Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica – Basecamp (incl. navigational workshop)

Embark on an activity-centered expedition that lets you chart and explore the remote Anvers Island and Flandres Bay.

Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights

Starts: Ushuaia, Argentina

Ends: Ushuaia, Argentina

Itinerary

In this adventurous multi-activity voyage, we visit Antarctica’s Anvers Island and Flandres Bay, where you can learn to chart and make depth measurements while exploring in our Zodiac boats and kayaks. Camping, navigation workshops, and fascinating presentations about historic Antarctic voyages are also part of this immersive expedition.

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2 – 3: Drake Passage

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

Day 4: The first glimpses of Antarctica

As we head toward Antarctica, our first stop is the impressive Spert Island, where you can enjoy views of its towering cliffs and canyons from our Zodiacs and kayaks. After an exhilarating morning, we head to Mikkelsen Harbor, where the goal is to land at the tiny D’Hainaut Island. Gentoo penguins can be seen on this island, which is surrounded by awe-inspiring glaciers and mountains welcoming us to Antarctica.

Day 5: Dobrowolski Island and possible leopard seals

Today we visit Dobrowolski Island. Landings here can be tricky, but the reward is a beautiful island that is seldom visited, with a range of penguins and seals that rest on the rocks. A channel around the island offers kayakers a pleasant view of the terrain and wildlife. This is also where we’ve had the most luck seeing hauled-out leopard seals on the ice floes in recent years. Naturally, we cannot guarantee you will see any, but keep your fingers crossed!

Day 6: Exploring and charting Flandres Bay

Today we head to the area of Flandres Bay, an uncharted area that will provide you the opportunity to see how we use technology to read the sea bed for navigational purposes. We hope to find new information about the coastline as well as finding new landing sites. This is a real expedition day, so flexibility is key, and venturing into the unknown is our aim.

Day 7: Anvers Island hikes and history

We begin the day on the south side of Anvers Island, in Neumayer Channel, and hope to land at Damoy Point. This is a favorite of our program, with the secluded Dorian Bay nearby and the chance to snowshoe to a ridge that was once used as a ski-way for aircrafts. After a well-deserved lunch, we head along the Neumayer Channel to Börgen Bay and explore this dramatic area of coastline. Weather permitting, we might alternately visit Access Point, once used by John Biscoe to land on Anvers Island, and re-trace his historic footsteps.

Day 8: Pléneau & Petermann Islands

If the ice allows it, you can sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals.

Day 9: Paradise Bay and Brown Station

Today you may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance we will encounter humpback and minke whales. We might also be able to make a stop at Brown Station (Almirante Brown), an Argentine research facility with nearby nesting gentoos. A short hike up the hill behind the station offers exceptional views across Paradise Bay.

Day 10: Meeting the Melchior Islands

These islands offer a beautiful landscape rich with icebergs. Leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales are found here, and there are excellent opportunities for kayaking as well as shore-based activities.

Day 11 – 12: Drake Passage

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 13: Ushuaia, Argentina

Today you disembark in Ushuaia early in the morning, taking home priceless memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

ACTIVITIES YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN

Navigational Workshop: Select this activity if you’re interested in learning the history, theory, and practice of land and sea navigation. Topics covered include the use of sextants, chart positioning, and GPS functions, among others. All courses led by experienced expedition guides. No additional equipment needed.

Camping: Special gear and field equipment will be provided. Camping is subject to weather, local site and environmental regulations.

Kayaking: Basic kayaking experience is of advantage, but it is not a requirement. Physical fitness is essential. Kayaking is subject to weather and prevailing ice conditions.

Snowshoeing: Snowshoe walking is easy and does not require any technical skills. The snowshoes will fit all boot sizes and can be used in combination with the rubber boots provided onboard.

Hiking: There will be easy, moderate and more demanding walks available in the vicinity of the landing sites. Rubber boots with a grip sole appropriate for hiking will be provided.

Photo Workshop: Participants with a special interest in photography will bring their personal photo equipment. The workshop must be pre-booked prior to departure.

INCLUSIONS
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • During our “Basecamp” departures, all offered activities (including navigational workshop, camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, photo workshop) as well as our standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge.
EXCLUSIONS
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION!