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Want the chance to see spectacular Antarctic sea life and follow whales as they migrate south for the winter? This 11-day Antarctic Whale Journey with Intrepid offers the opportunity of a lifetime for wildlife lovers, increasing the likelihood of spotting orcas, minke and humpback whales during an adventure on the Antarctic Peninsula. When not searching out these gentle giants, spend your time exploring the rest of what the Great White Continent has to offer – seeking out penguin rookeries, spotting seals along craggy shores and (if the weather plays nice) taking excursions on land. With comfortable ship quarters on the Ocean Endeavour and an onboard team of polar experts & wellness services, this is the best way (and time) to discover the majestic beauty of the Antarctic Peninsula and its inhabitants.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2: Ushuaia (Embarkation)
Days 3 & 4: Cross the Drake Passage
Days 5 - 7: Antarctic Peninsula
Days 8 & 9: Drake Passage
Day 10: Ushuaia
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Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city, for the start of your Antarctic adventure. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel to settle in before meeting your fellow travellers. If you’re arriving earlier there are plenty of activities to choose from. Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park on a full day’s adventure, tackle part of the Martial Mountains for a memorable view over the Beagle Channel, or perhaps just a walk around town and enjoy the cafe scene. Tonight’s all about introductions, and what better place to do it than to try a traditional asado – an Argentinean-style barbecue.
Today you'll board the Ocean Endeavour for your Antarctic expedition later in the day, so this morning continue to explore Ushuaia. Perhaps check out the Museo Maritimo to brush up on local history, or just enjoy a morning strolling this languid town. Once you’ve boarded the ship, meet your expert crew and take a tour of the amenities and services available on the ship. Wave goodbye to Argentina and say hello to the legendary Drake Passage.
Spend two days travelling across the legendary waters of the Drake Passage, named after the famous English seafarer, Sir Frances Drake. If conditions allow there’ll be a chance to enjoy the outer deck space and scout for dolphins, whales and the odd albatross trailing past. A comprehensive optional lecture program will also get under way, with polar experts sharing some fascinating insights into Antarctic history, geology, biology and everything in-between. If the weather gods are on our side, we should reach the Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula by early evening on Day 4 – the first sighting of land always brings great excitement on any expedition south.
The Antarctic Peninsula is known for a high number of wildlife sightings in front of stunning backdrops of mountains, ice and water, which pull together for incredible scenes as we look for whales migrating along the coast. The peak of the migration season (February and March) is the best opportunity to see these majestic ocean dwellers, and the most common species found in the region are humpback, minke and fin whales, as well as orcas. Sightings can happen from the deck of the ship or during a Zodiac excursion, and there’ll also be an opportunity to take your first steps on Antarctica during onshore exploration.
Other wildlife encounters are likely to include Weddell, elephant, crabeater and leopard seals, as well as Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. Excursions are scheduled twice daily and tailored to suit the ship’s location. Zodiac rides allow for a closer encounter with marine life, while the onshore exploration will take you to penguin rookeries and includes optional activities like snowshoeing, kayaking and camping overnight (these must be booked prior to departure). The landing sites visited will depend on the ship's location and weather conditions, but for information on potential landing sites please visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/antarctica-landing-sites
The lecture program will continue throughout the voyage and the polar experts will be on-hand to answer any questions you may have. An average day on board will begin with a wakeup call from your expedition leader around 7 am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow passengers for breakfast in the restaurant. You will usually have two excursions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with lunch on the ship in-between excursions.
Leaving Antarctica behind we cruise north to our home port of Ushuaia. This is your time to reflect on the amazing journey, and we’re scheduled to reach the relatively calm waters of the Beagle Channel by the evening of day 9. The last meal together is often a highlight, so live it up and enjoy as you celebrate the trip with your fellow travellers.
Arrive in Ushuaia port early in the morning and disembark the Ocean Endeavour after breakfast.
The Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable, well-appointed expedition ship expertly engineered to explore the polar regions. The ship has an ice-strengthened hull (Ice Class 1B), zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, generous deck space and advanced navigation equipment. It offers a superb experience for up to 199 guests with facilities that include a nautical lounge, two restaurants, a sundeck and plenty of deck space for observation of the polar landscapes.
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