The Antarctic Peninsula - Whale Science Voyage

Island Sky Cruise Ship
Island Sky
114 Passengers
Adventure Options

This special departure represents a collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution [WHOI], the world's leading independent non-profit organization dedicated to ocean research, for a trip to Antarctica and a study on the feeding habits of humpback whales. Humpbacks migrate thousands of miles to their feeding ground in the Southern Ocean, yet nothing is known about how these whales find the krill that they consume. The more we can learn, the better we can understand how global warming, which is impacting the distribution and volume of krill in our oceans, will affect large whale populations.

All guests on this voyage will have the opportunity to participate as the scientists on board track whales and collect data. In addition to ongoing briefings on the study’s progress, we will hold a panel discussion on The Future of the Antarctic Ecosystem. The panel will feature the WHOI Team (Daniel Zitterbart, Kylie Owen, Alessandro Bocconcelli, and Joseph Warren), our own whale expert (Annette Bombosch, PhD), and special guest, Peter Neill, the founding Director of the World Ocean Observatory, a platform for education and information exchange on the health of the ocean.

This itinerary also includes the normal activities of our regular Antarctic Peninsula voyages.

Complimentary Pre-Arrival Day: Don’t sweat flight delays or missed connections when you begin your adventure a day early by taking advantage of our optional, free pre-arrival night at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Enjoy the spa, wander the trails, or unwind and soak in the surroundings.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 Embarkation
Days 3 & 4 Drake Passage
Days 5 to 11 Antarctica
Days 2 & 13 Drake Passage
Day 14 Ushuaia - Disembarkation

Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina

Today is all yours: explore some of the sights that Ushuaia has to offer, from museums to Argentinean leather markets, or continue relaxing at the lovely Arakur. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers.

Day 2 — Embarkation

After a complimentary buffet breakfast, you’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. Onboard, you’ll be greeted by our expedition team and the ship’s officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.

Days 3 & 4 — Drake Passage

As we make our way ever closer to the white continent, our expedition team will be out on deck and on the bridge, looking for the whales and dolphins that may be seen as we travel south. They will prepare us with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history, including helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety. The WHOI Team will present us with an overview of their study’s goals and methods. Eventually, we’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Southern Ocean.

Those eager to participate in Citizen Science can take part in seabird sighting surveys or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. The length of our journey depends on sea conditions, but we should approach the South Shetland Islands in the evening of Day 4. We will keep especially keen watch for pelagic whales as we approach the nutrient rich upwelling areas of the Continental Shelf.

Days 5 to 8 — Antarctica

Exploring the South Shetland Islands, we may visit Half Moon Island with its stunning backdrop of mountainous and glaciated Livingston Island. Or perhaps we will sail the ship into an active volcano with an opportunity to take a dip in the relatively balmy waters that surround Deception Island. Bransfield Strait, once the site of an abandoned whaling station, gives us an excellent chance to see whales, which often return to its rich waters.

In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, our expedition leader and captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and previous sightings to maximize our whale watching opportunities, while also exploring some of the lesser-travelled areas of the Peninsula. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels, with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The WHOI Team will begin their research, and will give us periodic updates on the study’s progress.

Days 9 to 11 — Antarctica

Heading further South, we will be sure to explore the Gerlache Strait and its surrounding channels and islands. This may include trips to picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the humpback whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Strait, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadsky as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.

At this time of year, most areas have amazing marine mammal viewing opportunities with Antarctic fur seals, Weddell, crabeater often found hauled out to rest along with predatory leopard Seals. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors during this season and orca sightings are also common. All of our onboard experts will take part in a panel discussion on The Future of the Antarctic Ecosystem.

Days 12 & 13 — Drake Passage

As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. The WHOI Team will give us a final briefing on their field results. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.

Day 14 — Ushuaia - Disembarkation

Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.

* 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 Antarctica 2018-19
Triple Suite
Porthole Suite
Window Suite
Promenade Suite
Deluxe Suite
Veranda Suite
Penthouse Suite
Owner's Suite
Camp, Kayak
$6,995Full$7,995Full$9,495Full$10,295Full$10,695Full$11,4951 Berth$12,295Full$13,595Full
Camp, Kayak
$6,995Full$7,995Full$9,495Full$10,295Full$10,695Full$11,495Full$12,295Full$13,595Full
Camp, Kayak
$9,9951 Berth$12,495Full$14,595Limited$15,295Limited$15,695Full$16,495Limited$18,995Limited$21,995 
Kayak
$16,995Full$20,795Full$22,995Limited$23,995 $24,295 $26,995Full$29,695Limited$32,295Full
Camp, Kayak
Save 20% (Prices in Red)
$9,995$7,996$12,495$9,9961 Berth$14,595$11,676$15,295$12,236$15,695$12,556$16,495$13,196$18,995$15,196$21,995$17,596
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.

A limited number of twin cabins may be sold for single occupancy at 1.7 times the twin rate.
Penthouse & Veranda suites cannot be booked as a share option for single travelers.

Adventure Options:
   Kayaking - $695
   Camping - $125

In addition to the free internet access available on the computers in the ship’s library, all passengers will receive 100 minutes of Wi-Fi access for use on their personal device.

There may be a fuel surcharge on all bookings.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Antarctica 2019-20
Triple Suite
Porthole Suite
Window Suite
Promenade Suite
Deluxe Suite
Veranda Suite
Penthouse Suite
Owner's Suite
Kayak
Save $1,000 (Prices in Red)
Excludes Triple & Porthole Suites
Expires Nov 15th 2018
$8,9951 Berth$11,495 $13,495$12,495$14,395$13,395$14,695$13,695$15,495$14,495$16,995$15,995$18,995$17,995
Kayak
Save $1,000 (Prices in Red)
Excludes Triple & Porthole Suites
Expires Nov 15th 2018
$8,995 $11,495 $13,495$12,495$14,395$13,395$14,695$13,695$15,495$14,495$16,995$15,995$18,995$17,995
Kayak
Save $2,500 (Owner’s, Penthouse, and Veranda Suites) or $1,500 (Deluxe, Promenade, and Window Suites)
(Prices in Red) Expires Nov 15th 2018
$17,5951 Berth$21,795 $23,995$22,495$25,595$24,095$25,795$24,295$27,995$25,495$30,795$28,295$32,995$30,495Full
Camp, Kayak
Save $2,000 (Owner’s, Penthouse, and Veranda Suites) or $1,500 (Deluxe, Promenade, and Window Suites)
(Prices in Red) Expires Nov 15th 2018
$10,9951 Berth$15,495 $16,995$15,495$17,995$16,495$18,395$16,895Full$19,995$17,995$22,795$20,795$24,995$22,995
Kayak
Save $2,500 (Owner’s, Penthouse, and Veranda Suites) or $1,500 (Deluxe, Promenade, and Window Suites)
(Prices in Red) Expires Nov 15th 2018
$14,295 $16,995 $18,995$17,495$19,695$18,195$19,995$18,495$21,995$19,495$24,595$22,095$27,795$25,295
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.

A limited number of twin cabins may be sold for single occupancy at 1.7 times the twin rate.
Penthouse & Veranda suites cannot be booked as a share option for single travelers.

Adventure Options:
   Kayaking - $695
   Camping - $125

In addition to the free internet access available on the computers in the ship’s library, all passengers will receive 100 minutes of Wi-Fi access for use on their personal device.

There may be a fuel surcharge on all bookings.

DeckPlan_IslandSky_PolarLatitudes

    Owner's Suite
Two-Room Suite with balcony, sitting room and bedroom.
385 Sq.ft. (34 m2), Including an 110 Sq.ft. (10.2 m2) Balcony
    Penthouse Suites
Suites with private balcony and sitting area with side chairs and table.
325 Sq.ft. (30 m2), Including an 80 Sq.ft. (7.4 m2) Balcony
  Veranda Suites
Suites with private balcony and sitting area with side chairs and table.
260 Sq.ft. (24 m2), Including a 40 Sq.ft. (3.7 m2) Balcony
  Deluxe Suites
Suites with tinted sliding glass door onto the Promenade deck and side window, sitting area with sofa.
240 Sq.ft. (22 m2)
  Promenade Suites
Suites with tinted sliding glass door onto the Promenade deck and sitting area with sofa.
220 Sq.ft. (20.4 m2)
  Window Suites
Suites with window and sitting area with sofa.
225 Sq.ft. (21 m2)
  Porthole Suites
Suites with porthole and sitting area with sofa.
235 Sq.ft. (22 m2)
  Triple Suites
Suites with window and sitting area with sofa.
225 Sq.ft. (21 m2)
Please note that the third berth in the triple suite is suitable for passengers up to 5’10” in height.