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Island Holidays
Established 1987

Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp Voyages

Includes free zodiac cruising, kayaking, snowshoeing and mountaineering

Zodiac and m/v Plancius

Locations in this tour typically include: Ushuaia • Beagle Channel • Drake Passage • Neumayer Channel • Wiencke Island • Goudier Island (Port Lockroy, Jougla Point) • Booth Island • Vernadsky Station • Neko Harbour • Paradise Bay • Drake Passage • Ushuaia;

Route map

Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp Route

The above route/s is/are representative for this cruise and may not exactly match the itinerary of every departure available. Please check the PDF itinerary download/s for the exact route/s.

Adélie penguins

Key facts

  • Antarctic Peninsula (Basecamp): Zodiacs, kayaking, snowshoeing and mountaineering
  • Antarctic expedition cruise with specialist expedition leaders
  • 2017-2018 departures:
    04 November 2017 (OTL21)
    25 November 2017 (OTL23)
    18 December 2017 (PLA24)
    29 December 2017 (PLA25)
    03 March 2018 (OTL31)
  • Nights: 11
  • View Plancius 2017-2018 prices*View Ortelius 2017-2018 prices*
  • All departures:
  • Departs: Ushuaia
  • Tour leader: Oceanwide Expeditions
  • Deposit: 20%
  • * Please note that the prices quoted are for cruise only and do not include flights or hotel accommodation. We will arrange your flights and any accommodation but as fares and rates are subject to change, prices are quoted on request.
  • Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp 2017-2018 detailed itinerary

The ships

M/v Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was originally named Marina Svetaeva, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. Read more about Ortelius

M/v Ortelius

M/v Plancius started her life in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman". In June 2004, the vessel was taken out of active service and was purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions in December 2006. The vessel was completely rebuilt in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). Read more about Plancius

M/v Plancius

Your itinerary

Please note that the itinerary below is representative and may not be that of all cruises listed under the same title, since they can vary slightly in their route, duration, destinations or activities and can be different from year to year. Note also that during the cruise the programme may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. Please check the PDF itinerary downloads above for the precise itinerary and route of your chosen season and departure date.

Day 1: Ushuaia
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Days 2 & 3: At sea
During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson's Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

Days 4 – 9: Antarctica
We will sail directly to "High Antarctica", passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. We will sail to the Neumayer Channel, where we position our ship for the multi activity base camp. The protected waters around Wiencke Island will become our playground for all activities. In this alpine environment there are great opportunities to scout the region on foot, per zodiac and during kayak trips. Walkers will find opportunities to use snowshoes on hikes near the shore lines and the mountaineers will find their challenge by climbing hills and view points further inland. All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions.

We plan to stay two overnights at anchor in order to implement two camp nights and two full activity days. We will visit the former British research station and the post office, now living museum, Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo penguins and Blue-eyed shags. We look out for Leopard seals, Crabeater seals and whales.

In good conditions and time allowing we sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Booth Island, Pléneau Island and Petermann Island where we can find Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback whales, Minke whales and Fin whales.

At Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers and permanent ice fields and enjoy the spectacle on zodiac cruises, hikes and kayak excursions. A small group of mountaineers may climb up on higher grounds of the glacier. We will spend the night at Neko Harbour or in nearby Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore. We will leave early morning after breaking our last camp. We sail via Melchior Islands towards the open sea of the Drake Passage.

Days 10 & 11: At sea
On our way north, we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 12: Ushuaia
We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

Disclaimer: This itinerary is dependent on sea and ice conditions. The final itinerary will be decided by the ship's captain and your Expedition Leader to maximize opportunities.