akademik ioffe weddell sea antarctic circle cruise emperor penguins

Epic Antarctica #3

  • Overview
    This exciting new expedition has been many years in the making. It is undoubtedly the most comprehensive journey to Antarctica ever offered. The unique experience of the Epic Antarctica itinerarie, links two existing voyages to create one ‘super adventure’. Over the course of three weeks, we spend an unprecedented 16 days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, the spectacular, icy Weddell Sea region and the wildlife-rich Falkland Islands.
    Duration: 22 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Disembarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Punta Arenas; Embarkation Day

      Our epic journey commences this morning in Punta Arenas. Here we board our 90 minuted flight to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transferred to the pier. Stanley is home to 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a charming rural town in coastal Britain, with brightly colored houses, flower-filled gardens, a quaint cathedral and several local pubs. There will be time to explore the town before embarkation. Excitement is in the air as we cast off, bound for Antarctica, and the adventure of a lifetime.

    • Day 2/3 - Scotia Sea Crossing

      We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in marine life 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. Photographing these magnificent birds from the deck of the ship 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 research 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.

    • Day 4/5 - Antarctic Peninsula

      We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in marine life and showcases an abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross, giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels. 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.

    • Day 6/8 - Antarctic Peninsula

      We pass through the ice strewn waters making our way towards out ultimate objective, the Antarctic Circle and into Crystal Sound. A favoured landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut from the 1950’s. This vicinity marks our turnaround point to head northerly, exploring the Antarctic Peninsula.

      We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn something 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 a historic British Antarctic Survey hut. Petermann Island is home to an Adelie penguin rookery. he view to the north of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the nearby Lemaire Channel. Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just off shore, massive icebergs run aground in the shallows. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you can possibly imagine. For many, a Zodiac cruise here may well be a highlight of the voyage.

    • Day 9/10 - South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

      We cruise north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica itself. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. By morning we arrive in the South Shetland Islands towards Whalers Bay at Deception Island, a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station. This is where Australian explorer and pioneer aviator, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928.

    • Day 11 - South Shetland Islands & Antarctica Peninsula

      This morning we are anchored off King George Island. You will say farewell to many of your fellow passengers as they disembark, transfer to the airstrip and board their charter flight back to South America. There will be an opportunity to go ashore, or you may wish to relax on board, updating the diary or visit the multi-media room to download and back up your images. New guests are welcomed aboard the ship and we are soon underway – for the second leg of our epic adventure.

    • Day 12/14 - South Shetland Islands & Antarctica

      The Gerlache coastline is one large polar ‘playground’ with a great variety of landing sites. As always the weather and ice will dictate our route. Planned visits could include Port Charcot, Orne Harbour or Andvord Bay.

      All three locations offer excellent hiking opportunities, or a cruise through the Errera Channel to and land on Danco Island – a large dome shaped island affording terrific views of the whole region from its summit. If the channel south of Brooklyn Island is ice-free, we may ship cruise through here as we push to the north into the broad expanse of the Gerlache Strait. Cierva Cove and Mikkelsen Harbour are also possible locations we could visit – both providing good Zodiac cruising opportunities.

    • Day 15 - Antarctic Sound

      We are now on our way towards Antarctic Sound – the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. On our port side, will be the South Shetland Islands. It won’t be the first time you have cruised these waters, but there are some terrific sites here which we may go and explore. Half Moon Island is nearby and is home to a sizeable chinstrap penguin rookery.

      Across the MacFarlane Strait is Yankee Harbour – with its broad pebble beach – a known location for Weddell seals. If the weather is good a second visit to Deception Island is also a possibility. It’s always a thrill to navigate the ship into ‘Neptune’s Bellows’ – and to explore inside the submerged volcanic caldera by ship and Zodiac.

    • Day 16/18 - Weddell Sea

      As we sail into the sound we witness, for the first time the vast sweep of the Antarctic icecap. It is an awe-inspiring sight. Heading into the Weddell Sea we notice a significant increase in the number of huge tabular icebergs and the presence of sea ice.

      The Weddell Sea region is home to Adelie penguin rookeries of staggering size – some contain more than 100,000 nesting birds. Such colonies dwarf the rookeries we have visited so far. Weather permitting, excursions may include Hope Bay, Paulet Island and Brown Bluff. All eyes will be trained on the ice floes through which we navigate the ship. We have enjoyed successful sightings of emperor penguins in this area in recent years.

      The history of exploration in this region is incredibly rich. Remnants of Nordenskjöld’s Swedish expedition of 1901-1904 are found in several locations in this area. The epic century-old story of Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition has strong links to the region.

    • Day 19/21 - Scotia Sea Crossing

      While sailing north to the Falkland Islands our onboard polar experts will recap on our Weddell Sea adventures and prepare us for the final days ahead.

      The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species once again join us and are our constant companions as they soar above the ship. Arriving into the Falkland Islands overnight, we explore the islands of West Point and Saunders, both in the West Falkland archipelago. West Point is known for its rockhopper penguin rookeries and large nesting black browed albatross colony.

    • Day 22 - Punta Arenas; Disembarkation

      In the early morning, we navigate through the narrows and into our port. Stanley is currently home to just over 2,000 residents and is reminiscent of a rural town in coastal England or Scotland. There is time to explore the town, before we make our way to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile (this flight is included in the price of your voyage).

    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

    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.

    Penguins

    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.

    The Weddell Sea

    A unique region of the Antarctic Peninsula and often little visited by expedition vessels. On the western coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula, it is here the many of the icebergs which roam the the Peninsula calve. The Weddell Sea region of Antarctica is home to huge glaciers and tabular icebergs, if natural beauty, landscapes and geology excite you, then our Weddell Sea voyages are definitely worth considering.

    The region is rich in history, your expedition will visit historical sites and your expedition team will share with you the many stories of a bygone era of exploration in the region.

    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

    Digital Media Lab

    Use of multimedia room to download images. Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers

    On board photographers

    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

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Hot beverages
    - 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

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Gratuities
    - Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
    - Travel medical insurance including medical repatriation (mandatory)
    - Medical expenses - fees / prescriptions / medications
    - Postage / telephone calls / email
    - Personal Laundry
    - Spa treatments
    - Soft drink and alcoholic beverages
    - Personal expenses
    - Pre & post cruise transfers and hotel
    - Airport taxes
    - Visa and passport fees
    - International & internal airfares
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.30.07 pm
  • 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

Triple

13 Jan 2018 - 03 Feb 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
USD 15,295pp
USD 15,295pp

Twin Semi-Private

13 Jan 2018 - 03 Feb 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities
USD 18,195pp
USD 18,195pp

Twin Private

13 Jan 2018 - 03 Feb 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 19,895pp
USD 19,895pp

Superior Twin

13 Jan 2018 - 03 Feb 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 20,895pp
USD 20,895pp

Shackleton Suite

13 Jan 2018 - 03 Feb 2018
Double cabin with private facilities
USD 22,995pp
USD 22,995pp

One Ocean Suite

13 Jan 2018 - 03 Feb 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries
USD 25,195pp
USD 25,195pp