Antarctica Off The Beaten Track: Nov 16-28, 2018

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Day 1

Depart the southern Chilean port city of Punta Arenas, gathering at a central meeting point to transfer to the wharf where you’ll embark on the expedition ship. After settling in and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers over a welcome cocktail and dinner. The ship will chart a course through the Straits of Magellan and you will be on your way!

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Day 2

Continue on your way to Antarctica via the Drake Passage. Rich in bio-diversity, it showcases a great abundance of wildlife. The expert photographer will be ready to assist with best practices for photography and other experts on board will have prepared presentations focused on the environment, wildlife, history and the locations you’ll likely be visiting in the upcoming days.

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Day 3

Today will be spent at sea. As you approach the coastline of Antarctica, you will encounter more icebergs and can look forward in anticipation to your first whale sightings.

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Day 4

Awaken to the magnificent snowy peaks of the South Shetland Islands. Depending on weather conditions, you will enter the McFarlane Strait, which separates Greenwich and Livingstone Islands. Half Moon Island or nearby Yankee Harbour are possible landing sites. Explore an old whaling station and hike along black sand beaches or up to a high point known as Neptune’s Window.

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Day 5

Overnight, you’ll cross the Bransfield Strait and are now along the coastline of continental Antarctica. Over the next four days, the itinerary is deliberately flexible to account for early season ice conditions, and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions at several favorite landing sites. Planned explorations start in vicinity of Mikkelson Harbour and neighbouring Cierva Cove.

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Day 6

Heading south along the coastline of the continent, the busy program of activities will now be in full swing. Days will be spent exploring on and off the ship. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with the expert naturalist guides, while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is always a memorable activity.

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Day 7

Based on site characteristics, the ski touring group may set off to explore the pristine terrain and range several kilometers inland with the experienced mountaineering guides. What a unique thrill it is to carve ‘fresh tracks’ in the virgin snow of Antarctica. The snow shoe group may follow in the tracks of the skiers, climbing to high points which afford breathtaking views. If you are not up to the more strenuous snow shoeing program, you can try this unique activity at many of the landing sites.

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Day 8

The expedition sea kayakers will head out on excursions which may last all day. An overnight kayak/camping excursion is available to the more adventurous in the group. Everyone aboard will have an opportunity to camp onshore for the night in Antarctica if the weather conditions co-operate. You’ll have all the gear to keep you warm, dry and as comfortable as possible. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to spend an entire day with the expedition photographer, on an all-day field workshop.

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Day 9

The ship will range as far south as ice conditions permit and hope to navigate as far as Neko Harbour and into the Errera Channel. Witnessing the migration of the penguins early in the season, as they busily re-establish their rookeries and prepare nests is a fascinating experience.

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Day 10

Enjoy an additional day of exploration in the South Shetlands. Prevailing weather conditions will dictate the landing locations. Aitcho Island is a possibility and is a great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise. Other landing sites include Half Moon Island or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where Weddell seals can sometimes be seen sunning themselves. This is another great spot for a hike. Hannah Point, with it’s elephant seal colony and nesting Antarctic petrels – could also feature. In the evening, the ship will navigate north and into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.

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Day 11

As the ship makes its way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and you’ll enjoy a memorable voyage recap by the Expedition Leader. Join the photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images.

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Day 12

If weather conditions allow, the ship will make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It is a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

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Day 13

In the early morning, arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Depending on the arrangements you’ve made, you will either be transferred to your hotel or to the airport for your returning flight home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

Included

– Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
– Transfers from a central meeting point in Punta Arenas on Day 1 and from the port in Ushuaia to the airport (or a downtown hotel) at the conclusion of your voyage on Day 13
– Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature
outside views with windows or portholes
– All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
– 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar/lounge plus in cabin tea and coffee making facilities
– Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists,
historians, adventure guides and photographers
– Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
– Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
– Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
– Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists,
historians etc). On-board or on shore
– Resident photography guide available to assist all guests plus access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
– An emergency trained physician on board every voyage
– Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure
Concierge staff
– On-board sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center including massage options (charge applies for massage and treatments)
– Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
– End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
– Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
– Expedition Snow Shoeing is available to all guests who wish to try this unique activity which will be offered on several occasions over the duration of the voyage.
– Overnight Camping is complimentary, although always dependent on favorable weather and ice conditions on shore.

Excluded

– Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
– Visa and passport expenses
– Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
– Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
– Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
– Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
– Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all
voyages)
– Any new government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases which are beyond our control
– A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount is US$12-15 per day)