Polar Circle – Deep South Discovery Voyage
14 Days/13 Nights
From $7,550 per person
(Quad. Occupancy, Not Incl. Airfare)
Intro Goes Here…
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 13 nights (13 nights aboard the Plancius), and 38 meals (13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, and 13 dinners).
Best Time to Go: November-March.
Note: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with IAATO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of this vessel is 10.5 knots.
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, is 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 mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2-3: Path of the polar explorers.
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. 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 are a few of the birds you might see.
Day 4-5: Entering Antarctica.
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.
The intended route for your Antarctic adventure includes:
Cuverville Island – A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas.
Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
Paradise Bay – You could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters before sailing to the Lemaire Channel.
Day 6-8: Through the Gullet.
After a comfortable night of sailing, you wake among the many islands south of Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle. At this point, a voyage through the aptly named Gullet – a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Continent is possible if the ice isn’t too dense. You can explore this area from the prow of the ship getting the closest possible contact with the polar terrain as you venture southward.
Along the way, you may enjoy the following visits:
Pourquoi Pas Island – You might circumnavigate this island, named after the ship of the famous French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty, glacier-crowded mountains.
Horseshoe Island – This is the location of the former British Base Y, a remnant of the 1950s that is now unmanned though still equipped with almost all the technology it had while in service.
Stonington Island – Home to the former US East Base and British Base E, which was occupied until 1975, this island marks the southernmost landing site of the trip – 68° south. If a landing here is possible, your road turns north again afterward, through the Gunnel Channel.
Hanusse Bay – Enjoy the scattered icebergs of this scenic bay, which offers a good chance of spotting whales.
Day 9-11: The whales of Crystal Sound.
You are near the Antarctic Circle again, cutting north through the countless ice floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are likely, and your approach to the Fish Islands offers the possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing. Whatever the case, the views beyond comparison in this area. There may also be more Adélie penguins congregating among the bergs nearby. Petermann & Pléneau Islands provide a great variety of birdlife, along with possibilities for Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are highly popular among leopard and crabeater seals. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo penguins can also be found here.
Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 12-13: 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.
Day 14: 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.
Day 6-8: (Alternate program if the route to the south of Crystal Sound/Hanusse Bay is blocked by ice).
You may take a course around the western side of Adelaide Island to reach Marguerite Bay. Should ice conditions also not allow for this approach, you could continue the program by exploring the Antarctic Peninsula in and around the Penola and Gerlache Straits.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Prices & Dates
Price per Person
|3/20/23 – 14 D||$7,550||$9,250||$9,250||$9,700||$10,250||$10,900|
** The prices shown above are in U.S. Dollars. See the cost of this tour in your currency at xe.com.
- The above prices are valid until March 20, 2023.
- The single supplement is 1.7 times the Twin or Superior cabin rate.
- Singles willing to share a cabin pay the Twin, Triple, or Quadruple cabin rate.
- Children under 16 with parents may receive a 40% discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents/adults). Upon request (some voyages may be excluded).
- Optional diving cost is $640 per person.
- 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 $2,010 and $2,680 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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