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Highlights
  • Explore Ushuaia
  • Opportunity to Cruise along beautiful Antarctic Peninsula
  • Visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station
  • Enjoy sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pléneau Island and You will have a chance to encounter Humpback Whales, minke whales and fin whales.
  • Experience the joy of cruising by zodiac between the icebergs in the inner parts of the bay
  • Opportunity to sail across the Drake Passage

The Antarctic Peninsula Cruise is a comprehensive introduction to the White Continent over 10 or 11 days. Your home base for the expedition is the 104-guest Plancius or 116-guest Ortelius, from where you'll set foot on glaciers and discover the land that gentoo penguins and imperial shags call home.

The Antarctic Peninsula is part of the Antarctic Continent and is the southern continuation of the mountain chain that runs from North America through South America into the Scotia Sea. Here it continues as a mainly sub-marine ridge, the Scotia Ridge, until it comes above sea-level at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The peninsula consists of a 500-mile-long mountain chain, the highest peaks rising to approximately 9,186 feet, and numerous off-lying islands. The Peninsula offers the most dramatic scenery and biggest variety of wildlife in Antarctica. Visitors are easily overcome by sensory overload by the huge amount of icebergs, glaciers, high mountains and the abundant and tame wildlife.

Trip Description

The history of Antarctica's discovery runs parallel to that of the South Shetland Islands. Here, exploitation was again the major force behind the early explorations. Today, the Antarctic Peninsula is protected by the Antarctic Treaty, which has been signed by 46 countries. The signatory parties have agreed to abstain for 50 years from recognizing, disputing or establishing territorial sovereignty claims. The parties also agreed to set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, established freedom of scientific investigation and banned military activity on the continent.

On this Antarctica expedition, you'll experience the continent's rich wildlife and learn its history from experienced naturalists and guide on board. The Antarctic Peninsula Cruise is the quintessential Antarctica voyage - experience the wonder!

 
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4.8 Guide
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4.8 Meals
5.0
Antarctic Peninsula

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We've booked two trips through AdventureSmith and wouldn't consider any other company for our trips. The service we've received and the ease of the process have been great. I can't recommend the company highly enough.
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I just got back from one of the easiest hassle-free vacations I’ve ever taken and it all started with a single call to Adventuresmith. They exceeded all of my expectations and a would use them again in a heartbeat. I had only a few weeks to plan a trip to the Galapagos that I’d promised my wife. I was pretty certain I’d procrastinated to the point that a trip – especially during Spring Break/Easter week wouldn’t even be possible without settling on quality or paying through the nose. I searched on line for “Galapagos tours” and came up with three companies that seemed to be able to do what I needed. It was after business hours but I needed to get things going so I called anyway, planning to leave a voicemail messages to start the process. One company never did call me back. Another called me back the next day and said “I don’t know if we can find anything for you but we’ll see what’s available and get back to you in a few days.” The third was Adventuresmith. About 10 minutes later, again, after business hours, I got a call from Andrew, one of Adventuresmith’s travel specialists. He asked me for the dates I could travel, the type of boat (luxury, moderate or economy) I was looking for and my budget. The next morning, which was a Saturday, I got an e-mail with a detailed list of available cruises. I used the Adventuresmith website to research the details of each ship – including deck plans and detailed photographs, itineraries and reviews. I didn’t find any other website that was as comprehensive or as easy to use. The following Monday, Andrew and I spoke by phone and he answered all of my questions about the different boats, the different itineraries, the anticipated weather and sea conditions, and much more. We narrowed the list to a couple of cruises and he went to work – callin g each company directly to check on availability rather than relying on e-mail or web-based reservation systems due to the last-minute nature of the trip. On Tuesday morning, he’d found an available cabin that met all of our expectations – the last available cabin – so he booked it for me and negotiated a 24-hour hold to be sure the price was okay with me and that I could get air reservations. He told me exactly how to arrange the travel days and times so I would have virtually no risk of problems from delayed or cancelled flights. On Wednesday, I e-mailed him that I’d found suitable air reservations and he had my trip confirmed within an hour or so. He reassured me that I’d chosen one of the few boats he could enthusiastically recommend which I found very comforting, given the expense of the trip. He told me he’d be the one coordinating all of my trip details from that point forward and that he would be available to me for any questions or problems, by phone or e-mail throughout the entire trip, right up to my return. He e-mailed me a bunch of articles about the Galapagos and how to get the most out of a trip there, and he sent very clearly and well-organized information about what to pack, what to expect, how to tip, and much more. He offered a very well priced land package that included hotel rooms for all over-night stop overs, transfers to and from hotels and airports with a private Spanish-speaking guide who would help us navigate immigration services, the airport, and hotel check-in, a guided tour of our stop-over city, buffet breakfasts, and round-trip airfare to and from the Galapagos islands from mainland Ecuador. He explained in detail the relative advantages and disadvantages of using Guayaquil vs. Quito as our stopover city in Ecuador. I could not possibly have matched the price of that package by arranging everything myself and I expended exactly zero effort to make it all happen. The trip ran like clockwork. We were perfectly prepared based on Adventuresmith’s expert write-ups for pre-trip planning, and had an extraordinary trip. It was, by far, the easiest trip I’ve ever arranged – basically two phone calls and an e-mail or two to Adventuresmith and the rest was done. We didn’t have a single issue or problem but it was very nice to know Adventuresmith provided 24/7 support if we did. I’ve never had a travel company offer that before.
After that very first contact I had with Adventuresmith, I started researching them online to be sure they were “real.” It all sounded a little too good to be true and I’d never heard of them before. It was surprising to find only a handful of reviews on line but all of them were positive. I assumed they were a pretty new venture but after asking Andrew about it, he told me about their many, many years in the specialty travel business and explained that their marketing presence is still limited on line but that they have always had a significant presence in travel magazines and travel publications. So let me tell you here and now that they are quite real, incredibly knowledgeable and professional, courteous and service-oriented. I will absolutely look to them again to help with travel in the future.
Bottom line: No need to look anywhere else. Just use these guys. I was thrilled to find them and you will be too!
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Itinerary

Day 1: Embark in Ushuaia

Meals: Dinner

In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. Sail through the scenic Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.

Days 2 – 3: Drake Passage

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area meet 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, spot your first icebergs.

Days 4 – 8: Antarctic Peninsula

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

A typical itinerary in the Antarctic Peninsula could be as follows. This is a sample only, the final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board.

Cruise 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 Ronge Island, find a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. If you are able to land on Orne Island, you can observe chinstrap penguins and possibly Weddell and crabeater seals. In Neko Harbour, have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of huge glaciers and enjoy the landscape by zodiac cruising.

When sailing to Paradise Bay, with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, you will cruise by zodiac between the icebergs in the inner parts of the bay. In this area you will have good chances to see humpback whales and minke whales. Continue sailing north through Neumayer Channel and attempt to visit the former British research station and post office, now living museum, Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Close to Port Lockroy, you may also land on Jougla Point with gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags.

Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Pléneau Island 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. Further south you may visit the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station, where you will receive a warm welcome from the station crew. Sailing north through Gerlache Strait, arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs and encounter leopard seals, crabeater seals and whales.

Days 9 – 10: Drake Passage

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

In the Drake Passage again have the chance of seeing many seabirds.

Day 11: Disembark in Ushuaia

Meals: Breakfast

Arrive in the morning and disembark in Ushuaia.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 5,500

Price Per Day:

$ 550 per person
 
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

Plancius

Ship Stats
  • 114 guests
  • Year Built: 1976
  • Renovated: 2009
  • 45 crew members
  • Length: 293 feet
  • Beam: 47 feet 
  • Draft: 16 feet
  • Cruising Speed: 10-12 knots  
  • Flag: Dutch  
  • Ice Class: 1D  

The Plancius is a 114-passenger small ship designed and built exclusively for polar cruises. A wide variety of cabins and ample space on five decks make the Plancius a great option for expedition cruises.

Ship Description

M/V Plancius was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman". The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 114-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v Plancius is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.

The Plancius is a comfortable and nicely decorated small ship, but she is not a luxurious vessel. Her polar cruises are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel program, spending as much time ashore as possible. The Plancius is a true base camp for active adventure and modern-minded explorers, including hiking trips, kayaking, overnight field camping and even scuba diving. 

Common Areas Aboard Plancius

Plancius offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view. She has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 3), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. She is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation.

Deck & Cabin Plans

Plancius Deck Plan

Plancius Deck Plan

Quad Porthole

The cabin provides you with: 1 porthole, 2 upper & lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, flatscreen TV, T=telephone and Internet connection, a hair dryer and ample storage space. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin.

Triple Porthole

Same as the Quad Porthole, but with 3 berths. The cabin provides you with: 1 porthole, 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and Internet connection, a hair dryer and ample storage space. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin.

Twin Porthole

The cabin provides you with: 1 porthole, 2 lower berths, private shower & toilet, desk & chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and Internet connection, a hair dryer and ample storage space.

Trip Includes
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • Free use of rubber boots aboard Plancius & Ortelius and snowshoes aboard Plancius
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Trip Excludes
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post land arrangements
  • Transfers to the vessel
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance, including mandatory emergency evacuation insurance
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Meals Included:

10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches and 10 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Accomodations

Ortelius

116 guests

Year Built: 1989

Renovated: 2014

47 crew members

Length: 300 feet

Beam: 58 feet

Draft: 19 feet

Ice Class: UL1 (equivalent to 1A)

Cruising Speed: 14.3 knots max

The motor vessel (M/V) Ortelius is an ice-strengthened small ship designed for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. At only 116 passengers and 53 cabins, she assures a flexible polar experience with maximum wildlife opportunities.

A $1 million cabin reconfiguration in 2014 completed the vessel’s refurbishment program, bringing Ortelius to an upscale hotel standard similar to its sister vessel Plancius.

Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989 and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science under her original name: Marina Svetaeva. The vessel was renamed Ortelius after the Dutch/Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) who published the first modern world atlas in 1570. Small ship cruises aboard the Ortelius offer passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, designed to spend as much time ashore as possible.

Common Areas Aboard Ortelius

The 116-passenger M/V Ortelius offers a comfortable "hotel standard" on-board experience with ample public areas including two dining areas that accommodate all passengers at the same time, a bar/observation lounge with six large windows, lecture room and several observation areas on multiple decks. This small expedition ship has a spacious bridge, which is accessible to polar travelers. The Ortelius has a highly experienced international nautical crew of 20, 19 international hotel staff, 7 expedition staff in Antarctica (1 expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), 8 expedition staff in the Artic (1 expedition leader and 7 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor.

She also has the highest possible ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multiyear pack ice.  

Activities Aboard Ortelius

Ortelius' flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. She carries 11 zodiacs of which 9 are in use and 2 on reserve. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha. Numerous activities are available aboard Ortelius depending on the voyage: kayaking, mountaineering, skiing, SCUBA diving, hiking, camping and more.

Cabins Aboard Ortelius

The Ortelius has 6 cabin categories located on three decks. Cabins range from simple affordable quadruple, triple or double rooms to more spacious superior cabins with large view windows. All cabins are spacious outside cabins with a sink, private shower and toilet (except for the Twin Non-Private), hairdryers, desk and chair, ample storage space and a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin. Ortelius cabin configurations are as follows:

Quad Porthole

Ortelius has 4 quadruple cabins #341-344 located on deck 3. Quadruple cabins have 2 porthole windows, 2 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space. 

Triple Porthole

2 triple cabins on Deck 3 #337-338 have 2 portholes, 1 upper and 2 lower berths, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space. 

Twin Porthole

Ortelius has 27 twin porthole cabins: #334 and #339-340 located on Deck 3 and #428-439 and #445-456 on Deck 4. Each has two porthole windows, private toilet and shower, two single lower berths, desk and chair, hair dryer and ample storage space. Cabins located on Deck 4 are quieter than those on deck 3 because they are farther away from the noise of engines and generators. Deck 4 has access to the forward observation deck.   

Twin Window

Ortelius has 12 twin window cabins #511-517, 522-527 located on Deck 5, approximately 183 square feet each. Each cabin has view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.   

Twin Deluxe

Ortelius has 2 newly renovated twin deluxe cabins #510 and #528 located on Deck 5. These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin window/porthole cabins. Each cabin has three view windows, two single lower berths, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, small sofa, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge. 

Superior

Ortelius has 6 superior cabins #509, 518-521 and 529 on Deck 5. Each superior cabin has a double bed, single (sofa) bed, private toilet and shower, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, refrigerator, hair dryer and ample storage space. Deck 5 is the quietest cabin deck and has the best access to upper observation decks and the ship’s bridge.   

Start City
Ushuaia
End City
Ushuaia
Cancellation Policy:

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a 20% deposit is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following per-person fees, based on number of days prior to departure:

90 or more days - 20% of the total price

89 to 60 days - 50% of the total price

59 to 0 days - 100% of the total price

Additional Information:

Room Configuration

Solo travelers willing to share can reserve a quadruple, triple or twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth or berths goes unsold, you will not be penalized. For those who desire single occupancy, cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the Twin or Superior cabin rate.

Unused services & personal expenses

Regardless of any other term in this agreement, partial refunds are not available for unused services including but not limited to hotel rooms, meals, air or land transportation, activity days or other sightseeing excursions. You will not be reimbursed for any personal expenses such as airfare, hotel or other travel expenses due to changes in itineraries or cancellations. If a portion of the services of your tour are cancelled by us or our third party supplier because of an event within our control or the control of our third party supplier, and you are not offered a replacement or alternative, we will refund the cost of that portion of the services.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions.

Unused services & personal expenses

Regardless of any other term in this agreement, partial refunds are not available for unused services including but not limited to hotel rooms, meals, air or land transportation, activity days or other sightseeing excursions. You will not be reimbursed for any personal expenses such as airfare, hotel or other travel expenses due to changes in itineraries or cancellations. If a portion of the services of your tour are cancelled by us or our third party supplier because of an event within our control or the control of our third party supplier, and you are not offered a replacement or alternative, we will refund the cost of that portion of the services.

 

Trip level I

 

Our level one trips are designed for travelers interested in lodge and hotel accommodations combined with mild activities, plenty of flexibility and options for more rigorous activity. Expect two to four hours of activity each day over straightforward terrain. Travelers should be comfortable hiking or walking 3-5 miles per day. Other level one activities include snorkeling or sea kayaking sheltered waters and river rafting class I-II water. Expedition Cruising aboard small ships and yachts is level one and may include fun and easy activities such as hiking, snorkeling and kayaking. Enjoying a relaxed pace with a focus on nature, culture and history is often a priority for those who choose this trip level.


Trip ID#: AntPenAdv

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