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Active Antarctica on Ortelius

Antarctica is all about discovery and exploration and well suited to our 'basecamp' expedition. This voyage provides exciting opportunities to explore a pocket of the Peninsula through kayaking, zodiac cruising, hiking, snowshing and climbing excursions. We follow in the footsteps of those great hers of Antarctic history as we set sail from the tip of South America and cross the Drake Passage. Accompanied by expert naturalists we spot albatross floating gracefully over the southern ocean and eagerly await our first sight of land. The Antarctic Peninsula offers you the most dramatic scenery and biggest variety of wildlife in Antarctica. In the southern summer large ice-free areas provide breeding grounds for very large numbers of seabirds, penguins and seals. Minke, Orca and Humpback whales can be spotted as well as the ferocious-looking Leopard Seals.

Inclusions

12 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 12 dinners
Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
Specialist expedition staff
All shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs
Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)
Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
Pre-departure information
Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
All activities (camping, hiking, kayaking, climbing and snowshoeing) are complimentary, however pre-booking is required due to limited numbers.
Hightlights
The most wildlife-rich part of Antarctica - penguins, whales, seals, sea birds
Narrow sheltered waterways and fjords
Spectacular mountains rising directly out of the sea
Historic sites
Opportunity to camp on ice (optional)
Kayaking through Antarctic waters (optional)
Climbing glaciers and higher view points (optional)
Snowshoeing & Hiking (optional)
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
13
Price From
AUD $8,450
Start Location
Ushuaia, Antarctica
End Location
Antarctica
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
1 to 114
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Polar, Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
10 Dec 202022 Dec 2020AvailableAUD $8,450
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
You will be warmly greeted by the crew and expedition staff as you embark Ortelius in the afternoon. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, we will settle into shipboard life and enjoy our first meal on board.
Days 2-3
During these two days, we will sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we will 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 will glimpse at the first icebergs.
Days 4-10
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. Places you might visit includes: Neumayer Channel – The vessel may position itself here, launching its multiple basecamp activities from the protected waters around Wiencke Island. You can enjoy the splendors of this alpine environment at sea with Zodiac and kayaking trips, or if you’re in the mood for a walk, there are possible snowsh hikes and soft-climb mountaineering options farther inland. Naturally, favorable weather conditions determine the possible activities. Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping here, and when conditions are right, you can even snowsh around the shore. Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you can sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals. Kayaking, glacier walks, and more ambitious mountaineering trips are the potential activities of this location. Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks. Paradise Bay – You have the chance to make camp here like a true polar explorer (but with a better tent), enjoying a supreme overnight Antarctic adventure. Errera Channel – Possible sites in this area include Danco Island and Cuverville Island, but also the lesser known (though equally picturesque) Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island. On your last day of near-shore activities, you pass the Melchior Islands toward the open sea. Keep a sharp lookout for humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. You might also shoot for Half Moon Island, in the South Shetlands, with further chances for activities. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Days 11-12
In the Drake Passage, we will have again a chance of seeing many seabirds, and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.
Day 13
During the early morning we will cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia. It is a busy time, with people saying farewell to our crew and others who have shared the intensity of being in a magnificent white wilderness. We will head off in our different directions, hopefully with a new found sense of the power of natural forces.