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Antarctica & South Shetlands Discovery Voyage

Antarctica & South Shetlands Discovery Voyage 11 days

Prices From £5,175pp
December to February | 10 nights

No Single Supplement When Sharing!

Antarctica & South Shetlands Discovery Voyage 11 days

Aboard: MV Plancius MV Ortelius M/V Hondius M/V Janssonius

On this classic Peninsula cruise you will travel from Ushuaia to the wondrous landscapes of Antarctica and the South Shetland Islands, one of the most remote and spectacular environments on earth. Discover these landscapes up-close and enjoy unparalleled wildlife encounters, including up to 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 which has been specially designed to offer an extensive array of activities which are entirely unique. A wide range of interactive workshops are likely to be offered, and may cover topics including botany, geology, navigation, astronomy, wildlife, photography or videography. This trip will bring you closer than ever to truly understanding this unique and fascinating region, and whether onboard or out in nature, there certainly won’t be a dull moment.
Please note: workshops offered may vary depending on the sailing. For clarification or more information on which workshops may be offered on your trip, please contact us and we will be happy to clarify.

This trip operates on various dates aboard 4 different vessels. Mentioned activities may not be applicable to all departure dates. 10 and 11 day itineraries available. Please enquire for full rates and dates.

Highlights

  • Interactive learning and discovery programme which may include workshops on photography, videography or other fascinating subjects (trip dependent)
  • Step foot on the Antarctic Peninsula and marvel in its splendour
  • Visit the misty South Shetland Islands
  • See penguins and other birdlife up close
  • Marine mammals
  • Spectacular scenery
  • Historic sites
  • Activity options including kayaking, polar diving and camping on ice (select departures - fees apply)
  • Snowshoeing included (select departures)

What's Included

  • 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
  • Snowshoeing (select departures)

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 3rd February 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.

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.

Zoe Savage-Morton Travel Specialist

Having amassed a host of extraordinary adventures in destinations all over the world, Zoe’s experience, skills and enthusiasm for helping clients plan their ideal itinerary will help make your holiday unforgettable, action packed and life-changing.

Simon Rowland Senior Travel Expert

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.

Michael Gardiner Senior Travel Expert

Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.

Ready to start planning youronce in a lifetime trip?

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+ 44 1625 5811 43
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Our popularitinerary Suggestions

All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable

Ushuaia
1Day

Ushuaia

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, 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.

At Sea
2 - 3Days

At Sea

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.

Antarctic Peninsula
4 - 7Days

Antarctic Peninsula

Welcome to the indescribable lands of Antarctica! Upon arrival in this enchanting ice wonderland 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, and during our time here we will optimize the experience to get the very best of everything. Each day your experienced captain and crew will assess the weather and ice conditions to create a flexible itinerary to allow you to discover as much of this penguin’s playground as possible.

Sites that may be visited include Danco Island in the Errera Channel where 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 around here will be an unforgettable experience and for those who have booked kayaking this will offer another spectacular way of enjoying the landscape surrounded by ice incrusted alpine peaks.

In Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs we may again 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. For those who have chosen to participate in the optional camping on ice activity this is most likely to be the area chosen for this excursion. Throughout your time in Antarctica a wide range of activities will be enjoyed daily, 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 nothing but ice and the Antarctic silence.

Another possible spot for camping on ice is close to the former British research station of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Here the excursions will be mostly centred around the good populations of blue-eyed shags and gentoo penguins that are found here. Kayaking and shore walks will offer great chances to get up-close to the penguins along the shore. You could also take the chance to visit the famous Port Lockroy Post Office at the end of the world.

After a thorough exploration of the peninsula your ship will start its course northwards towards the South Shetland Islands.

Please note, kayaking 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. Snowshoeing is included and does not incur an additional charge.

South Shetland Islands
8Day

South Shetland Islands

After exploring the Peninsula we arrive in the South Shetland Islands area for an extra day of discovery. These windswept volcanic islands are often shrouded in mist creating an eerie atmosphere, but as we get closer we will discover the many delights they hold. The islands are home to numerous penguins including Gentoo and Chinstrap and are also a great spot for birding, with Southern Giant Petrels, thousands of Cape petrels and many Kelp gulls, Brown and South polar skuas and Antarctic terns frequenting the area.

We plan to sail through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera of Deception Island where we will make land. 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. Alternatively our itinerary may bring us to Half Moon Island, where we are likely to find Chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals hauled out on the beach near the Argentinean research station Camara.

At Sea
9 - 10Days

At Sea

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.



Ushuaia
11Day

Ushuaia

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

All Aboard

MV Plancius
Mid range vessel

MV Plancius

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.

MV Ortelius
Mid range vessel

MV Ortelius

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.

M/V Hondius
Luxury vessel

M/V Hondius

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.

M/V Janssonius
First class  mid range vessel

M/V Janssonius

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

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

Ready to start planning youronce in a lifetime trip?

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0800 195 3385
Outside the uk
+ 44 1625 5811 43
Call us
+ 44 1625 5811 43
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Ready to start planning youronce in a lifetime trip?

Call us - 0800 195 3385
Outside the uk? + 44 1625 5811 43
+ 44 1625 5811 43 Call us - 0800 195 3385

Chat Now

Request a
callback

Fill in our
Enquiry form

Book Consultation

Book a
Consultation

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