No Single Supplement When Sharing
Antarctica & Polar Circle Whale Watching Special 12 daysAboard: MV Plancius M/V Janssonius
A classic Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands adventure with maximum time spent sailing around and landing on both the Peninsula and the offshore islands in search of whale sightings. On this voyage, expect not just spectacular scenery, but also amazing wildlife at sea, on land and ice and in the air. This extended expedition 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, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters. This special itinerary will also include an attempted crossing of the Antarctic Circle!
This trip operates on various dates aboard 2 different vessels. Mentioned activities may not be applicable to all departure dates. Please enquire for full rates and dates.
- Spectacular scenery on the Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
- Attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle
- Marine mammals such as various whales and seals at the best time of year for whale watching
- Penguins and other birdlife
- Historical sites
- Activity options including polar diving, kayaking and camping on ice (select departures - fees apply)
- 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
No Single Supplement When Sharing
No Single Supplement When Sharing - Solo travellers willing to share a cabin will pay no single supplement.
Offer applicable when booked before 20th March 2024
Applies to select cabins. Guests will be paired with a roommate of the same gender. Solo use cabins are available at 1.7 x sharing rate / Available on selected dates/vessels.
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Your 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 lectures 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.
Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Welcome to Antarctica, the indescribable wonderland at the bottom of the world! As with all Antarctica expeditions, the weather and ice conditions may dictate which areas we visit during our time here, with your captain choosing each day the best course to take for optimal experiences. There are several fantastic localities which offer great opportunities for adventures, photographs and wildlife encounters, and this particular voyage will pay special attention to the areas most commonly frequented by whales including Minkes and Humpbacks.
Our first taste of Antarctica is likely to be Livingston Island in the South Shetland’s group where we hope to make land at Hannah Point for our first introduction to Antarctica’s bustling penguin population. We are likely to see gentoos and chinstraps here along with southern giant petrels in the skies above and huge elephant seals hauled out on the beach. Staying in the South Shetlands area we then plan to sail through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera of Deception Island where we will make land again. There is a lovely variety of flora here with mosses, lichens and flowering grasses creating an impressive contrast to the ice-filled waterways, and there are great possibilities for hikes across this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape. Birding opportunities are fantastic here with a birding list boasting Wilson’s storm petrels, black-bellied storm petrels, brown and south polar skuas, Antarctic terns, kelp gulls and cape petrels amongst many others. We will also hope to be able to visit the ruins of an old abandoned whaling station while we are here.
Moving towards the Peninsula itself our next stop is likely to be Cuverville Island which is nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island and is home to a large colony of Gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of Brown skuas. We may also visit Paradise Bay to take a Zodiac cruise through the icy waters in search of humpback and minke whales. Along with Paradise Bay, one of the best places for whale watching is likely to be Wilhelmina Bay which is often referred to as whale-helmina bay thanks to its whale watching delights.
If the ice conditions allow, we may then sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to the Pléneau and Petermann Islands where we are likely to find Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags. Humpback and minke whales are also frequently found here along with leopard seals. Further south we hope to enter the ice-packed Crystal Sound to attempt a memorable crossing of the Antarctic Circle. Here we are likely to encounter even more whales as well as Adélie penguins congregating among the bergs nearby. We will approach the Fish Islands for a Zodiac cruise and possibly a landing, with spectacular views that are simply beyond comparison. We may also make a landing at an abandoned British research station on Detaille Island before turning back northwards into the area around the Lemaire Channel.
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 also visit Neko Harbour, an epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow that offers up some of the Peninsula’s most impressive scenery as well as the frozen landscape of the Melchior Islands where we will also search for even more whales, leopard seals, and Crabeater seals among the beautiful iceberg-filled waters.
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
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.
The brand-new (late 2021) M/V Janssonius is an innovative Polar vessel which meets the latest and highest Lloyd’s Register standards for ice-strengthened cruise ships. Now one of the most advanced touring vessels in the polar regions, Janssonius is thoroughly optimized for exploratory voyages and surpasses the requirements of the Polar Code adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Built to be one of the most environmentally friendly vessels on the polar seas, Janssonius uses LED lighting, steam heating, bio-degradable paints and lubricants, and state-of-the-art power management systems that keep fuel consumption and CO2 levels minimal. Offering high-quality hotel style accommodation for up to 170 passengers, Janssonius offers immaculate cabins of varying sizes, from the Grand 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 mid-century modern décor. Onboard you will find a unique blend of deluxe surroundings combined with a cosy and informal atmosphere. The ship features an expansive observation lounge, a lecture theatre and a welcoming dining room, as well as two Zodiac embarkation platforms for swift access to sea and land activities.
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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