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Epic Antarctica & South Georgia Small Ship Adventure

Epic Antarctica & South Georgia Small Ship Adventure

From USD $11,590

Description

On this epic 18-day voyage, we explore the South Shetlands and the Antarctic continent before heading via the Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea for an extended South Georgia visit. The adventure ends in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo. On board Ocean Albatros.

Departing from Ushuaia in Argentina, we cross the mighty Drake Passage en route for the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic peninsula. Here we will make Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and fascinating lookouts.

Continuing towards the east, we will explore the Antarctic Sound with its mighty tabular icebergs and enter the Weddell Sea in search for wildlife.

Sailing onwards between Elephant Island and South Georgia offers a small glimpse into the passage made famous by Shackleton 100 years ago, when he navigated the 1300 km course through open seas of Drake Passage in an effort to save his stranded crew. South Georgia is one of world’s greatest natural wonders. Wildlife-packed beaches, active research stations, former whaling stations and a visit to Shackleton’s final resting place are on our agenda. This trip has an extended South Georgia itinerary, allowing us to see more than usual.

On our last leg we sail to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, allowing for easier flights onwards in South America or towards home. The last seadays can be spend bird watching from the top deck and attending lectures, workshops and photo re-caps in one of the ship’s lounges.

Onboard our brand new strong ice-strengthened expedition vessel, Ocean Albatros, we are sure to get close to the dramatic coastlines. Zodiac cruising and shore landings are an important and considerable part of the planned itinerary, hopefully enabling all expedition guests to set foot on the Antarctic continent, as well as the many surrounding sub-antarctic and South Georgia islands.

This epic expedition cruise allows you to experience so much pristine nature and varied wildlife!

With the patented X-BOW design, the Ocean Albatros will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage, and due to the speed of the vessels, we might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland islands during the late afternoon on Day 3.

Make sure you reserve your place, on this fantastic journey in good time, as we only cruise this route once during the season.

Trip Name
Epic Antarctica & South Georgia Small Ship Adventure
Days
18
Overview
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition Passenger Capacity: ~190 (95 cabins) Built: 2022 The Ocean Albatros, sistership to the Ocean Victory, will join the fleet of Albatros Expeditions in November 2022. The Ocean Albatros will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, any various exciting new destinations in between. With a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, most with their own balcony, the Ocean Albatros will definitely become one of the most popular expedition cruise vessels in the world. Like it's sistership the Ocean Victory it offers two restaurants, a wellness area, an Albatros Nordic Bar, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenities.  The vessel will have more than a 50% lower carbon footprint than traditional expedition vessels and be one of the most environmentally friendly, implementing the Green Initiative Program, ensuring both absolute comfort and sustainability for our guests. Unlike the Ocean Victory, the Ocean Albatros will also offer a unique panorama sauna, and a total of 12 dedicated solo travel cabins without a single-supplement. BRIDGE Due to its important role as a control center for all nautical and technical processes, the ship's bridge is a vital, sensitive place. Therefore, the bridge may not be accessible to the public at all times. Conditions permitting, we will be happy to welcome you into the bridge for a visit. Guests must be accompanied by the master or our expedition leader. STATEROOM SERVICE Your stateroom is serviced daily. We provide a turn-down service. We provide meal to room only for serious cases of guest being sick. Our suites will have VIP services. ZODIAC LANDINGS One feature of our expedition cruises includes landings and excursions aboard Ocean Albatros's fleet of 18 inflatable, motorized rubber "Zodiac" boats. The Zodiac brand has earned a well-deserved reputation as the sturdiest and safest small watercraft available. These boats have a low draft and great stability. Zodiacs are constructed for professional use and are outfitted with a top-quality outboard engine, yet their design minimally impacts the environment. The Zodiacs are designed to provide unrestricted access to the world’s last great frontier. Their versatility enables us to make landfall on remote shores, cruise along awe-inspiring coastlines and share breathtakingly close encounters with whales, seals, penguins, seabirds and more. We will come within arm’s reach of icebergs and set foot on land discovered by pioneering explorers just over a century ago. Your safety and comfort are our #1 priority, and your expedition leader will carefully plan for as many Zodiac excursions as possible, dependent upon the local weather and prevailing conditions. In each case, the expedition leader makes the final decision if the landing is possible or not. Safety regulations apply on landings. All guests receive a mandatory instruction of the safety guidelines. Life jackets are mandatory to wear. Please note, we highly recommend the use of waterproof bags in order to protect your personal camera or binoculars, as both hands must be free of everything during boarding. Participation is fairly easy and comfortable for able-bodied guests but can be more challenging for those with physical handicaps. GRATUITIES Following international standards in the service industry, it is customary to leave gratuity for the ship’s crew at the end of the voyage. All gratuities will be divided among the crew. Typically, a recommended amount is approximately 13.5 USD per person per day. Gratuity is, of course, not required and any gratuity payments are voluntary. DRESS CODE The dress code on board is casual. Ties, jackets and evening dresses you may leave at home. It is rather more important to wear the right clothes in order to adapt to the different weather conditions. We recommend comfortable, breathable, waterproof and windproof clothing. Also, you should have a pair of gloves, thermal underwear and sturdy footwear in your luggage. For the captains and farewell cocktail, we recommend a smart casual dress style. INTERNET / PHONE Keep in mind, we will be cruising in a very remote region of the world. Where accessible, internet access is available for an extra charge. Mobile phone reception may be possible in select regions along our route. For further details please contact your mobile phone operator. Prices can be found in the information folder in your state room. Please ensure that your ‘Data Roaming’ function is switched off. RECEPTION The daily office hours of the board reception are from 06:00 until 23:00. ALBATROS OCEAN SHOP The selection of items available for purchase varies by ship, and may include a range of warm and practical clothing, as well as souvenirs, local arts and postcards at reasonable prices. A small selection of soap, toothpaste and other personal effects are also sold. HEALTH / MEDICAL EMERGENCY Each of our vessels has a small medical facility equipped with the necessary equipment and medicine to handle small emergencies. The infirmary is always staffed by a professionally licensed, English-speaking physician and nurse. Should a serious incident occur, the nearest hospital will be contacted. All guests must have personal travel/health insurance. Although we do not have an official requirement regarding personal fitness, you should be able to move on board and ashore without the help of others. Please be aware that the ship does not provide wheelchair accessible state rooms. Due to safety reasons a cruise is only possible for pregnant women until the 24th week of pregnancy. The state of pregnancy must be presented by a medical certificate. PHYSICAL DISABILITIES / WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY Guests with physical disabilities are recommended to travel with an accompanying person. The processes on board should be handled without external help. The gangway can be – depending on the individual disability – a challenge. The angle of inclination of the gangway varies due to tide and different circumstances in the respective port. Please note that the guest’s participation in shore excursions as well as the (dis-)embarkation by Zodiac can be denied by the expedition leader due to security reasons. The instructions of the expedition leader must be followed. The ship is not suitable for wheelchairs. SEASICKNESS / STABILISATORS The ship is equipped with stabilizers in order to reduce the ship’s roll. However, these expeditions are hosted in remote regions, and it is possible to periodically encounter changing environments and climate patterns, including rough seas and large swells. Seasickness patches (Scopoderm or similar) work solely or in part to help cure nausea for most people. These medicines can cause sleepiness. If you are prone to motion sickness, consult with your doctor prior to departure to help ensure your comfort while travelling. SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS All meals on board the vessel is chef-prepared. If you have special dietary requirements (food allergies, intolerances, health conditions or religious preferences), please inform us as early as possible - ideally, no later than 2 weeks before departure. In order to ensure efficient service, please re-confirm your requirements with the crew upon boarding the ship. LAUNDRY If you wish to have some laundry done while aboard the ship, laundry service is available for an additional fee.

Itinerary



Day 1 - DAY 1 ARRIVAL USHUAIA, EMBARKATION
Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. In the afternoon we embark the ship Ocean albatros, our home for the coming days.Our journey begins as we navigate through the calm waters of the Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
Day 2 - DAY 2-3 AT SEA. DRAKE PASSAGE, SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
Sailing onward, we cross the famed 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, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself! In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses. Having crossed the Drake, we will start exploring the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way. With the patented X-BOW design, the Ocean Victory will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage, and due to the speed of the vessel, we might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland Islands on the afternoon of day 3, weather permitting.
Day 3 - DAY 4-5 ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
The next couple of days, we will explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain as well as the Antarctic peninsula. Landfalls could include: Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins. The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Day 4 - DAY 6-8 ANTARCTIC SOUND, WEDDELL SEA AND ELEPHANT ISLAND
Over the coming days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience at the very tip of the Continent. During these days in the Antarctic Sound, named in 1902 after the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the captain and the expedition team will keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. We aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed. The Weddell Sea takes its name from the early British explorer James Weddell, who by hunting seals through a break in the ice in 1823 got to the southernmost point at his time. As we enter the Weddell Sea of today, we grow accustomed to giant floating icebergs and witness the sheer quantity of sea ice in these waters. Apart from penguins, the wildlife here includes Weddell and elephant seals and seabirds. Humpbacks feed in the nutrient-rich waters (caused by the upwell of cold water from the ocean depths), so there are opportunities to see whales, as well as the Antarctic’s largest predator, the solitary leopard seal.Because of the considerable sea ice and enormous bergs in the Weddell Sea, navigation through this remote nature is at the edge of what is possible; your captain and expedition leader are well aware that shifting ice means that no individual part of this area can be guaranteed as accessible at any time, so they will work together to find the most magnificent opportunities. This is part of the wonder of this part of the world, and you'll be visiting an area few humans have ever seen. From the Weddell Sea we continue our journey into the open sea, just as Ernest Shackleton and his men did more than hundred years ago. Having lost their ship Endurance deep south in the Weddell Sea they moved slowly north on ice floes and later in open lifeboats until they reached Elephant Island. From here started one of the most remarkable boat journeys in the polar history, when Shackleton and five of his men for two weeks navigated the 720 nautical miles to South Georgia to call for recovery of the stranded crew on Elephant Island. We on the other hand will reach the mighty South Georgia after just a few days at sea!
Day 5 - DAY 9-10 AT SEA TOWARDS SOUTH GEORGIA
Days at sea are great for participating in lectures, photo sessions and recaps, reading books in the ship library and watching the ubiquitous storm petrels and albatrosses from top deck. From photography workshops to lectures on the regions we visit by our knowledgeable expedition team and guest lecturers. Additionally, a raffle or auction onboard usually takes place during this time, to raise funds for charitable organizations focused on global issues and local environmental solutions. In this case, for example, South Georgia Heritage Trust, Whale & Dolphin Conservation, and more. Take this opportunity to give back to the world while educating yourself on the subjects that these organizations support in a fun and enjoyable time.
Day 6 - DAY 11-15 EXPLORING SOUTH GEORGIA AND ITS WEALTH OF WILDLIFE
South Georgia has a dramatic setting with glacier-clad rugged mountains. Lying in the Southern Ocean south of the Antarctic convergence, the cold sea is booming with life. The island, often referred to as “The Galapagos of the Poles”, can only be reached by ship. There is no permanent human settlement, but seabirds and seals breed in the millions. The difficulty of getting there and the restrictions to protect the environment, makes South Georgia one of the least-visited tourist destinations in the world. Today the island has been largely left to recover from human over-exploration, resulting in dramatic increases in the number of whales, seals as well as penguin and seabird populations. The itinerary and activities over the next days are largely dependent on the weather and the sea.The British administration at Grytviken, a former Norwegian whaling station, is also worth a visit. The famed British explorer Ernest Shackleton died in Grytviken on his second visit, and is buried south of the station. The endemic South Georgia pipits and South Georgia pintails may be seen around the buildings.We will have a chance to visit Salisbury Plain, home to one of the largest king penguin colonies on the island, estimated between 250,000 and 5,000,000. Gentoo penguins, giant petrels and Antarctic prions also breed on the island.We will explore the fjords of the north coast and take as many shore landings as time and the swelling sea will allow us. The proximity of the possible landing locations usually allow for a very diversified and active itinerary, sure to give us memories for a lifetime.The marine life around South Georgia is at its most active during March/April, with thousands of whales feeding with ferocity to prepare for their coming migrations. Fur seal pups amass on the shorelines and Albatross chicks are peeking out from the nests. The king penguin chicks will shed their brown feathers and start heading into the ocean, other penguins like gentoo, macaroni and chinstrap will also see their chicks starting to grow confidence for a life on their own.
Day 7 - DAY 16-18 AT SEA TOWARD SOUTH AMERICA. MONTEVIDEO, DISEMBARKATION
We are now into the last leg of this adventurous voyage, heading to Uruguays capital of Montevideo.After a hearty farewell to vessel and crew, we disembark in the morning after breakfast.
Day 8 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $11,590Category F
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $13,590Category E
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $15,590Category D
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $18,990Category C
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $19,090Category G
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $20,990Category B2
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $27,990Category B1
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $29,990Category A
18-03-202404-04-2024USD $31,990Premium Suite

Inclusions

    • LECTURES. Our primary focus is knowledge, and we apply this to every aspect of a journey. From the staff that forms our expedition team, to the routes our ship follows, and of course, the program onboard.
    • PHOTOGRAPHY. We always have a dedicated expedition photographer onboard to document the voyage and share their passion for photography through lectures and during landings and zodiac cruises.
    • WILDLIFE OBSERVATIONS. One of the greatest pleasures of our expeditions, is being able to experience the Polar regions' wildlife from a safe distance, respectfully enjoying their beauty in their natural habitat.
    • ZODIAC. Essential for expedition cruises, Zodiacs are robust boats that can go up on a beach, a rocky outcrop, a river bank or even an ice floe push through bergy bits of ice floating in the water.

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