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South Shetlands, Antarctica & Antarctic Circle

South Shetlands, Antarctica & Antarctic Circle

From AUD $13,790

Description

On this 11-day inspiring cruise, we explore the Great White Continent’s magnificent landscapes, glacial mountains, and incredible wildlife before reaching 66°33′ – the Antarctic Circle.

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 Victory/Albatros, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines, and the patented reclining bow, which ensures stability and comfort in rough sea as well as having very low fuel consumption. 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 vessels from reach this far south, but with a high ice-class rating, Ocean Victory/Albatros moves swiftly carrying us on an adventure for life.

Trip Name
South Shetlands, Antarctica & Antarctic Circle
Days
11
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
Arrive 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 board our ship, Ocean Victory.Our journey begins as we navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
Day 2 - DAY 2-3 AT SEA - CROSS DRAKE PASSAGE
In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins, and albatrosses. As well as the first icebergs as we approach the South Shetland chain of islands.With the unique X-BOW design, the Ocean Victory will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage than conventional expedition vessels – and with a far less carbon emission.
Day 3 - DAY 4-5 SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
Over the next two days, we will explore to the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain.Projected landfalls could include: King George Island; Deception Island, an extinct volcano; 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 PENINSULA
As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals. Wildlife abounds on the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas. Explore as far south as possible towards the Antarctic Circle at c. 66 deg 33 minutes south of the Equator. Possible landfall in this wild and seldom visited area could be Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Crystal Sound and Detaille Island. We will also visit research stations if ice conditions allow us.The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather, swell and ice. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Day 5 - DAY 9-10 DEPART ANTARCTICA - AT SEA
Today, we depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. En-route, we will cross Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board, and it provides the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers.
Day 6 - DAY 11 BACK TO USHUAIA AND DISEMBARKATION
This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia where our tour ends.
Day 7 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $13,790Category F
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $17,390Category D
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $17,690Category E
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $19,690Category C
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $21,490Category G
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $22,290Category B2
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $26,890Category B1
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $29,990Category A
10-01-202420-01-2024AUD $33,790Premium Suite

Inclusions

    • KAYAKING
    • Glide through the waters and take in the royal grace of the icebergs, see the varied birds and seals, and maybe even the whales in their natural habitat under the supervision of experienced kayak guides
    • 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
    • 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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