Ross Sea - Argentina - New Zealand
Join us for an exploratory voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula, to the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island, to the huts of the British explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott on Ross Island, to McMurdo Station and the Dry Valleys and to Campbell Island, home to the Southern Royal Albatrosses.
During this voyage we will transfer our passengers ashore by zodiac. But, we will also operate our two helicopters in certain sites where Zodiacs cannot be used. Potential candidates for helicopter transfers are Cape Evans (hut of Scott), Cape Royds (hut of Shackleton), Ross Ice Shelf at Bay of Whales, Peter I Island, and the Dry Valleys.
In theory, we plan on five helicopter based landings, but a specific amount of helicopter time cannot be predicted. The use of helicopters is a great advantage and can support us in our goal to reach certain landing sites that otherwise are almost inaccessible. However, this is a true expedition and we operate our itinerary in ￼the world’s most remote area, ruled by the forces of nature, weather and ice conditions. Conditions may change rapidly; having its impact on the helicopter operation and passengers should understand and accept this. Safety is our greatest concern and no compromises can be made.
Special note: Crossing the Date Line
This voyage has a total length of 32 days. However, looking at the starting and ending dates of the voyage, it “seems” it has a duration of 33 days. This is explained by the fact that we cross the “date line” at 180 degree longitude.
Day 1 — Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina
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.
Days 2 & 3: At Sea
Crossing the Drake Passage.
Day 4 — Antarctic Peninsula
We arrive in the Antarctic Peninsula and in the morning sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel and land on Pléneau Island where fur seals may haul-out on the beaches. Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas are confirmed breeders. Pléneau 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 Pléneau. We will also visit Petermann Island with colonies of Adélie 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.
Day 5 — Polar Circle and Fish Island
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. We may observe Adélie Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags among myriads of large icebergs. We may set foot on the Continent for the first time in the stunning setting of Prospect Point.
Days 6 & 7 — Bellingshausen Sea
Here we may see our first pack-ice.
Day 8 — Peter I Island
Peter I Island, or in Norwegian Peter I Øy, is an uninhabited volcanic island (12mi / 19km 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, we are likely to attempt a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island.
Days 9 to 14 — Amundsen Sea
These days we sail through the Amundsen Sea along and through the outer fringes of the pack-ice, while we take advantage of the west-going Antarctic coastal current. 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.
Day 15 — Approaching the Ross Ice Shelf
We approach the Ross Ice Shelf, a floating mass of land-ice, with a front 100ft (30m) 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 explorer 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.
Day 16 — Ross Ice Shelf
Along the Ross Ice Shelf we sail to the west.
Days 17 to 21 — Ross Sea
In the Ross Sea we intend to visit Ross Island, guarded by Mount Erebus, 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. We also intend to 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 favorable, we have the option to use the helicopters to offer landings in one or more places in this area. We will further make attempts to visit the US-station McMurdo and Scott Base - the New Zealand equivalent. From McMurdo Station we may offer a substantial 6mi (10km) hike to Castle Rock were we will have a great view across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. We will land in 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.
Days 22 & 23 — Ross Sea Northward
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. Should the ice prevent us from entering Terra Nova Bay we may progress further north were we find the specially protected area of Cape Hallet with a large Adélie Penguin rookery.
Day 24 — Cape Adare
We will 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 Adélie Penguins in the World.
Days 25 to 29 — 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.
Day 30 — Campbell Island
We plan to 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.
Day 31 — At Sea
At sea toward Bluff.
Day 32 — Disembark in Bluff, New Zealand
We arrive in Bluff where passengers depart for their homebound journey.
Quadruple porthole cabin: €19 950 €15 950
Triple Porthole Cabin: On request
Twin Porthole: €25 350 €17 450
Twin Window: On request
Twin Deluxe: On request
Superior: €28 850