WWF Giants of Antarctica
11 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city. You’ll be briefed at the hotel tonight on the journey and details for tomorrow’s embarkation, but if you happen to arrive early there are a surprising amount of ways to entertain yourself at ‘the End of the World’. Check out the Museo Maritimo to brush up on the region’s history, or take a stroll down Avenida San Martin if you’re after any last-minute essentials before departing. Oh, and did we mention this is Argentina – if all else fails, head to a local restaurant to get your fill of red wine and steak. Muy bueno.
Day 2 Ushuaia – Embarkation Day
This afternoon you’ll board the Ocean Endeavour, settle into your cabin and begin cruising down the stunning Beagle Channel, named for Charles Darwin’s ship. The channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America, and as the ship pulls away from port there’s always an air of anticipation. Travelling with you on this voyage is marine ecologist Dr Ari Freidlaender and a small team of scientists, who are heading to Antarctica to undertake crucial research on the migration and feeding patterns of baleen whales. Wave goodbye to Argentina and know that the next time you see land you’ll be staring at Antarctica.
Days 3-4 Drake Passage
The time has come to cross the Drake Passage, the legendary body of water named after English explorer Sir Francis Drake. If the conditions are right, enjoy some time out on deck to spot dolphins, orcas or perhaps albatross. If the waters are a little rough, the Ocean Endeavour is equipped with some seriously lush facilities for you to take advantage of. As well as safety briefings, a comprehensive lecture program will run throughout the journey delivered by experts in Antarctica’s history, geology and biology, Dr Freidlaender and his team of researchers. With any luck we’ll make it to land by early evening on Day 4 – a moment that always brings much excitement.
Days 5-8 Antarctic Peninsula
The adventure truly begins once the Antarctic Convergence is left in your wake and exchanged for four incredible days of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. Stare wide-eyed at glaciers, mountains and an unimaginable array of wildlife as the sheer magnitude and rawness of the area comes to light. Every day is a new adventure, and you’ll explore ice-filled bays and channels as well as Antarctica itself on Zodiac excursions and by foot. While the landscapes will no doubt take your breath away, Antarctica is all about the wildlife. Visit penguin rookeries, spot humpback and minke whales and look out for leopard seals, all while calving glaciers crack through the immense silence. As you head out on your guided Zodiac cruises and immersive shore landings, the research team travelling with you will take another Zodiac to search of whales. Dr Friedleander and his team will deploy non-invasive tracking tools to gather data such as whale orientation, movement and speed. The suction-capped devices used also have two cameras attached, providing a first-person (or first-whale!) view of underwater lives. The researchers will also use drone technology to track whale size and movement from above, as well as to observe krill populations in the southern oceans. While they may be exploring in different regions to you on any given day, they will report back regularly at the evening recap presentations. Dr Friedlaender presents engaging research lectures worldwide, and will contribute to your onboard lecture program as well as being available for less formal interactions on the vessel.
Days 9-10 At Sea
Say goodbye to the Antarctic Peninsula as we begin our return leg to Ushuaia. Take the opportunity to share photographs with fellow travellers, enjoy some final lectures from polar experts and speak with the WWF-Australia team about their whale research findings from their time on the Peninsula. Ultimately, Dr Friedlaender and his team hope that their research will lead to the establishment of an Antarctic marine protection area, preventing krill fishing in the region and safeguarding the health of baleen whales. With The Intrepid Foundation helping to facilitate this research voyage and supporting WWF-Australia’s Protecting Antarctic Giants project, this is a cause to get behind. Your last days on board are also a great opportunity to make use of the Ocean Endeavour’s health and wellness facilities, including its saunas, spa, heated pool, yoga classes and gym.
Day 11 Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
Your Antarctic adventure draws to a close after breakfast this morning. Farewell your shipmates and transfer to the airport if you’re flying out today, or perhaps spend some more time exploring this incredible part of the world.
All This Included
Join Intrepid and special guests from the World Wildlife Fund – Australia (WWF-Australia) on an 11-day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula. Scout icy waters and white shores for whales and other critters by day, then relax and enjoy a fascinating lecture program by night. Alongside our regular team of Antarctic experts, WWF-Australia scientists will join this tour to share insights into whale conservation as they conduct cutting edge research on these underwater giants. And whale tales are just the beginning! This adventure offers you the chance to explore Antarctica’s barren beauty on foot and by Zodiac, and encounter penguin rookeries, sight leopard seals and gawp at towering glaciers as they calve right before your eyes.
Hotel (1 night)
Expedition Voyage (9 nights)
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.