plancius antarctic circle cruise

Antarctica - Polar Circle

  • Overview
    This voyage will take you further south of Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circe. This cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.
    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 116 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.6x - 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia

      Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening. 

    • Day 2/3 - Sailing to Antarctic Peninsula

      Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

    • Day 4/9 - Sailing along Antarctic Peninsula

      Options for Antarctic Peninsula activities are many, and no less great during the late summer. Humpback whales are prolific in this region, gorging themselves on krill before their migration north. The penguin chicks are also fledging, stirring up activity on the beaches while sleek leopard seals lie in wait, poised to attack the less fortunate ones.

       
      Sites for your Antarctic adventures may include: 

       


      Livingston Island – Here you find a wide variety of gentoo and chinstrap penguins on Hannah Point, as well as southern giant petrels and elephant seals hauling out onto the beach. 

       


      Deception Island – Actually a subducted crater, this island opens into the sea and creates a natural harbor for the ship. An abandoned whaling station, and multiple bird species – cape petrels, kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns – can be seen here. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. 

       


      Cuverville Island – A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. 

       


      Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks. You might also be able to set foot on the continent here. 

       


      Paradise Bay – You could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales. 

       


      Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you may sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales as well as leopard seals. 

       


      Crystal Sound – Your journey takes you south along the Argentine Islands to this ice-packed body of water, and from here across the Polar Circle in the morning. 

       


      Detaille Island – You may make a landing at an abandoned British research station here, taking in the island’s lofty mountains and imposing glaciers. 

       


      Fish Islands – Further north you encounter one of the southernmost Adélie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. 

       


      Melchior Islands – These islands offer a beautiful landscape rich with icebergs. Leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales are found here, and there are excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving. 

       

      Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

    • Day 10/11 - Sailing to Ushuaia

      Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

    • Day 12 - Ushuaia

      Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

    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

    Polar Diving

    As if visiting the Artic or Antarctic wasn’t other-worldly enough there is a whole other world for you to explore – under the surface of the seas.

    Aiming for 1 or 2 dives per day (depending on weather and ice conditions) you will dive under shallow ice, down along walls, from the beach, or from a Zodiac. You’ll reach a maximum depth of 20 metres (60 feet). Diving under Polar waters is like no other dive – the combination of water, sunlight, and ice formations creates an ever-shifting spectacle of colours.

    Min. Experience Requirements: A high level of experience is required.

    USD$ 530 per person

    Kayaking

    One of the best features of Polar Region cruises is that you’re never done exploring. Even if you feel you’ve walked all over the Arctic or Antarctic, climbed every mountain, and said hello to every possible penguin, there’s still another whole world to explore – the water. Polar cruise kayaking is an amazing way to slip into the white and blue beauty of the quiet oceans around you.

    USD$ 465 per person

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

    Whales

    Whale numbers swell in Antarctica over the southern summer. Arriving in Antarctica from November onwards, whale numbers reach their peak around December and January. Sightings and particularly breachings reach a pinnacle in February and March, when the Krill is closer to the surface. Some 10 species of whales are found in Antarctic water each summer, with the most abundant species being the Humpack.

    South Shetland Islands - Antarctica's Capital

    The South Shetland Islands are the undisputed capital of Antarctica, with some 12 different nations having research bases on the islands. Located on the very northern reaches of the Antarctic, the islands comprise of some of the Antarctic Peninsula prized sited, including; Elephant Island, Deception Island and Penguin Island. As the islands are further north, they are more temperate and thus home to large numbers of wildlife, the islands offer a great diversity of Antarctic landscape, geology and sights of interest including the King George Island airport and Russian Orthodox Church. For most cruises the islands will almost always be the first glimpse of Antarctica you will have from the decks of your expedition vessel.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    Onboard your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    Your expedition team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with firsthand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back onboard the vessel, team members hold lectures about their studies or the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Pre-departure information
    - Ushuaia transfer to port
    - Expedition boots & snowshoes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    MV PLANCIUS

    The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag. M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfortable and recently refurbished
    • Large Observation Decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Spacious observation lounge (with bar)
    • Restaurant
    • Lecture Room
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 116
    Crew #: 47
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 89m
    Width: 14
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 3434
    Registry: Netherlands
    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 USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.

Quadruple Porthole

25 Feb 2024 - 07 Mar 2024
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD$ 8,650pp
USD$ 8,650pp

Twin Porthole

25 Feb 2024 - 07 Mar 2024
Twin porthole cabin with private facilities
USD$ 10,700pp
USD$ 10,700pp
hondius quad cabin

Triple Porthole

25 Feb 2024 - 07 Mar 2024
Cabin features 2 x Lower and 1 x Upper bunk, private facilities and a porthole.
USD$ 10,700pp
USD$ 10,700pp
ortelius twin window cabin

Twin Window

25 Feb 2024 - 07 Mar 2024
Twin private cabin with window.
USD$ 11,150pp
USD$ 11,150pp
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ortelius twin deluxe cabin

Twin Deluxe

25 Feb 2024 - 07 Mar 2024
Private corner cabin with private facilities.
USD$ 11,800pp
USD$ 11,800pp
plancius superior cabin

Superior

25 Feb 2024 - 07 Mar 2024
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6.
USD$ 12,650pp
USD$ 12,650pp
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