Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands Aboard the Plancius
11 Days/10 Nights
From $7,200 per person
(Quad. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
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.
Day 1: End of the World, Start of a Journey.
Your voyage begins where the world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego – nicknamed “The End of the World” – and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel 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.
Day 2-3: Path of the Polar Explorers.
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale blasting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when northflowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 4-7: Enter the Antarctic.
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.
Sites you may visit include:
Cuverville Island – Stabbing up between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, Cuverville houses a massive colony of gentoo penguins as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas.
Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that can be found nearby.
Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow. Opportunities for Zodiac cruising and kayaking provide you the closest possible view of the ice-crusted alpine peaks.
Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales.
Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island.
You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping here, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 8: Scenes of South Shetland.
The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with a number of kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. As an alternative, you may be able to engage in activities near Half Moon Island. Here chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 9-10: Familiar Seas, Familiar Friends.
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
Day 11: There and Back Again.
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies. You will be transferred to the airport in Ushuaia for your return flight to your final destination. (B)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Prices & Dates
Price per Person
- The above prices are valid until November 23, 2018.
- The single supplement is 1.7 times the Twin/Superior price.
- Singles willing to share a cabin pay the Twin/Triple/Quad price.
- Optional camping cost is $180 per person.
- Optional kayaking cost is $465 per person.
November 23, 2018.
- 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 and hiking.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- Use of rubber boots.
- Evening briefings and lectures.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare.
- Hotel nights before/after the cruise.
- Transfers to/from the vessel before/after 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.
Group/Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis.
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.
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Antarctica Travel Info
Antarctica Travel Info