Antarctica Expedition Cruise - Silver Cloud Expeditions - 5th Feb 19
- Departs from Ushuaia, Argentina
- On 5th Feb 2019 for nights
- Onboard Silver Cloud
- Prices from AU $12,780*
Pricing per person
Please note, while prices and inclusions are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to changes in cruise line policies and pricing and due to currency fluctuations. Currency surcharges may apply. Please check details of price and inclusions at time of booking. Please ask for child and infant pricing if applicable.
BONUS OFFER - You can add on an international economy airfare to this cruise-tour to/from Santiago, Chile from only $899*pp - limited availability - call now to avoid disappointment! (if you do not want this airfare - ask us how to claim a further $700 pp off these listed prices!)
Airfare is valid from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth while offer lasts.
Prices listed here include a 10% saving and must be booked and paid in full by the 31st of October 17 in order to apply.
ANTARCTICA EXPEDITION CRUISE Cruise-only package includes:
- One way transfer from Santiago airport to hotel
- 1 nights accommodation in Santiago at the Sheraton San Cristobal
- One way transfer from Santiago hotel to airport
- Economy class charter flight from Santiago Chile to Ushuaia
- One way transfer from Ushuaia airport to port
- 10 night EXPEDITION cruise aboard Silver Cloud Expedition round trip from Ushuaia (see below for in-depth information on cruise)
- All shipboard main meals including fine dining even in the most remote places on the planet
- Highly qualified onboard expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
- All Off-Ship excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac
- Complimentary Parka
- Personalised cruise service with a butler for all suites
- Complimentary beverages including an open-bar policy with included room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
- Free WIFI throughout the ship (time limits may apply)
- This cruise is operated in exclusive partnership with The Royal Geographical Society
- Onboard Gratuities & Port/govt charges (except Argentina entry fee paid via online pre-cruise)
- One way transfer from Ushuaia port to airport
- Economy class charter flight from Ushuaia to Santiago Chile
*Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin in AUD, based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (12Sep17). All prices based on cash payment - credit card fees may apply. Visitors to Argentina must complete an online visa application prior to arrival which is not included and is the guests responsibility. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Travel agent service fees may apply. Special conditions apply - please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. Please note that the prices shown here are not shown in real time. International airfare/taxes and transfers are not included. While we endeavour to keep our pricing as up-to-date as possible, the advertised prices shown here may differ from the prices in our booking system at time of reservation. Offer subject to availability at time of booking. Comprehensive travel insurance with full medical and evacuation is mandatory. Touring and zodiac visits are dependent upon local weather conditions. Prices listed here include a 10% saving and must be booked and paid in full by the 31st of October 17 in order to apply. Prices based on Vista Suite for ocean view, Veranda Suite for Balcony and Medallion Suite for Suite.
Cruise day to day in-depth itinerary
Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina
After arrival in Ushuaia embark Silver Cloud, settle in and attend a mandatory safety drill before leaving port. During the afternoon you will be introduced to some of the important crew members and your Expedition Team. At sail away bid farewell to Tierra del Fuego, the `Land at the End of the World`.
Days 2–3 Drake Passage
As we set sail on our initial transit, familiarise yourself with the elegant Silver Cloud and the Expedition Team members. Attend wildlife, geography and history discussions hosted by our expert naturalists and guest lecturers preparing you for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funnelling effect of the passage. With modern navigational aids and stabilizers Silver Cloud will bring you safely across these southern waters. The Antarctic Convergence is a natural boundary within the Drake Passage where cold polar water and warmer equatorial water come together. When these two currents meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that glide in the air currents of our ship’s wake -such as the Black-browed Albatross, Cape Petrels, White-chinned Petrels and Sooty Shearwaters.
Days 4–8 Antarctic Peninsula
While sailing in Antarctica`s vast white wilderness, a flexible itinerary will allow us to take advantage of favourable sea and weather conditions. In the true spirit of expedition cruising, each day the Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on weather, ice conditions and wildlife we may encounter.
Here are some of the places we may visit:
Aitcho Islands, South Shetland Islands (just off the Antarctic Peninsula at the entrance to the English Strait)
After you step off the Zodiac to explore the island, you will be guided to Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin colonies. Southern Giant Petrels and skuas are also present. Elephant seals quite often look for company near the landing site, and while heading back to the ship, you may see a leopard seal hunting penguins.
Brown Bluff, Tabarin Peninsula (a 2,200-foot bluff on the Antarctic continent)
Brown Bluff is an ice-capped, 745-metre-high, flat-topped mountain with a prominent cliff of reddish-brown volcanic rock. Adelie and Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls, and Cape Petrels use the base of Brown Bluff as a breeding area. Birds such as the all-white Snow Petrel and skuas may be seen from a distance. Weddell seals may be seen basking in the sunlight near the base of a glacier.
The sight of Adelie Penguins covering the entire island is quite amazing. The island is home to 80-90 thousand Adelies that come here to breed. On a nearby hill is a massive colony of Blue-eyed Shags. Kelp Gulls and Snowy Sheathbills are amongst the birds that also breed on Paulet Island, and Wilson`s Storm-petrels are regularly seen. Members of a Swedish Antarctic expedition had to over-winter on the island in 1912 after their ship was ship-wrecked. Remnants of their hut still remain and you will have to walk past the hut on your way to the islands lake.
Cuverville Island, Errera Channel
The island was discovered by Gerlache`s Belgian Antarctic expedition of 1897–99, and was named for a vice admiral in the French navy. Large, bare rock areas provide nesting sites for Gentoo Penguins. Snow Petrels and Cape Petrels also may be seen, whilst Wilson’s Storm-petrels nest in the higher scree of the island. During Zodiac tours, hauled-out Weddell and Antarctic fur seals are quite often encountered.
Paradise Bay (on the Antarctic Peninsula)
The bay is well named for its spectacular scenery of mountains, glaciers and icebergs. The Silver Cloud will reach Argentina’s `Base Almirante Brown`, one of many Antarctic research stations. Here, you will actually set foot on the mainland of Antarctica. You can also view the wildlife from sea level while cruising in our Zodiacs. Apart from observing nesting cormorants in the cliffs there is a good chance to see crabeater seals relaxing on ice floes, and you might even locate Minke whales.
Petermann Island, Wilhelm Archipelago
The island is named for German geographer August Petermann and was first discovered by a German expedition in 1873-74. During our landing, we will be able to observe rookeries of Adelie Penguins, Gentoo Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags. Our onboard Geologist might take the opportunity to point out various geological features and especially where rock surfaces show glacial polish and some glacial grooving.
Pleneau Island, Wilhelm Archipelago
Pleneau Island lies at the south end of the Lemaire Channel, and was first explored during Charcot`s 1903–05 French Antarctic Expedition. The island was named for the expedition`s photographer, Paul Pleneau. Amongst the common breeding birds are Gentoo Penguins, Kelp Gulls and South Polar Skuas. Southern elephant seals are often hauled-out in wallows. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of icebergs nearby.
Port Foster, Whalers Bay (Deception Island)
Deception Island is an excellent example of a caldera that can be reached from the sea. We plan to sail inside the caldera through a narrow entrance called Neptune`s Bellows. Our Geologist might take the opportunity to explain the unique volcanic features of the area, while our Historian will introduce you to Deception Island`s interesting history -from whaling to scientific studies. Still visible on the island are the boilers used to make whale oil in the early 1900s.
Port Lockroy, Goudier Island
The British built a listening station here during WWII, which was later used as a research station in the 1950s and since 1996 as a museum and gift shop and Post Office. While you are inside sending a postcard from this lonely outpost, Snowy Sheathbills and Gentoo Penguins roam outside the museum.
Days 9-10 Drake Passage Return
Navigating our return through the Drake Passage, we will watch for seabirds and wildlife we may have missed on the first leg down. Take this opportunity to attend additional presentations offered by the Expedition Team lecturers and to edit the many photos taken as we travel towards Ushuaia.
Day 11 Ushuaia, Argentina
After breakfast, disembark Silver Cloud.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
10 Night Cruise sailing from Ushuaia roundtrip aboard Silver Cloud.
After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud will be the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her five dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today.
A limited number of guests, particularly with just 200 in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew to guest ratios in expedition cruising. With her 16 zodiacs, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of 19 passionate and dedicated experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way.
Highlights of this cruise:
At 55 degrees latitude south, Ushuaia (pronounced oo-swy-ah) is closer to the South Pole than to Argentina's northern border with Bolivia. It is the capital and tourism base for Tierra del Fuego, the island at the southernmost tip of Argentina.Although its stark physical beauty is striking, Tierra del Fuego's historical allure is based more on its mythical past than on rugged reality. The island was inhabited for 6,000 years by Yámana, Haush, Selk'nam, and Alakaluf Indians. But in 1902 Argentina, eager to populate Patagonia to bolster its territorial claims, moved to initiate an Ushuaian penal colony, establishing the permanent settlement of its most southern territories and, by implication, everything in between.
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funneling effect of the passage. The Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward, is within the Drake Passage. When these two currents meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels glide in the air currents alongside and in the wake of the ship.
The Antarctic Sound is a stretch of water named after the first ship to have passed through this body of water from the Bransfield Strait to the Weddell Sea in 1902. The Antarctic eventually sank and crew and scientists had to spend quite some time in this area before they were could be rescued. Sites that have to do with this story - like Hope Bay or Paulet Island - are sometimes visited. At Paulet, Hope Bay and Brown Bluff Adelie and Gentoo Penguins breed, as do Kelp Gulls and Cape Petrels, Snow Petrels and Skuas. The Sound’s main attractions are the spectacular tabular icebergs that come from the Larsen Ice Shelf further south. .
Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals and the iconic penguins. The Antarctic Peninsula – the main peninsula closest to South America – has a human history of almost 200 years, with explorers, sealers, whalers, and scientists who have come to work, and eventually intrepid visitors coming to enjoy this pristine and remote wilderness. It is a region of protected bays, unscaled snow-capped mountains, vast glaciers and a few places where whalers or scientists have worked.
South Shetland Islands
Some 770 kilometers (478 miles) south of Cape Horn, the South Shetland Islands are usually the first land seen in Antarctica. Separated from the Antarctic Peninsula by the Bransfield Strait, nine major islands make up the group. The region was the first to be exploited by sealers in the early 19th century, and because of its proximity to South America, it still is the most visited by scientists and tourists. Chinstrap, Adelie, Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins all breed here. In addition, because it is the warmest part of the continent, large moss beds as well as orange, black, grey and green lichens grow –even hair grass and pearlwort manage to survive.
|04/02/19||Transfer Santiago airport to hotel|
|05/02/19||Transfer to airport, Fly Santiago to Ushuaia, Tfer to port|
|08/02/19||Paulet Is, Antarctica|
|12/02/19||South Shetland Islands, Antarctica|
|15/02/19||Transfer to airport, Fly Ushuaia to Santiago|