Antarctica Leopard Seals on Ice Flow dreamstime m 32184394 opt

pen ink well goldPolar Expeditions with Snorkeling & Diving ... a note from Dom

From King Penguins to Arctic Reindeer  ...  from swimming with Leopard Seals to cavorting with Narwhals  ...  these trips are the cream of the crop.
  We offer the best operators & the moist exhilarating trips ....many led by world renowned photograhpers.  I'd love to add your name to the list of intrepid explorers who have ventured to the Arctic/ Antarctic.  If you have questions, just give me a shout  .... Cheers, Dom

POLAR CIRCLE VOYAGE

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CROSSING THE POLAR CIRCLE
Diving, discovery & learning
March 2-13, 2022


This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.


YOU'RE GOING TO ANTARCTICA !


This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by humpback, minke and fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition will zip you around in Zodiacs to get as close as possible to icebergs, islands, land and marine life ... and offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.   The comfortable, attractive and immensely sturdy M.Y Hondius will be your home base for daily excitement.  


DIVING, KAYAKING, CAMPING


Polar diving is yet another way you can achieve maximum firsthand contact with local wildlife and terrain.  Our colleagues at Oceanwide Expeditions possess an intimate knowledge of the polar seas that allows you to experience an unparalleled adventure below the waves.  You can explore the underbellies of icebergs, encounter exotic marine life, and enjoy the beautiful interplay of ice, light, and water in a rarely seen world.  You'll be surpirsed by the lush flora of the Antarctic seas and will enjoy the antics of penguins, whales, seals, and seabirds.  You will dive from Zodiacs exploring ice walls, marine life, and sometimes shipwrecks at shallow depths. Your international guides have worked in the polar regions for many years in various capacities and bring expert skills to this adventure..These polar dive voyages are not for beginners. They are meant for experienced divers who are familiar with cold-water, dry-suit diving. You must have logged at least 30 such dives to participate. antarctica sp exp

Polar kayaking is a great way to tour the blue-and-white beauty of the polar seas up close, visiting stunning ice formations and waterways too small for our ships to enter.  You’ll see rugged shorelines sloping up into snow-capped mountains, pristine beaches, and icebergs that turn the water beneath you a brilliant blue. You may also see some local wildlife, which the peaceful nature of kayaking makes even better.  Talk with us about your fitness level and kayaking experience.  We're happy to advise you if this activity is suitable.

Antarctic camping is for those craving a truly immersive polar adventure, giving you the chance to experience the Antarctic wilderness as few travelers have.  The team will provide you with camping gear, including breathable bivouac bags that are wind and waterproof and a lightweight alternative to tents. Polar sleeping bags will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable during the enchanting Antarctic night.  All campers will be assisted and supervised by experienced expedition guides. 

You can expect at least one night of camping on each designated trip, more if possible.  According to Antarctic Treaty and IAATO regulations, you cannot take stoves, fuel or food on shore with the exception of emergency rations, survival gear, water, and medical supplies.  The camping group will be taken to shore after dinner, and then returned to the ship before breakfast and all camps are made where wildlife will not be disturbed.


ITINERARY AND WHAT TO EXPECT


Read an in-depth description of the itinerary of this magical voyage and what you can expect with each passing day ... click to continue reading

This is a tentative itinerary.  Everything, of course, depends on the seas, the weather and most importantly the ice floes ......  Your trip leader is responsible for making the final decisions each day.

Day 1: Your voyage begins where the world ends.  Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America.  Your ship departs Ushuaia to sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the beginning of this grand adventure.

Day 2 - 3: 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.

Day 4 - 9: These are your days for Antarctic Peninsula activities. Humpback whales are prolific in this region, gorging themselves on krill before their migration north. The penguin chicks are also fledging, stirring up activity on the beaches while sleek leopard seals lie in wait, poised to attack the less fortunate ones.  Depending on conditions, you will visit some of the following sites:

Livingston Island, with its variety of gentoo and chinstrap penguins, its southern giant petrels and those humongous elephant seals hauling out onto the beach

Deception Island, with its crater opening into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and multiple bird species can be seen here. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

Cuverville Island, a small island which houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas.

Neko Harbour, with its landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow.  This is an opportunity for a superb Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.

Paradise Bay, where you're quite likely to see humpback and minke whales.

Pléneau & Petermann Islands, a visit to Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags, humpbacks, minke whales& leopard seals, if conditions are right.

Crystal Sound,  where you'll cross the Polar Circle in the morning.

Detaille Island, with its abandoned British research station here, towering mountains and stunning glaciers.

Fish Islands, an encounter with one of the southernmost Adélie penguin colonies.

Melchior Islands, known for leopard seals, crabeater seals and whales.  There are excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving here.

Day 10 - 11:  Another crossing with friendly seabirds to accompany you

Day 12:  Departure day ......  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 stay with you as long as you're on this planet.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION

OCEANWIDE ANTARCTICA COMPOSITE2


MY HONDIUS


The 107 meter long M.V. Hondius is Oceanwide's newest and most advanced expedition ship  and the world's first registered Polar Class 6 ship, which meets the highest standards for ice-reinforced cruise ships.  The ship is extremely comfortable and fully tailored to the needs nature travel groups.  The ship is powered by an ecological diesel-electric drive which significantly reduces the noise level and vibration. The ship was specially designed for marine research trips. The crew consists of 71 crew members and a doctor.

M.V. Hondius has a restaurant, lecture room and a spacious lounge with a bar and large windows that allow a full panoramic view. It also offers large open deck areas that provide excellent opportunities for landscape and wildlife observation. 10 zodiacs with 40 HP outboard motors are available and 2 gangways allow rapid operations.

Plancius interior setThere are 80 deluxe cabins for up to 170 passengers.  The spacious cabins vary from luxurious suites with private balconies, to normal suites and superior cabins to twin cabins with windows or portholes, as well as triple and quadruple cabins. All cabins all have flat screens & music. All cabins face the sea and have windows or portholes. Minibar and a desk are available in all cabins and each of the cabins has a separate bathroom with hand basin, shower and toilet.


WHAT'S INCLUDED - WHAT'S EXTRA - RATES


Antarctic Expedition inclusions, exclusions 2021 .... open for details

Rates starting at 10,000 Euros.  Consult us for details.

This expedition includes:

  • accommodation in cabin of your choice (with en-suite facilities)
  • board (3 meals daily, table service at evening meal)
  • afternoon snacks, water, tea, cocoa, coffee & instant soup in the salon
  • linen, towels
  • Antarctic excursions as well as zodiac rides (all carried out according to feasibility)
  • all activities & lectures on board (crossing days) are included
  • free use of rubber boots
  • transfer to airport on the day of departure
  • port & service charges
  • pre-departure materials

The extras are:

  • flights
  • insurance
  • arrival & departure taxes
  • pre & post land arrangements & hotels
  • activities in Patagonia
  • National Park & port fees
  • dive package
  • kayaking
  • camping

 Please note that in bad weather or unforeseen circumstances the dive program may be cancelled



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