hondius whale watching antarctica cruise

Antarctic - Whale watching discovery and learning voyage

  • Overview
    An Antarctic Peninsula voyage is also known as the 'Classic Antarctic' route. The great star-actors of Antarctica are the penguins and in total seven species could appear before your very own eyes. At this time of year Krill is in abundance and the whale activity is at its peak, prior to the beginning of their northern migration in the coming few weeks.
    Duration: 14 days
    Passengers: 176 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x 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 Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

    • Day 4/5 - Entering Antarctica

      Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.

      The intended route for you Antarctic adventure includes:

      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.

      Paradise Bay – You could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters before sailing to the Lemaire Channel.

    • Day 6/8 - Through the Gullet

      After a comfortable night of sailing, you wake among the many islands south of Lemaire Channel. You are now near the Antarctic Circle. At this point, a voyage through the aptly named Gullet – a narrow but picturesque channel between Adelaide Island and the Antarctic Continent – is possible if the ice isn’t too thick. You can explore this area either from the prow of the ship or the edge of a Zodiac, getting the closest possible contact with the polar terrain as you venture southward.

      Along the way, you may enjoy the following visits:

      Pourquoi Pas Island – You might circumnavigate this island, named after the ship of the famous French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot. This location is known for its tight fjords and lofty, glacier-crowded mountains.

      Horseshoe Island – This is the location of the former British Base Y, a remnant of the 1950s that is now unmanned though still equipped with almost all the technology it had while in service.

      Stonington Island – Home to the former US East Base and British Base E, which was occupied until 1975, this island marks the southernmost landing site of the trip – 68° south. If a landing here is possible, your road turns north again afterward, through the Gunnel Channel.

      Hanusse Bay – Enjoy the scattered icebergs of this scenic bay, which offers a good chance of spotting whales.

      -----------------------

      (Alternate program if the route to the south of Crystal Sound/Hanusse Bay is blocked by ice)

      You may take a course around the western side of Adelaide Island to reach Marguerite Bay. Should ice conditions also not allow for this approach, you could continue the program by exploring the Antarctic Peninsula in and around the Penola and Gerlache Straits.

    • Day 9/11 - The whales of Crystal Sound

      You are near the Antarctic Circle again, cutting north through the countless ice floes of Crystal Sound. Humpback whale sightings are likely, and your approach to the Fish Islands offers the possibility of a Zodiac cruise or even a landing. Whatever the case, the views beyond comparison in this area. There may also be more Adélie penguins congregating among the bergs nearby. Petermann & Pléneau Islands provide a great variety of birdlife, along with possibilities for Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are highly popular among leopard and crabeater seals. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo penguins can also be found here.

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

    • Day 12/13 - At sea

      On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

    • Day 14 - 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

    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.

    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.

    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

  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.26.07 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    HONDIUS

    Hondius will be the first vessel to be built to class “LR PC6”, meeting the latest and highest demands of Lloyd’s Register for “Polar Class 6” vessels, the highest Polar Class notation for ice-strengthened vessels. The vessel will also fully comply with the mandatory requirements of the Polar code, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), for safe ship operation and the protection of the Polar environment. Hondius will be the strongest ice-strengthened vessel in the Polar Regions and will be equipped with stabilizers, and very suitable for advanced, innovative exploratory quality voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions.

    Features & Facilities
    • Brand new vessel (2019)
    • Deluxe comfort level
    • Lecture and Presentation rooms
    • Large observation decks
    • Open bridge
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 176
    Crew #: 75
    Ice Class: 1A Super
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2019
    Length: 107m
    Width: 18
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 5590
    Registry: The 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 AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
hondius quad cabin

Quadruple Porthole

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or friends & families of 4.
AUD$ 12,240pp
AUD$ 12,240pp
hondius quad cabin

Triple Porthole

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or friends/families of 3.
AUD$ 13,752pp
AUD$ 13,752pp
hondius twin porthole

Twin Porthole

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
Cabin features twin beds, private facilities and a porthole.
AUD$ 15,048pp
AUD$ 12,190pp
hondius twin porthole

Twin Window

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
Cabin feature twin beds, private facilities and a window.
AUD$ 15,768pp
AUD$ 15,768pp
hondius twin deluxe cabin

Twin Deluxe

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
Cabin features twin beds, private facilities, and a large window.
AUD$ 16,848pp
AUD$ 16,848pp
hondius superior cabin

Superior

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
Cabin features double beds, private facilities, and a large window.
AUD$ 18,000pp
AUD$ 18,000pp
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Junior Suite

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
Cabin features double beds, private facilities, and a large window.
AUD$ 19,224pp
AUD$ 19,224pp
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hondius grand balcony suite

Grand Suite with private balcony

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
Large private cabin with balcony.
AUD$ 22,104pp
AUD$ 17,905pp
hondius suite

Hondius Suite

17 Mar 2020 - 30 Mar 2020
Expansive private suite with double bed, private facilities and large windows.
AUD$ 25,488pp
AUD$ 25,488pp