Crossing the Antarctic Circle

  1. 2020
    Monday, February 10, 2020 to Monday, February 24, 2020
    Tour Duration: 
    15 days
    Tour Price:
     $10,995 USD
    Tour Starts/Ends: 
    Ushuaia
    EET leader will accompany the expedition only with sufficient bookings. Onboard birding staff will be excellent even without an EET leader.
    Number of Persons Limit: 
    108
  2. 2021
    Saturday, January 30, 2021 to Monday, February 15, 2021
    Tour Duration: 
    16 days
    Tour Price:
     $11,495 CAD
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Highlights
  • Cross the mighty southern continent off your bucket list
  • Attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle
  • Experience the teeming wildlife of the islands of the Southern Ocean
  • See the Antarctic ice first-hand with our expert Zodiac drivers
  • Enjoy views of tabular icebergs of epic scale
  • Zodiac cruise spectacular bays looking for orca, minke, and humpback whales

 

Overview

Sailing in comfort aboard one of our luxurious and comfortable ships, we begin this 14-night expedition at the tip of South America. We will chart a course through the Drake Passage and along the Antarctic Peninsula with the ambition of crossing the Antarctic Circle.

The farther south we go, the more sea ice we are likely to encounter. Our aim is to cross the Circle before getting stopped by this ice. Should we arrive at 66°33’S, we will become members of very small band of explorers and adventurous travelers who have made it this far south.

Itinerary Hide Full Itinerary

Complimentary Pre-arrival Day

Don’t sweat flight delays or missed connections when you begin your adventure a day early by taking advantage of our optional free pre-arrival night at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Enjoy the spa, wander the trails, or unwind and soak in the surroundings.

Day 1: Ushuaia

Today is all yours: explore some of the sights that Ushuaia has to offer, from museums to Argentinean leather markets, or continue relaxing at the lovely Arakur. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers

Day 2: Embarkation
After a complimentary buffet breakfast, you’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. Once on board, you’ll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the ship’s officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past porpoising Magellanic penguins, Rock Cormorant, and Black-browed Albatross.

Day 3-4: Drake Passage

As we make our way ever closer to the white continent, numerous Polar Experts will prepare you with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, we’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean.

Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in SeaBird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. We’re likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species. If we’re lucky, we may see some of them fully breach from the sea.

Day 5-6: South Shetland Islands

In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we will hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory.  Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity.  We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. Our first sight of land will likely be that of the South Shetland Islands. These highly volcanic islands offer amazing abundance and beauty. We may visit Half Moon Island nestled inside Livingston’s eastern shore, or conditions permitting, visit historic Deception Island. Being further north, sub-Antarctic species are more commonly found here, including Chinstrap penguins and Southern Elephant seals.

Day 7-9: Antarctic Circle
As we head south across the Bransfield Strait, we sail towards the Antarctic Circle. From our most southerly point (south of the Antarctic Circle), we will make our way back north, cruising through the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, or the living museums of Detaille or Horseshoe Island are some of the less visited places of the Antarctic Peninsula. These waters are significantly further south making sea ice more common. The ice ultimately directs what adventures we will have in these lesser traveled waterways.

Day 10-12: Antarctic Peninsula
Heading Southwest, we enter Gerlache Strait and Trinity Coast. Here we may explore picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, or Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel.  We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell and Crabeater seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.

Day 13-14: Drake Passage
As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.

Day 15: Ushuaia Disembarkation
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.

Map
Featured Wildlife
Vessel
Ship Info

The Island Sky is a small expedition vessel with touches of elegance throughout. An all-suite ship, it carries a maximum of 106 passengers and provides an abundance of public space for wildlife viewing, relaxation and taking in lectures and briefings. Every suite has private bathroom facilities and an exterior view, while some suites include a private balcony. All suites have flat screen televisions and DVD players.

Ship Specifications
 • Staff and Crew: 70
 • Guests: 106
 • Length: 297 feet (91 meters)
 • Breadth: 50 feet (15 meters)
 • Draft: 13 feet (4 meters)
 • Ice Class: 1D
 • Cruising Speed: 12n
 • Registration: Bahamas
 • Lifeboats: 4 fully enclosed

Deck Plan

Pricing

2020 Fares are per person in US Dollars: 15% off until November 30th, 2019

Category 1 (Triple Suites): $10,995 (Sale price $9,345)

Category 2 (Porthole Suite): $15,495 (Sale price $13,170)

Category 3 (Window Suite): $16,995 (Sale price $14,445)

Category 4 (Promenade Suite): $17,995 (Sale price $15,295) 

Category 5 (Deluxe Suite): $18,395 (Sale price $15,635)

Category 6 (Veranda Suite): $19,995 (Sale price $16,995)

Category 7 (Penthouse Suite): $22,795 (Sale price $19,375) 

Category 8 (Owner Suite): $24,995 (Sale price $21,245) 

Optional additions: Kayaking $695, Camping $125

Prices quoted are per-person based on double/triple occupancy.
A limited number of twin suites may be sold for single occupancy at 1.7 times the twin rate.

2020 Fares are per person in US Dollars: 

Category 1 (Triple Suites): $11,495 

Category 2 (Porthole Suite): $14,995

Category 3 (Window Suite): $16,795

Category 4 (Promenade Suite): $17,595

Category 5 (Deluxe Suite): $17,995

Category 6 (Veranda Suite): $18,995

Category 7 (Penthouse Suite): $20,995

Category 8 (Owner Suite): $22,995

 

Optional additions: Kayaking $895, Camping $125

Prices quoted are per-person based on double/triple occupancy.
A limited number of twin suites may be sold for single occupancy at 1.7 times the twin rate.  Most suites are available as triple occupancy with a sofa that is suitable for people 5'10" and shorter.