Antarctica 2015

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600 miles south of Cape Horn we find the world’s most isolated and remote wilderness – Antarctica. This impressive continent has lured explorers such as Shackleton, Nordenskjöld and Amundsen into its enticing web.. Join our comfortable, ice-strengthened ship Akademik Ioffe on an expedition to explore this magical world.

Transcript of Antarctica 2015

  • ANTARCTICA- OFF THE BEATEN TRACK 9th - 22nd November 2015

    ANTARCTICA, SOUTH GEORGIA & THE FALKLAND ISLANDS22nd October - 10th November 2015


    Day 1: Ushuaia, ArgentinaOur expedition starts in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, where we stay one night at a centrally located hotel.Day 2: Tierra del Fuego, ArgentinaToday we visit the southernmost National Park in the world Tierra del Fuego. We explore this thriving park, filled with dramatic sceneries of forests and mountains. In the early evening, we embark our expedition ship and sail out through the Beagle Channel. The expedition has started!Day 3: At seaWe spend a day at sea followed by a range of sea birds such as petrels, fulmars and albatrosses that gracefully follow our ship. Whales and dolphins may also be seen in the surrounding waters and our polar experts start their exciting lecture program. Day 4 - 5: The Falkland IslandsOur plan is to explore the western islands of the archipelago, which are isolated and windswept but home to many seabirds and migratory birds including the black-browed albatross. Our first landing will be on the island of West Point, where we find bustling rookeries of rockhoppers. On

    Carcass Island, we hope to encounter nesting Magellanic penguins along with oystercatchers, geese and the flightless steamer duck who is a permanent resident. The next day we visit Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. As we wander through the charming streets with small houses and learn how this quiet harbour was once a major port in the 19th century for ships attempting to round the waters of Cape Horn. We also make a stop in Stanleys famed philatelic museum with its impressive collection of historic stamps.Day 6 - 7: At sea We sail southeast, South Georgia bound. The days at sea are never dull. Out on deck we scan the horizon in search of whales. Our polar experts continue to fill our minds with heroic stories of some of the earliest daredevils to explore Antarctica. The anticipation grows especially when we cross the Antarctic Convergence and notice a dramatic drop in temperature. Day 8 - 10: South GeorgiaMajestic mountains, mighty glaciers and beaches full of king penguins greet us on the island of South Georgia. We arrive in the beginning of summer when there are few ships in the vicinity

    and the peaks of the dramatic mountain ranges are still snow-covered. If you are interested in wildlife, South Georgia is a true oasis. Hundreds of thousands of penguins greet us at places like St. Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. Huge elephant seals lounge on sandy beaches and this time of the year we may see dramatic fights for a position as the king of a harem. The island is also home to several other species of penguin such as Magellanic, gentoo and macaroni penguin, but also to fur seals. On Prion Island we hope to witness the wandering albatrosses breeding. South Georgia played a significant role in Shackletons epic adventure. After his ship Endurance sank, he crossed the furious ocean in an open lifeboat to reach the islands. We hope to visit Shackletons grave at Grytviken, once an active whaling station, which now houses a charming small museum. Day 11 - 13: At sea & the South Orkney Islands These days will be spent at sea, but half-way to the remote continent of Antarctica we hope to visit the South Orkney Islands. Weather and ice permitting, there will be an excursion to Coronation Island to observe penguins nesting in moss beds alongside graceful snow petrels. We may also stop at the

    The cruise starts in Ushuaia, Argentina. Followed by sea birds we sail to the Falkland Islands, home to charming rockhopper penguins and graceful albatrosses. Our next stop is South Georgia, a haven for anyone interested in nature and wildlife. The coastline is home to seals, albatrosses and hundreds of thousands of king penguins. We continue south towards the worlds most remote continent, Antarctica, which offers dramatic landscapes, gigantic icebergs, scenic channels and penguin colonies. Join us on the comfortable expedition ship Akademik Ioffe and sail into this fairytale!


    Antarctic Peninsula

    Falkland Islands

    South Georgia

    South Shetland Islands



    South Orkney Islands

    Antarctic Circle


  • remote island of Laurie and visit the Argentinean meteorological station located there.Day 14 - 17: The South Shetland Islands & the Antarctic PeninsulaOur exact route around the peninsula is subject to weather and ice conditions. Below are examples of places we may visit. We hope to go ashore at Elephant Island, where we will learn more about the famous Antarctic adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton. This island was a place of refuge in 1916 for Shackleton and his crew after his ship was destroyed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea close to 100 years ago. Following the loss of their ship the men reached Elephant Island after a harrowing ordeal on drifting ice floes. They established a camp at a place they called Point Wild, named after Shackletons commander Frank Wild. Next, we will spend some time cruising among the South Shetland Islands just off the Antarctic

    Peninsula. Dazzling wildlife sightings await us on our excursions to some of the islands including King George, Half Moon, Barrientos or Livingston. Adlie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins thrive here, as do several species of seal. Hopefully, we will also have chance to visit the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. Just north off King George Island, we keep our eyes open for the humpback whales dining on krill here. We continue south along the Antarctic Peninsula, where pack ice still covers large parts of the bays, and we watch the experienced officers navigate our ice-strengthened ship. We cruise through labyrinths of icebergs and on some of them we are likely to see a few penguins, looking curiously at us. Finally, we hope to arrive at the Antarctic continent in Hope Bay or Paradise Harbour. The scenery here, from the colossal icebergs to the seemingly endless


    PRE AND POST CRUISE EXTENSION:For those of you who want to experience the highlights of Buenos Aires we offer a pre and post cruise extension. You travel independently to Buenos Aires and meet up with the group and your PolarQuest tour leader at a designated four star hotel. In the evening we enjoy a delicious dinner and a spectacular tango show. The following day we explore this lively capital together with a PolarQuest tour leader and a local guide. We also visit the ship Uruguay, which brought Swedish explorer Otto Nordenskjld and his team safely out of Antarctica after the sinking of their own ship. After an Argentinean lunch we fly to Ushuaia and join the expedition as described in this brochure. When we return to Ushuaia after the expedition cruise we explore this quaint little town, before we continue by air to Buenos Aires, where we enjoy a farewell dinner with our new friends. We stay the night at a four star hotel. The following day you continue home independently.

    Contact us for a more detailed program.


    In the middle of the Southern Ocean lies South Georgia. With nearly 3000 meter high mountain

    peaks, impressive glaciers and sandy beaches the island invites its visitors to some of the

    worlds most magnificent sceneries. The wildlife here is truly extraordinary. Everywhere, on the

    beaches and rocks, in the water and the air, the wildlife is teeming. The sound of hundreds of

    thousands of king penguins is very powerful! It is an incredible experience to stand among all

    these curious individuals. Here, we also have chance to meet the huge elephant seals, which

    can weigh as much as four tons and have over 200 females in one single harem!

    Antarctic ice sheet, is truly breathtaking. Day 18 - 19: Drake Passage As we leave this magical place and make our way back, heading across the Drake Passage, time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition cruise at a special dinner. Day 20: Ushuaia, ArgentinaIn the early morning we arrive in Ushuaia, disembark and continue home or on to further adventure.

    Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice and weather conditions. The planned itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favourable conditions. Flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

    with snowshoes. No additional fee. (Please note there is a limited number of snowshoes on board).

    THE EXPEDITION TEAM The key to a successful expedition is knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides. On this expedition you will be accompanied by an experienced expedition leader and a team of 15 polar experts, including naturalists, historians, ornithologists, kayak guides and photographers, ensuring maximal flexibility both on board and on landings. The language on board is English. A tour leader from PolarQuest will also join the expedition.

    EXTRA OPTION: SEA KAYAKINGFor those of you who have experience of sea kayaking it will be possible to enjoy Antarctica in a unique way. Pre-booking is necessary, to a price of USD 795 per person. Maximum 16 participants.

    PHOTOGRAPHING OR HIKING WITH SNOWSHOESFor those of you who are interested in photography there will be a professional photographer on board, guiding you through the steps to maximising your photographic opportunities. At some of the landings, weather permitting, you will also have the opportunity to head out on hikes