On this extraordinary 19-day voyage, follow in the wake of courageous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica and the South Shetlands before heading via Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea to South Georgia and Falkland Islands. On board Ocean Victory/Albatros.
Departing Ushuaia in Argentina, we cross the mighty Drake Passage en route for the South Shetland Islands. Here we will make Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and fascinating lookouts. Continuing southward, we will explore the Antarctic Sound with its mighty tabular icebergs and enter the Weddell Sea in search for wildlife.
Sailing onwards between Elephant Island and South Georgia offers a small glimpse into the passage made famous by Shackleton 100 years ago, when he navigated the 1300 km course through open seas of Drake Passage in an effort to save his stranded crew. South Georgia is one of world’s greatest natural wonders. Wildlife-packed beaches, active research stations, former whaling stations and a visit to Shackleton’s final resting place are on our agenda.
On our last leg towards Argentina, we will pay a visit to the fascinating Falkland Islands. The capital of Port Stanley with its quaint English architecture will be our first call before venturing further west for Zodiac landings and wildlife observations on pristine and sheltered beaches.
After leaving the Falklands, the last seadays can be spend bird watching from the top deck and attending lectures, workshops and photo re-caps in one of the ship’s lounges.
• KING GEORGE ISLAND
• ANTARCTIC SOUND AND WEDDELL SEA
• SOUTH GEORGIA
• PORT STANLEY AND FALKLAND ISLANDS
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Passenger Capacity: ~190 (95 cabins)
The Ocean Albatros, sistership to the Ocean Victory, will join the fleet of Albatros Expeditions in November 2022.
The Ocean Albatros will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, any various exciting new destinations in between.
With a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, most with their own balcony, the Ocean Albatros will definitely become one of the most popular expedition cruise vessels in the world. Like it's sistership the Ocean Victory it offers two restaurants, a wellness area, an Albatros Nordic Bar, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenities. The vessel will have more than a 50% lower carbon footprint than traditional expedition vessels and be one of the most environmentally friendly, implementing the Green Initiative Program, ensuring both absolute comfort and sustainability for our guests. Unlike the Ocean Victory, the Ocean Albatros will also offer a unique panorama sauna, and a total of 12 dedicated solo travel cabins without a single-supplement.
Due to its important role as a control center for all nautical and technical processes, the ship's bridge is a vital, sensitive place. Therefore, the bridge may not be accessible to the public at all times. Conditions permitting, we will be happy to welcome you into the bridge for a visit. Guests must be accompanied by the master or our expedition leader.
Your stateroom is serviced daily. We provide a turn-down service. We provide meal to room only for serious cases of guest being sick. Our suites will have VIP services.
One feature of our expedition cruises includes landings and excursions aboard Ocean Albatros's fleet of 18 inflatable, motorized rubber "Zodiac" boats. The Zodiac brand has earned a well-deserved reputation as the sturdiest and safest small watercraft available. These boats have a low draft and great stability. Zodiacs are constructed for professional use and are outfitted with a top-quality outboard engine, yet their design minimally impacts the environment.
The Zodiacs are designed to provide unrestricted access to the world’s last great frontier. Their versatility enables us to make landfall on remote shores, cruise along awe-inspiring coastlines and share breathtakingly close encounters with whales, seals, penguins, seabirds and more. We will come within arm’s reach of icebergs and set foot on land discovered by pioneering explorers just over a century ago.
Your safety and comfort are our #1 priority, and your expedition leader will carefully plan for as many Zodiac excursions as possible, dependent upon the local weather and prevailing conditions. In each case, the expedition leader makes the final decision if the landing is possible or not. Safety regulations apply on landings. All guests receive a mandatory instruction of the safety guidelines. Life jackets are mandatory to wear.
Please note, we highly recommend the use of waterproof bags in order to protect your personal camera or binoculars, as both hands must be free of everything during boarding. Participation is fairly easy and comfortable for able-bodied guests but can be more challenging for those with physical handicaps.
Following international standards in the service industry, it is customary to leave gratuity for the ship’s crew at the end of the voyage. All gratuities will be divided among the crew. Typically, a recommended amount is approximately 13.5 USD per person per day. Gratuity is, of course, not required and any gratuity payments are voluntary.
The dress code on board is casual. Ties, jackets and evening dresses you may leave at home. It is rather more important to wear the right clothes in order to adapt to the different weather conditions. We recommend comfortable, breathable, waterproof and windproof clothing. Also, you should have a pair of gloves, thermal underwear and sturdy footwear in your luggage. For the captains and farewell cocktail, we recommend a smart casual dress style.
INTERNET / PHONE
Keep in mind, we will be cruising in a very remote region of the world. Where accessible, internet access is available for an extra charge. Mobile phone reception may be possible in select regions along our route. For further details please contact your mobile phone operator. Prices can be found in the information folder in your state room. Please ensure that your ‘Data Roaming’ function is switched off.
The daily office hours of the board reception are from 06:00 until 23:00.
ALBATROS OCEAN SHOP
The selection of items available for purchase varies by ship, and may include a range of warm and practical clothing, as well as souvenirs, local arts and postcards at reasonable prices. A small selection of soap, toothpaste and other personal effects are also sold.
HEALTH / MEDICAL EMERGENCY
Each of our vessels has a small medical facility equipped with the necessary equipment and medicine to handle small emergencies. The infirmary is always staffed by a professionally licensed, English-speaking physician and nurse. Should a serious incident occur, the nearest hospital will be contacted. All guests must have personal travel/health insurance.
Although we do not have an official requirement regarding personal fitness, you should be able to move on board and ashore without the help of others. Please be aware that the ship does not provide wheelchair accessible state rooms.
Due to safety reasons a cruise is only possible for pregnant women until the 24th week of pregnancy. The state of pregnancy must be presented by a medical certificate.
PHYSICAL DISABILITIES / WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY
Guests with physical disabilities are recommended to travel with an accompanying person. The processes on board should be handled without external help. The gangway can be – depending on the individual disability – a challenge. The angle of inclination of the gangway varies due to tide and different circumstances in the respective port. Please note that the guest’s participation in shore excursions as well as the (dis-)embarkation by Zodiac can be denied by the expedition leader due to security reasons. The instructions of the expedition leader must be followed. The ship is not suitable for wheelchairs.
SEASICKNESS / STABILISATORS
The ship is equipped with stabilizers in order to reduce the ship’s roll. However, these expeditions are hosted in remote regions, and it is possible to periodically encounter changing environments and climate patterns, including rough seas and large swells. Seasickness patches (Scopoderm or similar) work solely or in part to help cure nausea for most people. These medicines can cause sleepiness. If you are prone to motion sickness, consult with your doctor prior to departure to help ensure your comfort while travelling.
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUESTS
All meals on board the vessel is chef-prepared. If you have special dietary requirements (food allergies, intolerances, health conditions or religious preferences), please inform us as early as possible - ideally, no later than 2 weeks before departure. In order to ensure efficient service, please re-confirm your requirements with the crew upon boarding the ship.
If you wish to have some laundry done while aboard the ship, laundry service is available for an additional fee.
DAY 1 ARRIVAL AND EMBARKATION IN USHUAIA.:
Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. In the afternoon, we board our ship. Our journey begins as we navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
DAY 2-3 AT SEA. DRAKE PASSAGE, KING GEORGE ISLAND:
Sailing onward, we cross the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake Passage is known for strong westerly winds, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, Ocean Victory/Albatros, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself! In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses. Having crossed the Drake, we will explore the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way. Weather permitting, we hope to make our first landfall on King George Island before continuing further south to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
DAY 4-7 ANTARCTIC SOUND AND WEDDELL SEA:
Over the coming days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience at the very tip of the Continent. During these days in the Antarctic Sound, named in 1902 after the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the captain and the expedition team will keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. We aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed. The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the Captain and Expedition Leader and communicated to the guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
DAY 8-13 DRAKE PASSAGE AND SOUTH GEORGIA:
From the Weddell Sea we continue our journey into the open sea, just as Ernest Shackleton and his men did more than hundred years ago. Having lost their ship Endurance deep south in the Weddell Sea they moved slowly north on ice floes and later in open lifeboats until they reached Elephant Island. From here started one of the most remarkable boat journeys in the polar history, when Shackleton and five of his men for two weeks navigated the 720 nautical miles to South Georgia to call for recovery of the stranded crew on Elephant Island. We on the other hand will reach the mighty South Georgia after just a few days at sea!South Georgia offers stunning wildlife experiences with a wealth of breeding penguins, sea birds, sea lions and seals, all seeking shelter in this oasis amidst the roaring Southern Ocean. Previous whaling history pops up in most of fjords we will explorer – not least in Grytviken the only inhabited settlement on this mountainous island. Grytviken is also the last resting place for Ernest Shackleton, after he died on yet another Antarctica voyage in 1922. We will explorer the fjords of the north coast for 2-3 days and take as many shore landings as time and the swelling sea will allow us.
DAY 14-15 SOUTH ATLANTIC, APPROACHING FALKLAND ISLANDS:
Days at sea are great for participating in lectures and and other activities hosted by the expedition team, reading books in the ship library and watching the ubiquitous storm petrels and albatrosses from top deck. Or just to relax.
DAY 16-17 PORT STANLEY AND FALKLAND ISLANDS:
During the morning we approach Falkland Islands and in the early afternoon Ocean Victory/Albatros will cast anchor the sheltered natural harbor of Port Stanley. Utilizing our Zodiacs, we will land in town center, and take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Stanley.On the following day we will make landings – weather permitting – at two of the islands’ many magnificent wildlife spots.
DAY 18-19 AT SEA TOWARD SOUTH AMERICA. USHUAIA, DISEMBARKATION:
We are now into the last leg of this adventurous voyage, heading back to Ushuaia.After a hearty farewell to vessel and crew, we disembark in the morning after breakfast.
Itineraries are subject to change.
Triple State Room (Porthole) 22 m2 There are four Triple State Rooms on board Ocean Albatros featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms. Triple staterooms are normally with twin beds however a double bed can be accommodated.
Albatros State Room (Porthole) 22 m2 The standard State Room on Ocean Albatros is close to the Mudroom and has quick access to the zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the zodiacs. The State Rooms are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay onboard Ocean Albatros. The standard State Rooms all have a double bed or 2 single beds and bathroom with bathtub. The State Rooms are located on deck 3 and 4.
French Balcony Suite (Porthole) 16 m2 The French Balcony Suite is a standard State Room with a french balcony, a double bed or two single beds, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All French Balcony Suites are located on Deck 7.
Balcony Suite 35 m2 Ocean Albatros has 2 Balcony Suites on board located on deck 4. The suites feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom with bath and private balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Balcony State Room 24 m2 The most abundant type of State Room on Ocean Albatros located on decks 4 & 6. They have a private balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom with bathtub and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility under this category.
Single State Room (Porthole) 14 m2 Standard single State Room onboard, located on deck 3. This is a conveniently located State Room close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the zodiacs during embarkation and disembarkation to begin your adventures on the zodiacs.
Balcony Suite 28 m2 Ocean Albatros has 4 Balcony Suites on board located on located on deck 4 & 6. The suites feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom with bath and private balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Junior suite 42 m2 The 4 junior suites aboard Ocean Albatros have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom with bathtub and private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people.
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