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There’s no destination on Earth more remote or pristinely beautiful than Antarctica. Superlatives do not begin to encapsulate the magnificence of the white continent – a frozen realm of glinting icebergs, towering mountains and ice sheets, home to a plethora of the planet’s hardiest wildlife. On this 14-day expedition, see breaching whales, waddling penguins and lounging elephant seals. Glide around ice floes in a zodiac, be dwarfed by cathedral glaciers, pluck up the courage for a polar plunge, and enjoy pinch-yourself moments as we cross the Antarctic Circle.
This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

 

Pre Conference Tour

Extend your experience before joining the main conference group - join the optional pre conference tour.

Day 1

Ushuaia

Arrive in the bustling port town of Ushuaia where you will meet your fellow delegates. (Flights are not included on our Antarctica convention, but we are happy to help you book your air travel.) Ushuaia is an end-of-the-world town wedged between the snow-capped Martial Range and the Beagle Channel. If you arrive early, why not shake off the jet lag on a hike or skiing adventure, or hit the water on a kayak? In the evening, meet your fellow Antarctica adventurers at a special welcome dinner at the hotel.

Day 2

Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

Take advantage of a free day to stretch your legs because this afternoon you’re setting sail! Board the Ocean Diamond (your luggage has been transferred to your cabin) and get set for the adventure of a lifetime as the ship glides down the historic Beagle Channel.

Toast the start of the voyage with new-found friends in the bar as the Tierra del Fuego archipelago dissolves into the sea behind you. The next time you see land, you’ll be at the world’s southernmost continent!

Day 3

Drake Passage

As you wake from your first night on board, the ship continues to cruise steadily south, entering the Drake Passage. Named after British explorer Sir Francis Drake, the Drake Passage is a bio-diversity colossus plunging more than 4km at its deepest point and showcasing an abundance of wildlife. This is the Southern Ocean and nature is king, so be prepared for a wild two-day voyage – we could have Drake Lake or Drake Shake!

 

Day 4

Drake Passage

During our crossing we will be joined by hundreds of seabirds, including wandering albatross, giant petrels and smaller cape petrels, and we’ll also enjoy our first iceberg and whale sightings. Full-day conference sessions are scheduled both days and you’ll also hear from our onboard experts about the geology, wildlife and history of Antarctica.

 

Day 5

Antarctic Peninsula

Welcome to Antarctica – it’s every bit as beautiful and wonderous as you imagined. This is nature untamed and our days are dictated by the weather, sea and ice so embrace a schedule that is fluid. Over the next six days there will be twice-daily zodiac expeditions and shore landings (followed by daily conference sessions) so that you can explore the magnificent bays, channels and Antarctic mainland up close. Here is a taste of what you can expect (weather permitting).

The daily travel schedule in Antarctica changes regularly. The following daily schedule is based on possible landings but is subject to change. 

Hold your breath as the ship squeezes through the Errera Channel, manoeuvring between icebergs en route to Cuverville Island.

Here, you’ll find the peninsula’s largest known colony of gentoo penguins. See thousands of breeding gentoos – distinctive with their bright red-orange beaks and black helmets with white visors – as they waddle across the ice alongside nesting giant petrels, kelp gulls and Antarctic shags.

Day 6

Antarctic Peninsula

In Wilhelmina Bay, all your Antarctic dreams materialise. Famous for its population of humpback whales, Wilhelmina – dubbed ‘whale-mina’ – is a mirror-calm bay flanked by sheer ice-encrusted cliffs and glaciers.

Come within touching distance of humpbacks as they curve their graceful flukes out of the water. If you’re lucky, you may even see them bubble-net feeding – rounding krill into a “net” of bubbles and devouring them in one giant gulp.

Day 7

Antarctic Peninsula

On Livingston Island, meet fat lounging Weddell and elephant seals, see flocks of skuas and petrels and cavort with colonies of chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguins. You’ll soon tell the penguins apart – macaronis stand out with their tufty orange monobrows.

 

 

Day 8

Antarctic Peninsula

At Deception Island, the panorama changes from blue and white to an ash- and rust-hued landscape as the ship enters the submerged caldera of an active volcano.

Step onto the black sand beach as sulphurous steam leaches from the earth, see a 100,000-strong rookery of Chinstrap penguins and explore the ruins of an old whaling station. You can even take a dip in the geothermal waters of Pendulum Cove – keeping your eyes peeled for “cooked” krill floating on the surface.

Day 9

Antarctic Peninsula

Visit Rothera Research Station in Marguerite Bay – yes, people actually live and work here – and see laboratories and offices tucked on the southern tip of the Wormald Ice Piedmont, amid populations of penguins, seabirds, elephant seals and minke whales.

Day 10

Antarctic Peninsula

Feel like one of the original polar explorers as we cross the fabled Antarctic Circle. Stand in the bridge as the ship’s GPS ticks over at 66°33’ south and celebrate the milestone crossing with a glass of champagne and a toast to the land of the midnight sun.

Day 11

Antarctic Peninsula

While we’ve reached the southernmost point of our expedition, the adventure is far from over. Tracing north back along the Antarctic Peninsula, we arrive at Neko Bay. A gunshot crack shatters the silence as an iceberg calves from a glacier. Zip around ice floes on a zodiac, marvelling at a cathedral of ice mountains and fissure-cleaved glaciers as myriad seabirds circle overhead and whales breach. Don’t miss the chance for a polar plunge.

Day 12

Drake Passage

Our voyage back across the Drake Passage again takes two days, but that won’t seem long enough as you trade wildlife tales and photographs with your travelling companions.

Day 13

Drake Passage

In between conference sessions, enjoy a debrief from our on-board experts as they share slideshows of the incredible landing sites we visited. Was your picture of a humpback breaching in front of a leopard seal the shot of the expedition?

Day 14

Ushuaia

Land ahoy! Wake to the familiar sight of terra firma and enjoy one last breakfast on board before the ship docks in Ushuaia. Disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport for your return journey to Australia.

Or join the post conference tour

Post Conference Tour

Continue your experience before returning to Australia - join the optional post conference tour.



End of arrangements. Please note this program may be subject to change

Dr Gary Kilov (1:42)
Dr Asha Nair (1:31)
Dr Ralph Audehm (1:11)
Dr Diana Hart & Dr Roger Scurr (1:39)