Antarctic Peninsula - Polar Circle 12 DaysAboard: MV Plancius
This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.
- Step foot on the Antarctic Continent
- Sail the scenic Beagle Channel & Drake Passage
- Encounter an impressive array of wildlife including whales, countless birds and penguins
- Optional activities including kayaking and diving in the iceberg-heavy waters of Antarctica
- 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
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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.
During these two days 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 Albatrosses, Cape Petrels, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.
Antarctic Peninsula & Circle
The options for activities in the Antarctic Peninsula are great and no less so during the late summer. Humpback whales are prolific everywhere gorging themselves on krill before their northern migration. The penguin chicks are fledging and creating activity on the beaches while sleek leopard seals lie in wait ready to attack the unfortunate ones.
Sites for our adventures may include Hannah Point on Livingston Island, 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.
Cuverville Island is a small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé 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. We aim for a zodiac cruise between the icebergs in the inner parts of the amazing waterway of Paradise Bay. Ice conditions allowing, we hope to pass the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island offering Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags. Pléneau Island is another option with fair chances to encounter Humpback and Minke whales.
The journey takes us south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, and cross the Polar Circle in the morning. We hope 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. An alternative is Fish Islands further north were we encounter one of the southernmost Adélie penguin and Blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Sailing north again through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, we arrive at the Melchior Islands; a beautiful landscape with icebergs, where we may encounter Leopard seals, Crabeater seals and whales. Throughout this area offers excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving in the pristine Antarctic environment. From there we depart into the Drake Passage around noon.
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
A view from Above
Plancius was built as a Dutch oceanographic research vessel and refurbished as a passenger ship in 2009. It has ice strengthened bow and stern and is ideal for polar sailing. There is a mixture of suites and cabins, all with window or porthole. Some have private facilities and some shared. There are twin, triple and quadruple cabins suitable for sharing. Public areas are a spacious observation lounge and bar, library, lecture theatre and dining room along with plenty of outside deck space and an open-bridge policy. Rubber boots are supplied for all passengers.
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
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