Antarctic Cruise with Dr Karl

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An exciting voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula escorted by the effervescent Dr Karl

Details

Duration: 12 Days
Starts in: Antarctica
Group Size: 80-116

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Embark 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. FUN FACT - FUN FACT - Antarctica is the only continent without a time zone. The Earth’s longitudes meet on the geographical South Pole in Antarctica so, in theory, any of the world’s time zones could be used! That said, travellers and researchers that venture there tend to follow the respective time zones of their own countries.

Cross the Drake Passage - path of the polar explorers

Over the next two days we will sail across the Drake Passage. Here you'll 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're in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. In this area not only does the marine life change but so too does the avian life - 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. FUN FACT - Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, highest and driest continent on Earth.

Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp

We sail directly to “High Antarctica” - where we'll find grey stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. Passing the snow capped Melchior Islands and the Schollaert Channel, and sailing between Brabant and Anvers Island we head to the Neumayer Channel. We will position our ship here for the multi-activity base camp. The protected waters around Wiencke Island will become our playground for our activities. In this alpine environment there will be great opportunities to enjoy the splendours of this alpine environment at sea with zodiac and kayaking trips, or if you’re in the mood for a walk, there are possible snowshoe hikes and soft-climb mountaineering options farther inland. Naturally, favourable weather conditions determine the possible activities. Places you might visit include: Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you can sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals. Kayaking, glacier walks, and more ambitious mountaineering trips are the potential activities of this location. Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks. Paradise Bay – With its myriad of icebergs and deep cut fjords, zodiac cruise and kayak between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. You may also have the chance to make camp here like a true polar explorer (but with a better tent), enjoying a supreme overnight Antarctic adventure. Errera Channel – Possible sites in this area include Danco Island and Cuverville Island, but also the lesser known (though equally picturesque) Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island. On your last day of near-shore activities, you pass the Melchior Islands toward the open sea. Keep a sharp lookout for humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. You might also shoot for Half Moon Island, in the South Shetlands, with further chances for activities. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure. FUN FACT - Husky dogs were banned from Antarctica in 1994

Drake Passage

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 and you will have the time to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team. FUN FACT - In 1977 Argentina sent a pregnant woman to Antarctica in an attempt to claim partial possession of the continent. The woman gave birth to a boy on January 7, 1978 – the first known human to be born in Antarctica.

Disembark Ushuaia, trip concludes

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. During the early morning we will cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia. It is a busy time, with people saying farewell to our crew and others who have shared the intensity of being in a magnificent white wilderness and creating memories that will last a lifetime. FUN FACT - Every year, a half marathon, marathon and a 100K run take place in Antarctica despite an average windchill temperature of -20°C.

Additional Information

Returning to Antarctica for a fourth time, Dr Karl’s infectious enthusiasm for this dramatic region will make you marvel at every turn. Crossing the fabled Drake Passage, we explore a remote pocket of the Antarctic Peninsula with its spectacular wildlife and awe-inspiring vistas. Spot Adelie penguins, blue-eyed shags as well as leopard seals and a vast array of seabirds. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales. The unique basecamp style program provides opportunities to explore the area by a variety of means, including kayaking, hiking/snowshoeing, climbing and zodiac cruising. For those feeling adventurous there is an option to camp on the ice, an experience which will create memories to last a lifetime. While on board there will also be photographic workshops to help you capture the natural beauty of this ice-bound land to best effect. Those who prefer a more relaxed journey have plenty of options, and can utilise the ship’s fleet of zodiacs to explore the rich diversity of wildlife that flourishes in the sheltered bays, and clustered castles of icebergs and steep glaciers that characterise the shoreline. Dr Karl is also optimistic that we can get some useful citizen science happening to collect data that will be useful for scientists. Whether enjoying the surreal landscapes, or participating in one of the activities on offer, the wonder of the Antarctic is yours to discover.

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