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2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
Call 01582 766122

Expedition Cruise, Antarctica: Penguins + Seals + Whales + Albatross + Sea Birds

Antarpply: Antarctica Cruise + South Shetlands
AYP14B
14 NIGHTS
FROM £7,695
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Expedition Cruise Antarctica Penguins Seals Whales Albatross Sea Birds

Explore the breathtaking scenery of the 7th continent on this thrilling Expedition Cruise to Antarctica aboard 'The Ushuaia', a refurbished US National Oceanic agency vessel which offers simple but comfortable accommodation & experienced naturalists. View penguins, seals, whales, albatross, sea birds & much more, with shore expeditions by zodiac. Scheduled departures between Nov & March.

Expedition Cruise Antarctica Penguins Seals Whales Albatross Sea Birds
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Buenos Aires
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Expedition Cruise, Antarctica
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Albatross & Sea Birds
• 
Penguins, Seals & Whales
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South Shetland Islands
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Antarctica Peninsula
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Elephant & Fur Seals
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Minke, Humpback & Killer Whales
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Gentoo & Chinstrap Penguins
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Ushuaia
• 
Buenos Aires
• 
Expedition Cruise, Antarctica
• 
Albatross & Sea Birds
• 
Penguins, Seals & Whales
• 
South Shetland Islands
• 
Antarctica Peninsula
• 
Elephant & Fur Seals
• 
Minke, Humpback & Killer Whales
• 
Gentoo & Chinstrap Penguins
• 
Ushuaia
Day 1
You will be met at Buenos Aires Airport and transferred to your hotel in this exciting city, situated on the estuary of the Río de la Plata - the 'River of Silver'.
 
Check in and relax in this capital of Argentina, known for its wonderful architecture, tango dancing and rich culture, including the highest concentration of theatres in the world.
Day 2
Today enjoy a half day shared coach tour of Buenos Aires - a cosmopolitan city that has been influenced by the many immigrants who helped form it and offering beautiful architecture, history and culture.
 
Our tour starts at the Plaza de Mayo, the historical, political and cultural centre of the city. Here you can see the Pink House (Presidential Palace), the Pyramid de Mayo and Metropolitan Cathedral. We continue down Avenida de Mayo, with its wide avenues and spacious green areas, past the Obelisk to the neighbourhood of San Telmo, one of the oldest in the city with cobbled streets and colonial houses. Every Sunday an antiques fair takes place here around the Plaza Dorrego. The vibrant area is the centre for most of the tango parlours, restaurants and bars of the city.
 
Going further south, we visit the Italian port neighbourhood of La Boca, with its colourful houses in Caminito Street and many 'cantinas' (small restaurants). Also the trendy modern neighbourhood of Puerto Madero, where the old piers have been converted into upmarket offices, apartments and restaurants with views of the Rio de la Plata. We visit the residential neighbourhood of Palermo with its elegant mansions surrounded by spacious parks, before arriving in glamorous Recoleta, where there is the option to visit the famous cemetery where Eva Peron is buried, with its rich architecture (pay locally). Next to the cemetery is the church of Our Lady of Pilar, the Recoleta Cultural Centre (originally a convent) and the Palais de Glace exhibition centre.
Day 3
At leisure to explore the city of Buenos Aires independently.
 
Alternatively enjoy a full day optional excursion to Santa Susana Ranch to admire the skills of the Argentinian gauchos (cowboys) who live in these fertile pampas grasslands about 2-hours from the city. With a distinctive culture that combines their European and Native American heritages, gauchos play an important role in regional cultural tradition - including folk songs, dancing and equestrian shows of traditional gaucho skills, such as ring races, 'cuadreras' (horse races) and 'entrevero de tropillas' (horse games).
 
Note: The ranch is closed on Mondays.
Day 4
Transfer to Aeroparque Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Ushuaia Airport and transferred to your hotel. Surrounded by the spectacular mountains and fjords of Pategonia, this southermost city in the world is located on the shores of the Beagle Channel, at the southern tip of the island of Tierra del Fuego (or 'Land of Fire').
 
Regarded  by Argentinians as the true capital of the Malvinas (the Falklands Islands), here you can visit the memorial to their citizens who lost their lives fighting in the Falklands War.
Day 5
Morning is at leisure to explore Ushuaia or enjoy an optional catamaran ride to Bird and Sea Lion Island.
 
In the afternoon you will be transferred to the cruise office for check in. Board your Antarctica Expedition Cruise and enjoy a welcome drink and an introduction to the crew and expedition staff, as we set out across the Beagle Channel towards the remote South Shetland Islands.
 
As the lights of Ushuaia disappear, we sail along the south coast of the island of Tierra del Fuego and into the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Note: You need to be relatively fit to enjoy an expedition cruise in Antarctica, as you will be embarking and disembarking by inflatable zodiac, accessed by steep gangway. All sightseeing with naturalist guides, marine fees and medical care aboard the boat are included, but not the cost of medicines. Rubber boots & snow shoes will be provided. Children < 12 years are not allowed on an expedition cruise.
 
Ensure you pack suitably for Antarctic conditions - including waterproof jacket & waterproof trousers (these are essential, as you will be sitting on the inflated sides of open zodiac boats), warm hat, scarf, gloves, good walking shoes & socks. Dress in layers & don’t forget your binoculars, sunglasses & sunscreen.
 
Please be aware that this itinerary is provided for guidance only. The daily program may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, and to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader will determine the daily itinerary, which in some instances is subject to permission to land granted by the relevant national authorities.
Days 6 To 7
We spend the next two days at sea, as we cross the Drake Passage and head towards the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
 
Named after Sir Francis Drake, the renowned explorer who sailed these waters in 1578, this passage marks the Antarctic Convergence - a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region.
 
The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across it, our naturalists will be out on deck helping you identify an amazing variety of seabirds, including the many albatrosses which follow in our wake. Our open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge, learn about navigation and enjoy the views. Also look out for whales and participate in lectures on-board.
 
The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig 'Williams'. With favourable conditions in the Drake Passage, our naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with penguins and seals.
Days 8 To 11
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is breathtaking.
 
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins, Kelp gulls, Blue-eyed cormorants, Antarctic terns and Southern giant petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins as well as Elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.
 
Our expedition team will prepare us to explore the Antarctic Peninsula, whose remarkable history provides the type of excitement normally associated with early explorers. You will have plenty of time to enjoy the amazing scenery - a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, with an incredibly wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds, you are very likely to see Weddell seals, Crabeater seals and Leopard seals, as well as Minke whales, Killer whales (orca) and Humpback whales at close range.
 
Depending on ice conditions we hope to navigate some of its beautiful waterways, such as the Gerlache Strait - a region of mountainous islands, broad straits, protected bays and narrow channels that offer moments of solitude. A profusion of tall peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing inexorably seaward are the main physical features. We also hope to sail through the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels, narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.  
 
We plan to make at least two landings per day. Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world, as we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie penguin colony (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed cormorant colony on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.
 
Further exploration may take us to the Melchior Island group and Cuverville Island, which lies in the scenic Errera Channel in the centre of the Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting site for many Gentoo penguins. We may also visit Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo penguins.
 
Note: Weather conditions will determine our exact itinerary and departure times.
Days 12 To 13
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage for the next two days.
 
Join our naturalists on deck, as we search for more seabirds and whales. Also enjoy on-board presentations by the expedition team, as we celebrate the incredible experiences we have shared in exploring Antarctica.
Day 14
We arrive back in Ushuaia in the early morning at the end of our thrilling Antarctica expedition cruise.
 
Disembark and transfer to Ushuaia Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Aeroparque Airport in Buenos Aires and transferred to your hotel in this sophisticated capital city.
Day 15
Transfer to Buenos Aires Airport for your flight home.