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Hondius - 170 Guests

Antarctica - Beyond The Polar Circle - Wilkins Ice Shelf

The voyage is a true expedition, exploring the very rarely visited region of the Bellingshausen Sea, Marguerite Bay and Alexander Island. We visit places discovered by De Gerlache on his polar expedition (June 1887 - March 1899) onboard the Belgica.


 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Beyond the Polar Circle: Wilkins Ice Shelf
The voyage is a true expedition, exploring the very rarely visited region of the Bellingshausen Sea, Marguerite Bay and Alexander Island. We visit places discovered by De Gerlache on his polar expedition (June 1887 – March 1899) onboard the Belgica. This voyage leaves Ushuaia and heads straight for the Antarctic Circle, we aim to spend all of the voyage South of this latitude. The variety of landings, the remoteness and wilderness experience in this region are rivalled by very few places on earth.  

We will see Antarctic Ice shelves, land on islands where very few have set foot and enjoy this awe-inspiring spectacle far from the beaten track of regular Antarctic expedition cruises. A range of Antarctic wildlife may be seen including Humpback and Minke whales, Orca, Leopard, Elephant, Crabeater, Weddell and Antarctic Fur seals- maybe even a Ross’ seal. Gentoo and Adelie penguins, skuas, terns and giant petrels are to name just some of the species we may see.

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person in USD
Start DateEnd DateQuadruple PortholeTriple PortholeTwin PortholeTwin WindowTwin DeluxeSuperiorJunior SuiteGrand Suite
Mar 13, 2024Mar 28, 202410,40011,80012,90013,45014,30015,10016,10018,150
Rates are listed per person in USD
Start DateEnd Date(Starting from)
Quadruple Porthole
(Mid-range)
Twin Deluxe
(High-end)
Grand Suite
Mar 13, 2024Mar 28, 202410,40014,30018,150


ITINERARY

Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey
Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Day 2 – 3: Path of the polar explorers
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone.

Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.

Day 4: Through the Pendleton Strait
You arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula near the Antarctic Circle in the afternoon. If sea ice allows it, you can then continue through Pendleton Strait and attempt a landing at the rarely visited southern tip of Renaud Island. Here you have the opportunity to see the first Adélie penguins of the trip as well as enjoy spectacular views of the icebergs in this surreal, snow-swept environment.

In the afternoon we sail to the Fish Islands and encounter one of the southernmost Adélie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula.

Spending the night in the area of Crystal Sound the scenery will leave you staying up until the small hours, there is a chance to see Orca, Humpback and Minke Whale in this area.

Day 5: Detaille Island and The Gullet
Detaille Island – You may make a landing at an abandoned British research station here, taking in the island’s lofty position and imposing glaciers scenery.

We then sail through The Gullet, one of the most impressive narrow channels in Antarctic, with towering mountains either side, birds following the ship and playful penguins and seals frolicking in the water as we sail through this very special part of the journey. If ice conditions allow we will also carry out a landing or cruise in the afternoon.

Day 6: Porquoi Pas and Horseshoe Islands
Discovered and charted by the famous explorer Charcot, Porquoi Pas offers pleasant landing on a rocky beach with a backdrop of the Moider Glacier- a gentle walk from the landing site gives an impressive view over it. Antarctic Fur Seals enjoy relaxing on the small plain behind the beach and add a nice addition to the wildlife that we encounter on this voyage.

After lunch we head towards Horseshoe island- so called because of its distinctive shape- an abandoned research station provides an insight into the early days of scientific research and original artefacts remain on show to appreciate how different the way of life was in those pioneering days. The hut is set among some of the most beautiful scenery in Antarctica with views over the mountains and snow of Porquois Pas Island as well as the islands own mountain range. A photographic landing in many senses- two old wooden boats remain at the landing site as if waiting for their final launch to work in the icy waters around the islands.

Day 7 - 10: George IV and Wilkins Ice Shelf
Provided ice and weather conditions allow we will head towards Antarctica’s ice shelves (the George IV and Wilkins), we hope to show you the scale of these vast cliffs and expanses of ice that will dwarf us and our ship. A range of Antarctic wildlife from Humpback whales, Fur seals and Adelie penguins and maybe if we are lucky we may see one or more Ross’ seal.

Day 11: Jenny and Leonie Islands
Jenny Island will give another aspect to your Antarctic experience, here you will be able to see raised beaches, hanging glaciers and moss carpets. The island is popular with wildlife too with terns, skuas, Elephant Seals, Leopard Seals and Adelie penguins all being regular visitors.

A landing at Leonie Island will take your breath away, there is the possibility to undertake a hike to the peak of the island offering a dramatic panorama of Marguerite Bay and Adelaide Island.

Day 12: Webb Island and Lagoon Island
Lagoon island is the most northern island of the Leonie Islands group, also discovered and charted by Jean-Baptiste Charcot. This low laying island will provide a stark contrast to the previous days with its gently sloped beaches and flat areas to explore, the wildlife here will vary depending on snow cover- if there is little snow the ground is almost desert like in appearance.

Day 13 - 15: Familiar seas, familiar friends
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

Day 16: There and back again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Hondius (Expedition, 170-guests)

MV Hondius offers luxury accommodation for up to 180 passengers. The ship has a luxury standard while Oceanwide's signature cozy and informal atmosphere. Hondius the strongest ice-strengthened vessel will be in the polar regions and will be equipped with stabilizers, and great trips for advanced, innovative exploratory quality in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • 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.
  • 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 programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • 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).

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
  • Kayaking: USD 550
  • Zodiac Cruising
  • Shore-based Walking

 

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DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person and subject to change.