The Whale Science Voyage

Hebridean Sky Cruise Ship
Hebridean Sky
114 Passengers
Adventure Options

As the Antarctic summer comes to a close in March, migratory whale species like the Humpback are very active, socializing and feeding in preparation for the long journey ahead. Resident whale species like the Minke and Orca are abundant, and we stand a good chance of encountering Southern Right whales and some of the larger pelagic species. Leopard seals are also very busy in March, hunting naïve penguin chicks as they mature, develop their waterproof feathers, and make their first journeys to the sea.

We’ll see all this action close-up from Zodiacs, on shore landings, and from the deck and observation platform of Hebridean Sky.

We believe science plays a fundamental role in protecting our beloved Antarctic so, in partnership with researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), we created a Citizen Science program that offers travelers the option to contribute to major research studies focused on Antarctica.

The scientists will gather data on the feeding habits of Humpback whales. WHOI hopes to field a team of six this March (four on the water tagging, and two onboard using brand new technology to analyze water samples). Passengers may participate in Citizen Science activities specifically designed to support the WHOI team’s goals.

Join Annette Bombosch, PhD, and special guests for a unique 14-day expedition focusing on Marine Mammals. The WHOI Whale Study Team will include: Daniel Zitterbart, PhD (Team Leader), Kylie Owen PhD (Whale Behavior Specialist), Joseph D. Warren (Krill Specialist), Alessandro Bocconcelli MS (Whale Tracking Technician).

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 Embarkation
Days 3 & 4 Drake Passage
Days 5 to 7 South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Days 8 to 11 Antarctica
Days 12 & 13 Drake Passage
Day 14 Ushuaia - Disembarkation

Guest may begin their adventure a day early with an optional, free pre-arrival night in Ushuaia at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort.

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 Hotel & Resort.

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. Once on board, 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 porpoising Magellanic penguins, Rock Cormorant, and Black-browed Albatross.

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 7 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

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-traveled 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 8 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 Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy 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 Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors during this season and Orca sightings are also common.

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. 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

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Per Person USD
Rates Antarctica 2020-21
Triple Suite
Porthole Suite
Window Suite
Promenade Suite
Deluxe Suite
Veranda Suite
Penthouse Suite
Owner's Suite
Save up to $1,500 (Prices in Red), Excludes Triple & Porthole
$14,295 $17,595Limited$19,495$18,495Limited$19,995$18,745Limited$20,495$19,245$21,995$20,495Limited$24,595$23,095Limited$26,495$24,995Full
$7,995 $9,595Full$10,995Full$11,495Limited$11,795Full$12,995 $13,595Limited$14,595Full
Camp, Kayak
$11,495 $14,995 $16,795 $17,195 $17,595 $18,995Limited$20,995Limited$22,995Full
$17,995 $22,495 $24,795 $25,495 $25,895 $28,295 $30,995 $32,995 
Camp, Kayak
$9,995 $13,595 $15,495 $16,995 $17,295 $17,795 $19,595 $21,795 
Camp, Kayak
$8,995 $12,595 $14,295 $15,995 $16,295 $16,895 $17,995Limited$19,295 
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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 - $895 (maximum of 20 participants)
   Camping - $250 (maximum of 40 participants)

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.


   Owner's Suite
Two-Room Suite with sitting room, private bedroom and private balcony.
385 Sq.ft. (35.7 m2), Including a 110 Sq.ft. (10.2 m2) Balcony
    Penthouse Suites
Suites with private balcony and sitting area.
325 Sq.ft. (30 m2), Including an 80 Sq.ft. (7.4 m2) Balcony
  Veranda Suites
Suites with private balcony and sitting area.
260 Sq.ft. (24 m2), Including a 40 Sq.ft. (3.7 m2) Balcony
  Deluxe Suites
Suites with forward and side windows and sitting area.
240 Sq.ft. (22 m2)
  Promenade Suites
Suites with window and sitting area.
220 Sq.ft. (20.4 m2)
  Window Suites
Suites with window and sitting area.
225 Sq.ft. (21 m2)
  Porthole Suites
Suites with porthole and sitting area.
240 Sq.ft. (22 m2)
Number of Portholes per Cabin
Cabin # 250 252 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262
# of Portholes 3 2 4 4 3 3 2 2 3 3 4
  Triple Suites
Suites with window and sitting area.
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.