This Weddell Sea Antarctica Cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands & the Weddell Sea aboard the USHUAIA
Be part of this trip to Antarctica, getting into the Weddell Sea aboard the M / V Ushuaia, visiting the South Shetland Islands archipelago in the Welling region, and crossing the Antarctic Convergence. We invite you to discover this magical place in an incredible 11-days trip inmersed in the most amazing frozen landscapes accompanied by a great variety of native flora and fauna. Dare to experience the Weddell Sea Cruise!
11 days – 10 nigths Weddell Sea Cruise itinerary to the Antarctica aboard the M / V Ushuaia, accompanied by an excellent professional and human team, as well as bilingual guides in Spanish and English who are responsible for making this a unique experience. Dare to enjoy this unique and unrepeatable trip.
Embark the Weddell Sea Cruise M/V USHUAIA 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.
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also 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 the passage, Antarpply Expeditions’ lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.
The Weddell Sea Cruise M/V USHUAIA’s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well. 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 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.
This is where huge tabular icebergs roam. In some years, the Erebus & Terror Gulf and Weddell Sea are chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation.
Get up early and go out on deck. It may be 3:30 h in the morning, but the sunrises will be unlike anything you´ve ever seen.
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.
All-white Snow Petrels are likely to be coursing over the floes, often joined by Pintado Petrels.
The usual passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula traverses the Antarctic Sound, which is 30 miles (48 km) long and 7-12 miles (11-19 km) wide and runs northwest-to-southeast.
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.
Both of them might be possible landing sites. 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.
The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. Sometimes juvenile Emperor Penguins have been sighted, riding ice floes but are by no means regular in the area. Weddell Sea Cruise
This region also teems with vibrant exploration history.
4The 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.
Our 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.and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.
The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. 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.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. 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.
Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable.
We plan to sail through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island – the largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands- which is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point. We also aim to visit the crescent-shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands.
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.
We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.
We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.
Live an adventure through the incredible landscapes of Patagonia, and discover every corner of its best attractions from north to south. Enjoy Bariloche and the lakes district, which resemble the mixture of huge forests, turquoise lakes, cozy villages, and emblematic mountains. Spot the amazing wildlife in Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdés, where you can see whales, penguins, sea lions, killer whales (orcas), and many other incredible species.
Experience the gaucho’s life at a local ranch (Estancia) in any part of the region. Discover the spectacular Paine Massif and its trekking trails, and Torres del Paine wildlife. Hike along the Argentina’s best trekking trails in El Chalten, and contemplate the incredible Glaciers in El Calafate. Reach the End of The World in Ushuaia and navigate on the Beagle Channel.
Whatever is your travel plan, we invite you to discover this region together, guided by our Patagonia travel experts.
Get inspired by these Patagonia travel itineraries, which are prepared for different travel styles, just like yours. They’re good examples to show you how your trip to Patagonia could look like. As you can see, you can also include other destinations within Argentina, Chile, or even Antarctica. Let us know your needs, wishes and preferences, and let’s work together to build a trip of a lifetime!
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