No Single Supplement When Sharing
Peninsula, Weddell Sea, Elephant Island & The Circle 15 DaysAboard: MV Plancius M/V Hondius
This fantastic Antarctica trip will see you achieve a feat few have dare dreamed of…crossing the Antarctic Circle! Combined with time along the incredibly impressive Antarctic Peninsula, the breath-taking Weddell Sea area and a visit to the legendary Elephant Island, this is one of the finest Antarctic trips available. Synonymous with Shackleton’s legendary route, Elephant Island will give you the opportunity to learn more about the feats and fate of Shackleton and his crew. On the Peninsula you will discover magnificent landscapes and myriad wildlife, and in the Weddell Sea you can expect majestic icebergs and breath-taking scenery. Your expedition will be rounded off with a crossing of the Antarctic Circle and an exploration of the icy and wildlife-filled islands of Crystal Sound.
This trip operates on various dates aboard 2 different vessels, with 14 and 15 day itineraries available. Mentioned activities may not be applicable to all departure dates. Please enquire for full rates and dates.
- Cross the Antarctic Circle!
- Exploring along the stunning Antarctic Peninsula
- Discover the incomparable Weddell Sea area
- Visit the iconic Elephant Island
- Abundant birdlife and wildlife including myriad penguins, whales and seals
- Exciting Zodiac cruises and land visits
- Photo workshops (select departures)
- Activity options including kayaking, polar diving and snowshoeing (select departures - fees may 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 and presentations
- 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 7th 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 exciting Antarctica trip begins in Ushuaia, Argentina’s southernmost city, where you will arrive independently and make your way to the port to board your expedition vessel. Settle in to your comfortable cabin, explore your new surroundings and make your way to deck to watch as we sail through the scenic Beagle Channel and South America fades into the distance.
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 and talks will begin, along with safety and bio-environmental briefings for your time in Antarctica. As we pass the Antarctic Convergence we will likely spot the first of many icebergs.
For our first adventure we plan to explore the rarely-visited Elephant Island, lands synonymous with Sir Ernest Shackleton. Shackleton and his men were stranded here over-winter during their Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition, and as we visit here you will learn all about Shackleton’s daring rescue mission to South Georgia. Conditions on Elephant Island are severe. The coastline is mostly made up of vertical rock and ice cliffs highly exposed to the elements. If possible you will take the Zodiacs to Point Wild, where the marooned members of Shackleton’s expedition miraculously managed to survive.
Weddell Sea & Orleans Strait
Welcome to Antarctica, a land of superlatives! Enchanting scenery, unique wildlife encounters and thrilling adventures await as we spend our days exploring by Zodiac and on foot to get up close to the action. Your exact itinerary here will be determined by weather and ice conditions with your captain choosing each day which areas to visit for optimum experiences.
We plan to sail into the Weddell Sea where colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The list of places we may visit includes Devil Island which is home to a large colony of Adelie penguins. Sailing as close as possible to the northwest area of Erebus and Terror Gulf, we will hope to make land at the volcanic Beak and Eagle islands for some spectacular scenery and the chance to say you have stood in the “the hottest place in Antarctica”. We also plan to visit the incredibly remote Vega Island.
After an exploration of the Weddell Sea area we will sail west on to the Peninsula through the breath-taking scenery of the Orleans Strait and on to Mikklesen Harbor where we will hope for sightings of orca and humpback whales.
Crossing the Circle & Crystal Sound
Having sailed above the Peninsula and through the incredibly scenic Lemaire Channel, we will arrive in the area of Port Charcot, where there is a cairn that was erected by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903 – 05. We will then head for Petermann Island where a thrilling Zodiac cruise among the icebergs should reward in abundant birdlife sightings including gentoo penguins. There will also be excellent marine mammal observation opportunities with minke and humpbacks often being found here alongside crabeater and leopard seals.
As we reach the icy and wildlife-filled Crystal Sound, we will explore around the area in search of wildlife adventures before landing at Detaille Island. This remote island was once home to a British research station that is now an historic monument.
Next up will be the amazing Argentine Islands, with our first stop bringing us to the small and isolated archipelago of the Yalour Islands where a landing will bring us up-close to Adélie penguins and some of the most southerly gentoos in the world, along with walks along the unique tundra here. At the nearby Ukrainian research station, Vernadsky, a warm welcome awaits us as we hope to enjoy a tour of the facilities and a chat with the hardy scientists who spend their time here. There will be time for a visit to Wordie House, a well-preserved historic hut, as well as the post office that is always a popular spot for visitors to this remote area.
Your last adventure in Antarctica will take you to the Melchior Islands for some final activities before we set sail back into the Drake Passage.
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 bid farewell to your crew and fellow shipmates. After breakfast you will disembark and a group transfer will be provided to the airport for onward or homeward 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.
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 170 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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