Antarctica and South Georgia: Akademik Ioffe
Early Booking Discount automatically applies for all bookings made prior to 31 May 2017
Early Booking Discount automatically applies for all bookings made prior to 31 May 2017
Cross the Drake Passage and arrive in Antarctica to celebrate the New Year! We explore the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and then follow the course taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton whose epic small boat journey, from Elephant Island across the Scotia Sea to South Georgia, remains one of the greatest feats of navigation in history. We commence our exploration at the remote southeastern tip of the island, and then spend the following days exploring the northern coastline. Here are some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth. The shores are covered in wildlife – including nesting albatross, fur seals and elephant seals. Rusting relics from the old whaling era sit silent and provide a dramatic contrast to the green tussock grass, and snowy peaks that surround us. Day 1: Ushuaia Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier where we embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail, dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime. Day 2 - 3: Drake Passage Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds as we transit the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Day 4 - 5: Antarctica We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. This must surely be one of the most spectacular locations in the world to bring in the New Year! We spend the next several days navigating through icy waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula. We make several off-ship excursions each day, exploring on shore, or cruising in the Zodiacs. As well as exploring the offshore islands along the coastline, we hope to step foot on the actual continent of Antarctica. Day 6 - 7: South Shetland Islands After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather permits, we sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. To the north, lies Elephant Island – forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. This is a thrilling location for history buffs. Day 8 - 9: Scotia Sea As we depart Antarctica we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30 foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia. We make a much easier time of the crossing in our state of the art expedition ship. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia. Day 10 - 12: South Georgia South Georgia has often been called the most staggering wildlife show on earth. Rounding the remote southeastern end of South Georgia, we spend the next three days thoroughly exploring the coastline. Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense size, you will discover the majestic king penguins. Locations we hope to visit include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. Dotted along the coastline are the rusting relics of the early whaling era. The largest of these locations is Grytviken. This is the final resting place of Sir Ernest Shackleton – who was laid to rest here in 1922. Day 13 - 15: Scotia Sea By now we are in sensory overload, our cameras full of images and our journey towards the Falkland Islands commences. Much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship. Day 16: Falkland Islands After several days crossing, Sea Lion Island marks our arrival into the Falkland Islands. This windswept location situated in the southern archipelago provides one further day of activity. We launch our Zodiacs and go ashore to view the remarkable wildlife colonies found here. Three species of penguins including gentoo, magellenic and rockhopper exist in the vicinity. Southern elephant seals and South American sea lions are found hauled out on the beaches. Day 17: Port Stanley/Punta Arenas Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal England or Scotland. It is charming with brightly coloured houses, pretty flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There is time to explore the town, before we make our way to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.
Designed for polar research, the Akademik Ioffe, also known as the One Ocean Navigator is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, the public spaces onboard the ship are ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team in our dining room, which can host all clients in a single seating with ample room. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool.
|Buenos Aires 4-day stopover (4-star)||Buenos Aires, the elegant Capital of Argentina, is one of the largest cities in the world. This great metropolis renowned for its sophistication stands out for being the most cosmopolitan and European city in South America, displayed through its mixed architecture and diverse culture. The Tango ambience can still be felt here, from the outdoor performances in San Telmo or La Boca to the evening shows in glitzy theatres. This 4 day/3 night stopover includes 4-star accommodation with breakfast, return airport transfers, a tour of the city and an evening dinner and Tango show at one of the famed Tango houses. Note: Itinerary can be customised and based on lower or higher-standard hotels on request. *Prices are per person share twin (contact us for single or triple prices) and are subject to change and surcharge for Christmas/New Year.||US$510|
|Kayaking Antarctica||Imagine the swish of water is it passes your hull, or the clack of brash ice against your paddle blade. Sea kayaking in polar regions allows you to experience a new side of this magnificent destination. Even the smallest piece of brash ice requires a navigation decision that you as skipper of your own little boat will be required to make. Bumping through the ice, gliding across a glassy bay with the mountains and glaciers reflected in the water, or close encounters with wildlife are experiences shared by sea kayakers. Our highly experienced guides spend more time paddling in cold water then they do in warm waters. With a combined role of safety and interpretation, they will guide and introduce you to a slower paced, quieter environment. Kayak excursions will be offered in conjunction with the Zodiac excursions whenever weather conditions permit. The Kayak Guides and Adventure Concierges will help to explain the choices of activities at each landing site and provide some suggestions on what to participate in, based on your own interests.||US$795|
|Ushuaia stopover (4-star)||3 DAY/2 NIGHT USHUAIA STOPOVER Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world is a colourful port, situated on the shores of the Beagle Channel in a bay of incredible beauty. Your stopover pre or post cruise, includes 2 nights accommodation with breakfast, one way transfer airport/hotel or vice versa and a tour of the Tierra del Fuego National Park with a ride on ‘The Train at the End of the World’. Cost shown per person Twin share (contact us for single or triple pricing) and based on 4-star hotel accommodation (contact us for other standards). Price subject to change due to availability or seasonal rates.||US$430|