trip
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1
Discovery and Cruising
Activities
  • 13 days cruising plus optional diving
Accommodation
  • 13 nights aboard Ortelius
Meals
  • 13 Dinners
  • 12 Lunches
  • 13 Breakfasts

14 Days$8500USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: OFT

Trip highlights


  • Attempt to cross the Antarctic Circle
  • Marvel at spectacular mountains rising directly out of the sea
  • Dive deep in to the icy waters - Scuba Diving (optional experience required)
  • Visit the most wildlife-rich area of Antarctica - penguins, whales, seals, sea birds
  • Watch for floating icebergs and active glaciers
  • Active scientific stations
  • Narrow sheltered waterways and fjords
  • Historic sites
  • Great variety of terrain over short distances

The fabled Antarctic Circle has long held fascination for adventurers and explorers. Join us as we venture towards the circle and discover a whole new world of rarely explored bays and coves - a treasure trove of exciting and remote new places, where only a few are fortunate enough to visit. With regular landings using our fleet of zodiacs we walk among the multitude of penguin rookeries and seal colonies in the vicinity of Gerlache Strait, Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel. Voyaging further south than most provides an added dimension to travel in this icy world, with the opportunity to cross the Antarctic Circle at 66°33' a tantalising proposition. The voyage offers those who like to explore under the sea the opportunity to dive under the ice laden waters, a never to be forgotten experience. Our voyage is timed late in the season in order to maximise the whale watching opportunities, passing through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. There is no shortage of photographic possibilities or one can simply savour the natural beauty of this ice-bound land. Whether enjoying the surreal landscapes or participating in the activities on offer the wonder of the Antarctic is yours to discover. Our itinerary, longer than many trips to the Antarctic, offers ample time to explore the rich diversity of wildlife that flourishes in the sheltered bays, clustered castles of icebergs and steep glaciers that characterise the shoreline.


You will be warmly greeted by the crew and expedition staff as you embark Ortelius in the afternoon. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, we will settle into shipboard life and enjoy our first meal on board.

Meals:  D

During these two days, we will sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we will arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling 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 will glimpse at the first icebergs. The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait, between Robert Island and Greenwich Island, if the conditions are favourable. We will then be in sight of Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands in the late evening of the third day. If the conditions do not allow us to manoeuvre through the English Strait, then we will continue sailing south of Livingston. These volcanic islands or the South Shetlands, are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna; such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and southern Giant Petrels.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. At Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island we will attempt our first landing. It contains a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. In Neko Harbour and Paradise Bay with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. We shall have the opportunity to zodiac cruise between the icebergs in the inner parts of the amazing water way of Paradise Bay before taking the ship through the spectacular Lemaire Channel.

Meals:  B,L,D

After a long night of sailing around the myriad of islands south of Lemaire Channel we find ourselves near the Antarctic Circle. We pass through a narrow called 'The Gullet' between Adelaide Island and the Continent with spectacular scenery all around. We will attempt to gain permission to land at Rothera which is the primary British research station in Antarctica. Alternatively we'll explore the area and make a landing one of the many islands nearby. We will try to circumnavigate Pourqoui Pas Island named after the ship of the famous French explorer Charcot. The area is spectacular with narrow fjords and high mountains with cascading glaciers all around. On Horseshoe Island we find the former British Base Y from the nineteen fifties which now stands unmanned but almost fully equipped from the time it was in service. Stonington Island is home to the former US East Base (1939-41) and later the British Base E. Base E was occupied until 1975. We will attempt a landing here which will also mark our southernmost landing site of the trip. As we head north again we may attempt a landing at the small Avian Island named due to the large number of bird species found here. Among them a large colony of Adélie penguins, Antarctic shag, South Polar Skua, and Wilson’s storm petrel.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the morning of day 9 we will find ourselves near the Antarctic Circle once again as we head north into Crystal Sound. We have an excellent chance to see Humpback whales here as we approach Fish Islands for a Zodiac cruise and possible landing. As always the scenery is unparalleled in beauty and we may well see more Adélie penguins among the myriads of icebergs large and small. Petermann and Pléneau Islands offer a great variety of bird life and some excellent opportunities to Zodiac cruise amongst icebergs with good chances to see both Leopard seal and Crabeater seals. Minke whales and Humpback whales are also most often spotted in this area along with Gentoo penguins. We aim to enter Wilhelmina Bay with truly excellent whale watching opportunities. Numerous Humpback whales often feed here and if the weather conditions allow we may try and launch the Zodiacs to experience them at closer range. At Foyn Harbour we visit the wreck of Guvernøren, and old whaling factory vessel which caught fire and burned in 1915.

Meals:  B,L,D

In the Drake Passage, we will have again a chance of seeing many seabirds, and to take advantage of the knowledge of our lecture team.

Meals:  B,L,D

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. We will head off in our different directions, hopefully with a new found sense of the power of natural forces.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 13 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
  • Specialist expedition staff
  • All shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs
  • Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
  • Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)
  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
  • Pre-departure information
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).

  • Air transport and transfers before and after the cruises (except for pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia, directly after disembarkation).
  • Passport and vaccination charges, reciprocity fees and airport departure taxes
  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary
  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges, wine and phone calls
  • Emergency evacuation charges
  • Customary end of voyage tips

Cabins


Departure dates


Notes

D
Dive

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Total Priceper person from

$8500USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Twin with PortholeUSD$10450
  • Twin with windowUSD$10950
  • Twin DeluxeUSD$11600
  • SuperiorUSD$12300
  • Diving OptionUSD$595
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Antarctica Polar Circle aboard Ortelius trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Videos

Antarctic Peninsula | World Expeditions

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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