Travel to the ends of humanity on a special departure voyage accompanied by a dedicated and experienced staff of expedition leaders, naturalists, and lecturers who will share with you their enthusiasm and knowledge of the region. Covitour offers that unparalleled adventure in comfort to one of the world’s last wild places.
Embark on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the 7th Continent - Antarctica. This is one of the most complete and traditional voyages of the Antarctic on board the M/V Ushuaia, navigating by the classic route and visiting one of the most beautiful places between the Bellingshausen Sea and the Weddell Sea.: the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula, including a short stay in the Deception Island where we bathe in the thermal waters that surround its active volcano.
Day 1: Arrival in Ushuaia.
Transfer to the hotel. Day at leisure
Day 2: Half-day excursion
to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Beginning of the adventure
Transfer to the ship. During the afternoon you will embark on the USHUAIA and meet your expedition and lecture staff.
After you have settled into your cabins you will sail the rest of the day through the Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
Day 3 & 4: At the sea. Crossing the Drake Passage
Over the next two days in the Drake Passage, you will be able to experience life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first mapped these regions: cool salty breezes, rough seas, perhaps some a fin whale snorting marine spray.
You will cross the Antarctic Convergence - the biological boundary of Antarctica, formed from the meeting of the warmer waters of the sub-Antarctic seas with the cold Antarctic waters.
There is not only a change in the marine fauna but also in the avifauna. Wandering albatrosses, gray-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, Light-mantled albatrosses, checkerboard petrels, storm petrels, blue petrels, and the Antarctic petrels are some of the bird species that can be spotted.
Days 5 - 8: Entering Antarctica. Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
Rocky gray peaks dotted with snow, whitish-blue cracked ice towers, and completely different fauna above and below,
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.
The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will 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 an incredibly wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds, you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.
We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:
Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.
Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
Day 9 & 10: 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.
Conditions in the Drake Passage will determine the exact time of departure.
Day 11: End of adventure
Every adventure, no matter how great, must eventually come to an end. It is time to disembark in Ushuaia.
All rates are quoted in US Dollars per person, based on twin or triple occupancy. Two dedicated Premier single cabins are available at a special single rate.
Covitour special program Includes one more day and night
Rates in US Dollars per person
9 night, 10 days cruise to Antarctica Peninsula
1 night of accommodation in USH
HD Excursión to Tierra del Fuego National Park
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Rates All rates are quoted in US Dollars per person, based on twin or triple occupancy.
Two dedicated Premier single cabins are available at a special single rate.
A limited number of twin cabins (except Suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth in the Suites and Superior #301 may be occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate. Shared accommodation can be arranged on request.
All rates are subject to change and Antarpply Expeditions reserves the right to modify the published rates without prior notice. Included in the cruise price:
Not included in the cruise price: Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to/from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided). Reservations and Payments A deposit of 30% of the cruise fare is required per person to confirm reservations with final payment due 90 days prior to departure.
Cancellations All requests for cancellations must be received in writing. Cancellations received 90 days prior to departure are fully refunded less an administrative fee of US$ 600 per person. From 89 days up to and including the day of departure all deposits and tariffs are forfeited. If cancellation occurs within the 89 day period and full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and unpaid monies are due immediately. For these and other reasons mentioned below, you are strongly encouraged to obtain trip cancellation insurance.
Antarpply Expeditions reserves the right to cancel any voyage prior to departure in which case payments will be refunded in full without further obligation on our part. Itineraries The itineraries published are for reference only and are subject to change due to weather and ice conditions, or due to any other reason beyond our control, at the Master’s and Expedition Leader’s discretion without prior notice. Passengers have no right to any refund, any other consideration, or claim whatsoever in the event of inevitable itinerary changes.
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 the 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 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.
2 Standard Plus triple
Outside cabins with portholes or windows on Deck E, private facilities, 3 lower berths.
12 Standard twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E with semi-private facilities, 2 berths (upper/lower).
11 Standard Plus twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, 2 lower berths. Cabin 640: 1 double bed.
6 Premier twin outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths.
2 outside Premier single cabins with portholes (view obstructed by lifeboat) on upper
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Foreign passports are held for safety and management reasons.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Comfortable, casual clothes are recommended.
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.
Boats carrying up to 12 passengers. These boats are built with robust materials with several airtight compartments and they make embarking and disembarking easy.
The most essential element to any expedition is the ability to make landfalls on remote shores and to navigate intricate waterways. To fulfill these requirements, the USHUAIA carries her own fleet of zodiacs and RIB's. Zodiacs accommodate up to 12 guests and, in the hands of our skilled boatmen, are stable, safe and manoeuvrable. Constructed of high-performance plastimer fabrics, with several airtight compartments, they are easy to board and disembark.
The Zodiacs are designed for nature study and are used for both exploring and for shore access. Their versatility, their ability to open whole new worlds of exploration make zodiacs the key to expedition cruising enabling you to go ashore and investigate some of the world's most unique regions, which would be impossible for a larger ship.
Given the fragility of the Antarctic flora and fauna, Antarpply Expeditions has prepared the best way to visit the Antarctic gently and carefully. We carefully plan for as many Zodiac excursions as possible, dependent upon weather and prevailing conditions. This provides you with the opportunity to journey beyond the encroachments of civilization and to find yourself engaged in daily adventure, rather than merely being an observer of the passing landscape.
Instructions will be provided on how to properly embark and disembark these watercraft and our staff will assist in all Zodiac landings allowing access to everyone with a desire to go ashore.
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