Snow-shoeing in Antarctica from Basecamp Plancius

Antarctic Basecamp M/V Plancius

Antarctic Peninsula

An expedition cruise for adventurers! M/V Plancius becomes our base camp for this Antarctica cruise. 'Base camp' is by definition a temporary storing and starting place, from which an activity starts. 'Activity modules' are offered which go beyond a normal Antarctic shore program. The vessel will stay for two or three days at specific locations to serve our active passengers as a comfortable hub to allow more time than usual for wide ranging activities. Try out climbing, hiking, kayaking, photography workshops, camping and even polar diving in Antarctica!

  • Activities for everyone: climbing, hiking, kayaking, photography safaris, camping, Zodiac cruises, polar diving (all activities free of charge except polar diving)
  • Camp near the penguin colonies
  • Observe wildlife from your kayak
  • Flora and fauna of Antarctic Peninsula
  • Antarctic Peninsula’s magical scenery

Stewart's Take

Yearning to do exciting and inspiring activities in Antarctica? This is your chance to try them all!

Overview

An expedition cruise for adventurers! M/V Plancius becomes our base camp for this Antarctica cruise. 'Base camp' is by definition a temporary storing and starting place, from which an activity starts. 'Activity modules' are offered which go beyond a normal Antarctic shore program. The vessel will stay for two or three days at specific locations to serve our active passengers as a comfortable hub to allow more time than usual for wide ranging activities. Try out climbing, hiking, kayaking, photography workshops, camping and even polar diving in Antarctica!
Day 1: Departure from Ushuaia In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening. Days 2 - 3: At Sea During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. In this area we may see 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. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs. Days 4 - 9*: Antarctica We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. We will sail to the Neumayer Channel, where we position our ship for the multi activity base camp. The protected waters around Wiencke Island will become our playground for all activities. In this alpine environment there are great opportunities to scout the region on foot, per zodiac and during kayak trips. Walkers will find opportunities to use snowshoes on hikes near the shore lines and the mountaineers will find their challenge by climbing hills and view points further inland, i.e. Jabet Peak (540 m). All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions. We plan to stay two overnights at anchor in order to implement two camp nights and two full activity days. We will visit the British research station and the post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags. We look out for leopard seals, crabeater seals and whales . In good conditions and time allowing we sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Booth Island, Pleneau and Petermann Island where we can find Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales. We choose another camp site which is suitable and close to next day’s activity. At Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of a huge glacier and enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises, hikes and kayak excursions. A small group of mountaineers may climb up on higher grounds of the glacier. We will spend the night at Neko or near Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore. We will leave early morning after breaking our last camp. We sail via Melchior Islands towards the open sea of the Drake Passage. We have again a chance of seeing many seabirds. Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore. We will leave Neko Harbour in the early morning after breaking our last camp. We sail via Melchior Islands towards the open sea of the Drake Passage. We have again a chance of seeing many seabirds. Days 10 - 11: At Sea On our way north, we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage. Day 12*: Arrival in Ushuaia We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark. PLEASE NOTE:
  • *10 night/11 day itineraries spend one less day in the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • A Basecamp itinerary to the Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated above. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. During the “Basecamp Plancius” departures all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshops as well as standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises) are free of charge, except for scuba diving (this is supplemented).
  • Photos copyright: Jorg Ehrlich, Jan Bryde, Jim Mayer, Francois Deriberolles, Erwin Vermeulen, Anjali Pande

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Expedition Vessel: M/V Plancius

M/V "Plancius" was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman". The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was completely rebuilt as a 114-passenger vessel in 2009. M/V "Plancius" complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea), is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag. M/V "Plancius" accommodates 114 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 15 square metres) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square metres).

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded
  • Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post land arrangements.
  • Transfers to the vessel.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • 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).
  • Possible fuel surcharges; It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 per passenger per night for bookings outside Europe and EURO 18 per passenger per night for bookings within Europe, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.
Rates, Share and Sole Use policy All rates are quoted per person, based on shared twin, triple or quad occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with another person of the same gender at the shared rate. Twin and Superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the share rate. Children Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40 % discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults). Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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