Antarctica With The Urban Birder
Antarctica Off The Beaten Track 13 days - With Guest Speaker David Lindo aboard Akademik Ioffe
Join us on this fantastic expedition with guest speaker "The Urban Birder" David Lindo. David rose to prominence in the birding world due to his memorable appearances on programmes such as The BBC’s Spring Watch & The One Show and he will be sharing his unique passion and knowledge of birding with fellow guests on this special expedition. The route taken will be a variation on the classic Antarctic Peninsula theme but with emphasis on adventure activities such as kayaking, camping, skiing and hiking. There are also photographic experts available to guide you through making the most of the amazing scenery and wildlife opportunities.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
Built in Finland in 1989 as a Russian polar research vessel, the Akademik Ioffe, now operating as One Ocean Navigator, is a comfortable, stable, ice-strengthened ship with all the facilities for modern expedition cruising. There is a mixture of suites and cabins, all with windows or portholes and some with private facilities. Public areas include dining room, lounge, bar, library with forward facing windows, multi-media room with Apple Mac computers and photo management software, presentation room, mud room, passenger lift and gift shop. There is also a wellness centre, sauna, spa, salt-water plunge pool, fitness room and infirmary. Along with plenty of open deck space, there is a top deck with 360degrees views and a small observatory with spotting scope. The ship has an open-bridge policy.
- Activity Options: Cross Country Skiing, Snow Shoeing, Photo Workshop, Camping on Ice, Kayaking
- Hotel stay pre expedition: 0 nights
- Hotel stay post expedition: 0 nights
- Tour start: 8th November 2016
- Embarkation Date: 8th November 2016
ITINERARY12 Nights 13 Days
- Day 1 | Ushuaia
- Days 2 - 3 | Drake Passage
- Days 4 - 10 | Antarctic Peninsula
- Days 11 - 12 | Drake Passage
- Day 13 | Ushuaia
Today is the first day of our adventure. As we board the vessel, in Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city at the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with'our home' for the next 13 days we cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead of us. In the early evening, we set sail and begin our voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.
Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as we make our way ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard, as our numerous Polar experts and educational professionals prepare us for our adventures with presentations and courses on everything Antarctic, from wildlife and history, to first aid and snow safety. Eventually, we will cross the Antarctic Convergence where we notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, we will witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species some of which are known on occasion to breach from the sea.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiacs to incorporate our expedition goals and marvel up close at nature's glory. Planned excursions may include Neko Harbour, Wilhelmina Bay and the southerly Petermann Island, where we will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as a shocking abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of the comical Adelie penguin.
Amongst these varied landing sites and extraordinary bays for cruising, we find ourselves delving into our expedition field photography program as well as our hiking, snow shoeing, sea kayaking, and ski touring. Using the weather as our guide, we endeavour to extend ourselves beyond the standard limits of expedition cruising itineraries. With a flexible hospitality team we are able to spend more time onshore in our chosen environment to meet all of our expeditionary goals.
Once alongside the peninsula we plan to launch our overnight kayaking experience for two nights away from the ship. After packing the kayaks with the necessary gear for our adventure we leave the ship and paddle into our chosen destination. Once we land we expect to spend about 2/3 hours stretching our legs and exploring. Some of you may ascend to a walk-able summit to take in the views, and massive icebergs in every direction. We also look for a possible campsite and assemble our tents for the wonderful experience of overnight kayak camping in Antarctica.
Specifics for our ski touring program will depend on weather and avalanche safety. With our focus on the experience rather than the number of penguins we see, we have the flexibility to take our time to launch our outdoor pursuits in the right area for the required length of duration. We envisage the ability to offer a couple of ski touring options throughout the time in Antarctica.
As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, we have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. This sailing time is optimal for reviewing your new-found 'field photography' skills and learning more from our onboard presentation staff and educational experts. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition with a special dinner onboard.
In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We had the time of our lives on board ship...if anybody wants to go to Antarctica, we will certainly advise to go with you.
Huge congratulations to you and all the team for the perfect organisation throughout the trip. From the early planning to the last transfer, everything went without a hitch.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
The adventure really was a 'trip of a lifetime' and we are so glad we tagged an extra day in Buenos Aires at either end and that we went Premium Economy, it made all the difference. The ship Sea Explorer was exactly as Simon had described and was very comfortable. South Georgia was the highlight but we were surprised how much wildlife there was to see on the Falklands and we might well book one of your nature trips to the Falklands in the future.
I want to thank you for all you did to make my recent Falklands trip run so smoothly and comfortably. Thank you for all your help over the diet too.
• I wanted to send you a quick thank you email. We had a fantastic trip, the boat, staff, scenery, itinerary, and pretty much everything else was incredible! Thank you so much for arranging the cabin upgrade, we were delighted to have our own room! We had a really brilliant time, and wanted to say thanks so much for being so helpful throughout, we're lucky to have found you.
We had a very special experience organized by you in Feb, especially the wedding in Antarctica and our stay in Patagonia. Thank you.
Many thanks for all you help with our polar trip which exceeded all expectations. We will certainly recommend your company and seriously consider yourselves for future trips.
I just want to thank you for all your help with my Ross Sea trip. It was really the trip of a lifetime & the ship & crew were excellent.
Overall I think that it was an excellent trip that was well worth the price paid and I would have no hesitation recommending your company to others.
I'm sure you get plenty of compliments, but I just want to follow up telling you what a great time we had on the MS Expedition Antarctica Classic cruise. We were very pleased with all of the staff, on the ground and on the ship. Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. We greatly appreciated their experience and expertise. Their very careful attention to all of the environmental rules and precautions should also be lauded. Thank you for all of your service and attention. If we're planning on one of the other regions that you serve, we'll definitely be in touch!!
We would like to thank you with all our heart for our fabulous trip. It was amazing. Everything was perfect. I recommend Antarctica and South America to everybody. Doing business with you was also a great experience. You are the best travel agent I ever met. I hope to have the chance to do business with you again in the future.
We've just got back from out trip to Patagonia and the Antarctic and want to say a big thank you to all of you at Wildfoot but specifically you, Tina and Sara, for organising our trip and sorting out all my queries before we went. You've all been thoroughly professional - and friendly with it. I always get concerned that hotels won't have received the booking, the air e-tickets won't be recognised or luggage ends up somewhere other that where we are, but I didn't need to worry as everything was well planned in advance and the various elements, air travel, two cruises, hotels etc, fitted seamlessly. You can take this as a 10 out of 10 satisfaction rating and recommendation for your company. You will certainly be my 'go to' provider if we ever do anything similar in the future. Thanks once again for our trip of a lifetime.
I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for your help with my trip. It was the best two weeks of my life! MS Expedition was amazing – their itinerary, their crew, their spirit. It was truly exceptional.One of the best things was how they arranged the rooms, I just had the best roommates and that really made a big difference to the trip. We got to see some fast ice and got out to walk on it – literally walking on the frozen sea. Amazing! I am saving for my next trip and I would not dream of going with anyone but you guys again. Good work! A dream very much come true.
I hope you’re well. I wanted to drop you a line to say we are back from Antarctica and had a wonderful time with Ponant. The trip exceeded our expectations in every respect, and I haven’t yet found enough superlatives to describe it to friends! Antarctica was breathtaking (as you know), and we loved pretty-much everything about Ponant. It was the perfect fit for us and I’m very grateful to you for taking the time to help with the booking. Having read the nightmares that Silversea have been having with the Silver Cloud, we felt lucky to be onboard Le Lyrial. Of course the only downside of a trip like this is we want to go back - best start saving now! Thanks again for all of your help and support with the booking process. Ponant was exactly as you described it. We have our eye on a couple of other cruises with them so I might be in touch soon.
Just a quick note to express my sincere thanks to you and all your staff for making this an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. Truly a mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken.
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