Into Tierra del Fuego and on to Our Ship
This morning’s guided tour explores the pristine forests, waterways and mountains of spectacular Tierra del Fuego National Park. Traveling all the way to Lapataia Bay, you’ll have a chance to observe indigenous species as you learn about the region’s unique geology, flora and fauna. Return to port and board the mv Ushuaia. Settle in to your cabin, meet your expedition staff of leaders, guides and lecturers, and get acquainted with our intimate Polar vessel as you set sail along the Beagle Channel   Meals B+D

Day 3 - Crossing the Drake Passage
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, your expedition lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The Ushuaia’s unique open bridge policy allows you to join the ship’s officers on the bridge and to learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well. Meals B,L,D [Note: The daily cruise program outlined here for Day 4 through Day 10 is a sample itinerary only - to give you a general sense of the highlights that will unfold on this cruise. The exact course of your sea voyage will be determined by the ship’s Captain and Expedition Leader on a day-by-day basis based upon local conditions. Likewise, the waters you explore and the islands you will actually visit depend upon these same weather and sea conditions. Although we can assure you of a once-in-a-lifetime voyage filled with unforgettable sightings, experiences and encounters, your safety is the paramount concern of the captain and the entire ship’s staff.]

Day 4 - Continue through the Drake Passage
The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith. With favorable conditions during our crossing of the Drake Passage, our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with Antarctic penguins and seals today. Meals B,L,D

Day 5 - Rounding the Peninsula into the Remote Weddell Sea
This is where huge tabular icebergs roam. In some years, the Erebus & Terror Gulf and Weddell Sea are chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation. Get up early and go out on deck. It may be 3:30 h in the morning, but the sunrises will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Huge tabular bergs break from the Larsen, Ronne, and Filchner ice shelves and combine with one-year-old and multi-year sea ice to produce a floating, undulating panorama of rugged ice scenery. All-white Snow Petrels are likely to be coursing over the floes, often joined by Pintado Petrels. Meals B,L,D

Day 6 - The Antarctic Peninsula’s Remote Eastern Coast
The usual passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula traverses the Antarctic Sound, which is 30 miles (48 km) long and 7-12 miles (11-19 km) wide and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza, are located on the western side of the Sound. Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula’s Adélie Penguin population. Devil Island, Paulet Island and the already mentioned sites, might give us ample proof of this. The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. Sometimes juvenile Emperor Penguins have been sighted, riding ice floes but are by no means regular in the area. Meals B,L,D

Day 7 - Through the Weddell Sea
This region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay, Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega Island. Our expedition staff will be pleased to share their exciting story with you. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area. Meals B,L,D

Day 8 - Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula
As we continue along the Antarctic Peninsula’s western coast, you’ll likely experience the thrill and excitement that we imagine the early explorers felt. You will have plenty of time to explore the region’s amazing scenery - a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds, you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals - as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range!  Depending upon sea and ice conditions, we navigate some of the most beautiful waterways of the Southern Hemisphere: the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel and the Lemaire Channel – a narrow passage between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. With good conditions, you’ll make at least two landings per day, always joined by our experienced naturalist staff. Possible landing sites include Paradise Bay, on the Continent itself and one of the most aptly named places on earth, Cuverville Island (home to the biggest Gentoo penguin colony in the region) and the British Museum and Post Office at Port Lockroy. Meals B,L,D

Day 9 - The South Shetland Islands
Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. This volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make our time spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing - as is visiting the crescent-shaped Half Moon Island, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings. Meals B,L,D

Day 10 - Northward across the Drake Passage
Having left the Antarctic Peninsula behind us the night before, today finds the mv Ushuaia heading northward across the Drake Passage. Join our naturalists on deck or head to the bridge with the officers. Either way, keep your senses tuned for seabirds and whales.  Meals B+L+D

Day 11 - Cruising toward South America
Take advantage of this full day onboard to enjoy our final lectures and maybe another visit to the bridge. This evening’s congenial dinner offers a chance to share your experiences with your fellow passengers.  Meals B+L+D

Day 12 - Disembark + Explore Ushuaia
Step off in Ushuaia for your transfer to the airport for your onward journey.  Meals B

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