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The Lands Below the Circle in Luxury

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The Lands Below the Circle in Luxury - 16 Days aboard Le Commandant Charcot

Prices From £14,240pp
1 FEB, 2022 | 15 nights

The Lands Below the Circle in Luxury - 16 Days aboard Le Commandant Charcot

Embark upon a journey very few have ever experienced as you sail in luxury across the Antarctic Circle to discover the remarkable islands of Charcot and Peter I below the Circle. Wild and rarely explored, these intriguing lands show a different side to Antarctica than what is normally discovered on a classic Antarctica holiday. Travelling in the company of an experienced and knowledgeable expedition team who know these lands like no other, you will learn all about the history of the area, visit ancient research stations, hike across the snow-covered landscapes, Zodiac cruise in the frozen waters and search for iconic Antarctic wildlife.

Toni Hart

Namibia Birding and Photography Guide

An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >

Andy Pollard

Wildlife Guide & Photographer

Andy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >

Chris Coe

Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awards

A fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >

Jenny Luxton

Falklands Expert & Guide

Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >

Doug Allan

Special Guest Lecturer

Exclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >

Chris Weston

Special Guest Photography Guide

Chris was 32 when he finally realised he really did want to be a photo-journalist and walked out on his career in IT sales to become a wildlife photographer Read more >

Highlights

  • Become one of very few people to have ever crossed the Antarctic Circle!
  • A unique opportunity to approach two iconic islands below the Circle
  • See iconic wildlife including whales, seals, and penguin species such as gentoo and adelie
  • Spectacular scenery throughout, with glaciers, icebergs, thick ice floes, mountains, and ice shelves
  • Historical sites and research stations
  • Thrilling Zodiac excursions and hiking opportunities
  • Informative and interesting lecture and presentation programme
  • Activity options including kayaking, snowshoeing and Polar water activities available (some activities may incur costs)

What's Included

  • Full board accommodation on board, including bar/beverage service
  • One night 5* hotel stay in Santiago pre-voyage, with breakfast, dinner and early check-in included
  • Flights: Santiago to Ushuaia and return
  • Transfers between airports, hotel and ship
  • Zodiac cruises and shore excursions
  • Entertainment and expert lecture programme
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Expedition parka
Michael Gardiner
Michael Gardiner
Antarctica Specialist

Speak to someone who’s been to Antarctica. Start planning your tailor - made trip by calling one of our friendly destination specialists on 0800 195 3385 or 44 1625 581143 for outside the UK.

ITINERARY

15 Nights   16 Days
Santiago to Ushuaia
1 - 2Days

Santiago to Ushuaia

Arrive independently to the Chilean capital of Santiago and join your transfer to your 5* hotel for your included overnight stay. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore the city before joining your fellow passengers for dinner.

After breakfast on day 2 you will take your transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia in southern Argentina where upon arrival you will transfer to the port to board your luxury expedition vessel. Settle into your beautiful stateroom and watch as we sail into the scenic Beagle Channel and begin our journey to Antarctica.

At Sea - Drake Passage
3 - 4Days

At Sea - Drake Passage

The next two days will be spent at sea sailing towards Antarctica and into the legendary Drake Passage. These days can be spent relaxing in your comfortable surroundings, availing of the luxury onboard facilities, and enjoying some time on deck searching for whale and seabird sightings including albatrosses and cape petrels.

Your informative and entertaining lecture programme will begin, covering everything from Antarctic wildlife and geology to historical polar explorations, and there will be briefings around the strict IAATO rules that must be adhered to during your visit to the natural wonderland of Antarctica. There will also be briefings for the Zodiac (small inflatable boat) excursions, and as the icebergs begin to appear on the horizon and we reach the awe-inspiring Antarctic continent the excitement will build even more!

Crossing the Antarctic Circle & Detaille Island
5Day

Crossing the Antarctic Circle & Detaille Island

Today you will experience something that only a few lucky people in the world have ever experienced…crossing the Antarctic Circle! Weather and ice conditions dependent, we will cross the mythical line of the Antarctic Polar Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. This is sure to be a moment to remember and one that will be celebrated with aplomb!

As with all Polar expeditions, flexibility is key. Each day your experienced captain and crew will assess the weather and ice conditions to chart the perfect course for adventures, and planned routes can not always be guaranteed.

Our first stop below the Circle will likely bring us to the small island of Detaille which is located within the magnificently scenic Crystal Sound. Surrounded by snow-covered peaks, the island offers us the chance to explore around some historic research station buildings.

The Gullet & Pourquoi Pas Island
6Day

The Gullet & Pourquoi Pas Island

Next up we plan to discover the sumptuous landscapes of “the Gullet”, a narrow channel between Adelaide Island and Graham Land. This unique area is like an ice palace, with its immaculate white walls reflecting in the frozen mirror formed by the waters of the Southern Ocean, and scattered with icebergs and gleaming blocks of ice. Expect some incredible photo opportunities here!

In the afternoon we will land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island which is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. An enjoyable Zodiac cruise around here will give us the chance to observe Adelie penguins going about their business on the island’s rocky shores.

Marguerite Bay
7Day

Marguerite Bay

A day of incredible scenery awaits today as we make our way to Marguerite Bay to see majestic icebergs of all shapes and sizes scattered around the deep and intense blue waters of the bay. Thought of as one of the most beautiful places in all of Antarctica, as well as boasting abundant iconic icebergs, the bay is also home to a number of cetaceans and also offers good chances to observe leopard seals and Adelie penguins.

Charcot Island
8 - 9Days

Charcot Island

We continue our in-depth exploration of the lands below the Circle, lands that few travellers have ever explored and that hold sights and delights that are completely unique to this part of the world. In the heart of the Bellingshausen Sea - this area is covered by ice floe for the majority of the year - this sailing has been timed to coincide with the best time to discover these remarkable lands, especially the renowned Charcot Island which is entirely covered in ice and sheer cliffs, with the exception of the rocky outcrops extending over a dozen kilometres in the far north-west. Very few people have ever landed here, but with the help of our Zodiac boats we plan to achieve just that. Whilst we explore around, we will also be on the lookout for the numerous seabirds, such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas that abound here.

Peter I Island
10 - 11Days

Peter I Island

We now make our way even further into the deep south in the direction of the legendary Peter I Island. Surrounded by pack ice and with about 95% of its surface covered by ice, this volcanic island, whose highest peak reaches 1,640 metres, is protected by ice cliffs some 40 metres tall, making any approach difficult. With our fully ice-strengthened ship we will attempt to get as close as possible for some marvellous vistas.

At Sea
12 - 15Days

At Sea

We now spend a day sailing back north along Antarctica’s enchanting coastline, seeking out more wildlife and scenic opportunities. We will enjoy another visit to The Gullet before leaving Antarctica in our wake and sailing back into the Drake Passage to make our way back to Ushuaia.

Enjoy the final lectures and presentations delivered by your expert team and some final whale watching and birdwatching from the deck. Or simply relax on your luxurious ship and catch your breath after what will have been an incredibly exciting voyage.

Ushuaia - Fly to Santiago
16Day

Ushuaia - Fly to Santiago

Arrive in Ushuaia in the early morning, disembark after breakfast and join your transfer to the airport for your included flight back to Santiago. Upon arrival in Santiago your itinerary will come to an end. Please enquire should you wish to extend your trip to spend more time in this unique capital city.

A view from Above

Le Commandant Charcot

View Vessel

What Our Customers
Say...

Ann Macleod, Scotland Peggy & Thomas, Belgium Robert Hickinbotham, Pulheim, Germany Dave Martin, North Wales James and Pamela Chapman, Halifax David Coard, Exeter, UK Dr Lorna Mairs, Hampshire, UK Lucy and Simon Stern, Sussex, UK Shiyang Liu, Beijing, China Peter Reid, Lincoln, UK Celia Hills, Orkney Islands, UK Steve Sutton, Merseyside, UK Molly Quackenbush, Virginia, USA Sophie & Francois Couture, Quebec, Canada Mike and Berry Poulter, East Sussex, UK Jo Arden, London, UK Mr Neil Morrison, UK Mr J Borg, Malta Helena Sharp, Twickenham UK John Borg, Malta Nicky Beaumont, Tavistock UK Carlos Martins,
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We had the time of our lives on board ship...if anybody wants to go to Antarctica, we will certainly advise to go with you.
Huge congratulations to you and all the team for the perfect organisation throughout the trip. From the early planning to the last transfer, everything went without a hitch.
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!
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
The adventure really was a 'trip of a lifetime' and we are so glad we tagged an extra day in Buenos Aires at either end and that we went Premium Economy, it made all the difference. The ship Sea Explorer was exactly as Simon had described and was very comfortable. South Georgia was the highlight but we were surprised how much wildlife there was to see on the Falklands and we might well book one of your nature trips to the Falklands in the future.
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.
• I wanted to send you a quick thank you email. We had a fantastic trip, the boat, staff, scenery, itinerary, and pretty much everything else was incredible! Thank you so much for arranging the cabin upgrade, we were delighted to have our own room! We had a really brilliant time, and wanted to say thanks so much for being so helpful throughout, we're lucky to have found you.
We had a very special experience organized by you in Feb, especially the wedding in Antarctica and our stay in Patagonia. Thank you.
Many thanks for all you help with our polar trip which exceeded all expectations. We will certainly recommend your company and seriously consider yourselves for future trips.
I just want to thank you for all your help with my Ross Sea trip. It was really the trip of a lifetime & the ship & crew were excellent.
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.
I'm sure you get plenty of compliments, but I just want to follow up telling you what a great time we had on the MS Expedition Antarctica Classic cruise. We were very pleased with all of the staff, on the ground and on the ship. Everyone was so friendly and knowledgeable. We greatly appreciated their experience and expertise. Their very careful attention to all of the environmental rules and precautions should also be lauded. Thank you for all of your service and attention. If we're planning on one of the other regions that you serve, we'll definitely be in touch!!
We would like to thank you with all our heart for our fabulous trip. It was amazing. Everything was perfect. I recommend Antarctica and South America to everybody. Doing business with you was also a great experience. You are the best travel agent I ever met. I hope to have the chance to do business with you again in the future.
We've just got back from out trip to Patagonia and the Antarctic and want to say a big thank you to all of you at Wildfoot but specifically you, Tina and Sara, for organising our trip and sorting out all my queries before we went. You've all been thoroughly professional - and friendly with it. I always get concerned that hotels won't have received the booking, the air e-tickets won't be recognised or luggage ends up somewhere other that where we are, but I didn't need to worry as everything was well planned in advance and the various elements, air travel, two cruises, hotels etc, fitted seamlessly. You can take this as a 10 out of 10 satisfaction rating and recommendation for your company. You will certainly be my 'go to' provider if we ever do anything similar in the future. Thanks once again for our trip of a lifetime.
I just wanted to say an enormous thank you for your help with my trip. It was the best two weeks of my life! MS Expedition was amazing – their itinerary, their crew, their spirit. It was truly exceptional.One of the best things was how they arranged the rooms, I just had the best roommates and that really made a big difference to the trip. We got to see some fast ice and got out to walk on it – literally walking on the frozen sea. Amazing! I am saving for my next trip and I would not dream of going with anyone but you guys again. Good work! A dream very much come true.
I hope you’re well. I wanted to drop you a line to say we are back from Antarctica and had a wonderful time with Ponant. The trip exceeded our expectations in every respect, and I haven’t yet found enough superlatives to describe it to friends! Antarctica was breathtaking (as you know), and we loved pretty-much everything about Ponant. It was the perfect fit for us and I’m very grateful to you for taking the time to help with the booking. Having read the nightmares that Silversea have been having with the Silver Cloud, we felt lucky to be onboard Le Lyrial. Of course the only downside of a trip like this is we want to go back - best start saving now! Thanks again for all of your help and support with the booking process. Ponant was exactly as you described it. We have our eye on a couple of other cruises with them so I might be in touch soon.
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.
We had the most fantastic time! Everything exceeded our expectations - the ship, the expedition team, the scenery and the most amazing wildlife experiences - 15 humpback whales around the ship one sunset was particularly stunning. Thank you so much to you and your colleagues for your expert advice (the cabin choice was just perfect, especially for the bumpy days!) and guidance and helping made this experience so great. My lifetime's ambition was to visit Antarctica and you all helped make that possible. I should also say that the arrangements in Buenos Aires worked really well too. I think we all have ideas about the next trip - Svalbard or the NorthWest Passage - but maybe in a couple of years, although we do each have $1500 in vouchers from Quark! I am not on Facebook myself but will try to put a review on either of the links below. I've received the new brochure already.
A great big thanks to all at Wildfoot Travel for making my Antarcti Expediton an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. A truly mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken. Looking forward to the next trip with you.
Just came back from a trip aboard the Ortelius to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Thank you Wildfoot for organising it so well. We had the trip of a lifetime and everything ran very smoothly and stress free so many, many thanks
I travelled to the Antarctica Circle with Wildfoot. It was a memorable trip. The MS Expedition was definately the right choice. The ship is very nice, very comfortable, very clean, the crew is fantastic, the meals were very good, the expedition staff very kind and extremely knowledgeable and professional. All activities were very well and timely organized in a safety manner. Besides that, despite haveing had a rough sea on the Drake on way in, we were quite lucky with the weather (we got some cloudy days but also snow, bright sunshine and beautiful sunsets,) making every landing a wonderful happening. All in all, it was less than perfect.

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Zoe Savage-Morton
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