This Antarctic travel journey is the classic itinerary to the beautiful Antarctic Peninsula. It delivers everything you want: the huge tabular icebergs, hillsides covered with Gentoo, Adelie or Chinstrap penguins, whales and abundant marine life, a passage through the famed Lemaire Channel between towering blue bergs and more. This 11-day expedition will introduce you to the magic of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
Day 1 Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia at any time. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the world’s most southerly city. Arrival transfer is included. There will be a welcome desk in the lobby of the start hotel that will provide more specific information on the MS Expedition.
Day 2 Ushuaia/Drake Passage
Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia. Do any last minute shopping, explore the town or the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the MS Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel. Expedition travel can be full of surprises! While it is our intention of adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day onboard, the Expedition Leader will give an expedition overview outlining what the specific plans are for the trip.
Days 3–4 Drake Passage/South Shetland Islands
The adventure begins with a 800km (497mi) crossing of the passage named in honour of the 16th-century English sea captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake. Take in daily lectures from the expedition team and keep an eye out for the first sightings of icebergs, whales and albatross following in the Expedition’s wake. The M/S Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded never ending fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic. As the Expedition crosses the passage there will be time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where we meet our guides, ship’s crew and expedition staff. Begin lectures and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region
Days 5–8 South Shetland Islands/Antarctic Peninsula
Experience some of the most unique wildlife viewing and inspiring scenery in the world while setting foot on the Antarctic continent. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather permitting) and encounter Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. During the voyage, learn about the peninsula’s remarkable history. This is what we’ve all been waiting for – a chance to explore step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next 4 days the Expedition will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt two excursions per day while navigating through the area but the itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions. During the voyage, learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.
Days 9–10 Drake Passage/Ushuaia
Begin the journey north to the home port of Ushuaia. Review the highlights of the Antarctic experience with the lecturers and staff. Keep your eyes open on the observation deck for some last-minute whale sightings. Leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. In between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by the expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia. Remember, the best way to experience the wildlife of the Drake Passage is to be on deck keeping a look out for Albatross, Prions, and Whales!
Day 11 Ushuaia
Disembark the Expedition after breakfast. Transfer.