Any questions? Call Us: 1300 135 391 | int. +61 3 9328 8488

Cruises

Antarctic Circle Voyage

Antarctica

12 days

Special Offer


Valid on new bookings on RCGS Resolute.
Book by 31 May 2019 and save US$1,200 per person on departures during October 2019, November 2019 and March 2020.
Book by 31 May 2019 and save US$800 per person on departures during December 2019, January 2020 and February 2020.

Valid on new bookings on Akademik Sergey Vavilov.
Book by 31 May 2019 and save US$1,200 per person on departures during October 2019, November 2019 and March 2020.
Book by 31 May 2019 and save US$800 per person on departures during December 2019, January 2020 and February 2020.

Summary

From January onwards, seasonal ice conditions give us our best chance of achieving our objective of crossing the Antarctic Circle. Witness sweeping landscapes, the unique midnight sun, the sizeable Adelie penguin rookeries and hopefully the large tabular icebergs that have drifted north from the Bellingshausen Sea. The aim is to make landfall at Detaille Island – below the Antarctic Circle, where you’ll venture onshore to explore an old science base. Then navigate north into the Gerlache region and plan on visiting a working research station, and enjoy a Zodiac cruise through the spectacular ‘iceberg graveyard’ at Pleneau Island. Off-ship excursions provides an exciting selection of activities to choose from – including short or long hikes ashore, visits to historic sites and wildlife colonies, Zodiac cruising looking for whales and seals or simply photographing the incredible icebergs. These activities are enjoyed in the company of the onboard team of wilderness guides, naturalists, marine biologists, historians and photographers. Transit the Lemaire Channel and into the northern reaches of the Gerlache Strait – home to dozens of outstanding locations which beg further exploration. A final highlight on this Antarctic Circle Voyage will be a visit to the enchanting South Shetland Islands, home to some of our favourite landing sites.

About the vessel: RCGS Resolute (max 146 passengers) offers expedition cruising with the highest ice class. Comfortable, spacious cabins are spread over six decks and all feature lower berths and outside views. Between excursions indulge in the salt water plunge pool, hot water jacuzzi, steam room or sauna. Outstanding observation areas both inside and from the outer decks allow you to be completely absorbed by the coastal landscapes along the way. Complimentary expedition kit including jacket, waders, drybag and binoculars is included for use on voyages.

Departs 17 Jan 2020 to 28 Jan 2020

Highlights

  • Cross the fabled Antarctic Circle visiting remote historic locations and wildlife colonies.
  • In-depth exploration of the Gerlache coastline and Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Visits to historic sites and science stations.
  • Learn about the environment, wildlife and ecology of Antarctica from polar experts.
  • Zodiac excursions, onshore hiking, wildlife observation, camping on shore and whale watching.
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and ?tness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking available (additional charges apply)– must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities.
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landing.

Inclusions

  • 19 nights accommodation on board the RCGS Resolute in your selected cabin.
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea.
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers.
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings.
  • End of voyage video, photos and take-home USB
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip.
  • Extensive program of relevant educational presentations
  • Complimentary use of expedition gear package containing around US$900 worth of essential equipment. Including quality waterproof/ windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. A set of binoculars and a Nordic trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Ushuaia/Cruise

Your journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, Argentina. Gather at the meeting point and transfer to the pier to embark your expedition ship. After settling into your cabin and exploring the ship, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Day 2 Cruise

Heading south, you’ll reach the Antarctic Circle due to the capabilities of the expedition vessel – RCGS Resolute. Her superior speed ensures a swift crossing of the Drake Passage on your way south of the circle. This stretch of water is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of wildlife. Hundreds of seabirds including the celebrated wandering albatross, giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we make our way south. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Later, perhaps join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel.

Day 3 Cruise

Throughout the journey our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history. The presence of icebergs announces our arrival into Antarctic waters.

Day 4 Cruise

We awaken today, and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. We plan to navigate via Matha Strait and will attempt a shore landing at Detaille Island, below the Antarctic Circle. An abandoned British science station – ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic visitors. We toast our success on crossing the Antarctic Circle turning our gaze northwards, viewing the spectacular chain of glacier-covered peaks stretching as far as the eye can see. This coastline begs further exploration.

Day 5 Cruise

Overnight we have navigated north towards the low-lying Yalour Island group. We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn of the important climate-related research happening here. A hike over the snowy saddle of nearby Winter Island allows us to stretch our legs and explore the old British Antarctic Survey hut. Petermann Island is home to a sizeable Adelie penguin rookery. Adelies – the smallest of the Antarctic penguins nest here and share the location with Gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants.

Day 6 Cruise

The view to the north of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just offshore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massive icebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you could ever imagine. For many, a Zodiac cruise here will be a highlight of the voyage.

Day 7 Cruise

We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica itself. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Both locations offer great hiking opportunities up to panoramic view points. For the sea kayakers, the paddling opportunities here are endless. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. It is somewhere in this vicinity we hope to offer camping.

Day 8 Cruise

Orne Harbour is another beautiful location we hope to visit and the hike up to a rocky knoll provides stunning views and great access to a chinstrap penguin rookery. At Cuverville Island, there is a large Gentoo penguin colony which we observe at close quarters. Leopard seals are often sighted cruising the shallows along the landing site. For the kayakers, a full circumnavigation of the island is a possibility. We navigate into Willhelmina Bay – a known location for large numbers of humpback whales which we view in close proximity from the ship or when out Zodiac cruising.

After several busy days of exploration along the Peninsula, we head north across the Bransfield Strait, bound for the South Shetland Islands. This is an important whale migration corridor and we expect sightings of humpbacks, or the resident pod of Orca that inhabit this stretch of water.

Day 9 Cruise

By morning we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike, high up onto the rim of the crater.

After leaving Deception Island, we cruise along the coast of Livingston Island which in a sunny day is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the South Shetlands including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we sometimes encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is another great spot for a hike or a zodiac cruise. Hannah Point, with its elephant seal colony and nesting Antarctic petrels is another possibility. In the evening, we navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage.

Day 10 Cruise

As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts at the multimedia stations and download your precious images.

Day 11 Cruise

If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It is a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 12 Ushuaia

In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America.

Reviews

Enquire Now