The Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula
The Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula
Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to the Weddell Sea and the Seventh Continent. Experience incredible wildlife in icy waters, breathtaking mountain landscapes and gigantic icebergs over 11 eventful days. From Ushuaia, we cross the mighty Drake Passage on our way to the South Shetland Islands, where we plan our first landing. From here we navigate to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. We plan landings on penguin rookeries, research stations, and fascinating landmarks that will allow us to enjoy the spectacular views. Continuing east, we will cruise the Antarctic Sound with its mighty tabular icebergs and we will head towards the Weddell Sea in search of wildlife. On the way back, we plan to follow the route once taken by Ernest Shackleton as we navigate toward Elephant Island. On no other voyage can you experience so much untouched nature and diverse wildlife! When the Ocean Victory returns to Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, depending on the weather, we could pass near the mythical Cape Ornis - the southernmost point of South America; a famous maritime landmark.
16.12 - 26.12.2022 (English)
First day: Arrival at Ushuaia, Arrival at
Second to penultimate day: On expedition cruise... Ice, weather and wildlife observation will determine the route.
Last day: Disembarkation at Ushuaia and return home.
Arrival and embarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina - the southernmost city in the world. Explore the picturesque city or the local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten track to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego, or a tour to the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park. It is a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, and flower-filled meadows. In the afternoon we board the ship Ocean Victory, our home for the next few days.
Our journey begins as we navigate the calm waters of the Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
Next, we cross the famous Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake Passage is known for strong westerly winds, and is also nicknamed "The Roaring Fifties." Although this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition ship, custom built with powerful stabilizers. The most experienced sailors consider crossing the Drake Passage a life's work - and soon you can check it off your "bucket list" yourself!
After crossing the Drake Passage, we will begin to explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain, marveling at captivating landscapes and encountering our first penguins. With the patented X-BOW design, Ocean Victory will provide you with a smooth ride across the Drake Passage, and due to the speed of the ship, we may make a first landing or activity in the South Shetland Islands in the afternoon of Day 3, weather permitting.
Over the next few days we will explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain.
Possible landings: Deception Island, an extinct volcano with steaming beaches and lots of history, or Half Moon Island with nesting grounds for the Antarctic petrel and chinstrap penguins.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days will depend on weather and ice conditions. The itinerary and landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
In the coming days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience at the tip of the continent. During these days in Antarctic Sound, named after the Swedish ship Antarctica in 1902, the captain and expedition team will keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. Our goal is to make both continental and island landings along the coasts of the Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies.
The Weddell Sea takes its name from early British explorer James Weddell, who arrived at the southernmost point of his time by hunting seals through an ice break in 1823. Today, as we enter the Weddell Sea, we become accustomed to huge floating icebergs and experience the sheer volume of sea ice in these waters. In addition to penguins, the wildlife here includes elephant seals and seabirds. Humpback whales feed in the nutrient-rich waters (caused by the cold water rising from the ocean depths), so there are opportunities to see whales, as well as Antarctica's largest predator, the leopard seal.
Possible landings: Devil Island, where we could experience a large colony of Adélie penguins.
We plan to end our Weddell Sea/Antarctic Sound adventure by navigating toward Elephant Island, where elephant seals live, perhaps even along the route Shackleton took at the time (this route is only possible if conditions permit!).
We depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the quiet narrows of the Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. Along the way, we will cross the Drake Passage and sail past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.
During our time at sea, a variety of on-board activities will be organized, providing the perfect opportunity to connect with other travelers who are equally passionate about exploring the world. Enjoy lectures by our expedition team on board , visit our store or relax in the spa.
This morning we return to Ushuaia and end our expedition cruise. It has been a splendid Antarctic adventure and time to begin our journey home.
Show deck plan
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