Antarctic Peninsula Fly-cruise: RCGS Resolute

Antarctic Peninsula

Visit classic landing locations along the Antarctica Peninsula and Gerlache Strait coastline, including Paradise Harbour, Neko Harbour, Cuverville Island and the Errera Channel. Ice conditions permitting, we will also attempt a transit of the Lemaire Channel, the gateway to the southern jewels of Petermann and Pleneau Islands in the Penola Strait region. We spend our days off the ship exploring by Zodiac boat and making shore landings in the company of our expert guides

  • Ideal first trip to Antarctica.
  • Flights included to Falklands Islands
  • Majestic mountains, ice and scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Fast, luxurious ice strengthened vessel
  • Educational program from onboard lecturers and specialists
  • Onboard hospitality staff look after your every comfort
  • See abundant wildlife - penguins, seals, whales and more!
  • The right gear for your trip – included!

    Expedition Clothing Gear package included

    During the voyage you will have the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/ windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a Nordic trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once. It also eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear to the ship (total weight around 8kg/17lbs).

    Early Booking Offer

    Book and deposit before 31 January 2019 and save a flight credit of between US$800-$1200 per person (subject to cruise date). In addition, we will include a complimentary pre-voyage hotel night combined with an onboard US$50 dining/spa credit.

    Stewart's Take

    The RCGS Resolute brings a luxurious touch to this classic polar adventure!

    Overview

    Visit classic landing locations along the Antarctica Peninsula and Gerlache Strait coastline, including Paradise Harbour, Neko Harbour, Cuverville Island and the Errera Channel. Ice conditions permitting, we will also attempt a transit of the Lemaire Channel, the gateway to the southern jewels of Petermann and Pleneau Islands in the Penola Strait region. We spend our days off the ship exploring by Zodiac boat and making shore landings in the company of our expert guides.
    DAY 1 / SANTIAGO (CHILE) TO STANLEY (FALKLAND ISLANDS) We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. 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 and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth. DAYS 2-3 / AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. The Drake Passage is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history of the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. There is great excitement when the dark cliffs of Elephant Island appear on the horizon. This is one of Antarctica's most important historic locations and a fitting introduction. On the rocky beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and his men camped here for many months under their three upturned life boats, having lost their ship, HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. It was from this location that Shackleton and six companions set off on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tiny lifeboat, James Caird. To this day, the epic ocean crossing and crossing of South Georgia on foot is considered one of the greatest tales in polar history. If weather conditions permit, we aim for a Zodiac cruise to view the site from close proximity. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and sets the scene for an exciting expedition. DAYS 4-5 / ANTARCTIC SOUND, WEDDELL SEA AND NORTHERN GERLACHE STRAIT Navigating into Antarctic Sound we witness for the first time the vastness and majesty of the Antarctic icecap. It is an awe- inspiring sight. We notice a significant increase in the number of huge tabular icebergs entering the Weddell. These massive icebergs break from the huge ice shelves to the south drifting here on the prevailing currents. Adelie penguin rookeries of staggering size exist here – some contain more than 100,000 nesting birds. We have several antastic locations to consider but the ice conditions will likely dictate our landing sites. Gourdin Island and Brown Bluff are two such locations featuring substantial penguin rookeries. The region is also full of history of early exploration and has fascinating geological sites with thousands of fossils strewn over the shoreline. We have a busy day of exploration on shore, in the Zodiacs and on the ship. The Gerlache Strait is an important whale migration corridor and we encourage you to be on the bridge or outer observation decks looking for the tell-tale blows of the migrating whale pods. With luck, we may even catch a glimpse of the resident orca group that inhabit this stretch of water. We have several interesting locations to explore over the coming days, such as Cierva Cove or nearby Mikkelson Harbour. This area provides great excursion options on shore, in the Zodiacs and for the sea kayakers. We start to encounter much larger numbers of nesting gentoo penguins with their distinct orange beaks. Chinstrap penguins are another species we will begin to view in the coming days. Kelp gulls, skuas and Imperial cormorants are just some of the sea birds we expect to observe. It takes a sharp eye to spot the snowy white plumage of the Antarctic petrel - always a treasured sighting for the bird lovers. DAYS 6-7 / SOUTHERN GERLACHE STRAIT EXPLORATION Anvers Island is one of the largest of the off-shore ‘barrier’ islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several outstanding sites here as well as on neighbouring Wiencke Island. These locations provide us with opportunities to venture on shore, breaking into smaller groups. Enjoy a short or longer hike, wander over to observe penguins guarding their precious eggs or newborns on the nest, cruise in the Zodiacs or just sit and soak it all in. The choice is yours. A short transit across the Gerlache Strait brings us along the actual continental landmass of Antarctica. A potential shore landing at Paradise Harbour will be a highlight for many – as you step foot on the continent proper, for the very first time. A nearby hike up a snow-covered hill provides staggering 360-degree views. A Zodiac cruise or paddle into the nearby ice ‘cathedral’ of Skontorp Cove is another memorable experience. If the conditions are right, we aim to offer our overnight camping program to all adventurers somewhere in this vicinity. We have all the gear onboard and an experienced team to make this a night to remember. However, camping always depends on the weather and this activity is never guaranteed on any voyage. One of the largest gentoo penguin colonies along this stretch of coastline can be found on Cuverville Island, situated at the northern end of the Errera Channel. This is an important research site with the populations being carefully monitored by visiting scientists. Our naturalist guides will be able to tell you more about this important work. Cuverville is a good location for a Zodiac cruise and a circumnavigation of the entire island is sometimes possible. Other locations in the area we hope to explore include Willhelmina Bay. This is a known whale 'hot- spot'. This is a magnificent location with towering glaciers tumbling off the mountainous spine of the Antarctic Peninsula. DAY 8 / SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins, made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. The nearby Aitcho Islands provide some great hiking routes showcasing the colourful mosses and lichens found on the island. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins nest here and on the beaches, and we usually encounter seals coming and going from the surrounding waters. Fort Point situated on Greenwich Island is another possible location for a visit. Eventually we leave the snow-covered peaks of Antarctica behind us, pushing northwards on our return trip to the Falkland Islands. DAYS 9-10 / DRAKE PASSAGE – RETURN TO STANLEY AND THE FALKLAND ISLANDS As we make our way back to Stanley and the Falkland Islands, the educational presentations continue, and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts at the multimedia station and download your precious images. Approaching the coast of the Falkland Islands in the early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship. DAY 11 / ARRIVE STANLEY (FALKLAND ISLANDS) – VOYAGE CONCLUDES – FLY BACK TO SANTIAGO (CHILE) This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with your booking agent. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile. ABOUT OUR ITINERARY: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may hinder our planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

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    Luxury Expedition Vessel: RCGS Resolute

    RCGS Resolute

    The purpose built polar expedition vessel RCGS Resolute provides a most capable, safe, and exclusive expedition cruise experience.  Designed for comfort, there are public spaces ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180 degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. RCGS Resolute has the highest ice class (Lloyds 1AS).  Equipped with propellers of stainless steel, high density steel plating and small frame spacing on her hull, RCGS Resolute continues into the ice, when others simply cannot.  The ship is very stable and her stability and strength are features greatly appreciated in ice laden large waters.  Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate daily plans. All cabins feature outside viewing ranging from deck three traditional with port holes, up to decks 4 through 6 offering expansive panoramic windows.  Cabins all have lower berths that have the ability to be single beds, or 1 double bed depending on our guests needs. 

    For full information about this vessel click here:

    Included
    • Pre-voyage information package
    • Free use of expedition gear package with waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated rubber boots, waterproof backpack, binoculars and Nordic trekking pole.
    • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation
    • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping.
    • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board with daily afternoon tea
    • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar/lounge plus in-cabin tea and coffee making facilities
    • Expedition Leader and team of biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
    • Daily excursions by Zodiac boat with small groups for shore landings
    • Guided hikes and walks for all abilities
    • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and science stations
    • Photography guide
    • An emergency trained physician
    • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
    • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including massage options (charge applies)
    • Sea Kayaking program available (additional charge of US$795pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
    • Well-stocked library with polar reference books
    • End of voyage video, photos and take-home USB
    • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
    Excluded
    • Any airfare.
    • Pre- and post land arrangements.
    • Transfers to the vessel.
    • Passport and visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • All items of a personal nature such as additional purchases onboard in the gift shop, 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).
    Deposit Reservations require a 20% deposit 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 120 days of departure require full payment. Final Payment Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and can be paid by bank transfer. Balance payments may be made by credit card subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure = loss of deposit. If cancellation occurs less than 120 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. Pricing, Sharing and Single Occupancy Prices shown are per person on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.5 times the twin share rate (not available in the Triple category), or 2 times the rate for Suites. Family Travel and Child Discounts For youth up to and including 17 years of age there is a 25% reduction in price. For youth between the ages of 18-21 there is a 20% reduction in price with proof of educational enrolment (current student card). These youth bookings must accompany an adult booking. Permission is required for any traveller under the age of 18 years and a Child Consent form to be completed. Booking Terms Please read carefully the general Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by One Ocean 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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