Antarctic Peninsula, Base Camp Voyages, 12 Days, Antarctic Expedition
From: CHF 7'800
Discover Antarctica’s magical scenery, vast wilderness & abundant wildlife. Choose from a variety of onshore activities like Kayaking, Zodiac Trips, Mountaineering, Snowshoe Trips & Photography. All activities free of charge (except Scuba Diving). It really is an unforgettable once in a lifetime Antarctica Adventure.
Antarctic Peninsula Base Camp Voyages
The Antarctic Peninsula is seen by many as the ‘Last Frontier’ due to its remote location and difficulty of access, this is a destination very few people have the opportunity to experience.
We offer five ship-based Antarctic Voyages & Expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula each season. We cross the Drake Passage in a comfortable ship before our vessel becomes our Basecamp for daily activities such as mountaineering, ski touring, snowshoeing, kayaking, camping, hiking, photo workshops and landings ashore.
There is something for everyone on this journey: this trip is an opportunity to discover Antarctica at a range of different activity levels.
Our Antarctic Voyages begin in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of Argentina. Ushuaia is a bustling port town, and its 40,000 inhabitants are nestled between the cold mountains and an even colder sea. ‘Downtown’ has plenty of shops including internet cafes, cafes, clothes shops, chemists and an array of good restaurants.
Crossing the Drake Passage is an unforgettable three-day experience in itself and a great way to start the expedition as we spot our first Antarctic birdlife. Our vessel will drop anchor for two or three days in the Neumayer Channel to serve as a Base Camp for our active passengers to allow more time than usual for wide-ranging activities: mountaineers to climb mountain ranges, hikers to participate in long walks, photographers to explore photo opportunities, campers to enjoy life at shore base camps, kayakers and zodiac passengers to explore nearby shores, where the ship cannot go.
Passengers who do not wish to be physically active will enjoy our zodiac excursions and follow the normal shore program and land excursions (easy to moderate walks and hikes with a focus on wildlife).
We spend a further couple of days exploring the Lemaire Channel, which offers the chance to see penguins and whales, and Neko Harbour where we have a final day of activities before returning across the Drake Passage.
Rounding Cape Horn ticks another box in every adventurer’s wish-list. The whole Discover Antarctica trip is an experience of a lifetime, and a rare opportunity to try a variety of activities in this spectacular Antarctic setting.
All activities are offered free of charge (with the exception of scuba diving) but these must be pre-booked prior to departure.
Zodiac Cruising and Shore program
This is our core activity: guided shore excursions, walks and wildlife spotting and zodiac cruises will be offered to all passengers during the Antarctica voyages. Our Antarctica voyages are primarily defined as explorations and we spend as much time ashore as possible. We can be flexible, taking advantage of wildlife opportunities by using our zodiacs for both landings and cruises. Our knowledgeable guides assist on these outings, providing detailed information. This is supplemented by lectures on board covering topics such as wildlife, history and other relevant topics.
The objective is wildlife, scenery, icebergs, etc. and the chances of meeting wildlife while paddling are high. The voyages will explore the Antarctic Peninsula’s western coasts and sometimes the northern part of the Weddell Sea. The excursions will be tailored to the skill level of the group and the sea conditions encountered.
Mountaineering in Antarctica
This is a technical and more strenuous activity for mountaineers who wish to walk beyond the shore radius in order to reach higher grounds and viewpoints. Mountaineers walk in rope parties under the leadership of a certified mountain guide, mostly across the glaciated environment in Antarctica. Depending on the landing site, glacier walks can vary from half day to full day outings. Mountaineering knowledge is preferable, but not required. Physical fitness is essential.
We offer an exciting ‘open air’ camping option, providing an intensive experience of the Antarctic wilderness. We provide industry leading special gear and field equipment which includes top quality wind and waterproof, breathable bivouac bags (lightweight alternative to tent system). Polar sleeping bags will keep campers dry, warm and comfortable during the night in the open air of Antarctica. The night ashore will be supervised by one experienced field guide. Please note that camping is always subject to weather, local site and environmental regulations.
Always dreamed of being a nature photographer? We offer photo workshops for beginners and advanced photographers under the supervision of a photo expert on board. Everybody is welcome to participate, no previous experience required.
Walks vary in length, difficulty and distance and meters climbed: there are always walks that suit your ability! The longest hike can take up to two hours.
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as detailed in the itinerary.
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
- Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
- Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights.
- Pre- and post-trip land arrangements.
- Transfers to the vessel.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Meals ashore.
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
- Excess baggage charges.
- Single supplement (available at 1.7x the twin or superior cabin rates, otherwise single
travellers will be paired with another traveller(s) in twin, triple or quadruple cabins at no
- All items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service
personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
- Possible fuel surcharges – if world fuel prices reach or exceed US$120 per Barrel Brent
90 days prior to departure, a fuel surcharge of US$25 per passenger per night may be levied
Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.
Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands.
Places you might visit includes:
Neumayer Channel – The vessel may position itself here, launching its multiple basecamp activities from the protected waters around Wiencke Island. You can enjoy the splendors of this alpine environment at sea with Zodiac and kayaking trips, or if you’re in the mood for a walk, there are possible snowshoe hikes and soft-climb mountaineering options farther inland. Naturally, favorable weather conditions determine the possible activities.
Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities also for kayaking and camping here, and when conditions are right, you can even snowshoe around the shore.
Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you can sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals. Kayaking, glacier walks, and more ambitious mountaineering trips are the potential activities of this location.
Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
Paradise Bay – You have the chance to make camp here like a true polar explorer (but with a better tent), enjoying a supreme overnight Antarctic adventure.
Errera Channel – Possible sites in this area include Danco Island and Cuverville Island, but also the lesser known (though equally picturesque) Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island.
On your last day of near-shore activities, you pass the Melchior Islands toward the open sea. Keep a sharp lookout for humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. You might also shoot for Half Moon Island, in the South Shetlands, with further chances for activities. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.