Welcome to Antarctica — the 7th Continent! In the history of humankind, only a tiny handful of people have ever set foot on Antarctica and now you’re one of them. Prepare to witness the most unspoiled, sublime terrain on earth, with its vast glacial expanses and massive electric blue icebergs the size of cities.
You’ll explore during the austral summer, the most temperate time of year. Each day, you’ll have one landing in which you venture ashore on versatile Zodiac boats, and one scenic cruising in which you’ll likely head to the deck for the most optimal views.
During landings, you’ll break into small groups and enter Zodiac boats alongside your Expedition Team. Once on shore, they’ll scope out conditions and offer guided hikes, walks, talks, and offer anecdotes and helpful information, depending on the wildlife and nature you encounter.
There’s no doubt that we’ll happen upon some penguin rookeries — most likely Adélie, gentoo, and chinstrap penguin varieties. These curious and flightless birds will charm you immediately! From the shore, you may also spot killer and humpback whales, as well as crabeater, leopard, and Weddell seals, which are prosperous in these cold waters. We’ll explore a diversity of landscapes, including active volcanoes, mossy cliffs, and rocky beaches, too.
You’ll also have free time to explore on your own and take lots of photographs, using the knowledge you’ve gained from the Expedition Team’s lectures and your conversations with them to enhance your explorations.
While not an exhaustive list, possible landing sites we may explore include:
- Cuverville Island, almost fully covered in a permanent ice cap and home to delightful gentoo penguins
- Half Moon Island, a refuge for chinstrap penguins and a variety of seals
- Neko Harbor, a haven for minke and humpback whales with great glacier views
- Deception Island, a former whaling outpost with an active caldera
While going ashore may seem more exciting and rewarding than cruising, you’ll be surprised. There’s so much to see in Antarctica, and cruising is oftentimes the best way to accomplish that, as the Ocean Explorer’s small size grants us more flexibility in where we navigate compared to other cruise lines. Look forward to getting up-close to icebergs, spotting whales, and other spontaneous and bucket-list experiences. If we’re lucky, we may witness humpback whales during a “bubble-net” feeding, in which a group of whales circles a school of fish and engages in a team effort to disorient and corral the fish into a “net” of bubbles.
You can also further enhance your expedition by joining the Expedition Team for optional polar kayaking. This is a popular option, so we encourage you to reserve your spot as early as possible.
Please note: Remember, daily life in Antarctica is determined by the elements, and we’ll adjust our landings as our adventure progresses in accordance with IAATO regulations.
- 7 landings led by the Expedition Team
- 7 sightseeing cruisings to various sites
7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners