Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands Aboard the Plancius

10 Days/9 Nights

From $7,050

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Overview

You will journey to the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands on this classic Antarctica cruise. Your first sightings will be of seabirds and icebergs, and the various islands that hug the coast of the Peninsula. And, there may be opportunities to visit penguin colonies, observe seals, and to set foot on the continent in Paradise Bay. In the South Shetland Islands, weather permitting, you can hike and kayak at Deception Island, and observe Chinstrap Penguins on Half Moon Island.

Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 9 nights (9 nights aboard the Plancius), and 25 meals (9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 8 dinners).

Best Time to Go: November-March.

Destinations: Argentina and Antarctica.

Interests: Adventure, Expedition Cruising, and Wildlife Viewing.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

In the afternoon (4:00-5:00 PM), we embark in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel, and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening. Overnight aboard the ship. (D)

Note: We advise all passengers to plan to arrive in Ushuaia one night before the cruise departure.

During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we 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 spot our first icebergs. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island. On Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island, we will find a large colony of Gentoo Penguins and breeding pairs of Brown Skuas. If we land on Danco Island we can observe Chinstrap Penguins and possibly Weddell and Crabeater Seals. In Neko Harbour we will have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers calving at sea level. We enjoy the landscape surrounded by alpine peaks during zodiac cruises. In Paradise Bay again with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, we have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent again. We shall have the opportunity for zodiac cruising between the icebergs in the inner parts of the fjords. In this area we have good chances to see Humpback Whales and Minke Whales.

We sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pleneau and Petermann Island where we can find Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback Whales, Minke Whales and Fin Whales. A visit to one of the scientific stations in Antarctica will give you an insight about the life of modern Antarcticans working on the White Continent. Further south, we may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where we will receive a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel, we hope to get permission to visit the British research station and post office Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags.

On our way North through the Gerlache Strait we finally arrive at the South Shetland Islands. We will sail to Deception Island. Our ship braves its entrance into the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellow into the ring of Deception Island. We hope for a good long walk and kayak trip which will depend on site availability and weather conditions. Deception is a sub-ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Pigeons and many Dominican Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

We leave from here and sail to Half Moon Island, where we will find a variety of Chinstrap Penguins. Seals often haul out on the beach. These volcanic islands of 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. Our voyage continues through a narrow Strait to the open sea with direction Ushuaia. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

On our way north, we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark (8:30-9:00 AM). You will be transferred to the airport in Ushuaia for your return flight to your final destination. (B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Itinerary Map

Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands Aboard the Plancius Itinerary Map

Prices & Dates

Price per Person

Category Single Double Triple
Quad Cabin n/a $7,050 $7,050
Triple Porthole n/a n/a $7,950
Twin Porthole $14,705 $8,650 n/a
Twin Window $15,555 $9,150 n/a
Twin Deluxe $16,405 $9,650 n/a
Superior $17,935 $10,550 $9,383
** The prices shown above are in U.S. Dollars. See the cost of this tour in your currency here.

Notes:

  1. The above prices are valid until December 19, 2015.
  2. The single supplement is 1.7 times the Twin/Superior price.
  3. Singles willing to share a cabin pay the Twin/Triple/Quad price.
  4. Optional camping cost is $180 per person.
  5. Optional kayaking cost is $465 per person.
  6. There will be a fuel surcharge of $25 per person/per night if the price of a barrel of Brent Crude oil exceeds $120 USD 90 days prior to departure.

Departure Date

December 19, 2015.

What's Included

Price Includes

  • South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
  • Group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • Accommodations on board the M/V Plancius.
  • All meals scheduled on board, including snacks, coffee, and tea.
  • Zodiac boating, hiking, camping, kayaking, mountaineering, photo workshop, and snowshoeing.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Zodiac expeditions conducted by English-speaking naturalist guides.
  • Use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Evening briefings and lectures.

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare.
  • Domestic airfare.
  • Argentinian reciprocity fee ($160).
  • Hotel nights before/after the cruise.
  • Transfers to the vessel before the cruise.
  • Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
  • Gratuities to ship crew and guides (Suggested $8-10/per/day for the naturalist guides and crew).
  • Bar, gifts, and personal items.
  • Travel insurance.

We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.

Accommodations

Antarctica

Plancius, Antarctica Cruise Ship

Plancius

Additional Details

Group Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis.

Elevations: N/a.

Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a valid passport (for the duration of your visit) and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Australian and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee of $100 and $75 respectively (subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations or other reasons) online, and must show proof of payment prior to arrival. The reciprocity fee for U.S. citizens has been suspended until further notice. For citizens of Australia, this fee covers unlimited entries to Argentina for 10 years, while citizens of Canada are charged the fee every time they enter the country (or $150 for multiple visits within five years). The fee can be paid online at ProvinciaNet.com.ar. You will need to register in order to make the payment. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the embassy of Argentina in their country before traveling.

Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan. The operator of the ship requires that you purchase Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance (minimum recommended amount is $100,000).

To Book This Trip: Call or email us to confirm the availability of this ship for your desired dates of travel. For reservations made more than 90 days prior to departure, the required deposit is between $2,100 and $2,800 per person, and may be higher for single passengers. The balance is due 90 days prior to departure. For reservations made less than 90 days prior to departure, the total cost of the trip will need to be paid.