New for 2017-2018
- Medical historian Robert Clancy leads an extended trip in December 2016
- Special guest lecturer Seb Coulthard is on board Hebridean Sky’s Shackleton Centenary voyages in October 2016 and February 2017
- Polar explorer Ann Daniels leads a trip to the Peninsula in March 2017
- Ortelius has a new Weddell Sea Antarctic discoverer basecamp voyage in February 2018
- New Ortelius voyage visits Rothera and Stonington Island at 68.11 degrees South in March 2018
- We’ve included 2016-17 voyages to help those looking to book last minute
The Antarctic, particularly the peninsula or ‘White Continent’ has an incomparable and irresistible beauty. This magical frozen land with its awe-inspiring glaciers and rich diversity of bird and wildlife resonates with the history of intrepid explorers and epic struggles for survival. We offer a range of voyages on icebreakers and expedition ships that is continually changing, so if you cannot find exactly what you want here we will happily make suggestions for places and optional activities to suit your requirements.
Most of our voyages depart from Ushuaia at the southern tip of South America and cross the Drake Passage, spending several days visiting the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. This is a spectacular chain of mountains and glaciers and is the richest part of Antarctica for wildlife. The waters are sheltered by islands, which makes for comfortable sailing and easy landings. Some of these voyages also visit South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.
More adventurous voyages head for the Ross Sea, sometimes called ‘The Far Side of Antarctica’, on an icebreaker to visit emperor penguin colonies and Scott’s and Shackleton’s huts. Because some of the vessels are comparatively small, early booking is recommended.
The descriptions in the following itineraries are a guideline only, since the routes taken and the landings made will be dependent on ice and weather conditions. We are happy to supply you with more detailed descriptions, day-by-day itineraries and reports of similar voyages in previous years on request.
Where activities are available on certain voyages they are shown here. These are optional, for which a supplement is usually payable.
Should you wish, we have plenty of ideas for extending your trip to include a stay in South America for an exciting (or relaxing!) prelude or finale to your voyage.
Fiona’s travel tips
READ: Captain Scott by Sir Ranulph Fiennes and South by Sir Ernest Shackleton.
LET US KNOW: If you have a former connection with any of the polar regions we visit by ship. Perhaps you or a relative lived on one of the bases, or were a member of a past expedition? We can offer you the chance to share your experiences, diaries or photographs with others on your voyage. In the past we’ve even got the ship to make unscheduled visits to tie in with such an event.
MY BEST MEMORY: Leopard seals circling and diving under our zodiac while hunting penguins.
TOP TIPS: Dress in layers - you will need them.
“We had a fabulous holiday, the scenery and wildlife were fantastic. I think I can now recognise all the different penguin and seal species! The ship and the crew were very good, no problems. Thank you for organising the holiday for us, and I'd have no hesitation in recommending you for any future trips.”
Mr and Mrs Glen Anderson, Antarctic voyage
“The holiday was great and met all my expectations – all the connections worked like clockwork. The cruise was fantastic and we landed on all except the South Orkneys which were ice bound. Food was very good and plenty of it – Iguazu was really good and connections etc worked well – the room was fantastic with Falls view as specified – at the end of the day it was good to relax by the pool and enjoy the Bacardi and coke as you do. Thanks for organising the trip it was one in a lifetime.”
Allen Cooper, The Falklands, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Antarctic Peninsula discovery cruise
“As you know, I have waited 60 years for this and the whole Plancius experience on the exact centenary of Scott’s last expedition was just magical. Absolutely brilliant.”
John Sharples, Antarctic Peninsula
“In December 2012 I was able to fulfil my dream of setting foot on Antarctica despite my age (83 and eight months) and disability. Thanks to Fiona’s meticulous planning and the resulting support of guides and the Plancius crew at every step en-route and on the boat, I was able to travel there and back alone, and to enjoy shore landings and zodiac rides. A truly stunning experience. I realise how blessed I was to have so much encouragement and help both from Fiona and the expedition team.”
Dr Grete Gross, Antarctic Peninsula voyage
“It was a fascinating voyage with lasting impressions. The wildlife both on the Falklands and on Antarctica is incredibly rich. The organisation on board the ship was very good. Among the talks given by the scientific crew I enjoyed the witty talks by Robert Headland the most. The familiar atmosphere in the lodges on Sea Lion Island and on Carcass Island was very nice indeed. Last but not least I should like to thank you for the impeccable organisation on your part.”
Mr Hubert Kalf, Epic Antarctica icebreaker voyage
“Most helpful, informative, and friendly service at all stages. Absolutely spectacular trip which exceeded my already high expectations. Brilliant value for money, notwithstanding the high cost. It says it all that I was looking at your brochure for a future trip, as soon as I got back!”
Judith Philip, Antarctic Peninsula