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Antarctic Circle Crossing

Written by Eva Stelzer. Posted in Antarctica

Antarctic Circle Crossing

Sail in comfort aboard the luxurious and Hebridean Sky. The 14-night expedition starts in Ushuaia at the tip of South America. Next, chart a course through the Drake Passage and along the Antarctic Peninsula and finally crossing the Antarctic Circle.

Our aim is to cross the Circle before getting stopped by the sea ice. Should we arrive at 66°33’S, we will become members of very small band of explorers and adventurous travelers who have made it this far south. Become one of those expedition travellers on this transformative and awe-inspiring journey. This expedition is offered in conjunction with Polar Lattitudes.

Details in brief

Trip Length 15 days/14 nights
Start/Finish Ushuaia/Ushuaia
Walk Rating Moderate
Included All meals on board the Expedition. All breakfasts in Ushuaia
Hotels Luxury Eco resort in Ushuaia and luxury expedition ship
Price * Call for pricing
Recommended 2-3 night pre-tour in Buenos Aires

Departure December, January, February

Highlights

  • Explore the ice fields of the earth’s southern most continent.
  • Discover the world and wild life in the true south of glacial icebergs.
  • Understand the importance of respecting the planet that is our home and in preserving the environment.
  • A mesmerizing view of a natural habitat that we rarely glimpse.
  • Watch floating castles of ice glisten in the warmth of the austral sun.
  • Experience what centuries of explores who have been captivated by the ice have seen.
  • Learn from our on-board naturalist guides who will share the culture and life cycle of penguins, seals, and other animals that are part of this unique and exceptional habitat.

Day 1 Monday, February 12 Ushuaia

Day 1 is an arrival day in Ushuaia. You may choose our complimentary flexible arrival program and arrive up to 24 hours in advance. Our program includes one night stay at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The day offers an opportunity to explore the trails, pamper yourself at the spa, relax and soak in the surroundings, or a visit in the town of Ushuaia where you can browse the Argentinean leather markets. Take advantage of our optional evening briefing where you can ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning.

Day 2 Tuesday, February 13 Embarkation

In the morning you have time to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. On board, you’ll be greeted by the Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the scenery as you sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.

Day 3 Wednesday, February 14 and Day 4 Thursday, February 15 Drake Passage

As you make your way ever closer to the white continent, numerous Polar Experts will prepare you with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence and a distinct drop in temperature as you enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.

Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in Sea Bird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. You’re likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species.  If we’re lucky, we may see some of them fully breach from the sea.

Day 5 Friday, February 16 and Day 6 Saturday, February 17 Shetland Islands

Anthonys penquin marchExplore in the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula. Using inflatable Zodiac boats offers a chance to get up close and marvel nature’s glory. Our expedition leader and captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The goal is to explore the most scenic bays and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies, and whale feeding areas; as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.

Your first sight of land will likely be that of the South Shetland Islands. These highly volcanic islands offer amazing abundance and beauty. We may visit Half Moon Island nestled inside Livingston’s eastern shore, or conditions permitting visit historic Deception Island. Being further north, sub-Antarctic species are more commonly found here, including Chinstrap penguins and Southern Elephant seals.

Days 7 to 9,  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, February 18, 19, 20 Antarctic Circle

 

As we head south across the Bransfield Strait, we sail towards the Antarctic Circle. From our most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), we will make our way back north, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, the living museums of Detaille, or Horseshoe Island are some of the less visited places of the Antarctic Peninsula that our expedition may see. These waters are significantly further south making sea ice more common. The ice ultimately directs what adventures we will have in these lesser travelled waterways as the expedition has to follow the open waters between the floating sea of ice.

Days 10 to 12, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, February 21, 22, 23 Antarctic Peninsula

-PAXP-deijEImage may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, mountain, nature, outdoor and waterHeading north we enter Gerlache Strait and Trinity Coast. Here we may explore picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. Depending on weather and ice condition, we may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.

Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell and Crabeater seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.

Day 13 Saturday February 24 and Day 14 Sunday, February 25 Drake Passage

As you leave the magic of the Antarctic Peninsula and make our way north across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, our exploration team will continue their presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.

Day 15 Monday, February 26 Ushuaia

Disembarkation

Call for pricing

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