Weddell Sea Quest

Cruise aboard MV Ushuaia

12 days



full recomended!


Navigate on a 12-day expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, getting to the Weddell Sea, aboard the M/V Ushuaia. The Weddell Sea is famous for Shackleton’s epic voyage, its wildlife, the sea ice and the great tabular icebergs that break away from the ice shelves and drift north.

Highlights

  • View huge icebergs and snow-capped mountains along the South Shetlands
  • Spot wildlife, including penguins, seabirds, whales, and seals
  • Enjoy a full program of lectures and the Ushuaia's open bridge policy
  • Visit the enigmatic Elephant Island, if conditions permitting
  • Explore the surrounding landscape daily with your onboard Naturalist guides.
  • Navigate narrow passages between towering rocks and glaciers.
  • Cross the famous Drake Passage and search for marine life as you sail back to Ushuaia.

Overview

A journey to the Antarctica visiting the South Shetland Islands archipelago in the Welling region, getting to the Weddell Sea and crossing go through the Antarctic Convergence. We will be navigating near the Weddell Sea in the Antarctic Peninsula, surrounded by huge glaciers and ice floes. 

In our way, we will enjoy of a great variety of flora and fauna, from herbs and moss to Papua and Barbijo penguins and huge petrels. 

Cruise in the Antarctica which arrives in the Weddell Sea, disembarking before in the South Shetland Islands Archipelago (Aitcho & Penguin Islands).


Sample 12 Day Cruise aboard MV Ushuaia

Day 1 Embark in Ushuaia
Days 2-3 At Sea – Crossing the Drake Passage
Days 4-6 Exploring the Weddell Sea
Days 7-9 Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
Days 10-11 At Sea – Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
Day 12 Disembark in Ushuaia

Itineraty Details

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Days 4 to 6: Exploring the Weddell Sea

This is where huge tabular icebergs roam. In some years, the Erebus & Terror Gulf and Weddell Sea are chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation. Get up early and go out on deck. It may be 3:30h in the morning, but the sunrises will be unlike anything you´ve ever seen. Huge tabular bergs break from the Larsen, Ronne, and Filchner ice shelves and combine with one-year-old and multi-year sea ice to produce a floating, undulating panorama of rugged ice scenery. All-white Snow Petrels are likely to be coursing over the floes, often joined by Pintado Petrels.

The usual passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula traverses the Antarctic Sound, which is 30 miles (48 km) long and 7-12 miles (11-19 km) wide and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza, are located on the western side of the Sound. Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie Penguin population. Devil Island, Paulet Island and the already mentioned sites, might give us ample proof of this. The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. Sometimes juvenile Emperor Penguins have been sighted, riding ice floes but are by no means regular in the area.

This region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay, Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega Island. Our expedition staff will be pleased to share their exciting story with you. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area.

Days 7 to 9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy. 

Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings. 

There might also be a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

Days 10 & 11: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.


Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions and they will try their best to reach the Weddell Sea. However if ice conditions do not allow access the route might be changed to West Antarctica. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Services Included

  • Voyage aboard the USHUAIA as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the USHUAIA 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.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.


Services not Included

  • Flights tickets.
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals outside of the M/V Ushuaia.
  • Personal consumption in the Bar.
  • Telephone calls and internet charges.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Tips. It is recommended to give the tips at the end of the cruise.

Prices

2018 - 2019 Season

Cabin categories

 

Rates in US Dollars per person

Voyage

Dates. Dep. /Arr.

 

Standard Plus Triple

Standard Twin

Standard Plus Twin

Premier Twin

Premier Single

Superior Twin

Suite Twin

A060219

Feb 6, 2019 

10 Nights

Sold out

US$8,160

US$ 9,880

US$ 11,790

US$ 14,150

US$ 12,460

US$ 13,090

Weddell Sea Quest

Feb 16, 2019

11 Days

Waiting List 

Waiting List 

Waiting List 

Available

Waiting List 

Waiting List 

Cruise

The Ushuaia

M/V Ushuaia is an Argentine cruise ship currently operated by Antarpply Expeditions S.A., with headquarters in the city of Ushuaia. 

The USHUAIA has 46 cabins, for 88 passengers, four decks and an open-bridge policy. The ship was built by request of the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to be an oceanographic ship). Later on, the ship was sold and refurbished to become a means of transport for passengers to Antarctica. For this reason, it has been equipped with cutting-edge communication and navigation equipment and the best service standards in the Antarctic industry. It offers two zodiac boats, which enable an easy access to places that are otherwise difficult to reach by ship.

All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.


Facilities
  • Four decks 
  • Dining room (one open seating)  
  • Observation lounge / lecture room, bar & library  
  • Panorama deck  
  • Gift shop  
  • Infirmary 
  • Aodiacs

 

Detail Of Cabins The M/V Ushuaia Standard Plus Triple

2 Standard Plus triple 

Outside cabins with portholes or windows on Deck E, private facilities, 3 lower berths.


Standard Cabin

12 Standard twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E with semi-private facilities, 2 berths (upper/lower).


Standard Plus

11 Standard Plus twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, 2 lower berths. Cabin 640: 1 double bed.


Premier Twin

6 Premier twin outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths.


Premier Single

2 outside Premier single cabins with portholes (view obstructed by lifeboat) on upper


Description


Bathrooms

W.C. in bathrooms are prepared for this kind of trips – they are highly efficient bur also very delicate. You should not dispose anything but small amounts of toilet paper. Used tissues and such are to be disposed of in the wastebasket.


Restaurant

There is a large restaurant where meals for passengers are served. The dining room is located on Main Deck F. Dining tables are not assigned by cabin, so passengers choose their preferred spot. Four meals are served: Continental breakfast or American style breakfast, lunch (buffet or seated-served), snack and dinner (appetizer, main course and desert.) The schedule for meals is published during the trip, depending on land tours offered. Tea and coffee are available throughout the day.

On the ship, you will also find a bar, observation lounge/conference room equipped with multimedia, library, dressing room and a small infirmary. Our captains and officers are experts on Antarctic sailing and they have a passion for nature. Our excellent expedition team is made up of an Expedition Leader, guides and lecturers with a wide experience on Antarctica. They are all engaged and committed to environmental protection. Our chefs prepare a wide variety of dishes, including local specialties. The bar offers an excellent, wide selection of wines and alcoholic drinks.


Library

A library is located on the Main Deck F offering a good selection of international titles, with and emphasis on books related to the South Pole. Board games and cards are also available for passengers.


Languages

English and Spanish are spoken during the expedition to Antarctica. Most crew members are bilingual, although there might be a few members speaking only one language.


Health Care Facilities

On board the M/V Ushuaia there is one physician for basic health care and emergencies. The infirmary is located on Deck E. In case of emergency, you need to call the Bridge (#108.) Visits are charged. The cost is USD 20 at the infirmary and USD 25 at your cabin. This fee includes just the visit and medicines are charged separately. Seasickness and headaches are taken care of at no charge. If you are taking medication regularly, please remember to bring it on board for your trip to Antarctica.


Payment Currency

On board, currencies used are American Dollar and Euro. You can purchase using cash or credit cards Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Minimum charge for credit cards is USD 100. We recommend bringing USD 300 cash for expenses on board. All your expenses on board will be charged at the end of your trip. Tips are in cash.


Passports

Foreign passports are held for safety and management reasons.


Smoking Policy

Smoking is allowed on decks, except for the deck where the boats are located. Smoking is not allowed inside the ship, including the cabins. Disposing cigarette ends on the ocean is strictly prohibited for two reasons, preservation of the environment and prevention of fires on the ship.


Services


Communications

The ship is equipped with an INMARSAT system enabling direct communication with any telephone or fax around the world. You will receive a list of telephone numbers to reach the ship. Cost per minute from your cabin is USD 4 per minute approximately. Telephone charges are to be paid at the end of your trip.


Internet Access and E-mail

The ship has computers for Internet use for USD 10 per 30 minutes. No Wi-Fi available on board.


Lectures

In M/V Ushuaia an important team of professionals are gathered to offer lectures during your trip to Antarctica, in a room specially equipped for such events.


Power Supply

Power supply is 110V/60Hz. Cabins have multi-type sockets suitable for international plugs. It is always a good idea to bring special converters and adaptors. Some sockets on public areas are 220v-240v. These are clearly identified and they offer the usual power in the Argentine territory, suited for V shaped plugs with three flat pins (third pin is ground.) They also fit V shaped plugs with two flat pins (no ground) and plugs with two small round pins as well.


Daily Schedule and Tours to Land

Tours to land are announced one day in advance. Before disembarking, you will be informed of the duration of the visit and if it is a “dry tour” (to land) or a “wet tour” (only by boat, without reaching land.) You will receive your daily program in your cabin, where you will find out about the activities for the following day, such as tours, “dry” or “wet” landings, meals and scheduled lectures. Programs are designed according to weather conditions and they can be changed unexpectedly.


Housekeeping and Laundry Services

Ship M/V Ushuaia does not offer laundry or dry cleaning services on board.


Special Diets

If you need to keep a special diet, you must request it one month in advance. We recommend stating it on the Booking Form. Kosher food for the Jewish community is not available.


Dress Code

Comfortable, casual clothes are recommended.


Rubber Boots

The ship provides rubber boots at no cost. A wide variety of sizes are available. These boots have been used for passengers in the past. Nevertheless, bringing your own boots is recommended, especially if you wear a large size.


Zodiac Boats

Boats carrying up to 12 passengers. These boats are built with robust materials with several airtight compartments and they make embarking and disembarking easy.


Consult

Para consultar por este paquete y armarlo a su medida por favor complete el siguiente formulario.


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