Experience Antarctica in the company of Kings and Emperors!
Antarctica is the last wild, unspoiled place on earth, the largest, purest wilderness we know, the only continent that has been almost free of human contact since the beginning of time. It is a realm whose beauty is so spectacular and otherworldly that it often leaves visitors speechless.
Sailing in comfort aboard the comfortable and well-appointed Akademik Ioffe, we begin this 12-night expedition at the tip of South America. We chart a course across the Drake Passage and make our first landfall in the South Shetland Islands on our way to the Weddell Sea – the ice-choked sea made famous by the epic saga of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men from the Imperial Trans- Antarctic Expedition. The area is part of the realm of the Emperor penguin and we wil spend a few days among the islands of the Weddell Sea's western shores in search of them. Images of massive tabular icebergs and ice-choked waters also 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’s Nordenskjold expedition and Seymour Island, where scientists are still searching for fossils of giant penguins.
Aboard a small, maneuverable ice-class expedition ship and in the company of a team of expert naturalist guides, you'll journey south to the "last continent" for an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience that may change your life forever.
Easy ship travel, optional walks and Zodiac excursions. (Optional sea kayaking and camping)
- On this unique voyage, you cruise in search of two of the most eye-catching of all penguin species – emperors and kings
- Visit the Weddell Sea, home to adelie and emperor penguins, plus spectacular tabular icebergs
- Get up close with penguins and other wildlife on daily zodiac excursions and shore landings
- 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: 13 days Start Location: Ushuaia, Argentina End Location: Ushuaia, ArgentinaDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Ushuaia. Board ship and set sail
Board your expedition vessel and begin the journey to Antarctica with a scenic sail 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 Polar experts.
Day 4 : South Shetland Islands
We make our first landfall in the South Shetland Islands, a chain of islands known for their more maritime climate and abundance of wildlife. Cruise these volcanic islands in search of chinstrap penguin rookeries, southern elephant seals or the signs of exploration left on the beaches in the form of tri-pots and abandoned whaling stations. Weather permitting we hope to visit Deception Island with a goal of visiting the chinstrap penguin rookery at Bailey Head.
Days 5 - 7 : Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea
As we sail through the sound and into the Weddell Sea, we will see an increase in the number of large tabular icebergs and the presence of sea ice. Our goal will be to explore the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula and its offshore islands. This region is home to Adelie penguin rookeries of astonishing size.
Day 8 : Elephant Island
We set course for Elephant Island and will attempt a landing at this notoriously challenging landing site.
Days 9 - 10 : At sea
Sail to the Falklands Islands, recapping our Weddel Sea adventures and scanning the horizon for whales and other wildlife.
Day 11 : West Point & Saunders
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 while 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 : At sea
We make our way back towards Ushuaia.
Day 13 : Ushuaia
Arrive back in Ushuaia. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.
DATES: Best time to go: December Departures: Dec 28, 2014 - Jan 9, 2015
(All prices are per person and in US$)
$9,295 Triple Cabin with Shared Bath
$795 for Optional Sea Kayaking (space is limited, needs to be reserved at time of booking)
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.