10 Nights / 11 Days
Day 1 - Ushuaia
Set sail from Ushuaia. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica – and the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2 - 3 Drake Passage towards Antarctica
Our days at sea are never dull. Much of our time is spent on the bridge or outer decks, scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. A profusion of seabirds delight us as they wheel and spin around the ship. We spend plenty of time with our onboard polar experts as they educate us on the wonders of the South Atlantic Ocean and Antarctic eco-systems. The history of early polar exploration is a popular theme. Perhaps you will pick up some valuable tips from our onboard photographic guide, learning about image composition, the subtle and soft polar light and all the basics of good camera craft. We will also learn about Polar conservation - a theme particularly close to the hearts of our One Ocean Expeditions’ guides and crew.
Days 4-7 Gerlache Strait and Antarctic Peninsula
The magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, will take a moment to pause and reflect on the immense power of Antarctica. Take a deep breath – you have arrived. The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves, inlets and numerous small islands. The landscape features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops are home to gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We frequently encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal, often found relaxing on an ice floe. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are found in sizeable numbers feeding on the rich krill blooms. Sightings of orca are not uncommon. We enjoy several days of exploration and our activity program is in full swing, allowing guests to choose how their adventure unfolds. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides, while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is a memorable activity and our sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship. Our photography guide will be on hand to help you with your camera handling, image composition and the peculiar light found in Antarctica.Planned excursions could include Cierva Cove, Danco Island, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favorite location and one where we frequently encounter playful humpback whales. Paradise Bay is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route providing stunning 360̊ degree views.
Day 8 - South Shetland Islands
After several busy days of exploration we head north across the Bransfield Strait, bound for 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 a very dramatic place and home to several penguin rookeries along the black sand beaches. History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden structures. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is an outstanding hike here, high up onto the rim of the crater. On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, and the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we often encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is a great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. Tonight we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.
Day 9-10 Return to Ushuaia
Day 11 Ushuaia