QUEST FOR THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE

This exciting Antarctic journey provides a modern twist on a much loved classic.
We explore the coastline visiting several classic locations such as Petermann Island and the iceberg ‘graveyard’ at Pleneau Island. We transit the Lemaire Channel if ice conditions permit and make continental landings at Paradise Harbour or nearby Neko Harbour. Both locations offer outstanding hiking opportunities. 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. Our journey concludes with visits to a number of locations in the South Shetland Islands. From King George Island in Antarctica we fly back to Punta Arenas in just two hours – saving more than two days crossing back to South America. For a relatively short voyage, this trip packs a serious punch and offers fantastic scenery, wildlife, historic and scientific interest.
 
Includes one night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas and flights to Port Stanley returning from King George Island.

Itinerary

Day 1: Flight Punta Arenas to Stanley & Embarkation
Our journey commences this morning in Punta Arenas. Here we board our 90 minuted 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.
 
Days 2 – 3: Southern Ocean
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.
 
Days 4 - 5: King George Island
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.
 
Days 6 – 8: Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic Circle
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.
 
Days 9 – 10: Antarctic Peninsula and Deception Island
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.
 
Day 11: King George Island and Punta Arenas, Chile
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. Upon arrival into Punta Arenas a transfer from the airport to the complimentary hotel is provided.
This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to some cozy restaurants, cafes and bars – including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ – a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.
 
Day 12: Punta Arenas, Chile
After a leisurely breakfast and check-out, make your own way to the airport for your onward journey. (We recommend you book flights after midday).
Galería


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DATES AND PRICES

1. 2017-2018

The prices display below are expressed in US dollars per person. If you would like more information or book the trip of a lifetime, please CONTACT US.

TRIP Embark Disembark Start date Finish date Prices from Vessel Adventure Options
Quest for the Antarctic Circle
(11 nights / 12 days)
30-Dec.-17 10-Jan.-18 $10,195 Akademik Vavilov Kayaking, Photo Workshop, Camping
Quest for the Antarctic Circle
(11 nights / 12 days)
13-Jan.-18 24-Jan.-18 $10,195 Akademik Ioffe Kayaking, Photo Workshop, Camping
Quest for the Antarctic Circle
(11 nights / 12 days)
20-Jan.-18 31-Jan.-18 $10,195 Akademik Vavilov Kayaking, Photo Workshop, Camping
Quest for the Antarctic Circle
(11 nights / 12 days)
10-Feb.-18 21-Feb.-18 $0 Akademik Vavilov
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