Expedition cruising and whalewatching in the High Antarctic
Locations in this tour typically include: Ushuaia • Beagle Channel • Drake Passage • Cuverville Island • Danco Island • Neko Harbour • Paradise Bay • Neumayer Channel • Goudier Island (Port Lockroy, Jougla Point) • Lemnaire Channel • Petermann Island • Vernadsky Station • Melchior Islands • Drake Passage • Ushuaia;
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.
- Antarctic Peninsula Expedition Cruise
- Antarctic expedition cruise with specialist expedition leaders
- 2016-2017 departures:
18 November 2016 (OTL22)
07 December 2016 (OTL24)
17 March 2017 (PLA31)
- Nights: 9
- View Plancius 2016-2017 prices*View Ortelius 2016-2017 prices*
- 2017-2018 departures:
03 January 2018 (OTL26)
09 January 2018 (PLA26)
13 January 2018 (OTL27)
23 January 2018 (OTL28)
07 February 2018 (PLA28)
19 March 2018 (PLA31)
- Nights: 10 (9 on PLA31)
- 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.
** The itinerary for voyage PLA31 differs slightly around Antarctica. A separate download is provided below.
- Antarctic Peninsula 2016-2017 detailed itinerary
- Antarctic Peninsula 2017-2018 detailed itinerary
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 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…
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 – 7: Antarctica
We will sail directly to "High Antarctica", passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Ronge Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. If we land on Orne Island we can observe Chinstrap Penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater Seals. In Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glacier and enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises. When sailing to Paradise Bay, with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we will have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. In this area we have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, we hope to get the chance to visit the old British research station, now living museum and post office at 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 sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pléneau 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. Further south we may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where we will receive a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel we arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where we may encounter Leopard Seals, Crabeater Seals and whales.
Days 8 & 9: At sea
On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.
Day 10: 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.