Polar Circle Quest

Antarctic Peninsula

Aboard the MV Ushuaia

  • 12 days  28 Jan – 8 Feb, 2016
  • 12 days  15 Feb – 26 Feb, 2017

Day 1

Depart from Ushuaia

Embark in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Days 2-3

Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions’ lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well. The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Days 4-9

EXPLORING SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND ENDEAVOR TO CROSS THE POLAR CIRCLE

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and chinstrap penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, Crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke Whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big Cetaceans, such as Humpback, Fnn and Sei whales in the area. We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: paradise bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo penguin colony in the peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and post office port Lockroy. As further exploration will lead us far south of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the polar circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Valour Islands and south of the polar circle Detaille Island. On our way north we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Days 10-11

EXPLORING THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA & THE SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy. Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings. There might also be a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

Day 10-11

AT SEA CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE, NORTHBOUND

At sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound we leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 12

Arrival at Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

PLEASE NOTE:

The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions and they will try their best to reach the Weddell Sea. However if ice conditions do not allow access the route might be changed to West Antarctica. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

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Embarkation and disembarkation: Ushuaia

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The itinerary descriptions reflect the plans for this expedition and should be read as general guides only. These are expeditions to remote and rarely visited regions of the world, and flexibility is required. Our exact program will vary based on local weather and ice conditions, availability of local permissions, and government orders.

2016 Dates & Cost

  • M.V. Ushuaia – 12 days  28 Jan – 8 Feb, 2016
TRIPLE STD STD PLUS SUPERIOR SUITE
USD7,610 USD8,140 USD9,860 USD12,430 USD13,070

2017 Dates & Cost

  • M.V. Ushuaia – 12 days  15 Feb – 26 Feb, 2017
TRIPLE STD STD PLUS SUPERIOR SUITE
USD7,990 USD8,550 USD10,350 USD13,060 USD13,720

All rates are subject to change, especially possible fuel surcharges.

All rates are quoted per person in US Dollars, based on twin occupancy. A limited amount of twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth in two of the suites maybe occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate. Shared accommodation can be arranged on request. All rates are subject to change and Antarpply Expeditions reserves the right to modify the published rates without prior notice.

What’s included

  • Voyage aboard the M.V. Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the M.V. Ushuaia.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • Detailed post-expedition log.

What’s not included

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided).

How to Book

To initiate your reservations, please contact us as soon as possible to place an option on the cabin of choice. A Booking Form is to be signed, completed and returned to Adventure Associates along with your non-refundable deposit. Reservations are established only when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and booking form.

 

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Costs shown are per person, quoted in US Dollars and are subject to change due to exchange rate variations and other factors. Please check with us at the time of booking.

M/V Ushuaia

Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the MV Ushuaia has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 41 comfortable twin cabins and suites. The ice-strengthened polar vessel MV Ushuaia is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy.

The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline. All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an observation lounge and bar, a conference room with modern multimedia equipment, a well-stocked library, a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.

Deck Plans

DECKPLAN_Ushuaia_May1914

Cabins

  • STANDARD: 10 Twin outside cabins with portholes on deck (E), semi-private facilities, two berths (upper/lower).
  • STANDARD PLUS: 11 Twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck (E), private facilities, two lower berths; 2 Triple outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck (E), private facilities, three lower berths.
  • PREMIER: 6 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck (G), private facilities, two lower berths; 2 Single cabins with portholes on the upper deck (G) private facilities.
  • SUPERIORS: 9 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck (G), private facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 301 features one double and one single bed.
  • SUITES: 4 Outside cabins with windows on the upper deck (G), private facilities, two lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player and fridge. Suite 201 features two double beds, Suite 202 one double bed and a sofa bed.  Suites 204 and 207 three lower single beds.

Note: Semi-private facilities: Two cabins share one bathroom accessible from both cabins (shower and wc). Each cabin is also equipped with its own washbasin.

ushuaia_dp1Ship Specifications

Crew: 38
Guests: 88
Length: 84.73 m
Breadth: 15.41 m
Draft: 5.48 m
Ice Class: INSB Ice class C)
Engine: 2 x ALCO 1600 HP each
Cruising Speed: 12 knots
Registered: Union of Comoros

Suite
Superiordiningrm

Obs_lounge