Luxury Antarctica Whale Science Voyage 14 DaysAboard: Island Sky
Special Update: We are delighted to announce that that the British Broadcasting Channel has confirmed that a BBC film crew will be joining this voyage to gather footage for their Blue Planet Live series. Be among the lucky few to participate in this exciting project and be part of TV history.
Join the BBC, Annette Bombosch, PhD, and numerous other special guests for a unique 14-day expedition focusing on Marine Mammals. Together with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the world’s leading independent non-profit organization dedicated to ocean research, you will have the exclusive opportunity to join an entire team of scientists and participate in a major study of Antarctica and the marine mammals that reside here.
As the Antarctic summer comes to a close in March, migratory whale species like the Humpback are very active, socializing and feeding in preparation for the long journey ahead. Resident whale species like the Minke and Orca are abundant, and we stand a good chance of encountering Southern Right whales and some of the larger pelagic species. Leopard seals are also very busy in March, hunting naïve penguin chicks as they mature, develop their waterproof feathers, and make their first journeys to the sea.
You will see all this action close-up; from Zodiacs, on shore landings, and from the deck and observation platform of Island Sky. Photographers and videographers will have ample opportunities to capture stunning images, and those of us with scientific interests will be thrilled to work with the Citizen Science team, contributing data and images to the research projects, as well as taking part in seabird surveys and helping to collect salinity samples and weather data.
- Sail alongside a BBC film crew as they gather footage for their forthcoming Blue Planet Live series
- Unique opportunity to join a full team of scientists to participate in a major study of Antarctica's marine mammals populations
- Spectacular scenery
- Amazing avian and marine wildlife
- Historical associations
- Exciting camping and kayaking options
- Onboard photography coach
- Two nights pre-expedition hotel accommodation
- Transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Welcome & farewell cocktail
- Free tea & coffee 24hrs
- Complimentary expedition parka
- Use of rubber boots
- Zodiac excursions and shore landings
- Programme of expert lectures, study updates and panel discussions
- Onboard photography coach
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Antarctica adventure for you.
With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Zoe knows exactly what’s needed to craft a holiday of a lifetime. Her experience and generosity of spirit are legendary and she’ll help you build an itinerary that will make all your dreams come true.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today. You’ll be staying at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Explore the trails, take a spa, relax and soak in the surroundings, or head into Ushuaia and browse the Argentinean leather markets. An optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning.
You can also avail of an optional extra night’s stay at the Arakur free of charge before your itinerary begins. Please enquire for full details.
This morning, we’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. On board, we’ll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, we’ll relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
As we make our way ever closer to the white continent, our Expedition Team and Marine Mammal experts will be out on deck and on the bridge, looking for the whales and dolphins that may be seen as we travel south. They will prepare us with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history, including helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety. Eventually, we’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.
The length of our journey depends on sea conditions, but we should approach the South Shetland Islands in the evening of Day 4. We will keep especially keen watch for Pelagic whales as we approach the nutrient rich upwelling areas of the Continental Shelf.
Antarctica - South Shetland Islands
Exploring the South Shetland Islands, we may visit Half Moon Island with its stunning backdrop of mountainous and glaciated Livingston Island. Or perhaps we will sail the ship into an active volcano with an opportunity to take a dip in the relatively balmy waters that surround Deception Island. Bransfield Strait, once the site of an abandoned whaling station, gives us an excellent chance to see whales, who often return to its rich waters.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, our Expedition Leader, Captain, and Marine Mammal experts will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and previous sightings to maximize our whale watching opportunities, while also exploring some of the lesser travelled areas of the Peninsula. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels, with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. Throughout your time here the in-depth scientific study will be carried out and guests will be welcome to participate in a number of elements of this important research.
Antarctica - Further South
Heading further South, we will be sure to explore the Gerlache Strait and its surrounding channels and islands. This may include trips to 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. 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.
At this time of year, most areas have amazing marine mammal viewing opportunities with Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors during this season and Orca sightings are also common.
As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.
A view from Above
Island Sky is an established and popular small ship with high quality fixtures and fittings throughout. There are just 57 suites, all with outside views and each with sitting room, en-suite shower room, mini-fridge, TV/DVD, telephone, dressing gown, slippers, etc. The main lounge is where daily briefings and lectures are held. It has modern presentation equipment which also allows guests to view these within their cabin if preferred. Other areas include a bar with 24 hour tea & coffee, library, dining room, hot tub Jacuzzi, hairdresser and clinic as well as plenty of open deck area. The ship has an open bridge policy.
we work hard to earn passionate reviews from our clients.
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!Dave Martin
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.Dr Lorna Mairs
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.Mr J Borg, Malta
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