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EXPEDITION TO ANTARCTICA – HANSE EXPLORER

JAN 2025 – 6 CABINS AVALIABLE

A vast continent of ice and the awe-inspiring power of raw nature, Antarctica is the world’s most pristine environment, offering unparalleled landscapes, natural beauty, an abundance of remarkable wildlife, and exhilarating adventures.

Every voyage to Antarctica is unique, with the route followed decided by the weather and ice conditions as you explore this last truly wild continent. A flexible itinerary allows the yacht to follow the best conditions, using near constant daylight to discover the amazing Antarctic Peninsula coastline of mountains, fjords, and islands.

Meeting in Punta Arenas, Chile, a gateway to Antarctica, fly to King George Island, Antarctica to embark your yacht. Once on board, spend 9 days exploring this remarkable continent in the height of the austral summer, a time when wildlife activity and weather conditions are at their best.

Your expedition leader will arrange landings each day to visit wildlife colonies or historical sites, set in a landscape like no other. Watch whales from the tenders, kayak among huge icebergs in the company of penguins as you explore coasts of sculpted ice in silence, or go farther, ski touring the incredible mountains around the yacht. Simply spending time on deck is mesmerizing as you cruise crystalline channels flanked by towering mountains rising straight from the sea. Engage a Polar Dive expert for polar scuba diving, if you’re dry suit certified, and discover the world beneath the ice, one few have ever seen.

Your expert team will help you spot the wildlife and provide insights making this truly a journey of discovery in one of the most amazing places on our planet.

10 Night Itinerary
SKIP THE DRAKE

Crossing the Drake Passage by air instead of by sea will provide a safe, fast and efficient crossing of one of our planet’s most notorious bodies of water, deemed by many to be the roughest seas in the world. Using a multi-engine jet aircraft cuts the crossing time from two days to under two hours. Flying from mainland Chile to Antarctica is perhaps one of the most exclusive intercontinental flights possible!

 

Embark your expedition yacht, and spend nine days exploring the fjords and islands of this remarkable continent. The itinerary is left totally flexible in order to follow the best ice and weather conditions, but landings can be made each day to visit wildlife colonies, historical sites or research stations. Visit famed sites such as Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel and Port Lockroy, before possibly venturing further south. If the ice allows, perhaps you’ll cross the Antarctic Circle at 66°33’S before returning to South America.

 

DAY 2 PUNTA ARENAS TO KING GEORGE ISLAND, ANTARCTICA

Arrive in Punta Arenas the day prior and overnight. The following morning transfer to the airport for your flight scheduled to depart at 8:00am. The exact time will be confirmed the day prior, as it is probable the timing of the flight will be adjusted due to weather. Flying time to King George Island, Antarctica aboard your BAe-146 aircraft is approximately 90 minutes.

Please note that these flights are subject to weather conditions in Antarctica. If the flight is delayed, the group will wait for the weather to improve, at which point the flight will continue south.

You will be landing on the airstrip belonging to the Chilean “Presidente Eduardo Frei M.” base. Russia’s “Bellinghausen” base is located nearby, and you may have the opportunity for a quick visit. Transfer to the waterfront where Zodiacs will take you to your yacht for embarkation. This afternoon you will have briefings on Antarctic safety and landing procedures, and depending on the time, may make your first landing.

 

 

DAY 3 TO 10 THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

 

THE SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
Plan to visit some of the other islands surrounding King George Island. These wildlife-rich islands are the very northern extent of Antarctica, on the edge of the Drake Passage. There are numerous penguin colonies, seals, and seabirds around the islands. As the most accessible land in the Antarctic, the South Shetlands have an interesting history from the sealing and whaling eras. Most of the Antarctic logistics and research stations are located there, as well, and you may see some stations as you explore the islands.

 

DECEPTION ISLAND
Deception Island is the flooded caldera of a volcano that last erupted in the 1970s. In addition to the fascinating geology and a history of shore-based whaling, the island is home to one of the largest chinstrap penguin colonies. It’s also the warmest place in Antarctica to take a swim, thanks to the warming action of hot rocks beneath the sea.

 

ANTARCTIC SOUND AND THE WEDDELL SEA
Known as Iceberg Alley, Antarctic Sound is at the very northeastern point of the Antarctic Peninsula, where large tabular icebergs drift north from the Weddell Sea. We may land and visit Adelié penguin colonies at Paulet Island, Brown Bluff or Devil Island, or elsewhere in the area. If you decide to spend some time exploring the northern fringes of the Weddell Sea on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula you and your sharp-eyed guides will search the ice floes for emperor penguins, which breed during the winter on nearby Snow Hill Island. The magnificent emperor penguins are hard to see during the summer months when their colonies have dispersed, but dedicated searching can yield the sighting of a newly fledged juvenile resting on the ice.

 

 

THE DANCO COAST & THE GERLACHE STRAIT
On the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, you will spend several days exploring numerous islands and channels of this breathtakingly scenic region. You will visit gentoo penguin colonies; and possibly, visit an active scientific research station. Cruise among icebergs in in Zodiacs, passing immense glaciers and ice cliffs. Sites you may experience include’ Paradise Bay, the Errera Channel, Neko Harbour, Port Lockroy, Cuverville Island, the Lemaire Channel, Petermann Island, Booth Island, Pleneau Island, and possibly the US Antarctic Base at Palmer Station. The choices are many, and all offer amazing experiences. Each day you will discuss the options and choose the best sites with your Expedition Leader.

 

THE GRANDIDIER CHANNEL, CRYSTAL SOUND & ANTARCTIC CIRCLE
If sea-ice conditions and time permit, you may venture still further south on the western side of the peninsula, towards the Antarctic Circle. If you are able to make your way through the pack ice and into CrystalSound, you may cross the Antarctic Circle at 66°33’S. Landing at the deserted British base on nearby Detaille Island is a step back in time, as the base has remained untouched since it was abandoned in the 1950s.

 

 

THE GULLET AND TICKLE CHANNEL
Once south of the Antarctic Circle we will assess conditions to perhaps attempt to transit “The Gullet’. Squeezed between Adelaide Island and the Tyndall Mountains this narrow passage offers incredible mountain scenery on either side of the ice-strewn waters of this hidden channel. This rarely visited passage eventually opens out onto spectacular Marguerite Bay, first visited by the French polar explorer Dr. Jean-Baptiste Charcot who named the beautiful bay after his wife.

 

MARGUERITE BAY
Only a hardy few allocate the time and effort to get this far South, and the rewards are many if we are able to reach Marguerite Bay. Savoring the full 24 hours of sunlight we use it to explore seldom-visited sites such as Bourgeois Fjord, Jenny Island (site of southernmost Elephant Seal colony), Bongraine Point and to enjoy the spectacular backdrop of Adelaide Island and the Peninsula itself. With good conditions we could reach 68 degrees south before returning north to visit more sites on the Danco Coast.

 

 

DAY 11 FLIGHT TO PUNTA ARENAS
Arrive off King George Island in time for yourflight north to Punta Arenas. The flight time will be confirmed nearer departure, and as on the southbound flight, is subject to weather delays. Your yacht will remain at anchor off the station, and you may remain on board until it is time to leave for your flight. Weather permitting, arrive in Punta Arenas this afternoon for onward travel.

EXPLORATION OPTIONS

A yacht expedition offers maximum flexibility, and Hanse Explorer transcends the limits of conventional yachts with her ice-class might — to make exploring icy channels and bays, and crunching through ice from fast ice to bergy bits, uniquely exciting and rewarding. Actively engage:

> Visit penguin colonies to linger at length observing amusing antics and their unique adaptation

> Land on the 7th continent, or spend the night camping on it—with the yacht standing by in case you change your mind

> Experience next level whale watching— killer whales and humpbacks from the yacht’s deck

> Explore the iconic bays and channels

> Hang out with your ice pilot to watch ice navigation

> Cruise with the yacht or tenders among a procession of bergs in late evening light

> Land at sites prominent in exploration history

> Hike or kayak in the majestic vastness and silence

> Or depending on your arrangement—go farther

AT THE HEART OF THE ADVENTURE

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