ANTARCTICA - last two berths available DEC 6th-16th

THE UNKNOWN SOUTH

buffalo serengeti national park

Every Expedition to Antarctica- is an voyage of discovery. 

lion in migration corridor between tarangire and serengeti

Many of you know that I am a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. One day I walked into the Society and by chance, found the exhibition honouring Sir Ernest Shackleton’s monumental Antarctic Expedition.  He and his men were trapped on the ice, and yet they made their escape - sailing to South Georgia.

This inspired me to look into visiting the Antarctic. How was it done, who did it- and what was the best way.

So when I bumped into Rima and Henrik from Oceanwide expeditions it seemed like fate. What is more, Oceanwide Expeditions, are the only organisation that I know of which offer Scuba Diving in the Antarctic. 

A century after Sir Ernest Shackleton had his adventures on the Antarctic Ice, we  are planning our own adventure on the MV Ortelius. Due to last minute cancellations, we now have access to the most amazing rate of $7050 per person for a polar voyage in a TWIN SHARE CABIN!

This will be voyage number  OTL24-17, Polar Circle - Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands DEPART Ushuaia December 6th- return December 16th. 

There are two sides to this expedition. The first is the MV Ortelius which sails from Ushuaia to the Polar Circle and returns. Around one hundred passengers will come on this voyage in order to explore the Islands and inlets of the western shores of the Antarctic Peninsula. After crossing the Drake Passage (named after another wonderful English Explorer) the main body of the hundred will climb into rubber dinghies twice a day and explore the land and ice. Everything is included, all landings tours and treks.In addition to the shore parties,  small group of Kayakers will paddle off to explore in their craft. (this is additional) The kayakers generally Kayak all week. This is an adventure in itself

 

 

Tarangire wildlife lodge

 

VOYAGE TO THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

 

Pre departure:

Before we depart, Cisca and I will be in Buenos Aires to see the sights, do a few tours and explore. The city is famous for its culture, life, fire, steaks and wine. We welcome you to join us

Itinerary:     Day 1 DECEMBER 06 2017

In the afternoon we board the MV Ortelius in Ushuaia and set sail for the south.

In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Day 2 - 3: Steaming at sea. We head South to the  Antarctic Peninsula where we cross the Antarctic Convergence.

During the two day crossing we sail across the Drake Passage.

When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Petrels, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels.

Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs. The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait between Robert Island and Greenwich Island or McFarlane Strait between Greenwich Island and Livingston Island. It all depends upon the conditions being favourable.

We might be able to enter Antarctic coastal waters in the late evening of the third day and see Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands. If the conditions do not allow us to manoeuvre through the English Strait then we continue sailing South of Livingston. These volcanic islands or the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures.

There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and southern Giant Petrels.

Day 4 - 9: Steaming / trekking/ Kayaking around the islets and landing areas of the Antarctic Peninsula.

We will see Gentoo Penguins, Chinstraps and southern Giant Petrels, as well as Elephant Seals

We may start our first day in Antarctica with a landing at Hannah Point, where we will find a nice variety of Gentoo Penguins, Chinstraps and southern Giant Petrels, as well as Elephant Seals hauling out on the beach. At Deception Island is a sub ducted crater, which opens into the sea creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Petrels and many Kelp Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns.

Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. On our way further South we call at Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island. It contains a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. 

In Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent.Elephant in the serengeti Tarangire corridor

We shall have the opportunity for zodiac cruise between the icebergs in the inner parts of the amazing water way of Paradise Bay. We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island offering Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags.

We also try to land at Pléneau Island with a fair chances to encounter Humpback and Minke Whales. Overnight we head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, and cross the Polar Circle in the morning.

We aim to make a landing at the abandoned British station on Detaille Island which is likely to be our furthest south. The landscape is very impressive with very high mountains and huge glaciers. We may reach the Fish Islands on the way northwards were we encounter one of the southernmost Adélie Penguin and Blue-eyed Shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Sailing north again we pass to the south shetland  Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where we may encounter Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals and whales

Day 10 - 11: Steaming North to  Ushuaia

On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 12: End Ex. DEC 16th 2017 We disembark in the morning in Ushuaia.

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast.

An optional night in a hotel to compare notes on dry land, enjoy fresh food and have a final dinner to catch up and share images.

At this point there are optional additions of exploring Patagonia. 

 

 

RATES PER PERSON 

$5750 Quadruple porthole   -sold out

$ 6500 Triple Porthole  - sold out

$ 7050 Twin Porthole  AVAILABLE LAST TWO!!

$ 7500Twin window/ $7900 Twin Deluxe/ $8550 Superior

Kayaking Addition $480

Booking and bank transfer Fee $150 pp.

 

ALL OF THIS IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE 

  • 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.
  • Free use of rubber boots on Ortelius
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • 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.

NOT INCLUDED 

Any airfare flights etc whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel in Ushuaia; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is a condition of booking); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines are- $10 a day per passenger).