Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia

Let us take on you on a journey through the amazing Antarctica & Patagonia experience. antarctic_1 What we are offering is three weeks filled with the most pulse-pounding adventure, spectacular scenery, exotic wildlife, and fascinating cultural discoveries – all on board one of the world’s most luxurious cruising vessels. Our Patagonian Passage cruises have been tremendously popular. People who have sailed on them have loved them. And now we have added five days in the all-time, some-day, bucket-list destination of them all – the White Continent of Antarctica. There are four departures, starting in late November of 2013. With a special Holiday 24-day version that adds two days in the wildlife Eden of South Georgia island.

 

Lemaire Channel Undoubtedly the heart of this voyage will be the five days spent exploring Antarctica. Untold hours of that time will be cruising through some spectacular sea- and landscapes. There will be birds around the ship virtually all the time, and chances of seeing all kinds of other wildlife throughout. daylight will be long and the sea and sky conditions changing all the time make for a non-stop show outside your window or from the deck. Then there are the show-stopper times like sailing through Lemaire Channel, (aka Kodak Gap) between Graham Land on the peninsula and Booth Island, seen here.

 

Paradise Bay Garlache Straitantarctic_3 Plus more scenic cruising….. Paradise Bay is absolutley breath taking, the name says it all, there are gorgeous sights all around,   all the time including Gerlache Strait a deep scenic channel between the large islands of the palmer Archipelago and the peninsula. Watch out for humpback whales feeding here!

South Georgia Islandantarctic_4A
South Georgia Island is a really amazing place, especially for the huge colonies of breeding wildlife. It is famous for the huge rookeries of king penguins, seen here. also rookeries of fur seals and elephant seals, which will be birthing or raising their young while we are there. The thing guests will notice is the green vegetation, so different from Antarctica.

Puerto Montt, Chile
antarctic_8First port of call out of Valparaiso is Puerto Montt, Chile. From there , guests can travel overland to the lakes district.This is rich agricultural country. One excursion goes to the shores of Lake Llanquihue to visit several German-style towns. Another goes to the huge forests of ancient Alerce trees, which are the same as what we call sequoias. This picture is of the Osorno volcano, seen beyond the Petrohue Cascades. It is on one of our tours.

Castro Castro is the capital of the huge island of Chiloe . This is a fishing town and a bit of a rugged outpost. They get really drastic tides, so the waterfront buildings and houses are mostly on stilts. There is a temperate rain forest on the island that it one of the rarest environments on earth. It’s a great place to taste the fresh seafood from the cold clear waters surrounding the island and to learn about the people who make their livings from the forest and sea.

Puerto Chacabuco
From Puerto Chacabuco, over the first ridge of the Andes, lies the idyllic Rio Simpson Valley. Rio Simpson is world-famous for monster sea-run trout in a stunning setting. You can opt to tour the valley on horseback, or drive to the small unspoiled town of Coyhaique.

Punta Arenas antarctic_10There are a number of options at Punta Arenas. There are penguin colonies at Otway Sound, a visit to a working estancia that includes sheep shearing, horseback ridding and lunch; and tours of the town and its museums and historic mansions.  other option is a flight tour to the magnificent Torres del Paine National park. The tour generally includes sightings and photo opportunities with Patagonian wildlife such as condors, the ostrich-like rheas and small llamas called guanacos

Chilean Fjords antarctic_9During cruising of the Chilean fjords, the ship threads between towering humps of glacier-polished rock. These ascend to snow-dusted peaks, and silvery waterfalls tumble down to the sea. Some are forested, other look scoured clean by the wind. The ship will also visit glaciers such the Amalia Glacier, seen here.

Beagle Channel antarctic_12The Beagle Channel is a broad passage with towering peaks on either side. Quite spectacular cruising. Glacier Alley is a stretch of the channel that reveals an hour-long series of hanging and sea-run glaciers on either shore. This one is an incredible hanging glacier that looks like a breaking wave of ice. Others are more distant, and have waterfalls descending from them. The channel itself has a lot of wildlife ( seals, ducks, dolphins and lots of birds) and it is an enchanting place to cruise through.

Port Stanleyantarctic_6 On the cruises that don’t visit South Georgia Island, we will pay a visit to Stanley, the plucky little capital town of the Falkland Islands.  guests enter the harbor, they be greeted by roofs painted in cheery colors, from lipstick red to vivid yellow and day-glo green. The houses are mostly kept English-village neat and tidy. Depending on your direction, this will either be the first, or the last place you’ll see penguins. Falklands are the only place outside South Georgia with breeding king penguins, These are the adorable rockhoper penguins, There is a nice colony of these that you can visit and get right close to them in a lovely setting on a private farm. The do squabble over floor space when they are nesting, though.

What to Wear….. antarctic_7The trick to dressing for Antarctic adventure is to layer. Base of thermal underwear, then air-trapping fleece or woolens, and the protective wind-and-waterproof shells. Seabourn provide the shell parkas and a backpack to carry cameras and etc. For ther rest, there is an online outfitter which can be viewed HERE or by clicking the image