Spend Christmas in the company of Emperor and King penguins!
Sailing in comfort aboard the comfortable and well-appointed Akademik Ioffe, we begin this 12-day expedition at the tip of South America. We chart a course through the Drake Passage and make our first landfall in the South Shetland Islands on our way to the Weddelll Sea – the ice-choked sea made famous by the saga of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men from the Endurance expedition. This area is also the realm of the Emperor penguin and, over the Christmas holidays, we will spend a few days among the islands of the Weddell Sea’s western shore in search of the Emperor, the largest of the 17 penguin species and the most vividly colored. Images of massive tabular icebergs and ice-choked waters come to mind when contemplating the Weddell Sea - all sights that we hope to see and experience over the course of our expedition cruise. We will push for Paulet Island, home to one of the Peninsula’s largest penguin rookeries, before heading south to Snow Hill Island, the base for the Heroic Age Nordenskjold expedition and Seymour Island, where scientists are still finding fossils of giant penguins. Hardy adventurers, or those with a yen for history, have the chance to camp out on the ice overnight and feel the thrill and audacity of those early explorers who attempted to conquer the white continent. Our departure from the Weddell Sea will take us north to the Falkland Islands where we hope to see King penguins before disembarking in Port Stanley.
Polar cruising, wildlife viewing, optional ice camping
- This unique voyage is the ideal way to celebrate a guaranteed white Christmas as you cruise in search of two of the most eye-catching of all penguin species – emperors and kings.
- Visit Antarctica’s Weddell Sea, home to adelie and emperor penguins plus spectacular tabular icebergs.
- Trace the fascinating history of early polar exploration as we explore areas visited during Shackleton's legendary Endurance expedition.
- Explore the Falkland Islands, home to a wealth of wildlife experiences, including rockhopper, gentoo, Magellanic and king penguins.
Duration: 12 days Start Location: Ushuaia End Location: Port StanleyDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Ushuaia
Board the ship in Ushuaia this afternoon and chart a course through the Beagle Channel.
Days 2 - 3 : Drake Passage
Spend two days crossing the Drake Passage and learning about Antarctica via the many on board lectures and presentations by our Polar experts.
Day 4 : South Shetland Islands
Today we will make landfall in the South Shetland Islands, searching for chinstrap penguin rookeries and elephant seals. We also hope to visit Deception Island if weather conditions are ideal.
Days 5 - 7 : Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea
We sail through the Antarctic Sound and into the Weddell Sea to explore the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and its offshore islands. This area contains a large number of tabular icebergs and Adelie penguin rookeries. Planned excursions may include Paulet Island, Brown Bluff, and possibly Snow Hill Island.
Day 8 : Elephant Island
Today we will attempt a landing at Point Wild on Elephant Island and retrace the footsteps of the Endurance expedition.
Days 9 - 10 : At Sea
Whilst sailing across to the Falkland Islands our onboard polar experts will recap on our Weddell Sea adventures and prepare us for the days ahead.
Day 11 : West Point and Saunders
We will explore the islands of West Point and Saunders, both in the West Falklands Archipelago. West Point is known for its bustling rookeries of rockhopper penguins whilst Saunders Island has four species of breeding penguin including gentoo, Magellanic, rockhopper and our goal for the Falkland Island visit, the king penguin.
Day 12 : Port Stanley
In the early morning, we will arrive into Port Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transferred to the airport in Port Stanley for the scheduled flight to Santiago, Chile (flight not included).
DATES: Best time to go: December Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
Winter 2012-2013 Prices (All prices are US$ per person)
$7,690 Triple Cabin with Shared Bath
$795 for Optional Sea Kayaking
Single Supplement is 1.5 times the twin cabin price or 2 times the Suite price (singles cannot take over Triple Cabins). If you are willing to share a cabin, we will match you up with a roommate and waive the single supplement fee.
Designed for polar research, the Akademik Ioffe is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, we have public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge.
Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team in our dining room, which can host all clients in a single seating with ample room.
Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.