Take a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the "last continent", an unspoiled landscape of glaciers and icy pristine waters. Cross the Drake Passage by ship and prep for the adventure with engaging talks and presentations. Once there, sea conditions determine the itinerary, but our ships call on remarkable places such as Deception Island - a volcanic caldera that we can sail into - and Paradise Bay, a favorite spot for Zodiac cruising to see fantastical iceberg sculptures. Opportunities abound to see penguins, seals, seabirds, and whales, who raise their young in this frozen paradise.
Gather with your trip mates before boarding the expedition ship. Settle in, connect with the expedition team, and prep with a safety and lifeboat drill. Then, with a glass of champagne in hand, begin the journey to Antarctica with a scenic sail through the Beagle Channel into the Drake Passage.
Sail across the 620 mile passage, crossing the Antarctic Convergence. Here the cold waters of the Antarctic meet the warmer seas of the Atlantic, and the surfacing nutrients attract seabirds and whales. The Drake Passage can have some treacherous ocean conditions at times. Crossings can be rough, but are usually tolerable. (Seasickness medication helps.)
During the voyage, prep for upcoming adventures with interesting presentations by onboard experts about the environment, wildlife, and history of Antarctica. Drawing closer to the Peninsula, feel the first signs of Antarctic magic. Breathe in the refreshing air, glimpse huge, tabular icebergs, and see the first signs of local wildlife.
Be dazzled by the first glimpse of the continent at Paradise Bay. Enjoy panoramic views from the top of a hill and keep an eye out for whales and seabirds. Take a Zodiac ride around fantastic turquoise and blue ice sculptures, which have been shaped by wind and water.
Spend Days 4 to 8 cruising the Peninsula, venturing ashore for walks whenever possible. Many factors play a role in shaping the itinerary based on ever-changing Antarctic conditions, but the experienced expedition leaders craft the best possible experience based on weather conditions.
Visit the peninsula's largest gentoo penguin colony of approximately 5,000 nesting pairs on Cuverville Island's rocky beach. Southern giant petrels, kelp gulls, and Antarctic terns also gather here. Cruise by Zodiac or paddle by kayak (optional program) among the bergs while keeping an eye out for curious leopard seals and humpback whales feeding offshore. Small coveys of gentoos sometimes swim by, their soft calls producing background music.
Climb to the summit of Orne Island on the Gerlache Strait for 360-degree panoramic views of the area. Some chinstrap penguins nest at the very top; these are the "mountain climbers" of the penguin world, preferring the view from the top of the cliffs.
Over the course of the spring and summer, the sun lingers longer, melting snow and ice. Wildlife grows in abundance: chicks hatch and pods of whales breach in a deep bay. The natural cycle of life ensures that every expedition is different and full of surprises!
Visit Paulet Island, where hundreds of thousands of penguin pairs nest with their chicks. Find the remains of the Swedish Antarctic Expedition's Captain's hut. Twenty men wintered here, surviving on penguins and seals.
Cruise through the breathtakingly narrow Lemaire Channel, with mountain walls rising thousands of feet straight out of the water. Keep an eye out for humpbacks, orcas, and leopard seals among the ice floes. This is one of the most scenic locations in Antarctica. However, the passage may sometimes become impassable.
Begin to travel back north to the South Shetland Islands, where the crescent-shaped Half Moon Island lies nestled within a passage. Spectacular mountains tower all around the fur seals and many species of birds, such as kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills.
Sail into Deception Island, one of the few volcanic calderas in the world that large ships may sail into. Explore abandoned whaling station ruins and take an active hike to "Neptune's Window" - high up onto the rim of the crater. If the conditions are right, partake in the "polar plunge" in the thermal waters along the shore.
Sail across the same passage back to Ushuaia, having walked the path of the great Antarctic adventurers. Muse upon the skies and vast landscapes of the continent, just as explorers Cook, Ross, Scott and Shackleton did. Take time to review your photographs with the onboard photography expert.
Rest and reflect as the ship continues its journey towards home and opt to take advantage of the onboard spa services. Cap off the trip with a sail past Cape Horn on the way to Ushuaia, weather permitting.
Arrive in Ushuaia in the early morning, while dawn breaks over the town. The setting is spectacular, with sparkling mountains in the background and the peaks of Chile to the west if the view is clear. Take breakfast aboard the ship, then transfer to the airport and fly home.
MT Sobek's Polar Value Promise means that we offer in-house services to help plan and execute you polar adventure for no added cost.
We include emergency medical insurance and emergency evacuation coverage as a value-added benefit at no additional cost to you.
Over 30 years offering polar voyages we have built strong relationships with polar outfitters and ships that cruise the 7th continent.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Expert polar interpretation and presentations, professional navigation through Antarctic waters, and up-close wildlife experiences on shore and by Zodiac. Optional kayaking.
Ice-strengthened and well-appointed polar expedition ships offer a luxurious way to explore Antarctica.
Antarctica is unpredictable. There may be days of warm sunshine, but be prepared for wind, rain, and possible snow. Daytime temperatures are usually 20°-32°F.
You need to arrive in Ushuaia on the day before the start of the trip. Hotel accommodation is not included that night, but we can help reserve for you.
On the last day (Day 11) please book your onward flights from Ushuaia for 12:00pm or later. An airport transfer is provided from the ship after breakfast.
The Drake Passage can have some treacherous ocean conditions at times. Crossings can be rough, but are usually tolerable. We recommend that you consult your doctor or bring seasickness medication.
There will be presentations & talks provided by the staff including a historian, wildlife experts and a photography expert. There is an onboard spa and library.
Large variety of options at buffet breakfasts and lunches. Dinners include plated entrée choices (including vegetarian,) appetizers, and desserts. Full-bar onboard payable with onboard account.
Yes, each guest will have use of a complimentary rental package including a quality waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, and insulated rubber boots. Includes a pair of binoculars and a waterproof backpack.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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MT Sobek Guest
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MT Sobek Guest