Antarctic Peninsula cruises, activity-based

“If you love the idea of visiting the Antarctic but don't fancy spending 12 days on a ship, this activity-based expedition gets you out kayaking, snowshoeing and mountaineering.”

Highlights

Beagle Channel | Drake Passage | Whale, dolphin and penguin sightings | Onboard lecture programme | Wiencke Island | Photography class | Lemaire Channel | Petermann Island | Zodiac tours | Research station tour | Optional: easy mountaineering, kayaking around icebergs, snow shoeing, camping

Description of Antarctic Peninsula cruises, activity-based

We offer both activity based itineraries as outlined below, and classic cruises. Please enquire for full information.

Antarctic Peninsula – varied adventure activities - wonderful wildlife - small ship cruise - experienced crew - informal atmosphere – comfy cabins – delicious food – beautiful scenery – flexible activity programme

Actively experience the fantastic landscapes and wildlife of Antarctica as you cruise on board our comfortable small ship, Plancius.

Kayak between looking icebergs for a uniquely peaceful and dramatic perspective of Antarctica up close.

Get into the footsteps of Scott as you buckle on snow-shoes and hike to more remote parts of the Peninsula.

Feel like a true polar explorer as you camp out on land for at least one night during your expedition!

For the most adventurous, a day of easy mountaineering is even included for a story to dine out on for years.

‘Standard’, wildlife and photography based landings are still always on offer if the activities don't grab you every day.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Arrive to South America. Land in Buenos Aires today, where you are met and taken to your comfortable hotel in the leafy area or Palermo to rest after your long journey.
Day 2:Discover Buenos Aires. This morning is spent with your guide exploring the historic heart of Buenos Aires, this afternoon is yours to continue exploring at your own pace.
Day 3:Fly down to Patagonia today, landing in Ushuaia on the island of Tierra del Fuego, the most southerly city in the world.
Day 4:Board the Plancius or Ortelius. You have the morning to walk in the national park of Tierra del Fuego, or explore some of the museums of Ushuaia. Join the vessel in Ushuaia this afternoon, where the expedition staff will settle you into your cabin. Set sail this evening along the Beagle Channel. (D)
Day 5-6:Sail the Drake Passage. Find your sea legs as the boat crosses the (sometimes) notoriously choppy Drake Passage. Get to know your fellow passengers and brush up on your history of the continent, its weather and wildlife at the expert talks given by the staff. You can often view whales, dolphins and penguins from the boat, which offers an Open Bridge policy. Stand by the captain as he navigates - still by charts and maps, as GPS is fallible in these remote waters. (B,L,D)
Day 7:Arrive in Wiencke Island, west of the peninsula, the base camp for the next couple of days. The idea of this cruise is to use fewer spots as a base to explore, rather than move on each day. Today you might like to get into kayaks for some water level exploration. (B,L,D)
Day 8:Photography Class. The boat has its own professional photographer to help you get the most out of your images of the glacial landscapes, remote scenery and lively and curious wildlife. Learn as you explore on the shore. (B,L,D)
Day 9:Arrive on the Antarctic mainland. Cruise the stunning Lemaire Channel, also known as Kodak Gap, as most people can't put down their cameras. Sheer cliffs plunge into waters teeming with icebergs, said to be the most beautiful in the world. If conditions are right, land on Petermann Island, the most southerly point of your voyage, to spot Adelie penguins and blue-eyed shags. Afterwards, turn north and sail to Paradise Bay, spotting whales en route. (B,L,D)
Day 10:Zodiac through icebergs or go mountaineering. Conditions permitting, this morning you might spend around an hour in the zodiacs, navigating through fields of icebergs to get as close as possible to the glacier faces. For a (much) more active option, small groups of no more than six can choose to get right up into the high Antarctic mountains. Tonight camping out may be possible if conditions are right. (B,L,D)
Day 11:Research Station. The morning will be spent at one of the science stations studying the glaciology and meteorology of the White Continent. In the afternoon, zig zag through icebergs in Neko Harbour. (B,L,D)
Day 12:Final hike on Antarctica. Your last full day on the Peninsula allows you to go for a hike around either Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay. If the adventure has worn you out, of course there is always the easier option of a zodiac ride. (B,L,D)
Day 13-14:Leave Antarctica. Head back north to South America across the Drake Passage. Sift through your photos, chat to your fellow travellers, and reflect on your experiences during the expedition. With a good crossing, you can dock at Ushuaia on the evening of Day 11. (B,L,D)
Day 15:Disembarkation. After breakfast, bid the expedition staff, crew and ship farewell as you disembark. Transfer to the airport for your flight home. Alternatively, extend your journey with time in Patagonia or elsewhere in South America. (B)

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Check dates

2017: 1 Nov, 15 Dec, 26 Dec
2018: 17 Feb, 28 Feb
Our top tip:
While sea kayaking in Antarctica might sound hardcore, no previous experience is required, and you only need a reasonable level of fitness. So just go for it - it's a once in a lifetime chance!
Trip type:
Small ship expedition cruise.
Activity level:
Moderate. More challenging activities are optional.
Accomm:
11 nights on board the ice-strengthened Plancius, a 116-passenger vessel with en suite cabins.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Single cabins available for a surcharge.
Included:
Accomm., meals, onboard lectures, expedition leader, listed activities,
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Antarctic Peninsula cruises, activity-based

Environment

We promote only responsible travel to Antarctica. In our opinion, well-regulated small ship travel is the only sustainable means of tourism. We are strongly of the opinion that flying to Antarctica is not acceptable as it will quickly lead to unsustainable increases in visitor numbers. Nor do large ships not belong in such a sensitive environment. The small ship crossing of the Drake Passage maintains the White Continent for those dedicated enough to make the crossing.

We are a member of IAATO (the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). As members of IAATO we are committed to procedures and guidelines that ensure appropriate, safe and environmentally sound travel to the Antarctic. Antarctic Dream is also a full member of IAATO, and like us are totally committed to promoting only responsible small group travel to the Antarctic.

Small groups in Antarctica minimise impact on wildlife. Travelling on a ship of less than 100 passengers is the ideal way to visit the continent, not least because international regulations do not permit more than 100 people ashore at any one time. You must wear boots that we provide on shore at all times. These are cleaned and disinfected by staff before and after all shore visits to ensure that no ‘alien matter’ is transferred onto the shore.

Taking or harmful interference with Antarctic wildlife is prohibited except in accordance with a permit issued by a national authority.
• Do not use aircraft, vessels, small boats, or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
• Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behaviour. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or moulting.
• Do not damage plants, for example by walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
• Keep noise to the minimum to avoid frightening wildlife.
• Do not bring non-native plants or animals into the Antarctic such as live poultry, pet dogs and cats or house plants.

Community

M/V Plancius is a full member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) which promotes safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. Expert guides and leaders know how best to minimise the impact of any landings and have the most experience of locally working in these extreme and remote conditions.

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