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Antarctica In Depth - Expedition
Antarctica - Trip code ANT Polar
Days 13
Deposit From £510
Price from £5099
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

A true adventure to the world's most remote wilderness! This 13-day Antarctica Classic in Depth expedition focuses on the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, home to some of the planet's most impressive wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Throughout the voyage, the team of lecturers and guides will share their knowledge of the region's remarkable natural history.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 12

      Lunch: 10

      Dinner: 11

    • Trip staff

      Expedition Crew

      Naturalist(s)

    • Transport

      Expedition

      Zodiac

    • i

      Accommodation

      11 nights premium boat

      1 nights standard hotel

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Relaxed

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Arrive Ushuaia

    Arrive into Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, at any time. Make your own way to the hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.

    Sitting on the shores of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia actually means 'the bay facing westward' in the language of the original Yamna inhabitants. Once a penal colony (the presidio was disbanded in the 1940s) for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals, Ushuaia is now a major tourist attraction, particularly for people such as ourselves cruising to Antarctica. The town of 40,000 is also a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers and offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Standard Hotel

    Single room available

    Meals Provided: None

    Day 2 - Ushuaia

    Today we will embark on the expedition ship. Embarkation time is set for 4:00 pm. The morning is free to do any last minute shopping, an optional excursion to Tierra Del Fuego National Park or a good hike up to the Marshall Glacier. The evening is spent on board the ship watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel.

    Please note, whilst it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion, it may be necessary or desirable, to make alterations. Our trips are at the mercy of the weather and ice, which is vastly changeable in these parts, but our experienced expedition crew will take advantage of any presented opportunities, to ensure that you have a truly memorable trip. On the first day onboard, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 3 - The Drake Passage

    Our adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The M Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 4 - At Sea

    During our second day at Sea, we cross the Antarctic Convergence - a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer equatorial water, moving in the opposite direction. This mixing pushes nutrient rich waters to the surface attracting a variety of seabirds, whales and other species.

    As we make the passage, you will have time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where we meet our guides, ship's crew and expedition staff. We also begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 5 - Arriving into the Great White Continent

    This is what we've all been waiting for - a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next few days we will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt two excursions per day, while we navigate through the area, but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 6 - Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

    The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife activity. Penguins gather with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and beaches and numerous albatross and other seabirds trail in our wake. There is plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. The Peninsula also has a remarkable history and during the voyage, we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world. Keeping a lookout from the Bridge or the deck of the ship, as we thread our way along the continent, you'll feel the same sense of excitement as many of those early Explorers. The continent itself is roughly circular with a spindly arm, called the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching northwards towards Tierra del Fuego. South America is the nearest landmass, some 600 miles away.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 7 - Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

    Antarctica is a continent of superlatives. It is the coldest, windiest, iciest and highest of all the major landmasses in the world. It is the continent with the longest nights and the longest days and it is home to the world's greatest concentration of wildlife. It is also one of the last true wilderness areas left on earth - largely unchanged since the early Explorers and Whalers first landed on its inhospitable shores less than two centuries ago.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 8 - Antarctic Peninsula

    Heading further along the peninsula, we will travel to shore by Zodiac and visit some of the vast penguin rookeries that can be found here. From a distance, the landscape appears to be dotted with tiny specs of white and black, revealed to be a mass of raucous penguins, once you step ashore. You will enjoy spotting a variety of breeds - Gentoo, Adelie and Chinstrap, all easily identifiable by their markings. You will have plenty of time to walk amongst these curious, aquatic birds - an excellent opportunity for some photography, or simply sit and enjoy the breath taking scenery in front of you.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 9 - Antarctic Peninsula

    We will attempt to make a Continental landing on our voyage - so get the camera at the ready ! We also hope to visit one of the Scientific research centres, which offers a fantastic insight into 'Life in Antarctica' for people that live there year-round.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 10 - Antarctic Peninsula

    We continue to soak up this glacial wilderness on our final day exploring the peninsula. Enjoy the serenity of these calm surroundings, miles away from anywhere - only to be experienced by the privileged few.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 11 - Leaving the Peninsula

    Today we leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 12 - The Drake Passage

    In between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by our expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 13 - Arrive Ushuaia

    And so our adventure comes to a close. We'll say our goodbyes as we disembark in Ushuaia in the morning.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    Antarctica

    Climate

    Polar Temperatures during Antarctic season: Min.: -15°C; Max. 12°C; Average 0°C.

    Time difference to GMT

    -3

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Budgeting and packing

    Optional activities

    The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


    To add to your polar adventure, take to a kayak for an eye-to-eye view with seals and whales or camp in some of the most remote and beautiful places on earth.

    Kayaking is available as an optional excursion on your Antarctica trip from GBP 859 per person.
    Camping is available as an optional excursion on our Antarctica trips from GBP 249 per person.

    You must book prior to travel and space is limited - so book early to secure your place! Please speak to one of our polar experts to request availability.

    Clothing


    Dress on board is informal. Pack comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Wind and waterproof outer layers are essential, and themost important piece of clothing you will bring is a parka. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton.
    Parkas
    This will be provided by the ship operator. Please register your size with us before travel and we will arrange for your parka to be available in your cabin on arrival.
    Gloves
    Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost).
    Hat/Cap
    Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava.
    Trousers
    Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc are also good.
    Socks
    Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet.
    Outer Clothing
    Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship.
    Underclothing
    Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.

    Footwear

    Complimentary, used waterproof boots will be supplied onboard. However, guests might want to bring their own if they are the following sizes due to the limited quantities onboard:
    - men's UK size 12 & 13 1/2
    - women's UK size 3 and below & size 7 and above
    Guests must bring their own if they are:
    - men's UK size 6 1/2 or smaller
    - men's UK size 13 1/2 or larger
    - women's UK size 2 or smaller
    - women's UK size 9 1/2 or larger
    These are rubber, waterproof boots that are just below your knees with a strong, ridged non-skid sole.
    You usually have to step from the Zodiac into icy water up to 30 cm high on most landings. Do not bring heavy, cumbersome boots that make it difficult to walk, or boots with metal cleats as they cannot be used for landings. For maximum warmth, wear loose-fitting boots and two pairs of socks. We strongly recommend investing in some good thermal socks, as your feet can get quite cold when sitting in the Zodiacs. Try out your boots before the voyage.

    Luggage

    15Kg

    Luggage: On tour

    One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so
    don't overload yourself.

    Please note that a 15kgs luggage weight limit is sporadically enforced on the internal flight to Ushuaia, occasionally charges may be levied against passengers taking luggage in excess of 15kgs.

    Equipment

    Sunglasses and sun cream
    Personal toiletries
    A refilllable water bottle
    Books/reading material
    Camera and memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements)
    Seasickness remedy
    Walking poles
    Personal First Aid

    Tipping

    Local crew
    Tipping is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction. The suggested amount is USD $10 - 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed among the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.

    Antarctica

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Foreign Exchange
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. It is advisable to take a minimum of US$200-500 of your total spending money in cash, in mixed denominations (notes should be in good condition).
    Where To Exchange
    Banks or Forex offices in major cities.
    ATM Availability
    Cash can be drawn on credit or debit cards from ATMs in major cities
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Credit cards are useful and can be used in many places, but may be subject to a service charge. The ship accepts Visa and Mastercard.
    Travellers Cheques
    Travellers Cheques can be difficult to exchange and are not accepted aboard.
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    Expedition, Zodiac

    Ship description

    At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space. Yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smooth ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your
    surroundings.

    Cabins

    Prices are based on the use of outward facing, category one cabins on the lower deck. Category one cabins are triple or quad share. They are comfortable with a private toilet and shower, and porthole. The Expedition has a number of different cabin categories, all outside facing and with two beds (apart from suites, which have queen size beds). Some cabin types have larger windows. We can also offer single occupancy, subject to availability. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.

    Ship dining

    Onboard our expedition ship you'll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice; please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub or in the lounge.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

    USA (If flights transit): you will need to apply for an ESTA if you are transiting the USA as you will have to disembark and clear immigration before re-boarding for the onward flight.

    Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel.
    Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. When completing an application for transit you should enter the words 'In Transit' with your final destination location in the address line

    You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover.

    If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel.

    For further information please check out the US embassy website.
    Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Antarctica

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Polar information
    Ship information
    At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space. Yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smooth ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your
    surroundings.
    Additional Information

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Mon 11 Nov 2019 - Sat 23 Nov 2019
    ANT_2019
    Price from £5099
    Save was
    Single room option Call us
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time and place
    00:00 at
    Ending Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time
    00:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Sun 1 Dec 2019 - Fri 13 Dec 2019
    ANT_2019
    Price from £5199
    Save was
    Single room option Call us
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time and place
    00:00 at
    Ending Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time
    00:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
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