Antarctic Peninsula Adventure

Ioffe Cruise Ship
Ioffe
96 Passengers
Adventure Options

Sailing aboard the Ioffe, we begin this expedition at the tip of South America. We chart a course through the Drake Passage and make visits along the way through the South Shetland Islands.

When we arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula, be prepared to be dazzled. Even our experienced crew members many of whom have visited the southern region a hundred times or more are still astonished by its pristine beauty. The abundance of wildlife here is truly extraordinary including five seal species, massive penguin rookeries of gentoo, Adélies and chinstraps as well as a profusion of seabirds from albatross to skuas. It is nature you will experience up close and personal on frequent excursions inland.

Our journey will take us to Petermann Island or Wilhelmina Bay where we encounter colossal icebergs and, of course, the ice landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see. Hardy adventurers or those with a yen for history have the chance to camp out on the ice overnight and feel the thrill and audacity of early explorers who attempted to conquer this continent (weather permitting).

Safety is our top priority. For that reason weather, ice or other conditions may require us to change our itinerary and shore excursions as we go but that is half the fun of Polar exploring. Predictability is a word that has no relevance in this environment.

March 15th 2015, special Marine Mammals Focus
March represents a critical time for whales in Antarctic waters as they feed on the vast krill swarms to build energy stores for either a long migration to tropical breeding grounds or to maintain their energy as they struggle to survive in the ice-choked waters that soon will encapsulate the region.

For humpback whales, there is growing evidence that while many whales migrate, some remain in areas that remain ice-free for long periods of time due to warming climates. We will survey several of the bays that are the focus of long-term and unique research projects to determine how the abundance of whales changes throughout the course of the Antarctic summer.

We will also search for the elusive and cryptic minke whale in the far reaches and ice-choked passes and bays where they spend most of their time. We will also look for killer whales as they patrol the coastal waters for seals, whales, and penguins that make up their diet. Our photographer in residence will also lead the charge on deck and in the zodiacs with helpful hints of how to ‘pan’ for a shot in motion. Sometimes taking photos of whales can be more challenging than finding them!

Day 1: Ushuaia

Today is the first day of our adventure. As we board the Akademik Ioffe in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city at the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with ‘our home’ for the next 11 days we cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead of us. In the early evening, we set sail and begin our voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.

Day 2-3: Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake Passage, there is so much excitement in the air as we make our way ever closer to the white continent. Guests eagerly soak up the friendly atmosphere onboard as our numerous Polar experts prepare us for our adventures with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, we will cross the Antarctic Convergence where we will notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, we will witness many spectacular sights from icebergs to an array of seabirds and even several whale species some of which are known on occasion to fully breach from the sea.

Day 4 - 8: Antarctic Peninsula

In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we will hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Planned excursions might include Neko Harbor, Wilhelmina Bay and even the southerly Petermann Island, where we will observe Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals, skuas and other seabirds as well as a shocking abundance of penguins including some very large colonies of the comical Adélie penguin.

At Half Moon Island we will observe a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins that share their territory with fur seals and blue-eyed shags. We also hope to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill in its feeding grounds and possibly have an opportunity to observe orcas and Minke whales as we go.

We finally arrive on the continent of Antarctica at Paradise Harbor or Neko Harbor. Prepare to be dazzled by your first glimpse of the continent. The scenery here is amazing.

In particular we will be struck by the oddly-shaped icebergs that look like sculptures, as well as the colossal 'tabular' icebergs that break away from the continent's ice shelf. We hope the weather will be mild enough to allow us all to step foot on the White Continent itself. Some may wish to camp on shore overnight. Whatever your vantage point, whether it is onboard or onshore expect to feel transformed as you experience twilight from the very bottom of the planet. 

Day 9 - 10: Drake Passage

As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, we have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing down the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition at a special dinner.

Day 11: Ushuaia

In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Per Person USD
Rates 2014-2015
Main Deck Triple
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Camp, XC Ski, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe

Free R/T Air Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
+Pre-Cruise Hotel (or $750 Discount)
$7,095
 
$9,595
 
$10,295
 
$10,995
 
$11,495
 
$12,995
 
Photography, Kayak
Photography & Watercolor Focus

Free R/T Air Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
+Pre-Cruise Hotel (or $750 Discount)

Limited Availability
$11,995
 
$13,695
 
$15,495
 
$16,295
 
$16,695
 
$19,495
 
Camp, Photography, Kayak

Free R/T Air Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
+Pre-Cruise Hotel (or $750 Discount)
$6,795
 
$9,195
 
$9,995
 
$10,395
 
$10,795
 
$11,995
 
Camp, Photography, Kayak

Free R/T Air Buenos Aires/Ushuaia
+Pre-Cruise Hotel (or $750 Discount)
$7,895
 
$10,095
 
$10,595
 
$10,995
 
$11,595
 
$13,095
 
Photography, Kayak
$9,295
 
$11,995
 
$12,595
 
$13,295
 
$13,795
 
$15,295
 
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$9,295
 
$11,995
 
$12,595
 
$13,295
 
$13,795
 
$15,295
 
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$7,895
 
$10,095
 
$10,595
 
$10,995
 
$11,595
 
$13,095
 
Photography, Kayak
$13,895
 
$16,595
 
$18,295
 
$19,395
 
$20,095
 
$22,695
 
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$10,195
 
$12,995
 
$13,595
 
$14,595
 
$14,995
 
$16,895
 
Camp, Photography, Kayak
Marine Mammals Focus
$6,795
 
$9,195
 
$9,995
 
$10,395
 
$10,795
 
$11,995
 
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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single supplement is 1.5 times the cabin rate except for Suites which are 2 times the cabin rate and is not available in Triple Share Category.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Costs for options: Camping - Free of charge, Photography - Free of charge, Expedition Photography (Off the Beaten Track) - $45, Expedition Snowshoeing - $45, Ski Touring - $795, Kayaking – $795, Overnight Kayaking - Additional $300 add-on to regular kayaking program (limied to 6 participants).

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

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