Akademik Ioffe Christmas in Antarctica cruise

Christmas in Antarctica

  • Overview
    Towering glaciers, amazing wildlife encounters, snow-covered landscapes, massive icebergs and the option to choose your favorite activities each day make this voyage the perfect way to spend the holiday season. In the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula, we spend our days off the ship exploring by Zodiac boat, making several shore landings each day in the company of our expert guides. We discover Antarctica and its remarkable wildlife through photography, zodiac excursions, hiking onshore, and, for the more adventurous, camping and sea kayaking. Visits to historic huts and the opportunity to visit a working research station add another dimension to the voyage. This popular 10-night expedition, at the height of the Antarctic summer, features many of the well-known landing sites such as Neko, Paradise and Orne Harbours, Cuverville Island and the Erera Channel – and, ice conditions permitting, we hope to transit the spectacular Lemaire Channel. A final highlight will be a visit to the beautiful South Shetland Islands where we hope to visit Deception Island and nearby locations such as Half Moon Island or Hannah Point.
    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Punta Arenas, Chile
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia; Embarkation Day

      Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s most southerly city, where you board your expedition ship. In the early evening we set sail along the Beagle Channel and push out into the Drake Passage, towards Antarctica.

      This exciting new tour of Antarctica will likely be the most remarkable white Christmas you ever experience.

    • Day 2/3 - Drake Passage

      Giant petrels, albatross and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as we transit towards Antarctica. 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, wildlife and history.

    • Day 4/9 - Exploring the Gerlache Strait & Antarctic Peninsula

      We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica 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 waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets and numerous small islands. The Gerlache coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops, known as ‘nunataks’ are home to gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We frequently encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal, usually found hauled out on an ice floe. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are present much of the time as they feed on the vast schools of krill. Sightings of orca are not uncommon.

      Our activity program is in full swing and we encourage all guests to choose how their adventure unfolds. Every day we plan an exciting range of activities, including guided hikes on shore (both short and long), visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides, as well as Zodiac cruising. The historic huts and science stations located along the peninsula provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice, searching for seals and whales is a memorable activity.

      Meanwhile, our sea kayakers may range several miles from the ship experiencing Antarctica from an entirely different perspective. Our resident photography guide will be on hand to help you with your camera handling and image composition. Maybe what you really want to do is sit on a rock, simply watching the penguins come and go from the water. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show.

      Planned excursions along the Peninsula may include Cierva Cove or Mikklesen Harbour, Danco Island, the Melchior Islands and Fournier Bay - or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the gentoo penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favourite location and one where we frequently encounter playful humpback whales. Nearby Paradise Harbour is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route to a viewpoint providing expansive views. Andvord Bay and Neko Harbour provide yet another continental landing opportunity.

      It is somewhere along this stretch of coastline that we plan a night on shore, camping in Antarctica. We have all the right gear and equipment and an expert team to make it happen - all you need is an adventurous spirit! Camping always depends on the weather and we can never guarantee it on any voyage. If the weather is good and site characteristics suit our requirements, rest assured, we will always go for it. Camping is included and you can decide to participate while onboard. There is no need to pre-book.

    • Day 10 - South Shetland Islands

      After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula, we head for the South Shetland Islands. If the weather permits, we sail into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. To the north, lies Elephant Island – forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. This is a thrilling location for history buffs.

    • Day 11 - King Georgia Island (Antarctica) - Return to South America

      This morning we say goodbye to our expedition team and transfer ashore by Zodiac. We walk from the shore landing site past the Chilean research station and up towards the airstrip where we board our special charter flight. This flight takes a little over two hours and is included in the price of your voyage. Upon arrival into Punta Arenas a transfer from the airport into town is provided.

      POST VOYAGE HOTEL INCLUDED: This itinerary includes a complimentary hotel night in Punta Arenas for all guests returning from King George Island at the end of the voyage. This evening is at your leisure. Punta Arenas is home to some cozy restaurants, cafes and bars – including the historic ‘Shackleton Bar’ at the Hotel Jose Nogueira – a fitting location to reflect on your journey to Antarctica.

    • Day 12 - Punta Arenas; Departure day

      After breakfast and check-out, make your own way to the airport for your onward journey. (We recommend you book flights after midday). Otherwise, why not continue your exploration of Patagonia. Just a few hours north, lies the celebrated Torres del Paine National Park – home to towering
      peaks, glaciers and spectacular wilderness - a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

    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

    The great Antarctic Safari

    No matter which itinerary you choose to undertake, you are destined to spot a wonderful array of wildlife, including sea elephants and sea lions, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and Minke, killer and humpback whales and the magnificent wandering albatrosses.

    Christmas &/or New Year voyage

    What better place to wake up on Christmas morning and check if Santa has found you in Antarctica! Christmas in Antarctica is extra special and many of our voyages are family friendly.

  • 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
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.30.38 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
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.
akademik ioffe triple cabin

Triple

17 Dec 2018 - 28 Dec 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities.
AUD$ 16,120pp
AUD$ 15,400pp
akademik ioffe twin semi private cabin

Twin Semi-Private

17 Dec 2018 - 28 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities.
AUD$ 19,288pp
AUD$ 18,568pp
akademik ioffe twin private cabin

Twin Private

17 Dec 2018 - 28 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities and window.
AUD$ 20,584pp
AUD$ 19,864pp
akademik ioffe twin superior cabin

Superior Twin

17 Dec 2018 - 28 Dec 2018
Twin Superior cabin with private facilities and windows.
AUD$ 21,736pp
AUD$ 21,016pp
akademik ioffe shackleton suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

17 Dec 2018 - 28 Dec 2018
Double Suite cabin with private facilities and window.
AUD$ 23,752pp
AUD$ 23,032pp
akademik ioffe one ocean suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

17 Dec 2018 - 28 Dec 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries.
AUD$ 26,344pp
AUD$ 25,624pp