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Basecamp Antarctic Peninsula on Plancius

Antarctica is all about discovery and exploration. 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. From King George Island and Penguin Island we will sail down to the beautiful Paradise Bay, where we make our first footsteps on the Antarctic mainland. The narrow and spectacular Lemaire Channel is surrounded by mountains and glaciers and a popular passage for several species of whales journeying up and down the sheltered Antarctic Peninsula waterways. In the Antarctic Peninsula Minke Whales, and sometimes Orca and Humpback Whales can be spotted as well as the ferocious-looking Leopard Seals.

Inclusions

11 breakfasts, 10 lunches and 11 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 & active scientific stations
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
12
Price From
AUD $7,950
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
17 Feb 201928 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $7,950
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
You will be warmly greeted by the crew and expedition staff as you embark Plancius 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 4-9
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 will 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 will be great opportunities to scout the region on foot, by zodiac and during kayak trips. Walkers will find opportunities to use snowshs on hikes near the shore lines, and the mountaineers will find their challenge by climbing hills and view points further inland, ie. Jabet Peak (540 m). All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions. We plan to stay for two nights at anchor, in order to implement two camp nights and two full activity days. We will visit the British research station and post office, Port Lockroy, on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point, with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags. We will sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island, where we can find Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales. Our second Basecamp night will be erected near the continent, where we will choose a camp site which is suitable and close to the next day's activity. The mountaineers will hope to reach the summit of Mt Demaria (640 m) at Waddington Bay. A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica, will give you an insight into the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south, we may have time to visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where we will receive a warm welcome from the station crew. When sailing to Paradise Bay, with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we will have the opportunity for zodiac cruising and kayaking between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. In this area we will have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales. Hikers, mountaineers and photographers will spend time ashore in this area. In the afternoon at Neko Harbour, we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers; and enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises, hikes and kayak excursions. A small group of mountaineers may climb up on the higher grounds of the glacier. We will spend the night at Neko, or near Paradise Bay, with a camp erected ashore. We will leave Neko Harbour in the early morning, after breaking our last camp. We will sail via the Melchior Islands, towards the open sea of the Drake Passage.
Days 10-11
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 12
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.