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New Year in Antarctica

The Antarctic Peninsula provides a haven for the greatest concentration of wildlife on the continent. We have scheduled five days to explore the deep bays and fjords of the western Antarctic Peninsula. With regular landings on our zodiacs, we walk among the multitude of penguin rookeries and seal colonies in the vicinity of Deception Island, Gerlache Strait, Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel. There are also ample opportunities to observe the abundant variety of seabirds and sight Humpback and Minke Whales as they surface close to our boat. Our time onshore will also include visits to scientific stations and historic sites.

Inclusions

10 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners
Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
Flight from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams
One night hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas post voyage (twin share)
Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas
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
Complimentary Polar Expedition Jacket
Keepsake Photo Book (one per booking) created from photography taken during your voyage
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
Great variety of terrain over short distances
Icebergs and active glaciers
Opportunity to camp on ice (optional)
Kayaking through Antarctic waters (optional)
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
11
Price From
AUD $9,700
Start Location
Punta Arenas, Antarctica
End Location
Antarctica
Age Range
Avg. 30+
Group Size
1 to 50
Tour Style
Standard
Tour Themes
Polar, Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Mild
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
29 Dec 201808 Jan 2019AvailableAUD $9,700
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
This morning we fly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams where we embark the Polar Pioneer in the afternoon.
Days 2-3
Some of us will approach this historic crossing with more than a little trepidation. But despite its reputation, there are many times when the Drake Passage resembles a lake, with lazy Southern Ocean swells rolling under the keel. On the other hand, we sometimes encounter rough crossings with large waves. The size of the waves and the force of the gale will take on gigantic proportions when related around the fire back home. The mood on board is definitely casual. A favourite pastime is to stand at the stern deck watching the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels, following in our wake, skillfully using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. During our Drake crossing, we will commence our lecture program about the wildlife, geology, history and geography of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica is a photographers' paradise, for the professional and amateur alike. There will be discussions about how to protect your equipment from salt water, and tips about taking good pictures. Nearing the tip of the Peninsula towards the end of day three, excitement reaches fever pitch with everyone on the bridge watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you forever.
Days 4-9
Nearing the tip of the Peninsula, excitement reaches fever pitch with everyone on the bridge watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you forever. The passage along Gerlache Strait delivers us to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, an ethereal wonderland of vast proportions. Aboard robust Zodiacs, we explore penguin rookeries, historic sites and scientific stations. Zodiac cruising brings us close to intricately shaped icebergs and seals basking on ice fls. Dwarfed by massive bergs, kayakers glide into secluded bays. We focus on immersing ourselves in nature, spontaneity and flexibility enhancing our enjoyment. Bubble-netting humpbacks demand a wake-up call, even at midnight! A curious leopard seal cruising amongst spectacular icebergs may mean postponing lunch. A host of choices are now open to us, and depending on the ice and weather conditions, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is ours to explore. Our experienced leaders, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use this expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather and ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. As we are so far south, we will experience approximately 20 hours' daylight. There is plenty of time for sleep when you get home..... ! Once we arrive in the calmer waters of Bransfield and Gerlache Straits, we will be landing two to three times a day. To get ashore we will use Zodiacs (inflatable rubber boats). Sometimes we will cruise along spectacular ice cliffs, or follow whales that are feeding near the surface. In these cases, we will appreciate the distinct advantage of being on a small vessel, which gives everyone the opportunity to experience these very special close encounters with the wildlife. The mood on board is definitely casual. We will also commence our lecture program about the wildlife, geology, history and geography of the Antarctic Peninsula. Antarctica is a photographers' paradise, for the professional and amateur alike. There will be discussions about how to protect your equipment from salt water, and tips about taking good pictures.
Day 10
We will disembark this morning in King George Island and join our mandatory flight to Punta Arenas in Chile. It is a busy time, with people saying farewell to our crew and to fellow passengers, who have shared the intensity of exploring this magnificent white wilderness. On arrival in Punta Arenas we will transfer to our hotel for overnight accommodation.
Day 11
Our trip concludes this morning in Punta Arenas.