Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands 10 daysAboard: MV Ortelius
A classic Antarctic Peninsula adventure with the added attraction of a day spent in the scenic South Shetland Islands. On this voyage, expect not just spectacular scenery, but also amazing wildlife at sea, on land and ice and in the air.
- Spectacular scenery
- Penguins and other birdlife
- Marine mammals such as various whales and seals
- Historical sites
- Luggage transfer to ship and group transfer from ship
- Full board accommodation on board
- All zodiac excursions and landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
So much to experience
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
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, followed by seabirds.
During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage and encounter a variety of seabirds - these can include wandering, grey-headed, black-browed and the beautiful light-mantled sooty albatross, southern fulmars, Wilson's storm, blue, Cape and Antarctic petrels. We also look out for whales and, as we near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.
We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. The Antarctic Peninsula is famed for its icy beauty and bountiful wildlife. During the days here, we will optimize the experience to get the best of everything.
Sites that may be visited include Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island where we will find a large colony of Gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of Brown skuas.
On nearby Danco Island in the Errera Channel activities may be focused around the Gentoo penguins nesting high on the island as well as Weddell and Crabeater seals that may be on and around the island. In Neko Harbour we may have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. Zodiac cruising and kayaking offer spectacular ways of enjoying the landscape surrounded by ice incrusted alpine peaks.
In Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs we may have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. Again, we may offer an opportunity for a zodiac cruise in the inner parts of this amazing waterway. In this area, we have good chances to see Humpback whales and Minke whales.
After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, we hope to get a chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, we may also offer activities on Jougla Point with Gentoo penguins and Blue-eyed shags. This area offers excellent opportunities for kayaking and camping. When the snow conditions allow we use snowshoes on shore, which vastly improves mobility and safety in the expected heavy snow conditions.
South Shetland Islands
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, 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. In Deception Island our ship braves through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. 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. Alternatively, we may try to conduct activities near Half Moon Island. Here we find Chinstrap Penguins and Weddell Seals often haul out on the beach near the Argentinean station Camara. Around noon we depart for the Drake Passage.
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Arrive and disembark
A view from Above
Ortelius was built as a Russian scientific survey ship with ice strengthened hull, ideal for polar sailing. She has been completely refurbished and has a selection of suites and cabins with windows or portholes and either private or shared facilities. There are twin dining rooms, lecture room, bar and observation lounge and lots of open deck space plus an open-bridge policy. Ortelius also has a helicopter landing pad and helicopter excursions are available on some itineraries.
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
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.Steve Sutton
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
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.
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.
With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Amy 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.