EXPEDITION CRUISE | CRUISETOUR

Legendary Snow Hill – March to The Emperor Penguins (14 Days)

Cruise Line: Quark Expeditions
Ushuaia, Argentina to Ushuaia, Argentina
DAY
PORT
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
Ushuaia, Argentina

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine hot spot is the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or savor some handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

DAY 2
Ushuaia, Argentina

In late afternoon, we will transfer you and your fellow travelers from your group hotel to the pier, where you'll board Kapitan Khlebnikov. This iconic icebreaker should be instantly recognizable at the port, as the shape and bulk are distinctive, especially from a distance. As Khlebnikov sets sail, you'll first pass through the historic Beagle Channel, which opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead and possibly seals and sea lions cavorting in the water.

DAY 3
Drake Passage (Cruising)

Crossing the legendary Drake Passage is as much a part of the Antarctic experience as penguins and seals are. With ideal weather conditions, your passage could be relatively easy, but be prepared for some rough seas in case the Drake lives up to its reputation. These two days will have an air of anticipation, as you prepare for your first landing at the elusive Snow Hill Island emperor penguin rookery. Plenty of activities will keep you engaged at sea, including educational and informative presentations by your expedition team. You'll learn about such things as the history of whaling in Antarctica and the emperor penguins' biology, unique habitat, and adaptive behavior. You may also want to spend some time on deck, with your binoculars and camera at the ready, looking out for wandering albatross, petrels, whales, and dolphins. Crossing the polar front, keep a close watch, as you should see your first iceberg, too.

DAY 4
Drake Passage (Cruising)
DAY 5
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica

As we approach the island, remember that no two polar expeditions are alike, particularly this voyage through the icy Weddell Sea, since landings and wildlife sightings are determined by weather and ice conditions, as well as the natural cycles of the wildlife. But it's exactly this element of the unknown that makes expedition-style travel so exhilarating and adventurous. That said, our expeditions will have some elements in common, such as landings, wildlife sightings, helicopter sightseeing and ice—truly massive amounts of ice! Having broken away from the ice shelf, large tabular icebergs, so named for their plateau-like flat top and steep sides, will signal your arrival to Antarctica. Located on sea ice, the emperor rookery is situated some distance from Snow Hill Island, so your captain will navigate your ship to a position in the ice that's within helicopter range of the rookery. As we draw near, a few curious penguins may be attracted to the open water by the ship, so keep your eyes peeled for them. Deployed in a rotation of flights, our onboard helicopters will land as close to the penguins as possible, yet still at a safe distance (at least 0.75 nautical miles/1.4 km), to protect the birds. Since you must carry all your own gear for the entire distance to the rookery and back across sea ice several feet thick, you'll want to keep items in your backpack to a minimum. A must-bring, however, should be your camera. We encourage everyone—photographers and nature lovers alike—to carry a camera during our rookery visits, because any visit could reward with that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Your expedition team will include a professional photographer, who will conduct onboard workshops and assist you on-site to help you get the most out of your camera, whether you're a newbie or a pro! Though we can't predict how many excursions will occur during your stay in the vicinity of the rookery, rest assured that your expedition leader will take every possible advantage of good weather and flying conditions, and our intention is to spend as much time as possible in the area, to give you plenty of chances to observe the emperors in their natural environment. Since we are visiting earlier in the rearing season than any other expedition, the emperor chicks are still young, so you may see a few brooding on their parents' feet or even several huddling together in large communal crèches. It's possible you may catch the impressive sight of a constant trail of adults walking or tobogganing in single file from the sea to the rookery to feed the chicks, and then heading back out again to hunt for more food. Listen closely for a parent trumpeting upon its return to the rookery—the call is instantly recognized by the chick, who whistles in response.

DAY 6
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 7
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 8
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 9
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 10
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 11
Antarctica (Cruising), Antarctica
DAY 12
Day-at-Sea

A day at sea can be as busy as any day ashore. Share stories and photos with your shipmates in the lounge, relax in our Polar Library, or attend dynamic presentations by your expedition team, who may even screen documentaries. Lecture topics can range from the Historic Age of Exploration to whales of the Southern Ocean. If you choose to spend time outside on deck, keep an eye out for the large seabirds that have accompanied mariners through the Southern Ocean since Magellan made his first navigation of the globe. By now, you should be able to recognize albatross and petrels on the wing. As we enter the mouth of the Beagle Channel on our way back to Ushuaia, a small vessel will come alongside and a local pilot will board our vessel to help navigate this last stretch of water. If the weather is fine, you may want to watch from the deck, enjoying the soft light of the austral summer.

DAY 13
Day-at-Sea
DAY 14
Ushuaia, Argentina

This morning, you'll say farewell to your expedition team and fellow travelers before disembarking to catch your homeward flights.

Legendary Snow Hill – March to The Emperor Penguins map

About the Ship

Antarctica Peninsula
Kapitan Khlebnikov

The Kapitan Khlebnikov is a polar-class icebreaker combing power and technology with comfort. No passenger ship has transited the Northwest Passage more often than the renowned Kapitan Khlebnikov. Originally designed to take on the rigors of northern Siberia, the 24,000 horsepower engine takes you places no other ship can.

What's Included

Included

  • ON ALL SHIPS, RATES INCLUDE:

    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping

    • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)

    • All shore landings per the daily program

    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program

    • Snowshoes available on loan for shore excursions on designated voyages

    • Formal and informal presentations by our expedition team and guest speakers as scheduled

    • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage

    • A pair of waterproof expedition (Muck) boots on loan for shore landings

    • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep

    • Life jackets and immersion suits

    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

    • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin

    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative reader

    • A group transfer upon disembarkation from the ship to the local airport

    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

    • All luggage handling aboard the ship

    • Emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

Not Included

  • RATES SPECIFICALLY DO NOT INCLUDE:

    • For some specified departures, the purchase of a transfer package including charter or domestic flights, and hotels where specified, in conjunction with the expedition is mandatory. The applicable per-person cost is indicated on the Dates and Rates summary

    • Passport and any applicable visa expenses

    • Government arrival and departure taxes

    • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation, when applicable

    • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance

    • Excess baggage charges

    • Laundry and other personal charges

    • Telecommunications charges

    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew

    • On 50 Years of Victory and Kapitan Khlebnikov, any private helicopter flying time that may be available for optional flights can be purchased at an hourly rate to be announced on board

    • Adventure options that are not included in the cost of the voyage

About Us

Quark Expeditions is uncompromisingly polar, specializing in expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic and has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel for over 25 years. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small expedition vessels, icebreakers, and unique land-based adventures, we offer travelers unparalleled access to the most remote places on earth. The spirit of exploration runs deep in our polar pedigree and we are passionate about creating transformational experiences for fellow adventurers visiting these regions.

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