Voyage Beyond the Antartic Circle with Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute
Departure: 29th February, 2024
Arrival: 14th March, 2024
Duration: 15 days, 12 nights on board
Vessel: MS Seaventure
English Speaking Voyage
We are happy to announce a once in a lifetime voyage with Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute on board the very well-appointed MS Seaventurer
This trip is the opportunity to immerse yourself in Antarctic heritage!
A set of world-class guests will lecture aboard this luxurious cruise ship as we travel the white continent beyond the Antarctic Circle.
Dr John Shears (Chairman, Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute), who led the recent discovery of Shackleton's long-lost ship Endurance, along with Falcon and Dafila Scott, grandchildren of Captain Scott and Professor Julian Dowdeswell one of the most experienced and important Glaciologist of this times.
Perfectly suited for polar cruising, Seaventure is an outstanding expedition-focused ship. The high Ice Class 1A Super rating pertains to theice-strengthened hull, which allows it to push into the more challenging waters beyond the Circle.
The primary aim of this voyage is to offer guests as much time off the ship as possible. The huge expedition team of naturalist guides gives an enviable guide-to-passenger ratio of 1:8. Seaventure is equipped with a fleet of 14 highly manoeuvrable zodiac ribs, which are boarded from water-level access doors, making for speedy disembarkation.
Thursday 29th February - Friday 1st March 2024: Ushuaia
On arrival in Ushuaia, you will be met and transferred to your included hotel for the next two nights. Settle in and enjoy the spectacular sunset from the pool.
You have a full free day on Friday to relax at the hotel, potter in the city or head out to explore the stunning landscapes of Tierra del Fuego.
In the evening attend a short briefing about embarkation logistics.
Sunday 2nd March 2024: Embarkation day
Check out and enjoy a relaxed morning in Ushuaia, perhaps visiting the local museums - the Maritime Museum in the old prison has a quirky Antarctic section with some unusual artefacts. Meet in the hotel lobby mid-afternoon for the short transfer to the pier.
After embarkation, settle into your home for the next 12 nights before mandatory briefings and safety drills begin.
As the ship leaves, head out on deck to admire parting views of Ushuaia and its surrounding mountains. The Beagle Channel is a fantastic place to spot wildlife including black-browed albatross, Magellanic penguins and sea lions.
Get to know your fellow travellers, expedition team and crew at a welcome evening to celebrate the start of your thrilling adventure to Antarctica.
Days 4 & 5
Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th March 2024: Sail across the Drake Passage
As you begin your crossing of the infamous Drake Passage, it’s time to get your sea legs and settle into ship life.
Your expedition team will prepare you for your first landing with important briefings on operational procedures for wildlife encounters and zodiac use, along with biosecurity measures. They will also launch your educational presentation programme; a fascinating way to learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment. There will also be talks and workshops from your Friends of SPRI guest speakers.
Throughout your trip the staff will be looking for opportunities to run Citizen Science projects. It’s fascinating to help collect data - well worth getting involved.
This special voyage will attempt to cross the little-visited Antarctic Circle - weather and ice conditions permitting. On reaching Antarctica the ship will continue steadily south, aiming for 66°33’ S.
Tuesday 5th - Monday 11th March 2024: Explore the Antarctica Peninsula
It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg, being astounded by the sheer scale of the jagged mountains blanketed by endless glaciers, all while taking a deep breath of some of the freshest, crisp air on Earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.
Once you arrive, the expedition leader and Captain will begin plotting a breathtaking course to explore the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. If the everchanging ice conditions allow, you may explore rarely visited locations beneath the Antarctic Circle.
Your experienced expedition team of naturalist guides, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
You will generally make landings or zodiac excursions twice a day. Wrap up warm before joining serene zodiac cruises along spectacular glacial ice cliffs or amongst icebergs of every shape and hue. Keep watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins zooming through the water. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.
While ashore you will be able to stretch your legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps crunching up snowcovered ridgelines to vantage points withmountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below.
In addition to zodiac cruises and shore excursions, the Captain may use the ship as a perfect platform to cruise through some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding.
This is a great time to enjoy the panoramic observation lounge or head out on deck for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep thundering rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea, and soak up the visual feast that is awe-inspiring Antarctica.
Throughout the trip, your FoSPRI guest speakers will be on hand to help interpret the astonishing landscapes and enhance your experience.
Dafila and Falcon Scott will also be running some art workshops for a unique way to creatively portray and commemorate your polar adventure.
Tuesday 12th & Wednesday 13th March 2024: Drake Passage
As you head north towards South America, you will once again cross the Drake Passage. The programme of educational lectures will continue, making the most of your time at sea.
Out on deck, keep your eyes peeled for seabirds cruising past the ship. It is likely that your last evening will be spent cruising down the dramatic Beagle Channel and celebrating the finale of your grand adventure.
Thursday 14th March 2024: Final farewells
After an early breakfast on board, bid a fond farewell to the ship and its crew before continuing with your onward journey, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature.
A transfer from the ship to Ushuaia airport is included in the voyage fare.