Classic Antarctica Whale Watching Voyage
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary
depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The
on-board expedition leader determines the final
itinerary. Average cruising speed for m/v Ortelius is
Fortified for both poles of the planet, the
ice-strengthened Ortelius is thoroughly outfitted to
provide you an up-close experience of the Arctic and
Day 1: End of the World,
Start of a Journey
Your voyage begins where the
world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the
southernmost city on the planet, 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 scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for
the rest of the evening.
Day 2 - 3: Path of the
Over the next two days on
the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the
perspective of the polar explorers who first braved
these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe
even a fin whale blasting up sea spray. After passing
the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural
boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide
with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the
circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the
marine life change, the avian life changes too: A
variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with
Cape pigeons and southern fulmars . Then, near the South
Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight.
Day 4 – 5: Enter the
Gray stone peaks sketched
with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and
dramatically different wildlife below and above. You
first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and
Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers
Islands. Then on to Cuverville Island, stabbing up
between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. On
Cuverville lives a massive colony of gentoo penguins as
well as pairs of breeding brown skuas. Neko Harbour, the
next stop, affords you the first chance to step onto the
Antarctic Continent itself – an epic landscape of
mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow. During
the following stop at Paradise Bay, you may be able to
take a Zodiac cruise in its sprawling, ice-flecked water
before sailing on to the Lemaire Channel.
Day 6 – 8: Through the
After a comfortable night of
sailing, you wake among the many islands south of
Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle.
At this point a voyage through the aptly named Gullet –
a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island
and the Continent – is possible if the ice isn’t too
thick. You can explore this area either from the prow of
the ship or the edge of a Zodiac, getting the closest
possible contact with the terrain as you venture
You might also
circumnavigate Pourquoi Pas Island, named after the ship
of the famous French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot.
This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty,
glacier-crowded mountains. On Horseshoe Island is the
former British Base Y, a remnant of the 1950s that is
now unmanned, though still equipped with almost all the
technology it had while in service. Stonington Island is
home to the former US East Base and British Base E,
which was occupied until 1975. If a stop here is
possible, it marks the southernmost landing site of the
trip – 68° south. From there your road turns north
again, through the Gunnel Channel into Hanusse Bay, with
its countless icebergs – and a good chance of spotting
Day 9 – 11: Whales of
You are near the Antarctic
Circle again, cutting north through the countless ice
floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are
likely, and your approach to the Fish Islands offers the
possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing.
Whatever the case, the scenery is beyond compare in this
area. There may also be more Adélie penguins
congregating among the icebergs nearby. If you’re a bird
lover, Petermann and Pléneau Islands provide a great
variety of avian life as well as Zodiac cruises among
icebergs that are popular leopard seal and crabeater
seal hangouts. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo
penguins also love to frequent this “hot spot” of
Antarctic activity. Conditions on the Drake Passage
determine the exact time of departure.
Day 12 – 13: Familiar Seas,
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 14: There and Back
Every adventure, no matter
how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time
to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will
accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
© Erwin Vermeulen
Day 6 – 8: (Alternate
program if the route to the south of Crystal
Sound/Hanusse Bay is blocked by ice)
You may take a course around
the western side of Adelaide Island to reach Marguerite
Bay. Should ice conditions also not allow this approach,
you may continue the program by exploring the Antarctic
Peninsula in and around the Penola and Gerlache Straits.
Included in this voyage
Voyage aboard the indicated
vessel as indicated in the itinerary
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
Free use of rubber boots and
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.
Excluded from this voyage
Any airfare, whether on
scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post- land
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is
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 voyages for stewards and other service
personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Price:- From $8,300 per person. Please contact
us for departure dates and availability