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Ross Sea includes Helicopter Explorations: Argentina to New Zealand

Duration
32 Days
Prices From:
US$ 34,700

Explore the southernmost reaches of the planet on this epic Antarctica vacation. Passing from Argentina to New Zealand, you’ll traverse the frozen oceans aboard a purpose-built ice cruiser, make landfall at far-flung locations on the Antarctic Peninsula, and visit remote islands and regions that few explorers ever reach.


This 32-day Antarctica vacation takes you across the expanse of the south ocean, passing from Argentina to New Zealand as you explore the icy reaches and frozen seas of Antarctica.

Your Antarctica vacation begins in Ushuaia, a frontier town pitched on the southern tip of South America. After chumming with fellow globetrotters in the town’s adventure bases, board the M/V Ortelius, an ice cruiser capable of accommodating up to 116-123 passengers. With 22 crew members, 19 hotel staff, and eight expedition specialists, M/V Ortelius is expertly-staffed and ideally-equipped to brave the south seas and offer passengers as much time on shore as possible. It offers the comforts of a hotel with the technical superiority of a scientific research vessel.

Aboard M/V Ortelius, you’ll cruise across the Lemaire Channel to the Antarctic Peninsula, where you’ll explore desolate landscapes that are home to fascinating wildlife. Make first landfall on Pleneau Island, where you’ll find fur seals, Gentoo penguins, kelp gulls, and south polar skuas. Continue on to Petermann Island to see more Gentoo penguins as well as Adelie penguins. You’ll also stop off in the First Islands, home to even more penguins and blue-eyed shags, before setting foot on the continent at Prospect Point.

It’s then back to the boat to cross the Bellingshausen Sea, a stretch of pack ice around the edge of the Antarctic continent. Within this stretch of icy waters, you’ll find Peter I Island, named after the Russian Tsar when it was discovered in 1821. Initially claimed by Norway, but eventually becoming its own territory, Peter I Island is usually skipped over by expeditionary vessels due to its exposure to the elements. Nevertheless, the M/V Ortelius is fully-equipped to helicopter passengers to the island if weather permits.

Continue your Antarctica vacation by sailing through the Amundsen Sea, on the fringes of the pack ice. You’ll pass along the west-flowing Antarctic coastline, spotting Emperor penguins and fur seals straggling on the ice floes. If you’re lucky, you might even see orcas and minke whales breach the icy waters.

Pass into the Ross Sea, known for the floating ice shelf with 30m-high fronts and subzero temperatures. You’ll spend a week exploring the terrain of the Ross Sea. Stop off in the Bay of Whales to see where Roald Amundsen reached the ice shelf in 1911 while en route to being the first person to reach the South Pole. On Ross Island, you’ll find the tallest peak on the continent, Mt. Erebus, which towers over Mt. Terror and Mt. Byrd, even as all three are famous spots for expeditions.

At Cape Royds, you’ll find the cabin of Ernest Shackleton, with old gear and even canned goods from Shackleton’s expedition filling the walls, preserved by over a century of cold. At Cape Evans, you’ll find the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott, where Scott stayed before achieving the South Pole. In the Ross Sea, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the M/V Ortelius’ helicopters, flying high over the Taylor Valley to see one of Antarctica’s famous Mars-like valleys, and connecting to various parts of the continent by air if sea conditions are treacherous.

You’ll close out your Antarctica vacation by attempting a landing at Cape Adare, where people first wintered on the Antarctic continent. The island is home to the largest colony of Adelie penguins in the world. Pass through the Southern Ocean and say goodbye to the continent with a final landing at Scott Island if weather permits. It’s then on to Campbell Island, a sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve that abounds with vegetation and all manner of penguins and seafaring birds. You’ll spot Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested, and Yellow-Eyed Penguins while exploring the island. Disembark in Bluff, New Zealand, where you can extend your adventure by connecting to the rest of the country, or depart for home.


 

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Duration
32 Days
Prices From:
US$ 34,700

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Ushuaia

In the afternoon, you will board your vessel in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world and sail through the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway and head out towards the Drake Passage and the beginning of your Antarctic Adventure.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration31 Nights
Accommodation

MV Ortelius

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstar

    MV Ortelius



    The ice-strengthened vessel "Ortelius" is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing you with possibilities to adventure in remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to ...

    The ice-strengthened vessel "Ortelius" is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing you with possibilities to adventure in remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land.

    The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. "Ortelius" is a great expedition vessel for 116 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Helicopter Pad
    • Observation Deck
    • Restaurant

    More Details

Day 2

At Sea

Today is spent familiarising yourself with your vessel as well as meting your like-minded fellow Globetrotters.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

At Sea

Continue across the famous Drake Passage.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Antarctic Peninsula

You arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and in the morning sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pleneau Island, where fur seals may haul-out on the beaches. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are confirmed breeders. Pleneau Island was first charted by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903-05 of Jean-Baptiste Charcot and was named after his expedition's photographer Paul Pleneau. You will also visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adelie and Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Petermann Island was named after the German geographer August Petermann who was a member of a German Expedition in 1873-74.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Antarctic Peninsula

Sailing south through the Penola Strait, we arrive at the Fish Islands. The small islands lying east of Flouder Island are called the Minnows, first charted by the British Graham Land Expedition (1934-37) of John Rymill. You may observe Adelie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags among myriads of large icebergs. You may set foot on the Continent for the first time in the stunning setting of Prospect Point.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Bellingshausen Sea

Sail the Bellingshausen Sea where the first pack-ice may be seen.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Bellingshausen Sea

Continue skirting the Antarctica continent.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Peter I Island

In Norwegian Peter I, is an uninhabited volcanic island (19 kilometres long) in the Bellingshausen Sea. It was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and was named after the Russian Tsar Peter I. It is claimed by Norway and considered a territory on its own. It is very rarely visited by passenger vessels due to the exposed nature of the place. If the weather conditions allow, a attempted helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island will be attempted.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Amundsen Sea

These following days are spent sailing through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, while taking advantage of the west-flowing Antarctic coastal current.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Amundsen Sea

The sailing along and through the ice is very lively, with sightings of single straggling Emperor Penguins, groups of seals on ice-floes, and also Orca's and Minke Whales along the ice-edge, often accompanied by different species of fulmarine petrels.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Amundsen Sea

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12

Amundsen Sea

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13

Amundsen Sea

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 14

Amundsen Sea

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 15

Ross Sea

You now approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 30 meters high. In the Bay of Whales at the eastern side of the shelf, close to Roosevelt Island (named by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd in 1934 for President Franklin D. Roosevelt), Roald Amundsen gained access to the Shelf and ventured to the South Pole, where he finally arrived on 14 December 1911. Also the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area at Kainan Bay in 1912. We intend to attempt a helicopter landing on the Ross Ice Shelf if conditions allow for it.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 16

Ross Sea

Continuing along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the west.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 17

Ross Sea

In the Ross Sea you will visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus - the tallest peak on the continent - Mount Terror and Mount Byrd with all the famous spots which played such an important role in the dramatic British expeditions of the last century such as Cape Royds with the cabin of Ernest Shackleton.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 18

Ross Sea

You will visit Cape Evans with the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott; from Hut Point, Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. If ice blocks access and weather conditions are otherwise favourable, you have the option to use the helicopters to land in one or more places in this area.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 19

Ross Sea

You will make further attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base - the New Zealand equivalent. From McMurdo Station there is chance to hike 10 km to Castle Rock were you will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 20

Ross Sea

Land by Helicopter in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys. The conditions here are the closest you get to the conditions on Mars anywhere on Planet Earth.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 21

Ross Sea

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 22

At Sea

Sailing northward along the west coast of the Ross Sea, we pass by the Drygalski Ice Tongue and the Italian Mario Zucchelli Station in Terra Nova Bay.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 23

At Sea

Should the ice prevent the ship from entering Terra Nova Bay you will progress further north to find the specially protected area of Cape Hallet with a large Adélie Penguin rookery

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 24

Cape Adare

There will be an attempt to make a landing at Cape Adare. This is the place where people for the very first time wintered on the Antarctic Continent. The hut where the Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in 1899 is surrounded by the largest colony of Adelie Penguins in the World.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 25

At Sea

Working our way through the sea-ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea and start our journey north through the Southern Ocean. Depending on weather conditions we may opt to set a course sailing by Scott Island.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 26

Southern Ocean

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 27

Southern Ocean

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 28

Southern Ocean

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 29

Southern Ocean

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 30

Campbell Island

You will visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, with a luxuriant and blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is fantastic with a large and easily accessible colony of Southern Royal Albatrosses on the main island and breeding Wandering, Campbell, Grey-headed, Black-browed, and Light-mantled Albatrosses on the satellite islands. Also three penguin species, Eastern Rockhopper, Erect-Crested and Yellow-Eyed Penguins breed here. In the 18th century seals were hunted to extinction, but Elephant Seals, Fur Seals and Sea Lions have recovered.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 31

Southern Ocea

At Sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 32

New Zealand

You arrive in Bluff, New Zealand where you disembark for your return flights home; but why not explore New Zealand or pop over to Australia for a welcoming beer and BBQ.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2020: January 13

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • During voyages Weddell Sea voyages: ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed)
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • International and regional airfare other than stated in inclusions
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Meals ashore
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire

TB OCEANWIUSH20CR: OTL27 TWP
13 Jan 2020
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