Experience Antarctica in the company of Kings and Emperors!
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.
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’s Nordenskjold expedition and Seymour Island, where scientists are still searching for fossils of giant penguins.
Hardy adventurers and those with a yearning for history, have the chance to camp out on the ice overnight and feel the thrill and bravery of those early explorers who explored and 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 heading back to Ushuaia.
As with all our expeditions, safety is our top priority. For that reason weather, ice or other conditions may require us to change our itinerary and shore excursions as we go but that is half the fun of Polar exploring. Predictability is a word that has no relevance in this environment.
Designed for polar research, the Ioffe is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened, and provides comfortable accommodations for up to 93 passengers. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, the public spaces on board the ship ideally suited for adventure cruising. 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 meals prepared for you by our culinary team in our dining room, which can host all clients in a single seating. Other facilities include the theater style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool.
Designed and built as a scientific research vessel in Finland, the One Ocean Ioffe is very stable, quiet and comfortable. Refitting and refurbishment over the last five years oriented towards her role as an expedition cruise vessel and has greatly improved the comfort and caliber of the facilities aboard the ship.
There is little if any ambient noise from engines or machinery and with most of the public spaces on a separate deck from the majority of the cabins there is little issue with passenger-generated noise.
Vessel stabilization is gained through a combination of external stabilizers on her hull and a built-in ballast trimming system. The rapid transfer of ballast between special trimming tanks reduces vessel motion and coupled with a modern hull design gives us a stable platform for exploration.
Expert and very experienced staff, Adventure Concierges cater to passengers every need.
A fleet of Zodiac inflatable boats are used to shuttle passengers to landing sites and on scenic cruises through the majestic bays and channels of Antarctica. A true adventure ship, both kayaking and camping is available onboard the Akademik Ioffe.
Note—While this trip is not an exclusive Mountain Travel Sobek departure, you can book with confidence knowing that we have selected only the finest—and safest—expedition ships in the world, with the best itineraries available in polar waters, operated by companies who have longstanding experience in active shipboard expeditions and impeccable safety records. You’ll also know that you will receive the high level of service you expect from Mountain Travel Sobek.
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.