This incredible Antarctica cruise offers the most comprehensive itinerary of all boats. Explore the beautiful Antarctic Peninsula, the ice packed Weddell Sea and the remote and wildlife rich Falkland Islands. This voyage also crosses the intangible Antarctic Circle, a lesser visited area of the peninsula.
- Longest and most comprehensive exploration of Antarctica
- Sixteen days of off-ship exploration in the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetlands, Weddell Sea and the Falklands
- Cross the Antarctic Circle, something very few people do each season
- Two chances to land on Elephant Island, central to the Shackleton story
- Activities available include camping, kayaking, snow shoeing, bird watching, mammal spotting and hiking
This epic Antarctic expedition cruise, begins with a short flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Falkland Islands. Upon arrival board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov ship which will be home for the next 21 nights. Set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula, during the two day sea crossing look out at the hundreds of sea birds including the wandering albatross which can be found in this area. Whilst sailing learn from the onboard experts about the Antarctic environment, wildlife and history of this fascinating area. Before reaching the peninsula, if conditions are right, make a visit to historic Elephant Island, a place central to the Shackleton story. The southern tip of the island also has an impressive macaroni penguin colony as well as Antarctic fur seal and gentoo penguins.
Over the following days travel south along the Antarctic Peninsula and its outlying islands, with the aim of crossing the Antarctic Circle. Along the way make shore visits in small groups of 10-12 and admire the large icebergs and ice strewn waters of this incredible place. There are some wonderful spots for kayaking, an unforgettable experience to get up close to the icebergs. After reaching the turnaround point of Detaille Island the cruise will return north exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic peninsula. Each day there is the opportunity to get off the ship and explore on foot, stopping at classic locations like Petermann Island, Pleneau Island and the Lemaire Channel. If the weather permits, there will be the opportunity to stay a night off the ship camping, a special and memorable experience. The first part of this voyage will end at King George Island with some passengers leaving the ship and others joining.
The second part of the Antarctic voyage will start in the South Shetland Islands visiting chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries as well as areas where the huge southern elephant seal can be found. Hiking opportunities exist to walk to the top of a volcanic crater, a chance to further explore the white continent on this beautiful walk. Days will continue to be spent in small groups going on guided walks in the snow and looking out at the ice covered mountains and glaciers. There will be more opportunities to visit gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and further cruising by zodiac or kayak in the icy waters.
Upon rounding the northern tip on the Antarctic Peninsula enter the Weddell Sea, where sea-ice and huge tabular icebergs can be found. The Weddell sea has a rich history, it was in this area that Shackleton and his men abandoned the Endurance ship that was stuck in pack ice. Maximum time is spent off the ship, exploring on foot and in zodiacs, visiting the Weddell and elephant seals as well as the large Adelie penguin rookeries. Look out for majestic emperor penguins, the largest of the penguins, that can be found in this region. If weather conditions are favourable there is a second chance to spend a night camping on the snow. Upon leaving the Weddell Sea pass by Elephant Island for the second time with another chance of going ashore.
This Antarctic cruise ends on the Falkland Islands, visiting the wildlife rich Saunders Island. It is here that gentoo, rockhopper, magellanic and king penguins can all be found. Also visit nearby West Point Island which is home to an incredible colony of black browed albatross. After 21 nights disembark the ship and fly back to Chile, again avoiding more days at sea.
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.