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Antarctic Expedition

Weddell Sea Quest

On Board the Ushuaia Ship

11 Days / 10 Nights

Adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

​Antarctic Expedition

Weddell Sea Quest

Itinerary

 

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Following your arrival to Ushuaia, you will embark the USHUAIA ship in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Undoubtedly, the Drake Passage is a historical area of Ocean. Above all, it is named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578. In addition, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. As a result, this creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. Moreover, the Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

During this part of the expedition lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. Another key point is The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy, which allows passengers to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. Moreover, a full program of lectures will be offered as well.

Icebergs

Once the first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains have been spotted, we will have reached the South Shetland Islands. This is a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Days 4 to 6: Exploring the Weddell Sea

Although you may have seen some icebergs by now, the Weddell Sea is where huge tabular icebergs roam. For example, in some years, the Erebus & Terror Gulf and Weddell Sea are chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation. Therefore, we suggest that you get up early and go out on deck. It may be 3:30h in the morning, but the sunrise will be unlike anything you´ve ever seen. It should be noted that Huge tabular bergs break from the Larsen, Ronne, and Filchner ice shelves and combine with one-year-old, and multi-year sea ice, to produce a floating, undulating panorama of rugged ice scenery. In addition, all-white Snow Petrels are likely to be coursing over the floes, often joined by Pintado Petrels.

Important to realize is that the usual passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula traverses the Antarctic Sound, which is 30 miles (48km) long, and 7-12 miles (11-19km) wide, and runs northwest-to-southeast. Most important to note is that Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza, are located on the western side of the Sound. Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Subsequently, both of them may be possible landing sites. Moreover, The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie Penguin population. Devil Island, Paulet Island and the already-mentioned sites, might give us ample proof of this.  It should be noted that the numbers of penguins are breathtaking. Sometimes juvenile Emperor Penguins have been sighted, riding ice floes but are by no means a regular sight in the area.

History

Another key point to consider is that this region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay, Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega Island. Given that reality, the expedition staff will be pleased to share their exciting story with you. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area.

Days 7 & 8: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. Most importantly, you will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range.

All things considered, we hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways. For example, the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. Moreover, possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy.

South Shetland Islands

Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. In short, this volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

There might also be a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

Days 9 & 10: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 11: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions and they will try their best to reach the Polar Circle. However if ice conditions do not allow access the route might be changed. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

It is Important to Note

Above all, please consider that the above itinerary is a guide only. That is to say that the exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions. In addition, to also take advantage of the best opportunities to view wildlife. Therefore, changes are often made by the Captain and / or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. For this reason, a daily program sheet will be issued and published on board.

In the final analysis, flexibility is the key to success.

Clothes to Bring

Most important to remember is that Antarctica is generally a cold place. For example, it can be windy, raining and snowing. Therefore you will need to pack clothes that can protect you from the elements as well as keep you warm. However, we will supply you with advice about what clothes to pack during the reservation confirmation process.

Please click on any image below to enlarge.

EXPERIENCECHILE OFFER

In addition to the sensible reasons why you should book this Weddell Sea Quest itinerary, if you ask us to handle the reservation we will add to it one of these services, FREE of charge (min 2 people):

For example, a free hotel night at one of our partners hotels in Chile or Argentina may be useful to you.

However, should the above not apply, we will include a private transfer, if required, between the airport and hotel, or between the hotel and El Calafate.

Finally, should none of the above two options apply we will consider including free return flights to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires.

Moreover, conditions of the above: ExperienceChile.Org will decide which one of the above offers is most suitable.

If you’d like us to suggest or create an itinerary for you, please EMAIL US.

 

Direct Classic Antarctica Request Email: request@experiencechile.org

Ushuaia Ship Summary

The Ushuaia Ship

One of the great advantages to visiting Antarctica on the Ushuaia ship is that it is a mid-sized, comfortable expedition vessel with only 46 cabins. This restricts the maximum passenger capacity to be only 90 passengers. Therefore, this keeps things “personal” and cozy on board. Another key point is that The Ushuaia, is an ice-strengthened polar vessel, was originally built for the United States agency National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Consequently, the ship well appointed, providing spacious deck areas as well as an “open bridge” policy.

Storage on Board

In addition, there is also a good amount of storage space in the cabins.

Moreover, the public sectors include a large dining room, which is used for a “one sitting” meal service. Furthermore, there is an open-plan observation lounge, which also serves as a lecture room, with modern multimedia equipment. Plus there is a well-stocked bar with selected wines and spirits, as well as a library. In addition, there is a sick bay room and a changing room.  In addition to all the previously-mentioned attributes, the ship has a full complement of inflatable landing craft to provide shore landings, and wildlife viewing opportunities, on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

 How to Book Your Weddell Sea Quest Expedition Voyage

In order to experience all that this itinerary has to offer, you can book the 11 – night, all-inclusive stay through ExperienceChile.Org . Remember, you can also benefit from our offer mentioned on this page.

If you’d like us to suggest or create an itinerary for you, please EMAIL US.

 

Direct Classic Antarctica Request Email: request@experiencechile.org

The Ushuaia Ship Deck Plan

Bridge Deck H

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

Upper Deck G

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

Main Deck F

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

Deck E

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

Classic Antarctica Navigation Route Map

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

Send Us Your Enquiry

Please supply us with as much information as you can about where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)

VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry, but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.

Remember, our speciality is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

WEDDELL SEA QUEST ON BOARD THE USHUAIA

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