plancius weddell sea antarctic cruise

Weddell Sea - Antarctic Discoverer

  • Overview
    An exciting voyage, into one of the least explored regions of the Antarctic Peninsula. A marginal sea of the Southern Ocean, the Weddell Sea situated along the coast of Antarctica south of the Atlantic Ocean. The Antarctica Peninsula is situated at the West of the Weddell Sea. Much of the Weddell Sea is covered with Ice through much of the year, especially in the southern parts of the Weddell Sea.
    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 116 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia; Embarkation

      In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

    • Day 2/3 - At sea

      During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage. When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area, we may see Wandering albatrosses, Grey-headed albatrosses, Black- browed albatrosses, Light- mantled albatrosses, Cape petrels, Southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, Blue petrels and Antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

    • Day 4/8 - Antarctica & Weddell Sea

      We will sail directly we will sail into the Weddell Sea through the often ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Weddell Sea is largely covered in sea ice during the entire year but the northwest corner offers great opportunities for discovery in places that only few ever visit. The sites for our activities may include: Paulet Island with a huge number of Adélie penguins and Brown Bluff where we may set foot on the Continent. On Dundee Island, we may reach the uninhabited Argentinean Petrel station with the large aircraft hangar and a myriad of Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals along the coastline.

      Further into the Weddell Sea, we have a wide range of options depending on the ice conditions. James Clark Ross Island offers a number of rarely visited places that can be explored. The imagination is spurred on by names like Brandy Bay and Whiskey Bay. Devil Island has a large Adélie penguin rookery and some stunning views of Erebus and Terror Gulf, while Snow Hill Island offers spectacular sedimentary rocks and tell tales of incredible Antarctic exploration in the early 20th Century. The Weddell Sea is prone to difficult ice conditions and it will demand and open and adventurous mind to embark on this journey in to the wild Weddell Sea.

    • Day 9 - South Shetland Islands

      The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo penguins, Chinstrap penguins and Southern Giant petrels.

      In Deception Island, our ship braves through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape petrels and many Kelp gulls, Brown and South polar skuas and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and Black-bellied storm petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Alternatively, we may try to conduct activities near Half Moon Island. Here we find Chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out on the beach near the Argentinean station Camara. Around noon, we depart for the Drake Passage.

    • Day 10/11 - At sea

      On our way north a great selection of seabirds will follow the ship while crossing the Drake Passage.

    • Day 12 - Ushuaia; Disembarkation

      We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

    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

    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.

    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.

  • 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

    - Gratuities
    - Expenses of personal nature including Laundry / Bar / Beverages / Internet & Wifi
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Government arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa expenses
    - Pre and post-cruise arrangements
    - Any airfare - whether on itinerary or charter flights
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.26.16 pm
  • 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
All available dates

Quad Cabin

11 Mar 2019 - 22 Mar 2019
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD 7,950pp
USD 7,950pp

Triple Cabin

11 Mar 2019 - 22 Mar 2019
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 3
USD 8,950pp
USD 8,950pp

Twin Porthole

11 Mar 2019 - 22 Mar 2019
Twin cabin with porthole and private facilities
USD 9,650pp
USD 7,700pp

Twin Window

11 Mar 2019 - 22 Mar 2019
Twin cabin with window and private facilities
USD 10,100pp
USD 7,900pp

Twin Deluxe

11 Mar 2019 - 22 Mar 2019
Spacious corner cabins, with twin beds, private facilities and 2 windows.
USD 10,850pp
USD 8,650pp

Superior

11 Mar 2019 - 22 Mar 2019
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6
USD 11,700pp
USD 9,400pp