rcgs resolute antarctic circle cruise

Journey Below the Antarctic Circle

  • Overview

    THIS JOURNEY TAKES YOU FURTHER SOUTH – BELOW THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE

    This remote stretch of the Antarctic Peninsula is visited for just a few short months each year. From January onwards, seasonal ice conditions give us our best chance of achieving our objective - crossing the Antarctic Circle. Here we witness expansive landscapes, sizable Adelie penguin rookeries and we hope to see the large tabular icebergs that have drifted north from the Bellingshausen Sea. We always anticipate exciting ice navigation on this expedition. Detaille Island, below the Circle is a spectacular location. The snowy peaks which surround us, soar more than 2,000 metres above the ice-strewn waters. We aim to cross 66 degrees, 33 minutes south of latitude, which officially marks the position of the Antarctic Circle on the global map. We then return north,along the heavily glaciated coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula, passing through the Argentine, Fish and Yalour Island archipelagos along the way and into the Gerlache Strait and Danco coast region. Several locations in the South Shetland Islands provide yet more fascinating places to explore.


    Over the course of the voyage, there is an exciting selection of activities to choose from each and every day – including short or long hikes ashore, visits to historic points of interest and wildlife colonies, Zodiac cruising looking for whales and seals or simply photographing the incredible icebergs. Such activities are enjoyed in the company of our onboard team of wilderness guides, naturalists, marine biologists, historians and photographers.

    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 146 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Santiago, Chile
    Disembarkation Point: Santiago, Chile
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Santiago, Chile: Embarkation day

      We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town, or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into 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 cast off to explore one of the most remote islands on Earth.

      IMPORTANT JOINING INSTRUCTIONS
      This trip commences in Santiago – Chile’s elegant capital city. We recommend you arrive in Santiago at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. From Santiago we fly south to Stanley in the Falkland Islands via a special charter flight service. We transfer into town and have time to explore or enjoy a visit to Gypsy Cove prior to ship embarkation.

      At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Stanley back to Santiago. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. This return flight arrives in the late afternoon and onward international flight connections may be possible.

      Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us.

    • Day 2 - AT SEA – TOWARDS ANTARCTICA

      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. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Throughout the day 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.

      There is great excitement when the dark cliffs of Elephant Island appear on the horizon. This is one of Antarctica's most important historic locations and a fitting introduction. On the rocky beach at Point Wild, Shackleton and his men camped here for many months under their three upturned life boats, having lost their ship, HMS Endurance in the thick sea ice, far to the south in the Weddell Sea in 1915. It was from this location that Shackleton and six companions set off on the rescue mission to South Georgia, aboard the tiny lifeboat, James Caird.
      To this day, the epic ocean crossing and crossing of South Georgia on foot is considered one of the greatest tales in polar history. If weather conditions permit, we aim for a Zodiac cruise to view the site from close proximity. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and sets the scene for an exciting expedition.

    • Day 3 - Drake Passage

      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 4/5 - SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTIC PENINSULA EXPLORATION

      We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of Antarctica's fringing islands are laid out before us. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, will take a moment to pause and reflect on this incredible sight. Take a deep breath – you have arrived. This is Antarctica.

      The McFarlane Strait makes a natural entry point into the South Shetlands. There are several 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. In the afternoon, we cruise along the coast of Livingston Island, which on a sunny day is a memorable experience. 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, high up onto the rim of the crater.

      Overnight we have navigated across the Bransfield Strait and aim for the broad expanse of Willhelmina Bay. This is a known whale 'hot-spot'. It's a rich feeding ground for humpback and minke whales and we hope to encounter these gentle giants from the ship or when cruising in the Zodiacs. This is a spectacular location, featuring sweeping views of the glaciers up to the mountainous ridge of the Antarctic peninsula. Nearby lies the Errera Channel - home to several exceptional sites, including Cuverville Island with its substantial gentoo penguin rookery, Ronge Island and the snow-capped dome of Danco Island. In the soft evening light, we commence our journey south, towards the Antarctic Circle.

    • Day 6/8 - ANTARCTIC CIRCLE CROSSING AND SOUTHERN GERLACHE COASTLINE

      We have covered substantial distance overnight as we head south. Our objective is to cross the Antarctic Circle this afternoon, hoping for a shore landing at Detaille Island. An abandoned British science station - ‘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 visitors. We toast our success on crossing the Antarctic Circle turning our gaze northwards, viewing the spectacular chain of glacier-covered peaks stretching as far as the eye can see. This coastline begs further exploration, which is exactly what we plan to do.

      Heading north, the peaks of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott loom on the horizon. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings and observation of the gentoo penguins who nest here in large numbers. Just offshore, 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. If ice conditions permit, we aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour, which provides a continental landing opportunity. There is a wonderful hike here, up to a high point which provides jaw-dropping views. Zodiac cruising in the glacial amphitheatre of Skontorp Cove is also a possibility.

      We navigate north through the Gerlache Strait towards Spert Island - a little visited rocky outcrop with remarkable geology. The island is criss-crossed by narrow channels which makes for fantastic Zodiac cruising and sea kayaking. The cliffs are home to numerous nesting bird species and we often encounter whales here. Nearby Mikkelson Harbour also allows for another off-ship excursion. After several busy days of exploration along the Peninsula, we head north, bound for the South Shetland Islands. This is an important whale migration corridor and we expect sightings of humpbacks, or the resident pod of orca that inhabit this stretch of water.

    • Day 9 - AITCHO ISLANDS

      The adventure is not over, and we plan visits to several additional landing sites in the South Shetlands including the Aitcho Islands. There are some great hiking routes here showcasing the colourful mosses and lichens found on the island. Gentoo and chinstrap penguins nest here and on the
      beaches, we usually encounter seals coming and going from the surrounding waters. Fort Point situated on Greenwich Island is another favoured location for a visit. Eventually we leave the snow-covered peaks behind us, pushing northwards on our return trip to the Falkland Islands.

    • Day 10/11 - DRAKE PASSAGE – RETURN TO STANLEY AND THE FALKLAND ISLANDS

      As we make our way back to Stanley and the Falkland Islands, the educational presentations continue, and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts at the multimedia station and download your precious images. Approaching the coast of the Falkland Islands in the early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

    • Day 12 - Santiago, Chile: Disembarkation day

      This morning we find ourselves back in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and after some free time in town, make our way to the airport for our return charter flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with your booking agent. A transfer is provided to a downtown location for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile.

    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.

    AUD$ 1,144 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

    Charter Flights

    This voyage includes charter flights to operate the itinerary. Please refer to the voyage itinerary for which flights are included in this specific itinerary.

    Included

    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

    During January and February Antarctica's babies are born and fledging, its a magical time as new
    life comes to Antarctica. The experience of seeing newly hatched penguins and seals pups just days old, is an
    experience that will last forever.

  • 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
    Map   1
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    RCGS RESOLUTE

    Designed for passenger comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. Take a look at some of the superb facilities aboard, including numerous passenger areas designed for relaxation and our onboard educational programming. Quite simply, she is one of the most comfortable and capable expedition ships in the world today. Built in Rauma Finland in 1993, RCGS Resolute offers a Lloyds 1AS ice class (the highest ice rating possible for passenger ships), external stabilizers, incredible comfort and a variety of spacious interior and exterior viewing areas. The most recent refurbishment of the vessel included a complete cabin redecoration featuring new carpet and furniture throughout. One Ocean Suites feature queen beds. In all other cabins, the bed configuration is available in either a queen or two single beds (triple cabins feature two single beds and an additional lower single berth). All cabins include: private washroom, ample storage, writing desk and chair, fridge, flat screen entertainment system with in-house intranet, sectional corner lounge, 100% cotton OOE bathrobes, custom blend natural Canadian made amenities, black out blinds, complimentary water bottle and in room tea and coffee station. Superior cabins and above feature additional inclusions. For all guests, a full expedition gear package is included and features a waterproof jacket and pants, rubber boots, Nordic trekking pole, binoculars and water proof backpack.

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 146
    Crew #: 100
    Ice Class: 1A Super
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1993
    Length: 112m
    Width: 17
    Draft: 4
    Tonnage: 6752
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets: 2 Round Plugs
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.
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise triple cabin

Triple Private Cabin

26 Feb 2018 - 08 Mar 2018
These cabins are a popular choice for solo travellers willing to share, a family, or a group of friends travelling together. NOTE: Cabin prices are inclusive of the mandatory charter flights.
AUD$ 21,153pp
AUD$ 21,153pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise twin private cabin

Twin Private

26 Feb 2018 - 08 Mar 2018
Spacious and well appointed, these cabins are situated on Deck 4. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the required charter flight supplement.
AUD$ 23,025pp
AUD$ 23,025pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior cabin

Superior Cabin

26 Feb 2018 - 08 Mar 2018
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
AUD$ 24,472pp
AUD$ 24,472pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise superior plus cabin

Superior Plus

26 Feb 2018 - 08 Mar 2018
Located on deck 5 these cabins are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
AUD$ 25,473pp
AUD$ 25,473pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise Shackleton Suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

26 Feb 2018 - 08 Mar 2018
Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
AUD$ 27,057pp
AUD$ 27,057pp
rcgs resolute antarctica cruise one ocean Suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

26 Feb 2018 - 08 Mar 2018
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space. NOTE: Cabin price is inclusive of the charter flight supplement.
AUD$ 30,513pp
AUD$ 30,513pp