hans hansson bespoke antarctica cruise

Hans Hansson - Antarctica Peninsula Fly In Sail Out

  • Overview



    Fly to the Antarctic and sail on our 12-passenger ship Hans Hansson to experience islands along the Antarctic Peninsula rich with wildlife and only ever visited by a handful of people. Led by exceptionally experienced and knowledgeable expedition guides and crew, you will explore Antarctica for 14 days among curious penguins, whales, and mountainous scenery. You will benefit from the ease and flexibility of getting such a small number of travellers ashore. Conditions permitting, we will focus on areas completely outside the range of larger tour vessels, such as the newly discovered Adelie penguin super-colony on the secluded Danger Islands. This archipelago is home to over 1.5 million penguins! Your time in nature will be unrivalled as you explore in quiet serenity. You’ll also avoid the southbound Drake Passage crossing that has for so long challenged operations of small vessels. This expedition offers a great depth of exploration and unsurpassed experiences for an intimate group while enriching your understanding of the Antarctic ecosystem through substantial participatory citizen science.

    • Fly to Antarctica over the Drake Passage, saving three days of ship travel.
    • Conditions permitting, visit the recently discovered Danger Islands Adelie penguin super-colony.
    • Enjoy the flexibility and serenity of being aboard a 12-passenger vessel, during 14 full landing days.
    • Experience beautiful sunrises and sunsets backlighting stunning landscapes.
    • Be a part of scientific research.


    Dr. Tom Hart: Tom has a passion for wildlife in extreme environments and is working hard to conserve them in a changing world. His PhD involved tracking macaroni penguins to understand penguin foraging behavior. Since then, he expanded into genetics and image analysis to monitor wildlife in remote places. He runs the Penguin Lifelines project at Oxford University through which he seeks to understand changes in Antarctic wildlife using time-lapse cameras, volunteer photos, and population genetics to effectively create protected areas and manage fisheries.

    Duration: 21 days
    Passengers: 12 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Disembarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Physical rating: True Expedition
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Punta Arenas: Arrival Day

      Arrive in Punta Arenas, Chile. A transfer agent will transfer you from the airport to your hotel. If you would like to arrive earlier, we can arrange your airport transfer and book extra nights.

    • Day 2 - Flight to Antarctica

      Weather permitting, you will board the charter flight to King George Island and land at Teniente R. Marsh Airport, the northernmost airport on the continent of Antarctica. Then, you will transfer to the Hans Hansson to begin exploring the Antarctic.

    • Day 3/16 - South Shetland Is & Antarctic Peninsula

      The warm glow of sunrise reveals our position in the South Shetland Islands; we will include early and late landings and Zodiac cruises to take full advantage of the best light.

      Due to the expeditionary nature of our voyage, specific stops cannot be guaranteed. Flexibility is paramount in expedition travel; our itinerary depends on the conditions. We strive to land often and stay as long as possible, abiding by the Guidelines for Responsible Ecotourism from the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO).

      The South Shetland Islands ~ Deception, Half Moon, Livingstone, and Aitcho Island
      The South Shetlands are a string of volcanic islands, some still active, that run parallel to the Antarctic Peninsula across the Bransfield Strait. Fondly known as the “Banana Belt of Antarctica,” these islands boast the richest concentrations of terrestrial wildlife in the Antarctic due to their proximity to the rich upwelling waters from the great Circumpolar Current. Even with our luxuriously in-depth itinerary, we will have to choose between many very compelling sites. Deception Island is a favorite and one of the most exciting islands on our voyage. This horseshoe-shaped, volcanic island is still active, as its hot thermal pools demonstrate. You may land on both the outside wall and inside the caldera that opens to the ocean via a narrow gap called Neptune’s Bellows. The landing at Bailey Head is home to about 100,000 chinstrap penguins, but the sea can make landings tricky with steep swells crashing on an exposed beach. Inside Deception’s huge caldera, you can hope to land and take a short hike up the mountainside among the lichen-draped cliffs to the scenic overlook. On the beach at Whaler’s Bay, you may find Weddell seals basking. Deception Island also offers one the most unique experiences of the voyage – plunging into the thermal pools alongside the beach surrounded by clouds of steam. The water temperature can be fairly comfortable, although it can get so hot that it’s necessary to mix in colder water!

      On a clear day, the chinstrap penguins of Half Moon Island make a delightful foreground to the breathtaking eastern coastline of nearby Livingston Island. At this end of the Earth, the vast scale of nature will open our senses. Great respect must be given to the fragile vegetation and the wildlife colonies. We will allow you as much freedom as possible to enjoy the magnificent wildlife and landscapes within the bounds of safety and minimal impact.

      Both chinstrap and gentoo penguins breed on Aitcho Island, an island covered in mossy green carpets making a surprisingly bright contrast to Antarctica’s intensely achromatic landscapes. Conditions permitting, take a walk across the island past the southern elephant seal wallows. This landing site and other similar sites with southern elephant seals offer a terrific chance to see (and smell!) the world’s largest species of seal, also perhaps joined by hauled out Weddell seals and southern fur seals.

      From the South Shetlands, sail southwest across the Bransfield Strait into the fabled Gerlache Strait. Here you can expect whale sightings to ring out from the bridge as the Antarctic Peninsula landscape rises up around you into a glacier-draped view of mountainous proportion. You can expect whales among sculpted icebergs in the foreground and staggering mountain walls in the background, making for some of the world’s best Zodiac cruising. You can hope for magnificent sunsets, sculpted blue icebergs, and close penguin and whale encounters, each with the potential for an experience that you will never forget. You will visit sites where the penguins and seals that once sustained early Antarctic explorers have taken over, leaving only faint clues of the age of exploration and exploitation.

      Western Antarctic Peninsula ~ Danco Coast and Neumeyer and Lemaire Channel
      You will travel south along the picturesque Danco Coast on the west coast of Graham Land, which has awe-inspiring scenery with coastlines deeply indented with bays. Impressive mountains rise sharply from the coast to the central Graham Land Plateau and glaciers descend to narrow piedmont ice shelves. Extensive Zodiac cruising and opportunistic landings during the best light will allow us to soak in the serenity of this majestic place.

      You’ll make your way down the coast into Wilhemina Bay, Neko Harbour, and Paradise Bay, among the most beautiful areas in Antarctica. These waters rank high on our long list of favorite places for Zodiac cruising. Enjoy views of sculpted icebergs and surfacing whales as you cruise the inner bays near spectacular glaciers and ethereal mountains. You can expect wonderful whale behavior in these plentiful summer feeding grounds. The krill swarms are enormous. You will find colonies of gentoo and chinstrap penguins, sometimes in mixed colonies, along with their attendant scavengers: snowy sheathbills, brown skuas, south solar skuas, and kelp gulls. Hope for a landing in Neko Harbour on the Antarctic continent proper, hopefully with an opportunity for a walk and an incredible view.

      Enjoy the view from the ship as you navigate through stunning Neumeyer and Lemaire channels or around the south end of Anvers Island into Biscoe Bay where you will be completely surrounded by ice-draped peaks soaring dramatically out of the water. Crabeater, Weddell, and leopard seals are often hauled out on the ice floes and whales may even surface between the floes, so keep your cameras ready! Tall, hanging ice cliffs, the fronts of highly fractured tidewater glaciers, decorate most of the shoreline for unforgettable scenery. At the southern part of the Lemaire Channel you’ll find Petermann Island. Located at 65S, Petermann is an outstanding location to see gentoo and Adelie penguins on their nesting grounds, often with chicks chasing parents who have returned to feed them. The clear water is beautiful for observing and photographing penguins returning to land. Petermann has seen a reversal in abundance between the two species, with half the numbers of Adelie penguins we found twenty years ago, but twice the numbers of gentoos. Photogenic Antarctic shags are also found on the edges of the colonies.

      Hope for good conditions to travel further south along the western side of the Peninsula, possibly down to Crystal Sound, the Antarctic Circle, Fish Islands, and beyond into Margarite Bay to explore the southern reaches of summer navigable waters. Look for snow petrel, Antarctic petrel, ice-loving Antarctic minke whales, and maybe an extremely rare Ross seal. When you are out in the golden light of an Antarctic evening, be sure to put your camera down for a moment and simply absorb the beauty and silence.

      You’ll leisurely sail north, keeping your eyes out for cetaceans, including orcas and even rare beaked whales, and explore wonderful coves that are breeding areas for leopard seals. You will surely find yourself cruising with humpbacks as they swim and lunge feed among the icebergs offshore in these waters where whale populations escaped the worst of the whaling age. The region offers excellent opportunities to find Antarctic minke whales feeding and orcas cruising for seals and penguins. The photography in these rich krill areas of the Peninsula is truly fantastic. Port Lockroy, located at the end of the very narrow and beautiful Peltier Channel close to Neumeyer Channel, has a British Antarctica Survey maritime museum and a sprawling gentoo penguin colony.

    • Day 17/19 - At Sea: Crossing the Drake Passage

      Even with the extended time our voyage will allow along the Antarctic Peninsula, it will no doubt still feel too soon to leave the continent behind. As we sail north on the homeward leg, we will share delightful memories of our experiences, enjoy a group slide show of images captured, and talk of plans for future travels. The wildlife, however, is not all behind us. Almost 500 miles north of the South Shetlands, near Cape Horn, the waters here at the tip of the South American continental shelf are as rich as seawaters can be and seabirds are sometimes present in large flocks, especially Sooty Shearwaters if the sea is calm. Peale’s Dolphins and other marine mammals may also be seen. Once in the lee of Cape Horn, any ocean swell will disappear, and we will enter the Beagle Channel for a final scenic cruise to Puerto Williams.

    • Day 20 - Disembarkation & Flight to Punta Arenas

      You will dock at Puerto Williams, Chile by early morning. After breakfast, you will disembark the Hans Hansson and spend the night in Puerto Williams, Chile.

    • Day 21 - Punta Arenas: Departure Day

      Spend your last morning in Puerto Williams, and then our local agent will transfer you from the hotel to the airport for your flight to Punta Arenas where you will connect homewards.

    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 in Antarctica

    You will also have the option to Kayak on certain excursions in Antarctica for a unique and intimate experience.


    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.


    Taking centre stage on your Antarctic Peninsula expedition, are the Brushtail penguin species. These photogenic and intriguing species include, Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie penguins. The species are in abundance across Peninsula and are always performing.

    On board voyages in our other details you may come across Rockhopper, Macaroni, Magellanic, King and Emperor penguins.

    Send a postcard home from Port Lockroy

    This British base, established in 1944, on arrival you will receive a warm accolade both by the volunteers of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust and the colony of Gentoo penguins that nestles just by the old timber structure. Get small denomination US$ notes to buy a few postcards and send them home with Antarctic stamps from one of the southernmost Post Offices in the world.

  • Inclusions

    Charter Flights

    Return charter flights are provided from Punta Arenas to King George Island to meet the Hans Hansson

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Transfers and accommodation in Punta Arenas.
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Expedition lectures
    - Zodiac excursions
    - All meals onboard
    - Accommodation on board
    - Hot beverages

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Any flights not mentioned in the itinerary
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Government arrival and departure taxes
    - Meals ashore unless mentioned
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Excess baggage charges
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Laundry / bar / beverage / other personal charges incurred onboard
    - Phone and internet charges
    - Gratuities
    - Transfer to the airport at end of itinerary
  • Map
    Voyage3 fly sail
  • Gallery
  • Vessel


    Hans Hansson was once as a rescue boat in the Baltic Sea. During a major refit in 2005, the vessel was modified to include comfortable accommodations for 12 passengers, while retaining its rugged seaworthiness. As a small exploration boat, it boasts the unique ability to reach special, out of the ordinary destinations that are otherwise inaccessible.

    Charter Opportunity: The Hans Hansson is currently available for the 2018/19 Antarctic season for private charter at very attractive rates. If you are interested in potentially chartering this vessel please contact us for pricing and availability. 

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfortable accommodation
    • Small intimate vessel
    • Observation decks
    • Open bridge
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 12
    Crew #: 6
    Ice Class: ICE-C
    Speed: 11
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 26m
    Width: 7
    Tonnage: 146
    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.
hans hansson twin private cabin

Twin Shared Facilities

09 Feb 2020 - 29 Feb 2020
Bottom deck cabins feature twin bunks, portholes, desk, wardrobe, couch, washbasin, and shared bath facilities.
AUD$ 28,785pp
AUD$ 28,785pp
hans hansson twin private cabin

Superior Private

09 Feb 2020 - 29 Feb 2020
Middle deck cabins feature twin bunks, portholes, office, wardrobe, washbasin, and private bath facilities.
AUD$ 33,537pp
AUD$ 33,537pp