Polar Circle & Antarctic Peninsula

08 March - 19 March 2014 (12 days)
aboard Plancius
Ushuaia - Ushuaia

We explore some of the most spectacular landscapes on the planet, with icebergs, glaciers, snow-capped mountains and abundant wildlife, including many species of seals, seabirds, whales and vast numbers of penguins.

The White Continent, with its multi-coloured ice-caps, glaciers and towering snow-capped mountains, offers attractive scenery and photographic opportunities. Sailing from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, we cross the Drake Passage and make our first landing in Antarctic waters at Aitcho or Penguin Island, which both offer a good variety of flora and fauna such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels. Elephant Seals and Fur Seals may also haul out at the beaches.

Weather and landing conditions permitting, we will spend as much time ashore as possible, hiking and exploring the sites. The limited number of passengers aboard the vessel enables us to bring everyone, all at once, quickly and smoothly ashore with our inflatable Zodiacs. Regularly we try to land at 'unknown' locations, which will contribute to the exploratory character of the Polar voyage.

Apart from snow and ice and the rich Antarctic life, there are also many historical sites, such as Paulet Island where Otto Nordenskjöld's Swedish expedition survived, in 1901-03. The Swedish hut is still standing, surrounded by thousands of Adelie Penguins. From here it is possible to gain an understanding of what enticed men to this remote land. Muffled against the weather we look out across the Weddell Sea: inhospitable, yet inspiring, it is a sight to quicken the pulse and move the spirit. If we are lucky, we may even spot that most elusive of birds, the Emperor Penguin on an ice floe.

Sometimes, as we sail towards the Lemaire Channel, sea-mist may obscure the narrow strait leaving only rocky peaks visible against the sky. Take a place high on the upper deck where the mist thins, the deck will disappear and the filtered light takes on an ethereal glow. On some voyages we move further south, crossing the Antarctic Circle and reaching Crystal Sound, a land of high mountains and huge glaciers. Sailing north through Neumayer Channel we arrive at the Melchior Islands where we may have our last Zodiac cruise of the voyage.

Please note that the full itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Please note that we can arrange optional extensions in Ushuaia (see our Patagonia itinerary for details), or anywhere else in Argentina. You can also opt to leave the UK a day earlier and spend a day in Buenos Aires to break the long journey south.

Cabins as described in the full itinerary subject to availability.

Travel: We can arrange flights and overnight accommodation for you if necessary. Please contact us for prices and availability.

Click here for a full, printable itinerary

UK Overseas Territories Conservation

Please note that 10% of the cost of this tour will be donated to the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum (UKOTCF) to support UKOTCF's work in support of nature conservation in UK's Overseas Territories.

Prices per person 2014 PLA 30
Quadruple with porthole en suite £ 5,240
Triple with porthole en suite £ 5,810
Twin with porthole en suite £ 6,290
Twin with window en suite £ 6,575
Twin deluxe en suite £ 7,000
Superior £ 7,765
Deposit: 10% of cost

Please enquire for single supplements.

The prices are per person, and are fully inclusive the cruise, meals during the voyage, shore excursions by Zodiac and activities throughout the voyage, lectures and leadership by expedition staff, taxes and port charges and pre-departure information.

The prices exclude return flights UK/Ushuaia (please allow approximately £1500.00), fuel surcharges, overnight accommodation in Ushuaia, transfers in Ushuaia, travel insurance, meals ashore, optional tips to leaders and crew, drinks, and other personal expenses.

Please allow two days either side of the cruise dates for travel and an overnight at each end of the cruise in case of any delays.

Leaders: Guides from Oceanwide Expeditions