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A 10-day itinerary to explore the pristine wilderness of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. The Expedition team will take you to many islands where you will observe remarkable wildlife like rookeries of Gentoo penguins waddling on the snow-covered landscapes, in the most remote region on Earth.
Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia
Day 2-3: Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 4-7: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Day 8-9: At Sea
Day 10: Arrival in Ushuaia
You will embark the ship, the “Ushuaia”, in the afternoon and be welcomed by the Expedition team. You will settle in your cabin; the ship will then set sail and navigate through the Beagle Channel.
You will cross the iconic Drake Passage named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, where cold polar water meets the warmer water coming from the north and create rich nutrients, essential for the biodiversity of the region. Go on the deck and admire the marine and birdlife, including albatrosses flying over the ship. The open bridge policy allows you to join officers and learn navigation and simply enjoy the view from the bridge. A full program of lectures will be offered onboard.
As the ship approaches the South Shetland Islands, it will reveal icebergs drifting along the coast and snow-capped mountains dotting the area. The South Shetland Islands regroup twenty islands and islets, if conditions are favourable you could even land ashore accompanied by lecturers and naturalists. You can see vast rookeries of penguins as well as Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals on the shore. After navigating through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island, you will cruise to King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands. You will admire Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels. The island is also home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins, as well as elephant seals, will await you at Livingston Island.
The Antarctic Peninsula will provide you with excitement, great explorers have been travelling in this pristine wilderness and you will have plenty of time to explore pristine landscapes of ice mountains and waterways. Apart from penguins and seabirds, you will see diverse wildlife such as Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales. If the weather is favourable, you will navigate through places like the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel. The Expedition team will arrange two landings a day, and further exploration will take you to Paradise Bay, the Melchior Island group, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and, if ice conditions permit, Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
You will leave Antarctica and head back to Ushuaia through the iconic Drake Passage. You can join lectures and get on the deck for your last seabird and whale watching. You can also take the chance to share your experience and memorable moments with other travellers on your way back.
After breakfast, you will disembark the ship and say farewell to the Expedition team and travellers.
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