This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy waters.
• Adelie Penguin
• Bird Watching
• Deception Island
• Gentoo Penguin
• Humpback Whale
• Killer Whale
• Leopard Seal
• Polar Diving
• Shore-Based Walking
• Zodiac Cruising & Shore program
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 89 metres
Passenger Capacity: 108 - 116
Built / refurbished: 1976 / 2009
M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins (108 passengers as of season Arctic 2020) with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).
The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view. M/v “Plancius” has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 4), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. She is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation. M/v “Plancius” is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel. Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. Plancius fully meets our demands to achieve this. The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the vessel considerably. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots. The vessel is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages. M/v “Plancius” is manned by an international crew of 37 (18 nautical crew and 19 hotel crew), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor.
Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey:
Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
Day 2 - 3: Path of the polar explorers:
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.
Day 4 - 9: Sights of late summer Antarctica:
Options for Antarctic Peninsula activities are many, and no less great during the late summer. Humpback whales are prolific in this region, gorging themselves on krill before their migration north. The penguin chicks are also fledging, stirring up activity on the beaches while sleek leopard seals lie in wait, poised to attack the less fortunate ones. Sites for your Antarctic adventures may include: Livingston Island – Here you find a wide variety of gentoo and chinstrap penguins on Hannah Point, as well as southern giant petrels and elephant seals hauling out onto the beach. Deception Island – Actually a subducted crater, this island opens into the sea and creates a natural harbor for the ship. Hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and multiple bird species – cape petrels, kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns – can be seen here. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Cuverville Island – A small precipitous island nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Rongé Island, Cuverville houses a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks. You might also be able to set foot on the continent here. Paradise Bay – You could take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales. Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you may sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales as well as leopard seals. Crystal Sound – Your journey takes you south along the Argentine Islands to this ice-packed body of water, and from here across the Polar Circle in the morning. Detaille Island – You may make a landing at an abandoned British research station here, taking in the island’s lofty mountains and imposing glaciers. Fish Islands – Further north you encounter one of the southernmost Adélie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. Melchior Islands – These islands offer a beautiful landscape rich with icebergs. Leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales are found here, and there are excellent opportunities for kayaking and diving. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
Day 10 - 11: Familiar seas, familiar friends:
Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
Day 12: There and back again:
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Please note: :
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
1 porthole 2 upper & lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
1 porthole 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
1 porthole 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
1 window 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space
2 windows 2 lower berths Private shower & toilet Desk & chair Flatscreen TV Telephone & WiFi (supplemented) Hair dryer Ample storage space These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin porthole/window cabins
Call: 1300 669 780
(1300 669 780)
Visit: 222A Barry Parade
(PO Box 132)
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006
We're on the corner Barry Parade and Gipps Street, next door to Rocksports Indoor Climbing