Day 1: Ushuaia. We board the icebreaker M/V Polar Star in Ushuaia to embark on an exhilarating Antarctic voyage our only cruise of the season which will attempt to cross the Polar Circle. Includes: (D).
Days 2-3: Drake Passage. During this time at sea, take advantage of our open bridge policy and attend lectures given by our knowledgeable expedition staff. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 4-8: Antarctic Peninsula - Petermann Island - Paradise Bay - Neko Bay. We will make our attempted Polar Circle Crossing at 66°30S, a feat first achieved by Captain James Cook in 1773, as early as possible. If we are successful in making this symbolic crossing, we will plan to cruise the narrow passageway of the Gullet and hope to reach Detaille. North of the circle, we plan to cruise the Gerlache Strait, a breathtaking area with spectacular mountains and rock cliffs and known for abundant humpback whales which cruise these waters.
We observe the international nature of the Antarctic with planned visits to Port Lockroy, originally a British World War II base and the Ukrainian owned Verdansky Station. We will watch for penguins with their entertaining antics, at sites such as Petermann Island, home to the southernmost Gentoo penguin rookery, experience close encounters with seals and be on the lookout for whales and seabirds - petrel, tern, cormorant and albatross. Zodiac cruises are planned in areas such as Mutton Cove and Paradise Bay and landings are planned at sites such as Fish Islands and Neko Harbour for more penguin viewings. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: South Shetland Islands - Deception Island. We visit the volcanic Deception Island where, in Whalers Bay, steam seeps from the black sand and Half Moon Island, whos crescent shaped remains are from an ancient volcano. Here we expect to have the opportunity to visit penguin rookeries, home to the distinctive Chinstrap penguin, and birdwatchers will delight in possible sightings of Tern, Kelp Gull, Skua, Antarctic Shag and Sheathbill. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 10-11: Drake Passage. Leaving the pristine world of the Antarctic behind us, we spend two days reflecting on our experiences, relaxing onboard and enjoying our final lecture program. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 12: Ushuaia. After breakfast, disembark in Ushuaia to explore Tierra Del Fuego on your own or to begin your journey home. Includes: (B).
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