Antarctic whale watching cruise
Description of Antarctic whale watching cruise
It’s all about timing on this 10-day Antarctic cruise. Voyages shove off in February or March, when the whale migration is at its peak. You’ve got eight species to scout out, along with orcas and the near-mythical wandering albatross.
Once you’ve crossed the legendary Drake Passage, you’ll spend a few days hovering around the Antarctic Peninsula. Your ship is fully loaded with Zodiac boats, which makes exploring the shifting icy coastline a doddle – especially with your skilled skipper at the helm. Elephant seals and gentoo penguins huddle on the lonely beaches here.
Optional activities can be added onto this voyage at an extra cost. There’s sea kayaking alongside icebergs to look out for surfacing whale pods, and even spending a night camping on the continent in a tent. Make sure you arrange these well in advance, as they get booked up fast.
Don’t worry about the long days at sea that come as standard on an Antarctic cruise. Your schedule will be filled with lectures from the polar scientists and guides on-board, who'll share stories about everything from the whaling and exploration history, to the geology and biology of this vast, bleakly beautiful world.
PlanetWe work hard to conserve and protect the polar regions and their fragile ecosystems. We are members of IAATO – the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators and are fully compliant with their rules and guidelines. All our trips are run under strict regulations that ensure the environment of Antarctica remains in a pristine state. Being a member means that we actively support and contribute to the environmental and scientific work being carried out there. Encounters with wildlife are also controlled by a responsible code of conduct.
Our expedition vessels are much smaller and less imposing on the polar environment than the bigger cruise ships. Hence, group landings are more easily managed. Plus, due to our low passenger to crew ratio (8:1), we can provide a much more personalised experience. Our expedition staff, who are highly-skilled experts in fields like natural history, glaciology and marine biology (to name but a few), will introduce passengers to the wonders of Antarctica. As well as learning more about the local and global conservation issues facing polar habitats.
PeopleThe places we visit in Antarctica have no permanent residents other than researchers who live there seasonally or overwinter at their research stations. There’s a strong relationship between the researchers at these stations and our expedition staff, meaning our passengers get the opportunity to visit the research stations and find out all about their work. The Ukrainian research station Vernadsky for instance loves to give passengers a tour of their laboratories – the place where the hole in the ozone layer was first discovered. They share their knowledge and stories and passengers can even join them for a beer or vodka at their bar. We also take the research staff with us on board if they need to be transferred back to South America or vice versa.
Travellers are welcome to book pre and post tour accommodation with us. We’ll always do our best to secure rooms at family-run bed and breakfasts or hotels. Our travellers will also be given local restaurant recommendations, so that money is put back into the Argentinian economy. As this trip starts and finishes in Ushuaia, we encourage our clients to buy souvenirs from local vendors and discourage the purchase of endangered animal products or items unduly taken from the environment.
We also support the Mawson’s Huts Foundation which was established in 1997 to conserve the Mawson’s Huts at Cape Denison in East Antarctica. Since then, it has funded over 10 major expeditions to the historic site with further expedition planes.
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