Christmas Antarctic Peninsula Discovery Voyage 10 daysAboard: M/V Hondius
On this classic Peninsula cruise you will travel from Ushuaia to the wondrous landscapes of Antarctica, one of the most remote and spectacular environments on earth. Discover these landscapes up-close and enjoy unparalleled wildlife encounters, including seven different species of penguins as you take a journey of a lifetime to the bottom of the world. On this special discovery and learning cruise you will sail aboard the brand new polar vessel m/v Hondius which has been specially designed to offer an extensive array of activities entirely unique to the ship itself. You can enjoy a wide range of interactive workshops, captivating exhibitions and vibrant performances, both onboard and out in nature, exploring topics such as botany, geology, navigation, astronomy and wildlife. This included programme ensures there will never be a dull moment and will bring you closer than ever to truly understanding this unique and fascinating region.
- Celebrate Christmas in Antarctica!
- Fantastic interactive learning and discovery programme
- Step foot on the Antarctic Peninsula and marvel in its splendour
- See penguins and other birdlife up close
- Marine mammals
- Spectacular scenery
- Historic sites
- Activity options including kayaking, snowshoeing and camping on ice
- 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 and interactive workshops
- Loan of rubber boots
So much to experience
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Your discovery and learning expedition will begin in Ushuaia, Argentina, where after having arrived independently you will embark your ship in the afternoon. As you settle in to your cabin on this brand new polar vessel, your ship will sail through the scenic waterway of the Beagle Channel. You may want to spend some time on deck capturing the sight of the city fading into distance behind you and looking out for the seabirds that follow the ship.
During these two days we will sail across the famous Drake Passage, encountering a variety of seabirds along the way. You may want to spend some time on deck in search of bird sightings including wandering, grey-headed, black-browed and the beautiful light-mantled sooty albatross, southern fulmars, Wilson's storm, blue, Cape and Antarctic petrels. There may also be whale sightings, and your programme of entertaining and informative workshops, exhibitions and presentations will begin, along with safety and bio-environmental briefings for your time in Antarctica. As we pass the Antarctic Convergence and sail close to the Shetland Islands we will spot the first of many icebergs.
Welcome to Antarctica! As we arrive in the pristine wilderness of the “White Continent” we will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. As with all Antarctica expeditions the weather and ice conditions may dictate which areas we visit, with your captain choosing each day the best course to take, and there are several fantastic localities which offer great opportunities for adventures, photographs and wildlife encounters.
One of the many areas we may visit is the picturesque Danco Island, where the main focus will be on the Gentoo penguins which nest on the island as well as the Crabeater and Weddell seals that can be found nearby. If the ice conditions allow, we may sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to the Pléneau and Petermann Islands where we are likely to find Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags. Kayaking in this area is a wonderful experience as you may be lucky enough to float by the humpback and minke whales which are frequently found here along with leopard seals.
Throughout your time in Antarctica a range of optional activities can be enjoyed, but for many the ultimate experience is a camping on ice expedition. You will have the chance to make camp like a true polar adventurer, with quality tents provided, and spent the night surrounded by the Antarctic silence. Paradise Bay is usually the preferred location for this supreme overnight Antarctic adventure.
There will be ample time for photographic opportunities as we sail to and Zodiac cruise around some of the Peninsula’s most scenic areas. It is likely that we will visit Neko Harbour, an epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow. We may also visit Wilhelmina Bay, a great place to spot humpback whales, and enjoy a Zodiac cruise to the ghostly wreck of the Guvernøren, a whaling vessel that caught fire here in 1915. Around the Melchior Islands, amid a frozen landscape populated with icebergs, you may encounter even more whales, leopard seals, and Crabeater seals.
Throughout your voyage your team of onboard experts will offer a fantastic programme of entertaining presentations, interactive workshops, musical performances and dynamic courses in everything from wildlife and language to cooking and cocktail classes.
Please note, activities such as kayaking, snowshoeing and camping on ice are not included in the price of the voyage and should be booked in advance of departure as numbers are limited.
As our exhilarating time in Antarctica comes to end it’s time to head back north through the Drake Passage where again the ship will be followed by a vast array of seabirds. Enjoy the last presentations from your team of noted naturalists and take the time to dissolve all of the unforgettable memories you will have made on your once in a lifetime expediton.
As we sail back through the scenic Beagle Channel and arrive in Ushuaia in the early morning it’s sadly time to say goodbye to your crew and fellow shipmates. After breakfast you will disembark and a group transfer will be provided to the airport for onward or homewards journeys.
A view from Above
A brand-new (2019) deluxe vessel that has been built to the very highest Polar Class for ice-strengthened vessels. The first civilian vessel in the world to receive a Polar Class 6 notation and designed to fully comply with the mandatory requirements of the Polar code, the M/V Hondius leads the way for both safe ship operation and protection of the Polar environment.
Providing deluxe accommodation for up to 174 passengers the M/V Hondius offers one of the highest comfort experiences of all vessels which operate in the Polar Regions. The accommodation onboard is provided in numerous suites of varying sizes, from the Hondius Suite to quadruple porthole cabins, with all cabins having either a balcony, large windows or portholes. Each cabin has been custom-designed and impeccably outfitted in a stylish décor.
The M/V Hondius has been designed to offer a deluxe feel whilst still maintaining a sense of cosy camaraderie, with welcoming communal, observation and dining areas. An entire deck has been dedicated to space for lectures and presentations, and every element of the vessel has been thoroughly thought-out to provide the very best passenger experience.
The vessel features a sheltered Zodiac boarding zone making joining and returning from land-based excursions fast and easy, and has been built to exceed the latest Green requirements imposed by the International Maritime Organisation to ensure that your trip causes as little impact as possible on the areas you will visit.
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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Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Antarctica adventure for you.
Having amassed a host of extraordinary adventures in destinations all over the world, Amy’s experience, skills and enthusiasm for helping clients plan their ideal itinerary will help make your holiday unforgettable, action packed and life-changing.
Mike has more than fifteen years hands-on experience in the industry, travelling to some of the most incredible wild places on the planet. His far-reaching knowledge and invaluable skills will ensure that your wildlife travel adventure is a dream 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.