akademik vavilov deep antarctica circle cruise

Antarctica - Deep South (extended Antarctic Circle)

  • Overview

    AN IN-DEPTH EXPLORATION BELOW THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE AND PENINSULA

    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.

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

      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 in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.

    • Day 2/3 - At sea

      We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. The Drake Passage is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great 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 make our way south. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. As we approach the coastline of Antarctica, we encounter more icebergs and anticipate our first whale sightings.

    • Day 4/6 - BELOW THE CIRCLE – DETAILLE ISLAND, MARGUERITE BAY & LOWER ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

      Given optimal ice conditions, we aim to sail south of the Antarctic Circle. A favoured landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut. ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place,
      providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic scientists and researchers.

      This far south, we are always at the mercy of prevailing ice conditions. Years of experience pushing this far to the south, indicates that late February gives us our best chance of reaching Marguerite Bay.

      We may take the ‘shortcut’, through a narrow channel known as 'the Gullet' if the passage is ice-free. Otherwise, we could navigate around the outside of Adelaide Island - which will take more 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 hope to make a visit to at least one of these locations. The area is full of history and the British Graham Land Expedition (BGLE) of the early 1930s - led by intrepid Australian explorer, John Rymill, established their southern base in this area. They explored and surveyed large areas of the Antarctic Peninsula by airplane, establishing the Antarctic Peninsula was indeed connected to the main continental landmass - and not just a series of offshore islands as earlier believed.

    • Day 7/8 - LOWER ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

      This vicinity marks our turnaround point and from now on, we cruise in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several locations in the Fish and Argentine Island archipelagos which allow for Zodiac cruising and potential shore landings. We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn of the important climate-related research happening here. A hike over the snowy saddle of nearby Winter Island allows us to stretch our legs and explore the old British Antarctic Survey hut.

      Petermann Island is home to a sizable Adelie penguin rookery. Adelies - the smallest of the Antarctic penguins nest here and share the location with Gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants. The view to the north of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just off shore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massive icebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you could ever imagine. For many, a zodiac cruise here will be a highlight of the voyage.

    • Day 9/10 - GERLACHE STRAIT AND ANTARCTIC PENINSULA EXPLORATION

      We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica proper. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Both locations offer terrific hiking opportunities up to panoramic viewpoints. 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 have several days of exciting exploration ahead.

      Orne Harbour is another spot we hope to visit and the hike up to a rocky knoll provides great access to a chinstrap penguin rookery and jaw-dropping views over the Gerlache Strait. At Cuverville Island, there is a large Gentoo penguin colony which we observe at close quarters. Leopard seals are often sighted cruising the shallows along the landing site. For the kayakers, a full circumnavigation of the island is a real possibility. It is somewhere in this vicinity we hope to spend a night ashore camping if weather conditions permit. We have all the gear and an 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 nearby Cierva Cove, rounding out what has been a comprehensive exploration of the Gerlache coastline. Tonight, leaving the continent in the soft twilight, we reflect on an incredible 10-days
      of exploration south of the Circle and the Antarctic Peninsula.

    • Day 11 - SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

      Having crossed the Bransfield Straight overnight, we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike here, high up onto the rim of the crater.

      On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we sometimes encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is another great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise.

    • Day 12/13 - 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. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

    • Day 14 - 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

    Photography

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

    Included

    Camping

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

    Included

    Kayaking

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

    AUD$ 1,144 per person

    Cross the Antarctic Circle

    The moment you step foot into the circle, you’ll have a deep sense of wonder knowing you’ve just trodden where few have gone before. When you’re this far south, nature bares its secrets.

    Lemaire Channel – get your camera ready!

    In a continent of stunning views, Lemaire Channel has been called the Kodak Gap. Locked between the rocky vertical cliffs of Booth Island and the continent this one kilometer wide passage is one of the most photographed attractions of Antarctica. You will be glad your camera is digital.

    Antarctica's Babies

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    Fly/Cruise voyage

    Our Fly/Cruise programs an excellent choice to navigate the Drake Passage quickly. This expedition comprises of 1 or 2 charter flights across the Drake Passage, so you need not worry about crossing the passage by sea. These expeditions are great options and often allow for an increased amount of time around the continent.

  • 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.

    Charter Flights

    This expedition includes charters flight to arrive at or depart from your voyage. Charter flights are provided as per stated in your itinerary document

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

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

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.29.08 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK VAVILOV

    Akademik Sergey Vavilov is the near identical sister-ship to Akademik Ioffe. Built in Rauma (Finland) these Baltic Class 1A (Canadian Type B) ice strengthened ships are the leaders in their class. They are the pride of the polar fleet featuring first class amenities catering to the demands of today’s most discerning guests. A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, 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 with panoramic views
    • 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: 1988
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
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