As our voyage begins, we pilot through the calm, gunmetal grey waters and sloping glaciers of Beagle Channel. Turning southward, our journey begins in earnest, and we enter 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 rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, called the Roaring Fifties. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, Ocean Atlantic, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement, and you will complete the crossing twice!
In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view. These nutrient rich waters lure a wealth of seabirds, albatrosses and several species of whales. Weather permitting, we catch our first sight of seals and penguins!
With widen eyes, we will weave through the South Shetland Islands, a pearly necklace of glistering, ice-covered islands and dormant volcanoes. Numerous Zodiac excursions are landfalls are likely. We are constantly on the lookout for whales, sea lions, elephant seals and an unbelievable amount of sea birds and penguins.
Continuing onward, we enjoy the calming silence and alluring beauty of the Antarctic mainland during hikes and Zodiac excursions. Spread in isolation along the coast, we also see a number of manned and unmanned research stations, which we aim to visit before accomplishing our goal – crossing the Antarctic Circle at 66°33′ south. Here, the sun is up for 24-hours a day during the austral summer. Our expedition may include visits to sites such as Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Crystal Sound and Fish Island.
Dense pack ice forbids many ordinary vessel from reach this far south, but with the highest ice-class rating, Ocean Atlantic moves swiftly carrying us on an adventure for life.