Antarctica East and West: Peninsula in Depth

20 days
from
£9,600
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
PSJ
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar Holidays
Min age:
18
Max group size:
199

An in depth exploration of Antarctica, combining the best of the Western side of the peninsula with the less visited, more remote, Eastern side.

This epic 20-day expedition brings you to a side of the Antarctic Peninsula even the luckiest of travelers don’t often see. You’ll experience the best of polar travel, including abundant wildlife, important historical sites, and ice - lots of ice. Embarking from Ushuaia, Argentina, you’ll traverse the legendary Drake Passage to arrive at Elephant Island, which gave Ernest Shackleton’s crew refuge in 1916. From this significant start you’ll move on to see enormous penguin colonies up close; zodiac cruise among icebergs that look like art; walk around and explore historic and operating scientific bases; sail across the imaginary but important line of the Antarctic Circle; and take a zodiac ride to see Humpback and Killer whales - all the while surrounded by the spectacular scenery of Antarctica.

Highlights

  • Visit the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Explore the remote and seldom visited Weddell Sea
  • Cross the Antarctic Circle
  • See a penguin colony of over 100,000 breeding pairs on volcanic Paulet Island
  • Step back in time to experience Antarctic exploration in abandoned yet perfectly preserved bases
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 18 nights on the ship, 1 nights hotel in Buenos Aires
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions

What's included

  • All meals on the ship, breakfast in hotel
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Return charter flight to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires
  • Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Mandatory Charter Flights Buenos Aires to Ushuaia Return - £760 (or equivalent in booking currency) paid on booking
Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Buenos Aires.

    Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its soaring architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to the group hotel (pre-night hotel included).

  • Day 2

    Fly to Ushuaia, board ship and sail along the Beagle Channel.

    After breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, you will have a little time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier. Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you’ll see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    Cross the Drake Passage.

    The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team. You will spend this time preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures presented by your Expedition Team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Elephant Island.

    Mountainous and ice-covered Elephant Island is the first land you’ll visit following the crossing. Named by early explorers for the elephant seals that dotted its shoreline, the island is best known as the refuge for Ernest Shackleton’s crew. Point Wild, the site of the crew’s camp, is an Antarctic Historic site.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 6-8

    Weddell Sea.

    Battered with ocean currents all year long, the remote east side of the Antarctic Peninsula is completely different to the more commonly visited west coast. Here, you’ll see mile-long tabular icebergs formed over hundreds or even thousands of years and broken off of ice shelves further south. Paulet Island is volcanic and thermal heat keeps part of it ice free. Over 100,000 pairs of Adelie penguins make it a popular visiting point. The wooden hut on Snow Hill Island was built in February 1902 by the main party of the Swedish South Polar Expedition led by Otto Nordenskjold. This historic hut contains original objects from the expedition and functions as a living museum. Brown Bluff, formed by a single volcanic vent, is the perfect place to experience Antarctic flora and fauna.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 9-15

    Antarctic Peninsula and Antarctic Circle.

    Travel around the Peninsula includes a variety of experiences, including Cuverville Island and the largest colony of Gentoo penguins in the region—more than 6,500 breeding pairs. Other possible landing sites include Melchiors, Cuverville Island and Orne Harbour. Glaciers, penguin colonies and breaching Humpback whales will highlight your days, while friendly seals are plentiful in these waters. You can also expect to encounter what is arguably the most formidable Antarctic predator, the Leopard seal. You’ll have drinks to celebrate crossing the Antarctic Circle, and you may visit the Vernadsky Lounge, the Peninsula’s southernmost bar. A sure highlight is Wilhelmina Bay—one of our expeditions once spotted 50 whales in three hours! We’ll spend a full seven days exploring as many sites as we can, ensuring you the most comprehensive Antarctic experience possible.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 16-17

    South Shetland Islands.

    In 1819, the British explorer William Smith described the South Shetland Islands as ‘barren and covered with snow, with seals in abundance.’ Places such as Half Moon Island or Livingston Island support huge numbers of nesting chinstrap, gentoo and even some macaroni penguins. Giant and cape petrels, blue-eyed shags and kelp gulls nest in the cliffs. Mosses, lichens and Antarctica’s only two flowering plants thrive during the short summer on the low-lying peninsulas of these rugged maritime islands. You will explore the busy penguin and seabird rookeries and marvel at the huge Elephant seals that wallow along the shore. Deception Island is the caldera of an active volcano, where sealing and whaling operations were based in the past. Several microclimates can get quite warm, and there is a large colony of Chinstrap penguins. Half Moon Island is a significant area for birds and it features a 2,200 yard (2 km) walking track to give you a close view of the wildlife.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 18-19

    Drake Passage.

    Use your second passage across the Drake to put your newfound Antarctic knowledge to use; spend time on deck, spot icebergs and name seabirds. Enjoy presentations by our onboard experts and bond with your shipmates.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 20

    Disembark in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires.

    After disembarking, you will get a little taste of Patagonia, touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before transferring to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The Ocean Endeavour takes a maximum capacity of 199 passengers. Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff. The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our partner, Quark Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 18 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.

Visas

Argentina

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

No visa required for holders of British passport.

If you are crossing the border into Argentina from Chile on your trip, we will need to know your profession in order to provide when entering Argentina.

The Argentine government charges a reciprocity fee which applies to Canadian and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows: Australians - US$100 (multiple entry) Canadians - US$75 (single entry) This fee must be paid before you enter Argentina. For full details, and to make the payment, please visit: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes

Antarctica

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Argentina

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers in Argentina, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Dengue fever is also a known risk in Argentina. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Due to a recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in the Misiones province of Argentina, vaccinations are strongly recommended if you intend to visit the Iguazu Falls.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. For the latest information please visit www.exodus.co.uk/zika‐virus‐q‐a .

Antarctica

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ.

Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Weather

Late Spring and Early Summer - October & November

The start of the season and the most adventurous time to travel. You’ll encounter truly breathtaking, exquisitely sculpted icebergs emerging from their frozen hibernation. Many of these blue bergs house courting, nesting and brooding penguins.

High Summer - December, January & February

Close to the solstice you’ll experience almost perpetual daylight. These are the mildest months when the first Adelie and Gentoo penguin chicks are hatched.  As the water warms the whale sightings also improve.

Late Summer - February & March

This is the time for some incredible encounters with whales, especially Minkes and Humpbacks. The receding ice allows for further exploration and penguin colonies are very active with adults feeding their chicks.

Antarctica

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers' wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere onboard is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are 'wet' which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers).

There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Optional Activities:

On some occasions, space is limited on the optional activities and needs to be booked in advance. Please ask our Polar Sales team for more information if you are interested in one of the options below.

Sea kayaking option

On some of our Antarctic voyages there is the chance for some members of the party to take regular sea kayak excursions in place of the Zodiac excursions. There are a limited number of kayaks on each ship, and you must book and pay for this option in advance. All kayak trips are expertly guided, and are subject to suitable locations and weather conditions. Should the kayaking not be possible, a place on a Zodiac is always available.

Camping on Ice option

Spending a night camping on ice is a unique experience we offer on some of our Antarctic voyages. No previous experience is needed to participate in our camping option. We provide the equipment: you contribute a desire for a personal and intimate connection with the continent.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Combining surfing with kayaking or canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding will give you a very personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Guided by experienced staff in small groups in good weather conditions on calm bays and harbours, reservations for 10 paddleboarders will be taken at time of booking. Other paddleboarding opportunities will be offered via sign-up, onboard ship, on a first-come, first-served basis. Available for select Antarctica Voyages only.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Ocean Endeavour

The Antarctica East and West: Peninsula in Depth is offered on the Ocean Endeavour which is a Polar Adventure Ship. Please visit the Polar Fleet page (www.exodus.co.uk/polar-holidays/polar-fleet) for Ship Information and Deck Plans.

Polar Adventure Ships

These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking, kayaking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are excellent and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.

Call us on
0208 772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” ~ Ranulph Fiennes

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Polar Ships: For information regarding ship specifications, visit the Polar Fleet page.

 

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Call us on 0208 772 3936