Akademik Ioffe Christmas in Antarctica cruise

Christmas in Antarctica & the Weddell Sea

  • Overview

    Celebrate a white Christmas on this expedition, which combines many of the classic and well-known locations along the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. It also adds a genuine sense of exploration as we enter the icy realms of the Weddell Sea, situated on the less-visited eastern side of the peninsula.

    This voyage provides our most in-depth exploration of the Weddell Sea, at the optimal time of the season for weather and ice navigation. If you are seeking a voyage which provides a sense of the ‘wild and unknown’ and of ‘true exploration’ – this may well be the trip you’ve been looking for. It is here the big icebergs roam. The Weddell Sea is also home to astonishing wildlife colonies that dwarf those found in other regions.

    Duration: 13 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina: Embarkation Day

      A true expedition and a Christmas to remember.

      As we head to the Weddell Sea you will be amazed at the flat-topped tabular bergs, some the size of whole city blocks that break off the vast ice tongues far to the south, before drifting north on the ocean currents. A known emperor penguin rookery at Snow Hill Island means that we have our best possible chance of encountering the largest of Antarctica’s penguins while exploring in this region. | Note this is a sample itinerary. Please reference the full trip notes for your chosen departure for exact details.

      Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers.

    • Day 2/3 - At sea

      We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we make our way south. Throughout the days our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history of the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. As we approach the coastline of Antarctica, we anticipate an increase in whale sightings.

    • Day 4/6 - Western Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

      We awaken today, and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. Arriving into Antarctic waters via the Bismark Strait, we aim for some of our favourite landing sites today. Anvers Island is one of the largest of the off-shore ‘barrier’ islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several outstanding sites here and neighbouring Wiencke Island, such as Damoy Point, or Port Lockroy. Zodiac cruising or sea-kayaking into the nearby ice ‘cathedral’ of Skontorp Cove is another memorable experience. We navigate in a northerly direction along the Gerlache Strait overnight. This is an important whale migration corridor. By morning we have reached several other favoured locations in the northern Gerlache. Places such as Cierva Cove or Mikkelson Harbour allow for some great excursions on shore and in the Zodiacs. We continue our journey and by morning, will have arrived in the South Shetland Islands. After a busy day in the South Shetlands, excitement is in the air as we set sail for Antarctic Sound – the gateway to the Weddell Sea.

    • Day 7/10 - Antarctic Sound and the Weddell Sea

      Arriving into the Weddell Sea is a humbling experience. We notice an increase in the huge, flat-topped tabular icebergs in this vicinity. The Weddell Sea is rich in history. Having been stranded on Elephant Island, Shackleton's story of survival is one of the greatest ever told. The region is home to immense colonies of the smallest of Antarctica’s penguin species – the Adelie. In locations such as Paulet Island, Brown Bluff, Gourdin Island and the Danger Islands, these rookeries are home to as many as 100,000 nesting penguins. Our adventure is far from over and we have an exciting day planned with possible shore landings on Vega Island, which is home to some of the most fascinating palaeontology found in all of Antarctica. We celebrate our exploration of the Weddell Sea this evening, enjoying a fine Christmas celebration on board the ship commencing our journey home.

    • Day 11/12 - At sea

      As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn.

    • Day 13 - Ushuaia, Argentina: Disembarkation day

      In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    Gear up with the best kayaking gear in the industry, to experience one of the best paddling in the world for intimate experiences.

    USD 795 per person

    Camping

    All gear is provided for you to spend a night sleeping on the ice

    Included

    Photography

    Photographer in residence provides presentations, critiques, informal instruction and assists on Zodiacs and shore landing to help you get the best shots!

    Included

    The great Antarctic Safari

    No matter which itinerary you choose to undertake, you are destined to spot a wonderful array of wildlife, including sea elephants and sea lions, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and Minke, killer and humpback whales and the magnificent wandering albatrosses.

    Christmas &/or New Year voyage

    What better place to wake up on Christmas morning and check if Santa has found you in Antarctica! Christmas in Antarctica is extra special and many of our voyages are family friendly.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear Package

    A complementary expedition package is provided on a loan basis, upon boarding. Your package will include;

    - Windproof / waterproof expedition jacket and bib pants
    - Waterproof backpack
    - Comfortable insulated rubber boots
    - Water resistant binoculars
    - Trekking poles

    Photographer & Digital Media Lab

    On board photographer will provide polar photography advice and assist in the multimedia room where you can download images to Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers

    Polar Camping

    Overnight Camping including high quality equipment is provide free of charge. Camping can be affected by itinerary and weather conditions.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All meals onboard
    - Fitness & Yoga
    - Hiking & guided walks
    - Zodiac and shore excursions
    - Photography advice from experienced professionals
    - All onboard educational presentations
    - Extensive pre-departure information package
    - Hot beverages

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK IOFFE

    Akademik Ioffe is a purpose built oceanographic vessel featuring complex internal stabilizers and powerful engines. She accommodates just 96 guests. Combined with multi pitch propulsion and bow and stern thrusters she offers exceptional maneuverability. Expansive observation decks featuring 360 degree views make her the perfect platform for operation in Antarctica and the High Arctic. A separate lounge and bar, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team are enjoyed in our dining room, which can host all passengers in a single seating and will keep you feeling healthy and strong for the myriad of activities offered throughout the voyage. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and plunge pool. There’s also a dedicated expedition ‘mud-room’ where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.

    Features & Facilities
    • Superior accommodation
    • 360 degree observation decks
    • Lounge & Bar
    • Theatre style presentation room
    • Wellness Centre; Gym
    • Massage services
    • Hot water spa
    • Sauna
    • Plunge Pool
    • Expedition mud room
    • Digital photography lab
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 96
    Crew #: 65
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1989
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
akademik ioffe triple cabin antarctica cruise

Triple

16 Dec 2019 - 28 Dec 2019
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities.
USD 10,895pp
USD 10,895pp
akademik ioffe twin semi-private cabin antarctica cruise

Twin Semi-Private

16 Dec 2019 - 28 Dec 2019
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities.
USD 13,495pp
USD 13,495pp
akademik ioffe twin private cabin antarctica cruise

Twin Private

16 Dec 2019 - 28 Dec 2019
Twin cabin with private facilities and window.
USD 14,795pp
USD 13,995pp
akademik ioffe twin superior cabin antarctica cruise

Superior Twin

16 Dec 2019 - 28 Dec 2019
Twin Superior cabin with private facilities and windows.
USD 15,995pp
USD 15,195pp
akademik ioffe shackleton suite cabin antarctica cruise

Shackleton Suite

16 Dec 2019 - 28 Dec 2019
Double Suite cabin with private facilities and window.
USD 17,495pp
USD 16,695pp
akademik ioffe one ocean suite cabin antarctica cruise

One Ocean Suite

16 Dec 2019 - 28 Dec 2019
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries.
USD 19,895pp
USD 19,095pp