akademik vavilov south georgia antarctica cruise christmas cruise

Christmas in Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Is

  • Overview
    CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAY SEASON ON THIS FAR REACHING POLAR EXPEDITION! December is a beautiful time to experience Antarctica. We enjoy extended daylight hours, the wildlife colonies are busy and as the sea ice continues to break up, our range of landing sites expands even further. We fly from South America to Antarctica in a little over two hours where we board our ship before exploring the glaciated coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. We then follow the course taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton whose epic small boat journey a century ago, from Elephant Island across the Scotia Sea to South Georgia remains one of the greatest feats of navigation in history. We commence our exploration at the remote south-eastern tip of South Georgia and then spend the following days exploring the northern coastline. Here we encounter some of the largest king penguin colonies on earth. The shores are covered in wildlife – including nesting albatross, fur seals and elephant seals. Rusting relics from the old whaling era sit silent and provide dramatic contrasts to the green tussock grass and snowy peaks that surround us. In South Georgia, we celebrate a memorable Christmas Day. We then head for the Falkland Islands and aim to spend one final day exploring the wildlife-rich Sea Lion Island and nearby by Bleaker Island. Our voyage comes to an end in Stanley – the small capital of the Falkland's from where we fly back to South America.
    Duration: 17 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 journey commences in Punta Arenas, located in southern Chile, where we board our two-hour flight across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Upon arrival at the King George Island in Antarctica, we embark our ship via Zodiac inflatable crafts.

    • Day 2/4 - Antarctic Peninsula

      Overnight we navigate through the Gerlache Strait and awake to the towering peaks of the Antarctic continent laid out before us. For the next three days we have a varied itinerary exploring the Gerlache coastline. Southerly Petermann Island, is home to a sizeable penguin rookery where both Adelie and gentoo penguins nest side by side.

      The landscape all along this section of the Antarctic coastline feature heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Our activity program is in full swing by now, and each day we enjoy guided walks on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, and Zodiac cruising among the ice with our expert guides providing insight and interpretation. Wilhelmina Bay is another favorite location where we frequently encounter pods of humpback whales.

    • Day 5 - Antarctic Sound

      We are now heading north towards Antarctic Sound – the gateway into the icy Weddell Sea. Along the way we hope to make a planned visit at Deception Island. If weather conditions permit, we sail the ship right into the middle of a volcanic caldera. This is a very dramatic place and home to several penguin rookeries along the black sand beaches.

      History is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted relics and dilapidated wooden structures. Fur seals gather among the old structures seeking protection from the elements. Our goal is to enter the icy Weddell Sea, through the broad channel that separates the continent of Antarctica from Joinville Island. This region is also home to some of the largest Adelie penguin rookeries found in Antarctica.

    • Day 6 - Elephant Island

      After several busy days of exploration along the Antarctic Peninsula and entrance to the Weddell Sea, we head for Elephant Island – a location forever connected to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and the HMS Endurance expedition a century ago. On the windswept north coast, exposed to the swells of the South Atlantic is Point Wild. It was here that Shackleton and his exhausted men camped under their upturned boats – pondering their chances of survival. Shore landings here are notoriously tricky due to often gale force winds and pounding surf onto the rocky beach. This is a thrilling location for anyone with a passion for polar history.

    • Day 7/8 - Scotia Sea Crossing

      As we depart Elephant Island we cannot help but ponder the journey made by Shackleton and his four companions – as they attempted the near impossible – navigating 800 nautical miles in a 30 foot converted lifeboat across the tempestuous Scotia Sea to South Georgia.

      We make a much easier time of the crossing in our state of the art expedition ship. Onboard experts keep us busy with fascinating presentations and lead lively discussions throughout the day.

      The great pelagic seabirds are sure to keep us company – and we anticipate excellent sightings of albatross and giant petrels soaring on the winds of the South Atlantic Ocean. Anticipation builds as the mountainous peaks appear on the horizon, marking our arrival at South Georgia.

    • Day 9/12 - South Georgia

      South Georgia has often been called the most staggering wildlife show on earth and as we approach the deep bays of this rugged, rocky outcrop you begin to see why.

      Dark sand beaches, tussock covered hinterland and a backdrop of towering peaks and glaciers are a feast for all the senses. Seals cover the beaches, seabirds fill the skies and living in rookeries of immense size, live the majestic king penguins. Our aim is to visit a number of these huge colonies – where naturalists estimate that more than 100,000 adult and juvenile penguins live in close proximity. Locations we hope to visit include Gold Harbour, Royal Bay, St Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain.

      A highlight is a visit to Grytviken – the largest of the former whaling stations on the island, and where we visit the gravesite of Shackleton, buried here in 1921.

    • Day 13/15 - At Sea

      Sailing north towards the Falkland Islands commences. Much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals. The spectacular seabirds including several albatross and petrel species are our constant companions as they soar above the ship. Our onboard educational program continues and our experts recap our remarkable journey to date. These days provide a good opportunity to catch up on journal entries, sort through your images in the multimedia room and catch some rest after a busy two weeks of activity.

    • Day 16 - Falkland Islands

      After several days crossing, Sea Lion Island marks our arrival into the Falkland Islands. This windswept location, situated in the southern archipelago provides one further day of activity. We launch our Zodiacs and go ashore to view the remarkable wildlife colonies found here. Three species of penguins including Gentoo, magellenic and rockhopper exist in the vicinity. Southern Elephant seals and South American sea lions are found hauled out on the beaches. Once ashore we also look for King cormorants and striated caracaras. Weather permitting we may have time to visit neighbouring Bleaker Island, another settlement on the exposed south-eastern coast of the Falklands.

    • Day 17 - Punta Arenas; Disembarkation

      This morning we navigate through the narrows and into the port of Stanley. We have time to explore before we make our way to the airport for our return flight to Punta Arenas in southern Chile.

      Important Voyage Logistics:
      Your journey commences in Punta Arenas, Chile. You will need to arrive in Punta Arenas at least one day prior to the scheduled departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and voyage embarkation and departure. From Punta Arenas we
      fly to King George Island (Antarctica) via a special charter flight where we board the ship.

      Our voyage concludes in Stanley (Falkland Islands) and we fly back to Punta Arenas. For guests staying in Punta Arenas, an arrival transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. (Onward flight connections to Santiago are available).

      Full joining instructions will be provided in your final travel documentation.

    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

    Photography

    Photographer in residence provides presentations, critiques, informal instruction and assists on Zodiacs and shore landing to help you get the best shots!

    Included

    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.

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    One of the true wildlife experiences on our planet, often the wildlife displays here are referred to as the greatest on Earth. Set amongst awe inspiring scenery and home to King penguins, Wondering albatross and Elephant seals, it’s hard to imagine how early pioneers survived in this harsh landscape.

    Falkland Islands

    Boasting rugged scenery and excellent wildlife opportunities, including the Black-browed albatross, Elephant seals and a number of penguin species not found in Antarctica.

    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

    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

    Charter Flights

    This expedition includes charters flight to arrive at or depart from your voyage. Charter flights are provided as per stated in your itinerary document

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All on board educational presentations
    - All meals onboard
    - Fitness & Yoga
    - Hiking & guided walks
    - Zodiac and shore excursions
    - Photography advice from experienced professionals
    - Extensive pre-departure information package
    - Hot beverages

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 3.45.50 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK VAVILOV

    Akademik Sergey Vavilov is the near identical sister-ship to Akademik Ioffe. Built in Rauma (Finland) these Baltic Class 1A (Canadian Type B) ice strengthened ships are the leaders in their class. They are the pride of the polar fleet featuring first class amenities catering to the demands of today’s most discerning guests. A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, 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 with panoramic views
    • 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: 1988
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
akademik ioffe triple cabin

Triple

13 Dec 2018 - 29 Dec 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities.
USD 15,995pp
USD 14,995pp
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akademik ioffe twin semi private cabin

Twin Semi-Private

13 Dec 2018 - 29 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities. These cabins share a bathroom with an interconnecting twin cabin.
USD 18,195pp
USD 17,195pp
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akademik ioffe twin private cabin

Twin Private

13 Dec 2018 - 29 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities.
USD 20,295pp
USD 19,295pp
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akademik ioffe twin superior cabin

Superior Twin

13 Dec 2018 - 29 Dec 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities.
USD 21,695pp
USD 20,695pp
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akademik ioffe shackleton suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

13 Dec 2018 - 29 Dec 2018
Double cabin with private facilities.
USD 23,395pp
USD 22,395pp
akademik ioffe one ocean suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

13 Dec 2018 - 29 Dec 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries.
USD 25,295pp
USD 24,295pp
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