Home » Vavilov: Quest for the Antarctic Circle
On this exciting new Antarctic expedition, we enjoy eight days of off-ship exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting a large number of landing sites and cruising among the ice floes in our Zodiac boats. Crossing south to Antarctica we witness the magnificent pelagic seabirds of the southern region, including the giant Wandering albatross. Each day we explore on shore by foot, observing wildlife colonies, visiting historic huts and science bases, photographing icebergs and soaking up the incredible landscapes that surround us.
Duration: 12 Days
Our journey commences this morning in Punta Arenas. Here we board our 90 minute flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is home to 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a charming rural town in coastal Britain, with brightly colored houses, flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There will be time to explore the town before embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we cast off, bound for Antarctica, and the adventure of a lifetime.
This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Join the ship's Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. If we enjoy good sailing conditions crossing to Antarctica, we may include a visit to the very historic location of Elephant Island – a place central to the Shackleton story.
This morning we awaken to the snowy landscape of King George Island, the largest in the South Shetlands group. There are two landing sites here - a visit depends on weather conditions. In the afternoon we continue our journey south, navigating into the broad expanse of the Bransfield Strait. This is an important migration corridor for wildlife, and we keep a lookout for whales. Large icebergs will be present from this point onwards and make for striking photographs. By morning, the towering mountain peaks of the Antarctic continent loom into view. We aim to make landfall around Wilhelmina Bay. This is a truly remarkable location, where we often encounter large pods of humpback whales as we cruise in the Zodiacs.
We encourage you to spend time on the outer decks soaking up the scenery as we navigate south. We pass through the ice strewn waters making our way towards out ultimate objective, the Antarctic Circle. Given favorable ice conditions, our first goal will be to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Crystal Sound. A favored landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut from the 1950's. This region marks our turnaround point and we return in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula.
We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn something of the important climate-related research happening here, and if the conditions allow, we will give you the opportunity to camp overnight onshore, a truly memorable experience. Petermann Island is home to an Adelie penguin rookery. The smallest of the Antarctic penguins, Adelies nest here and share the location with Gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants. Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Massive icebergs run aground in the shallows and constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastical shapes. For many, a Zodiac cruise here may well be a highlight of the voyage.
We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica itself. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. By morning we arrive in the South Shetland Islands.
The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is where Australian aviation pioneer, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour. This is another great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise. It's a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition.
This morning we are anchored off King George Island. We transfer to the airstrip for the two-hour flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile. On arrival, a transfer is provided to our included complimentary hotel in Punta Arenas for all guests. This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to some cozy restaurants, cafes and bars – including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ at the Hotel Jose Nogueira – a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.
Your journey concludes today after breakfast.
|01 Feb 2020 - 12 Feb 2020||$16225 AUD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Triple Share Cabin||$16225 AUD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Twin Semi Private Cabin||$19123 AUD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Twin Private Cabin||$20717 AUD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Superior Cabin||$21732 AUD||US$800 travel credit!|
|Shackleton Suite||$23906 AUD||US$800 travel credit!|
|One Ocean Suite||$26225 AUD||US$800 travel credit!|
Located on deck 3, 1 upper berth and two lower berths (one of the lower beds can be converted to a sofa), a washbasin, writing desk, chair, storage space, two portholes, shared washroom facilities.
Located on deck 4, 2 lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa), a writing desk, storage space, wardrobes, semi-private facilities — a shared washroom with the adjacent cabin.
Located on deck 3, 4 and 5, two lower berths, writing desk, chair, in-room clock radio with iPod connector kit, storage space, wardrobe, window (cabins on deck 3 have portholes instead of windows), private bathroom, shower.
Located on deck 3 these cabins have two lower berths, sofa, writing desk, chair, storage space, private bathroom, shower, porthole, access to the outer decks, the dining room and gangway.
Located on deck 4 and 5, 1 double bed in separate sleeping area, sofa bed, sitting area, writing desk, iPad with polar literature, documentaries and movies and webmail access, mini bar, private bathroom, capsule coffee maker, mini stereo, window.
Located on deck 5, 1 double bed in separate sleeping area, sofa bed, large forward facing windows, large table, sitting area, writing desk, iPad with polar literature, documentaries and movies and webmail access, mini bar, private bathroom, shower, bathtub,, capsule coffee maker, mini stereo.
*Expedition gear package
Included in the expedition, you will have free use of essential gears needed for the trip. This package includes quality waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated rubber boots, and a set of binoculars.
Please note, polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change.