Antarctica - Off The Beaten Track

Ioffe Cruise Ship
Ioffe
96 Passengers
Adventure Options

Here is an Antarctic experience with a unique twist. This wonderful voyage spends 13 days exploring the pristine Antarctic wilderness in the spring time. The wildlife migrations have commenced and the sea ice is quickly receding, allowing access to locations which have been ice choked since winter. Snow covered mountains as far as they eye can see, broken sea ice and huge icebergs are a major feature in November. We anticipate exciting ice navigation on the ship and will be among the first to visit many of the well known sites this season. For all these reasons, it's one of our favorite times of the year to visit Antarctica.

What makes this journey so special however is the enhanced program of off-ship activities available. Taking advantage of the optimal snow and ice conditions in November, we offer a range of additional activities which complement our already busy schedule. For those with some technical ability and experience, we offer back-country ski touring. Snow-shoeing is another exciting activity at this time of the year with maximum snow coverage and hard packed base.

As with all our voyages, we plan on spending at least one night camping ashore. It's a unique experience and we have all the gear to make it a safe and enjoyable experience. If you have some experience sea kayaking, why not enjoy this unique activity? Accompanied by a small group of paddlers, your expert guides will allow you to experience Antarctica in a very different way. If you wish to take it to a whole new level, we even offer a two-night kayaking trip, a chance to paddle far from the ship and establish an overnight bivouac/campsite.

Our onboard photography professional is available to help you improve your camera handling and achieve you desired outcomes. A full day ‘field photography’ workshop is planned.

All this is complemented with an exceptional series of onboard presentations, led by adventurers, marine biologists, naturalists, glaciologists, historians and our onboard photography professional. As if that wasn't enough, prepare to be spoiled by our hotel staff and adventure concierge team on board the ship.

This voyage has been designed for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers. It also has great appeal to those who wish to experience Antarctica in springtime. The added bonus is you will enjoy several additional days of exploration compared to the 10-night voyages.

Adventure Activities:
Standard Sea Kayaking – Maximum of 16 clients. Must be pre-booked.
Overnight Sea Kayaking – Available to those already enrolled in the standard sea kayak program. Sea kayak and camping experience is necessary and participation is dependent upon guide approval onboard. Maximum of 6 clients, minimum of 4. Must be pre-booked.
Ski Touring – Back country experience essential and participation is dependent upon guide approval onboard. Gear is not provided. Maximum of 12 clients, minimum of 6. Must be pre-booked.
Expedition Snowshoeing – Gear is provided. Maximum of 12 clients. Must be pre-booked.
Expedition Field Photography– Maximum of 18 clients. Must be pre-booked.
Overnight Camping – Gear is provided. No maximum. No pre-booking. No additional fee.
Hiking – No maximum. No pre-booking. No additional fee.
Classic Snowshoeing - Gear is provided. 10 pairs of snowshoes will be available. No pre-booking. No additional fee.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina
Days 2 & 3 Drake Passage - At Sea towards Antarctica
Days 4 & 5 South Shetland Islands and Northern Peninsula, Antarctica
Days 6 to 9 Gerlache Strait Region, Antarctica
Day 10 South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
Days 11 & 12 Drake Passage – return to South America
Day 13 Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina

Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship, Akademik Ioffe. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

Days 2 & 3 — Drake Passage - At Sea towards Antarctica

Sailing south towards Antarctica we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we transit the Drake Passage. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship takes patience and skill and our photography expert will show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern research vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.

Days 4 & 5 — South Shetland Islands and Northern Peninsula, Antarctica

We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of the South Shetland Islands are laid out before us. Depending on ice and weather conditions, we plan on entering the McFarlane Strait, which separates Greenwich and Livingstone Islands. Half Moon Island or nearby Yankee Harbor are possible landing sites. A short way to the south-west lies Deception Island – a flooded volcanic caldera. Navigating the ship into the narrow passage takes great skill. The old whaling station here begs exploration and there are some fantastic hikes available along the black sand beach to investigate the old aircraft hangar and other relics. A hike of several kilometers up to a highpoint known as Neptune’s Window is another option.

Overnight we cross the Bransfield Strait and are now along the coastline of continental Antarctica. Over the next four days, our itinerary is deliberately flexible to account for early season ice conditions, and to take advantage of optimal snow conditions at several of our favorite landing sites. Our planned exploration starts in vicinity of Mikkelson Harbor and neighboring Cierva Cove – both beautiful locations and the perfect introduction to Antarctica.

Days 6 to 9 — Gerlache Strait Region, Antarctica

Heading south along the coastline of the continent, our busy program of activities will now be in full swing. Our days are spent exploring on and off the ship. Popular activities include guided hikes on shore and visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides, while the historic huts and science stations provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice is always a memorable activity.

Based on site characteristics, the ski touring group may set off to explore the pristine terrain and range several kilometers inland with our experienced mountaineering guides. What a unique thrill it is to carve ‘fresh tracks’ in the virgin snow of Antarctica. The expedition snow shoe group may follow in the tracks of the skiers, climbing to high points which afford breathtaking views. If you are not up to the more strenuous snowshoeing program, you will be able to try this unique activity at many of our landing sites.

Our expedition sea kayakers will head out on excursions which may last all day. An overnight kayak/camping excursion is available to the more adventurous in the group. Everyone aboard will have an opportunity to camp onshore for the night in Antarctica if the weather conditions cooperate. We have all the gear to keep you warm, dry and as comfortable as possible. Photography enthusiasts will enjoy the chance to spend an entire day with our expedition photographer, on an all-day field workshop.

We range as far south as ice conditions permit and hope to navigate as far as Neko Harbor and into the Errera Channel. Witnessing the migration of the penguins early in the season, as they busily re-establish their rookeries and prepare nests, is a fascinating experience.

Day 10 — South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

The adventure is not over and we plan an additional day of exploration in the South Shetlands. Prevailing weather conditions will dictate our landing locations. Aitcho Island is another possibility and is a great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise. King George Island also has a number of interesting landing sites. In the evening, we navigate into the Drake Passage, charting a course for South America.

Days 11 - 12 — Drake Passage – return to South America

As we make our way back to Ushuaia, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our expedition leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the captain of the ship.

Day 13 — Ushuaia, Argentina

In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. 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. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

Note:
Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the expedition leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates 2015-2016
Main Deck Triple
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$12,695$11,945$14,495$13,745$16,395$15,645$17,195$16,445$17,995$17,245$20,595$19,845Full
Camp, XC Ski, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$7,895$7,145$9,995$9,245$10,995$10,245$11,795$11,045$12,395$11,645$13,895$13,145
Camp, Photography, Kayak
Photography Symposium

$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$12,695$11,945Full$14,495$13,745$16,395$15,645Full$17,195$16,445$17,995$17,245Full$20,595$19,845Full
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$7,495$6,745Full$9,795$9,045$10,695$9,945$11,495$10,745$12,195$11,445$13,195$12,445
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$8,495Full$10,795Full$11,295Full$11,795Full$12,495Full$13,995Full
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$15,895$15,145$18,795$18,045$20,695$19,945Full$21,795$21,045Full$22,495$21,745Full$25,295$24,545Full
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$10,895$10,145$13,895$13,145$14,595$13,845$15,595$14,845$16,195$15,445Full$17,995$17,245Full
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$8,495$7,745$10,795$10,045$11,295$10,545Full$11,795$11,045$12,495$11,745$13,995$13,245
Camp, Photography, Kayak
Whale Watching Trip

$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
$8,495$7,745$10,795$10,045$11,295$10,545$11,795$11,045$12,495$11,745$13,995$13,245
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$7,495Full$9,795Full$10,695Full$11,495Full$12,195Full$13,195Full
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
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.

Costs for standard adventure options: Photography - Free of charge, Snowshoeing - Free of charge, Camping - Free of charge, Kayaking (must be pre-booked, maximum 16 participants) – $795

Costs for Off the Beaten Track adventure options (must be pre-booked): Expedition Photography (maximum 18 participants) - $45, Expedition Snowshoeing (maximum 12 participants) - $45, Ski Touring (maximum 12 participants) - $750, Kayaking (maximum 16 participants) – $795, Overnight Kayaking - Additional $300 add-on to regular kayaking program (maximum 6 participants).

Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates 2016-2017
Main Deck Triple
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$13,095$12,095$14,895$13,895$16,395$15,395$17,195$16,195$17,995$16,995$20,995$19,995
Camp, XC Ski, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$8,095$7,095$10,295$9,295$11,295$10,295$12,095$11,095$12,995$11,995$14,995$13,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$13,095$12,095$14,895$13,895$16,895$15,895$17,695$16,695$18,995$17,995$21,995$20,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$7,795$6,795$10,095$9,095$10,995$9,995$11,695$10,695$12,995$11,995$13,995$12,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
Christmas in Antarctica

$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$8,795$7,795$11,095$10,095$11,695$10,695$12,195$11,195$12,995$11,995$14,995$13,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$16,395$15,395$19,395$18,395$21,295$20,295$22,495$21,495$23,995$22,995$25,995$24,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$11,195$10,195$14,295$13,295$15,095$14,095$16,095$15,095$16,995$15,995$18,995$17,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$16,395$15,395$19,395$18,395$21,295$20,295$22,495$21,495$23,995$22,995$25,995$24,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$8,795$7,795$11,095$10,095$11,695$10,695$12,195$11,195$12,995$11,995$14,995$13,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$7,795$6,795$10,095$9,095$10,995$9,995$11,695$10,695$12,995$11,995$13,995$12,995
Camp, Photography, Kayak
Whale Watching Voyage

$1,000 Early Booking Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 1st 2015
$7,795$6,795$10,095$9,095$10,995$9,995$11,695$10,695$12,995$11,995$13,995$12,995
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
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.

Costs for standard adventure options: Photography - Free of charge, Snowshoeing - Free of charge, Camping - Free of charge, Kayaking (must be pre-booked, maximum 16 participants) – $795.

Costs for Off the Beaten Track adventure options (must be pre-booked): Standard Kayaking (maximum 16 participants) – $795, Overnight Kayaking - Additional $300 add-on to standard kayaking program (maximum 6, minimum 4 participants), Ski Touring (maximum 12, minimum 6 participants) - $750, Expedition Snowshoeing (maximum 12 participants) - $45, Expedition Field Photography (maximum 18 participants) - $45.

Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

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