Antarctica – Deep South 2020

Antarctica – Deep South 2020

From USD $11,795


This special journey takes us further south than at any other time in the season. Additional days on board allow us to venture as far south as ice conditions permit. Here we witness stunning landscapes, sizable Adelie penguin rookeries and large flat-topped tabular icebergs that drift north from the Bellingshausen Sea. With favourable weather and ice conditions we hope to reach – Marguerite Bay. This is a spectacular location reached by just a handful of ships each season. We always anticipate exciting ice navigation
when pushing this far south.

Having reached our objective of the Antarctic Circle, we return to the north, navigating along the glaciated coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula passing through the Argentine, Fish and Yalour Island archipelagos while exploring the Gerlache Strait region. There are several important scientific stations here and a number of significant historic sites we hope to investigate. A transit of the Lemaire Channel is another goal on this voyage and always a highlight.

Every day we explore off the ship in the company of our expert guides, enjoying shore visits and Zodiac cruises that may last up to three and four hours at a time. For those with an adventurous streak why not spend a night ashore camping like the early Antarctic explorers? This trip is ideal for those who love the excitement and spontaneity of small ship exploration in the most remote locations on the planet.

Trip Name
Antarctica - Deep South 2020
Vessel Type: Ice - Strengthened Length: 117 metres Passenger Capacity: 92 Built: 1988 Stability and Strength. Our ship was purpose built to conduct sensitive hydro-acoustic research and science in the polar regions. The original design brief dictated that the vessel offers a very high level of stability. This is achieved through a sophisticated internal trimming system, controlled via a series of gyroscopic sensors around the vessel. This stability feature is something you will greatly appreciate should you encounter less than ideal sailing conditions. Maneuverable, Quiet and Fast. With both bow and stern thrusters and twin reversible propellers, the ship can spin on its own axis – greatly assisting embarkation of the zodiacs in windy conditions. You will notice there is little – if any – ambient noise or vibration, which makes for a quiet ship. The ship is fast, with a top speed of 14.5 knots in open water. Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination (rather than ‘at sea’) and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate our daily itinerary. Superb Design and Layout. Throughout the ship there are spaces ideally suited to every need. Spacious outer decks provide 360 degree views of the stunning polar landscapes – as well as a great place for an outdoor barbecue, which usually happens once on every voyage. Inside there are comfortable presentation spaces for lectures and film screenings and there’s a multimedia computer lab with several large screen workstations where guests can download and back up photos. Six Different Cabin Categories. All cabins feature outside windows allowing ample natural light to filter in. Cabins all have lower berths (some triple share cabins have one upper/lower bunk scenario and feature port holes). Akademik Sergey Vavilov carries a maximum of just 92 guests – making for true, small-ship expedition cruising. This is particularly important in Antarctica where visitor guidelines dictate that no more than 100 people can be on shore at any one time. We fall under this limit and that equals maximum time ashore at all locations. Ships carrying more than 100 guests compromise your time ashore. Enjoy Great Dining? So do we. The exciting schedule of onshore excursions, zodiac cruises and onboard activities are guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Although the ship operates in some of the most remote locations in the world, you can expect an exceptional variety of tasty meals, prepared by a team of professional international chefs. Breakfasts are usually buffet style. Lunches offer a great choice of light meals - as well as more substantial options for those who are hungry - and each evening there is a hearty three-course meal offering both variety and choice. There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of international wines. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day or night and we always offer afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits. Guests with dietary restrictions or special meal requirements are also well catered for. Join us on the Bridge. There is an open-bridge policy and guests are welcome to meet the navigating crew at virtually any time of day; there’s always something to learn from the officers on watch and the bridge is one of the best places on the ship for spotting whales and sea birds. Operational Safety. There are no compromises here. The expedition staff and crew onboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov have the deepest respect for changeable weather in the polar regions and the varying sea and ice conditions. That respect is apparent in every decision made throughout the voyage. The ship carries the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require leaders to undergo vigorous and effective safety training programs. Your expedition team are well prepared, so you can relax and enjoy your voyage. Relax — You're on Holiday. The ship also features a Finnish dry-heat sauna, a plunge pool, a hot water Jacuzzi, a small gymnasium and day spa with massage therapist. An expedition gear package is included. An expedition cruise requires a fair bit of planning and some special items of clothing and equipment are needed. You will have use of an expedition wet weather gear package free of charge, which includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants as well as insulated, comfortable rubber boots designed for extended walking. A set of expedition binoculars and a walking pole are also available for the duration of your voyage. This saves you buying expensive items you may only ever use once and eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear all the way to the ship. If you do have your own gear, of course you are welcome to bring it. Make sure it is wind and waterproof. If you have questions about gear, feel free to ask.


Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia,in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting pointand transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. Aftersettling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet ourexpedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the airas we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, boundfor Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. The Drake Passageis rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance ofwildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds includingthe wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Capepetrels are also constant companions as make our way south.Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience andskill and our photography expert will be on hand to show youthe best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge andlearn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel.Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with aseries of presentations about the environment, the wildlife andhistory and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days.As we approach the coastline of Antarctica, we encounter moreicebergs and anticipate our first whale sightings.
Given optimal ice conditions, we aim to sail south of theAntarctic Circle. A favoured landing site here is Detaille Island,home to an abandoned British science hut. ‘Base W’ wasestablished in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state ofpreservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place,providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarcticscientists and researchers.This far south, we are always at the mercy of prevailing iceconditions. Years of experience pushing this far to the south,indicates that late February gives us our best chance ofreaching Marguerite Bay.We may take the ‘shortcut’, through a narrow channel knownas 'the Gullet' if the passage is ice-free. Otherwise, we couldnavigate around the outside of Adelaide Island - which will takemore time, yet bring us to the same destination.Marguerite Bay is home to several important science bases -Rothera (UK), San Martin (Argentina), Carvajal (Chile). We hopeto make a visit to at least one of these locations. The area is fullof history and the British Graham Land Expedition (BGLE) of theearly 1930s - led by intrepid Australian explorer, John Rymill,established their southern base in this area. They explored andsurveyed large areas of the Antarctic Peninsula by airplane,establishing the Antarctic Peninsula was indeed connected tothe main continental landmass - and not just a series of offshoreislands as earlier believed.
This vicinity marks our turnaround point and from now on, wecruise in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastlineof the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several locations in theFish and Argentine Island archipelagos which allow for Zodiaccruising and potential shore landings. We hope to visit a workingscientific base to learn of the important climate-related researchhappening here. A hike over the snowy saddle of nearby WinterIsland allows us to stretch our legs and explore the old BritishAntarctic Survey hut.Petermann Island is home to a sizable Adelie penguin rookery.Adelies - the smallest of the Antarctic penguins nest hereand share the location with Gentoo penguins and Imperialcormorants. The view to the north of Mount Shackleton andMount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinelsmark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. NearbyPleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Justoff shore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massiveicebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculptthese gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealingmore shades of blue than you could ever imagine. For many, azodiac cruise here will be a highlight of the voyage.
We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way northtowards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity tostep foot on the continent of Antarctica proper. Nearby NekoHarbour offers another continental landing. Both locationsoffer terrific hiking opportunities up to panoramic view points.Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage.The good news is, our adventure is not over and we still haveseveral days of exciting exploration ahead.Orne Harbour is another spot we hope to visit and the hike upto a rocky knoll provides great access to a chinstrap penguinrookery and jaw-dropping views over the Gerlache Strait. AtCuverville Island, there is a large Gentoo penguin colony whichwe observe at close quarters. Leopard seals are often sightedcruising the shallows along the landing site. For the kayakers,a full circumnavigation of the island is a real possibility. It issomwhere in this vicinity we hope to spend a night ashorecamping if weather conditions permit. We have all the gear andan expert team to make this unique experience happen.We are now at our most northern point on the Peninsula.Additional visits may include Mikkelson Harbour or nearbyCierva Cove, rounding out what has been a comprehensiveexploration of the Gerlache coastline. Tonight, leaving thecontinent in the soft twilight, we reflect on an incredible 10-daysof exploration south of the Circle and the Antarctic Peninsula.
Having crossed the Bransfield Straight overnight, we arrive inthe South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and ifthe weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the floodedvolcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramaticplace and history is all around us as we explore the old whalingstation, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated woodenhuts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This iswhere Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight inAntarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike here, highup onto the rim of the crater. On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island isa memorable experience. There are several other landing sitesin the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebblybeach at Yankee Harbour, where we sometimes encounterWeddell seals sunning themselves. This is another great spot fora hike or a Zodiac cruise.
As we make our way back to South America, the educationalpresentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining andmemorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join ourphotography experts in the multimedia room and downloadand back up your precious images. If weather conditionsallow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabledstretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration andearly navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderfulexpedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel inearly evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by theCaptain of the ship.
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is timeto say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests willbe transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flightshome. It will be possible to connect to flights through to BuenosAires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy anight in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights ofPatagonia.
Day 9 - Please Note:
Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at thetime of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leadercontinually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weatherand ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a largenumber of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavyice may hinder our planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
21-02-202005-03-2020USD $11,795Triple Share
21-02-202005-03-2020USD $14,595Twin Semi-Private
21-02-202005-03-2020USD $15,995Twin Private
21-02-202005-03-2020USD $17,295Superior
21-02-202005-03-2020USD $18,995Shackleton Suite
21-02-202005-03-2020USD $21,495One Ocean Suite


    • Fantastic glaciated scenery of the Antarctic Circle and Gerlache coastline
    • Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, Zodiac cruising and from the ship
    • Visits to historic sites and science stations
    • Learn about the environment, wildlife and ecology of Antarctica from polar experts