Land on the Antarctic mainland

Antarctic Pioneering Voyage: M/V Plancius

Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula offers dramatic scenery and wildlife almost everywhere and a great variety of possible landing sites. Yet many voyages visit almost the same places every time. Looking beyond the 'usual landing sites', this itinerary takes you on a journey of discovery to reach wild and beautiful Antarctic places, off the beaten track. This 11 day voyage will attempt Antarctica landings that have rarely if ever been offered by any cruise operator

  • Voyage of discovery to new and rarely visited of Antarctic landing sites
  • Antarctic wildlife in its natural habitat
  • Land on the mainland of Antarctica
  • Enjoy daily excursions by Zodiacs
  • Expert lecturers and guides accompany your journey

Stewart's Take

Want to visit Antarctica a second time without repeating landings?

Overview

The Antarctic Peninsula offers dramatic scenery and wildlife almost everywhere and a great variety of possible landing sites. Yet many voyages visit almost the same places every time. Looking beyond the 'usual landing sites', this itinerary takes you on a journey of discovery to reach wild and beautiful Antarctic places, off the beaten track. This 11 day voyage will attempt Antarctica landings that have rarely if ever been offered by any cruise operator.
Day 1: Departure from Ushuaia Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening. Day 2 - 3: At sea Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. 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 are a few of the birds you might see. Day 4: Icescapes of the Antarctic Sound Glaciers, icebergs, and pack ice extend into the horizon. On the northern side of the Antarctic Sound is Dundee Island, where you have the chance to land at Petrel Cove. The Argentinean Base Petrel is located here, and its massive airplane hangar hints at the base’s heritage: It was from this stretch of flat land that Lincoln Elsworth and Herbert Hollick-Kenyon completed the first flight across the Antarctic Continent in 1935. In the late summer expeditions, a large number of Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals haul up on the beaches here. Alternatively, we may explore Active Sound if ice conditions allow. Day 5: Sailing the Wright Ice Piedmont Next you sail along the Wright Ice Piedmont at Graham Land, which was mapped based on photographs taken between 1955—57. The piedmont was named after the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright, who in December 1903 were the first people to fly an airplane. Day 6: Valdivia Point views Keeping to the west coast of Graham Land, you reach Valdivia Point, named after the German ship Valdivia by Otto Nordenskjöld’s Swedish Antarctic Expedition. Further west you may also see Challenger Island and Bluff Island. Day 7: The bays of Brabant Island We then continue sailing to the western side of Brabant Island, exploring Avicenna Bay, Buls Bay, and the analysis-inspiring Freud Passage. Day 8: Anvers Island adventure At the northeast coast of Anvers Island, you next visit Fournier Bay. This location was probably first sighted by a German expedition under the command of Eduard Dallmann in 1873-74, chartered by the French Antarctic Expedition of Jean-Baptiste Charcot (1903-5). It was named after the French admiral Ernest Fournier. You might also make a landing at Inverleith Harbour (also on the northeast coast of Anvers), possibly spotting an Antarctic tern colony as well as Weddell seals. Day 9 - 10: Familiar seas, familiar friends Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them. Day 11: Ushuaia Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies. PLEASE NOTE: An example itinerary to the Antarctic Peninsula is illustrated above. Flexibility is key during these thrilling expeditions. Since information about most of the landing sites is limited or unknown, this target itinerary can only mention scheduled landings and general information. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Average cruising speed of m/v Plancius is 10.5 knots .

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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 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).
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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