Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands tour

Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands

Oceanwide Expeditions
4.7 . Excellent
97%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
11 days
From: $ 7,200 $ 655 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Enjoy sail across the Drake Passage and see different kinds of Albatrosses
  • See Humpback Whales and Minke Whales
  • Explore South Shetland Islands
  • Watch seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage

Short Description

During this tour explore Antarctica and top this off with a visit to the South Shetland Islands by a ship called m/v Ortelius.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Ushuaia
End City Ushuaia

Trip Includes

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

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Itinerary

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.

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 north-flowing 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 7,200
Price Per Day: $ 655 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

31 Oceanwide Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

97%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 25
Great 5
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands

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Company Reviews

Our trip to Greenland was a disaster.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Not one day of the itinerary was achieved and definitely no Bowheads or large icebergs where seen. We were rerouted to Sisimiut with no warning to meet up with the boat that had failed to make it to Aasiaat, our planned destination. We understand that once on the planned trip nothing is guaranteed, but we didn’t even make it to the start point.

We therefore spent a week on board a boat that travelled no more than a few miles around various local fiords to spot Canada geese and Mallard ducks! We did see a few distant Humpbacks and a sole Minke whale, but nothing that we were expecting. Most of our fellow guests were seasoned travellers and in a number of cases, like ourselves, to the polar regions. The majority were desperately upset to have wasted their money on a totally different trip than promised in a location miles away from where we wanted to be.

Our main issue is that Oceanwide must have known about the ice situation at least a week before and made no attempt to inform us. An alternative plan should have been devised. The service and reaction of the crew didn't in anyway compensate for the disappointment of the trip!
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Wonderful and very special

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
What a great trip! Warm people, fantastic ship, beautiful animals, great weather, wonderful nature, very friendly crew/staff.... This was a very special experience. Plenty of time to do whatever you want, take marvellous pictures, well experienced staff and vegan menus on demand.

I loved the zodiac trips, landings, guides and there was a wedding as well! I enjoyed it very much from beginning to end and if the opportunity arises I will definitely join the MV Plancius again! Thanks to all!
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Amazing experience - never to be forgotten

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A dream nurtured for 13 years finally came true and I visited Antarctica. T
he crew of the Plancius ensured that out expedition surpassed all expectations - from the briefings, information, help and totally commitment to ensure that we walked away smiling.

Being a vegetarian, I was a little anxious however I was pleasantly surprised to see that so were many passengers as well as Sonja - one of the expedition team. We also had vegan passengers. All were catered for. The food was excellent: for all 10 days and no two meals were ever the same. Variety and flavours were amazing.

The zodiac landings were always handled professionally and assistance provided at every stage for those who needed it. I was impressed with their patience in dealing with passengers of varying needs. We saw Antarctica and its wildlife and some of its history. The parties near the end of the expedition were fab and it was good to see the expedition team having fun and interacting with the passengers. My first cruise/expedition and I am sold on the experience.

Loved every moment. Thank you to all the team and oh I loved the log.
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Antarctic Peninsula

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great Experience, unforgettble expeditions. Excellent Crew, very good meals.
Thanks to outstanding crew: marine, hotel, expeditions...
Greetings Evelyn and Henning Austria

Details

Ship Name

m/v Ortelius

Ship Stats

Passengers:116 in 53 cabins

Staff & crew:50

Length:90.95 meters

Breadth:17.20 meters

Draft:5.4 meters

Ice class:UL1 (Equivalent to 1A)

Displacement:4090 tonnes

Propulsion:6 ZL 40/48 SULZER

Speed:14.5 knots maximum

Ship Description

History of Ortelius

“Ortelius” was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was named “Marina Svetaeva”, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is re-flagged and renamed “Ortelius”. “Ortelius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Cyprus flag. As Plancius, Ortelius was a Dutch / Flemish cartographer. Abraham Ortelius (1527 – 1598) published the first modern world atlas, theTheatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theatre of the World in 1570. At that time, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed.

Perfect for any expedition

The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. “Ortelius” is a great expedition vessel for 116 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces. The vessel is manned by 22 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor.

Ortelius: a vessel with comfort and character

”Ortelius” offers a comfortable hotel standard, with a u-shaped, a bar and a lecture room. Our voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 116 on the “Ortelius”, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. “Ortelius” carries 10 zodiacs. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha.

All Deck & Cabin Plans Trip Photos

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Cancellation Policy:

In the case of cancellation by the contracting party, OE is entitled to charge the following cancellation fees to the contracting party:

  • up to and including 90 days prior to departure: 20 % of the total price;
  • from 89 days up to and including 60 days prior to departure: 50 % of the total price;
  • from 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price .

Other (deviating) cancellation policies / fees (for example in the case of group charters, block charters or whole boat charters) may be applicable; these are valid only if confirmed by OE in writing (in e.g. the original offer made, travel confirmation, (block) charter agreements or in communication sent later) and these cancellation policies shall prevail over those of the cancellation policy

In the case of flight and hotel reservations, a 100 % cancellation fee will apply for those involved costs unless this is a non-refundable ticket / hotel accommodation; in that case the terms and conditions of the related airline company / hotel will apply.

If the contracting party after booking wishes to introduce changes into the booked trip, this is considered a cancellation and the cancellation costs. In case of minor changes, OE is entitled to charge reservation costs of at least 50 EURO per alteration.

OE STRONGLY RECOMMENDS the contracting party in the case of a (travel) organisation: the client(s) of the (travel) organiser to take out a cancellation insurance to cover the costs of any cancellation of the trip

Additional Information:

PLEASE NOTE: A typical itinerary to the Antarctic Peninsula with South Shetland Islands is illustrated below. This itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Trip ID#:

AntPenOce

Trip Excludes

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

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