Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina
You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small, but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentinean town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy some hand crafted chocolate at a café in town.
Day 2 - Embarkation Day
The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture sea birds hovering overhead.
Days 3 and 4 - Crossing the Drake Passage
You'll have plenty of time to stare out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team.
Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. You'll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.
Days 5 to 8 - The Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
With the Drake Passage left in our wake, we make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready, as the continent's coastline will make its first appearance, signalling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. You'll see plentiful icebergs floating by and be fixated on the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.
As exciting as it can be from on-board the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites we may visit, including Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites we can visit, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.
Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.
Days 9 and 10 - The Antarctic Circle
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33' S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!
Make a toast and take pride in knowing you've made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people.
Days 11 and 12 - Northbound Along the Peninsula
By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like 'bergy bits' and pancake ice will seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the Expedition Team will help fill in any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.
Days 13 and 14 - Drake Passage to Ushuaia
Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you'll be left with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you've visited over the course of your voyage.
Day 15 - Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
Today you'll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and your fellow travellers. You'll disembark in the morning so that you may catch your homeward bound flights.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy - and excitement - of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is also available on a 13 day and a 14 day itineraries please contact us for further information.
Images Courtesy Quark Expeditions