Road Scholar : Home
Antarctica in Depth

Program Number: 21170RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/5/2014 - 11/19/2014; 2/18/2015 - 3/5/2015; 3/2/2015 - 3/14/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Antarctica
Price starting at: $7,199.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 34; 12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Make one of the most thrilling adventures on earth — a crossing of the Drake Passage to the ethereal world of Antarctica. Journey past majestic mountains, deeply crevassed glaciers and massive icebergs, as naturalists illuminate the wildlife and the nutrient-rich waters that sustain this environment.




Activity Particulars

Descending and ascending a steep stairway to board Zodiacs; climbing in and out of Zodiacs; wet landings ashore; walking on rough, unpaved terrain.



The Feb 18, 2015 date is 3 nights longer than the March 2 date and crosses the Polar Circle.
Please see Program Details section on all dates to see itinerary differences.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Ushuaia (Argentina) 1 nights; aboard M/S Expedition, 11 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-3: Arrival Ushuaia (Argentina) / embark M/S Expedition:

Enjoy lunch in the world’s most southerly city before checking in to your hotel. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Days 4-5: The Drake Passage:

Make a 400-mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th-century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. Keep an eye out for the first sightings of icebergs, whales, and albatross following in oursturdy ship’s wake.



Days 6-9: The Antarctic Peninsula / South Shetland Islands:

Experience some of the most unique wildlife viewing and inspiring scenery in the world as you set foot on the Antarctic continent. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather conditions permitting) and encounter gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. The peninsula also has a remarkable human history. During the voyage we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.



Days 10-11: The Drake Passage:

Review the highlights of your Antarctic experience with lecturers and staff as the ship journeys north. Keep your eyes open on the observationdeck for some final whale sightings.



Day 12: Ushuaia / disembark / departure






M/S Expedition

Refurbished in 2009, this 345-foot, Finnish-Swedish Ice Class-rated expedition ship has lots of space for 132 passengers. A 360° Observation Deck and large common areas provide panoramic views of the sea and land around you. The ship boasts a fleet of 14 Zodiac boats. Complimentary Wellington boots provided for shore excursions.


Antarctica

In 1907, Shackleton led his crew into a place whose total ice-free area is estimated at little more than three tenths of a percentage. They came within one hundred miles of the South Pole and had to turn back for lack of supplies. Two hundred years later, slated from 2007 to 2009, an International Polar Year has been declared in order to allow researchers an opportunity to continue the tradition of discovering this wondrous land of ice and light.



Meals and Lodgings
   Albatros Hotel
  Ushuaia, Argentina 1 night
   M/S Expedition
  Aboard the M/S Expedition, At Sea 11 nights
 Albatros Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Maipu 505,
Ushuaia,  9410 Argentina
phone: +54 2901 437 300
  Room amenities: International direct dialinf. In-room electronic Safety Bookes. TV LCD with video cable. Minibar Hairdryer Wi-Fi Electrical currency: 220 V-0Hz.
  Facility amenities: Event and conventions' rooms. Spa. Health Club. Gym Center . Bussiness Center. Parking. Internet Wi-Fi. Room Service. Ski room. Bilingual staff. Dry cleaning and laundry services. Medical emergencies service.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: tbd TBD

 M/S Expedition
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The M/S Expedition provides an intimate small-ship cruising experience. Completely refurbished in 2009, she boasts spacious cabins, each featuring ocean-facing windows or portholes and private en-suite facilities. Large common areas and observation decks provide panoramic views of the distinctive landscapes of some of the world's most remote regions.
  Ship Information: Built: Helsingr Skibsvaerft, Denmark, 1972 Ice Class: Swedish/Finnish 1B Length: 105m (345ft) Breadth: 18.6m (61ft) Max Draft: 4.7m (15ft) Gross Tonnage: 6334 GRT Cruising Speed: 14.5 knots Stabilizers: Fins, Type Brown/AEG Max Group Size: 132 (Max Passenger Capacity: 140) Crew: 55
  Contact info: 19 Charlotte Street
Toronto, ON M5V 2H5 Canada
phone: 416-260-0999
  Facility amenities: 360° Observation Deck All cabins with private ensuite and outside views Raised Canada Goose Observation Deck Fleet of 14 zodiacs with four stroke engines Complimentary Wellington Boots for duration of your cruise Complimentary destination guides for every passenger Large headed mud room Lonely Planet Library Discovery Lounge Fine dining- international cuisine in one sitting Large aft-deck with barbeque facilities Polar Bear Club Gift Shop Medical Clinic Sauna Computer room with internet where available Gym Mobile phones for rent
  Smoking allowed: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program starts in the late afternoon at the program hotel in Ushuaia. You will be staying at Albatros Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends after breakfast on board the ship on Day 13. You will be staying at M/S Expedition the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. IMPORTANT: Argentina has an entry reciprocity fee for US Citizens. This tax must be paid online prior to entry into Argentina by credit card. The amount is USD160 and is not included in your program cost. The entry fee is valid for multiple entries into Argentina for up to 10 years, or until your passport expires. Currently this fee has not been collected for over-land crossings, but this can be instated by the Argentine Government at any time without notice. To pay this fee online, please follow these directions: 1. Register at https://virtual.provincianet.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/Default.aspx and obtain an entry code. You will need to register a username, password, email address, passport information, phone and date of birth. 2. Complete the form including personal and credit card details. This information and the entry code will be sent electronically to the Argentine Government. 3. After payment is processed, print the receipt. 4. Upon arrival in Argentina, the receipt will be scanned by passport control staff and the data will be validated to enable entry to Argentina. It is very important that you remember to print and bring your receipt.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to the site.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Ushuaia
  Nearest city or town:  Ushuaia
  Nearest airport:  Ushuaia International Airport
  Transportation to site: All participants who purchased their air travel through Road Scholar Travel Services, and are arriving on the program start date, will be provided with a transfer from Ushuaia International Airport (USH) to the hotel at the start of the program. Transfer times will be confirmed in your final mailing approximately 5 weeks prior to the start of your program. Taxi's will be readily available at the airport for participants arriving independently. The cost of a taxi from the airport to the hotel is approximately $10 USD.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Aboard the M/S Expedition
  Transportation from site: All participants who purchased their air travel through Road Scholar Travel Services and are departing Ushuaia on the last day of the program, will be provided with a transfer from the ship to the airport.
Equipment Requirements: You may have read previous information for this program implying it is possible to rent gear in Ushuaia prior to departing. This information was incorrect. You must bring winter gear to this program, with the exception of waterproof boots and a parka which will be provided by the ship. Parkas are being provided by G Adventures to all passengers on this program. In order to receive your parka you must notify your program provider of your parka size. You may do so by calling 866-359-5966 or by emailing your size to programinfo@roadscholar.org . To make sure you receive the perfect sized parka, please refer to the sizing sheet at the back of this packet. The deadline for submitting parka information is September 15, 2014. If Road Scholar does not receive a parka size for you, you will not receive a parka on board the ship. Waterproof boots are provided on board for Men's USA size 8-14 Women's USA size 3-9
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart US for flights to Ushuaia
(Wednesday, November 5)
   
 In Transit: In Flight

Day 2: Arrivals / Ushuaia
(Thursday, November 6)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina- the southernmost city in the world. Sitting on the shores of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia actually means "the bay facing westward", in the language of the original Yamna inhabitants. Once a penal colony (the presidio was disbanded in the 1940's) for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals, Ushuaia is now a major tourist attraction, particularly for people such as ourselves cruising to Antarctica. The town of 40,000 is also a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross country skiers and offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Terra del Fuego the only coastal national park in Argentina.
 Dinner: Join your study leader for the program orientation, followed by a welcome dinner.
   
Accommodations: Albatros Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Ushuaia / Embark the MS Expedition
(Friday, November 7)

Note: While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day on board, the Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: This morning is free explore Ushuaia on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to experience the local flavors
 Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to the port and board the MS Expedition for 9 nights.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
 Evening: The evening will be spent at leisure, watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: At Sea - The Drake Passage
(Saturday, November 8)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Our adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th-century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The MS Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded never ending fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic. At some point on the second day we cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling creating an ocean very high in marine productivity. When we pass this zone, we have entered the most nutrient rich waters on earth- the Southern Ocean.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: As we make the passage, you have time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where we meet our guides, ship's crew and expedition staff. We also begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea- Drake Passage
(Sunday, November 9)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Continue crossing the Drake Passage. Wandering Black-browed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Prion's and Cap Petrals are among some of the species of seabirds that may join us on the journey as we cross into Antarctica.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: The onboard educational programming will continue as you cross the Drake Passage.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
(Monday, November 10)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: This is what we've all been waiting for - a chance to explore and step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next 6 days we will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt 2 excursions per day while we navigate through the area but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
(Tuesday, November 11)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Continue to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Our goal is to attempt 2 excursions per day while we navigate through the area, but the itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Antarctic expedition continues.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
(Wednesday, November 12)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Continue to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Our goal is to attempt 2 excursions per day while we navigate through the area, but the itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Antarctic expedition continues
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
(Thursday, November 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Continue to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Our goal is to attempt 2 excursions per day while we navigate through the area, but the itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Antarctic expedition continues
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
(Friday, November 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Continue to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Our goal is to attempt 2 excursions per day while we navigate through the area, but the itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Antarctic expedition continues.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands
(Saturday, November 15)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Continue to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Our goal is to attempt 2 excursions per day while we navigate through the area, but the itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Antarctic expedition continues.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: At Sea - the Drake Passage
(Sunday, November 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Today we leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. in between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by our expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia. Remember, the best way to experience wildlife of the Drake Passage is to be on deck keeping a look out for Albatross, Prions and Whales.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Educational programming at sea continues
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At Sea- the Drake Passage
(Monday, November 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Continue crossing the Drake Passage on your return to Ushuaia.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Use your time this afternoon to pack your belongings, and prepare for disembarkation the following morning.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Depart Ushuaia
(Tuesday, November 18)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for flights returning to North America.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 15: Arrive in the US
(Wednesday, November 19)
   
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in the US.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Antarctic Explorer Map


Author: Ocean Explorer


Description: A full color map of the Antarctic Peninsula, including Tierra del Fuego, the Falklands and South Georgia, at a scale of 1:2,750,000. With a map of the Antarctic continent on the reverse.



Antarctic Peninsula and Scotia Sea Map


Author: British Antarctic Survey


Description: One in series that also includes the South Shetlands (ANT300), the Gerlache (ANT228) and South Georgia (ANT221), this excellent map shows the cruise from Ushuaia on one side, with a detail of the Peninsula on the other.



Antarctic Wildlife


Author: James Lowen


Description: Produced by a shipboard naturalist, this handy identification guide focuses on the Beagle Channel, Drake and Peninsula regions.



Antarctica Cruising Guide


Author: Peter Carey, Craig Franklin


Description: This all in one parka-pocket guide includes concise introductory chapters on Antarctica along with detailed information on the most popular visitor sites but its real value is in the wildlife guide: a beautifully photographed roundup of the most common penguins, seabirds, seals and whales that you'll encounter.



Antarctica, A Call to Action


Author: Sebastian Copeland


Description: Copeland's collection of striking photographs includes a three-page list of sensible suggestions to protect the planet.



Antarctica, A Guide to the Wildlife


Author: Tony Soper, Dafila Scott (Illustrator)


Description: Designed for the field, this compact handbook features all the species of birds, seals and whales the traveler is likely to encounter on an Antarctic voyage, each with a few paragraphs, range map and masterful color paintings by the granddaughter of Captain Robert Scott.



Antarctica, Secrets of the Southern Continent


Author: David McGonigal


Description: Expedition leader McGonigal's strikingly illustrated Antarctic primer features 600 color photographs and excellent maps along with essays on history, exploration, wildlife, science and conservation by fellow Antarcticans.



Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage


Author: Alfred Lansing


Description: Lansing's gripping day-by-day story of Shackleton's legendary perseverance is essential reading for any Antarctic traveler; it captures all the fortitude, drama and cheer of this most famous Antarctic expedition.



Fraser's Penguins


Author: Fen Montaigne


Description: Montaigne turns a summer working alongside ecologist and penguin biologist Bill Fraser at Palmer Station (we know many of you have visited!) into a captivating tale of hard work, camaraderie and penguins, deftly capturing the allure and grandeur of the Antarctic Peninsula.



Hoosh: Roast Penguin, Scurvy Day, and Other Stories of Antarctic Cuisine


Author: Jason C. Anthony


Description: Posted to the Transantarctic and other remote field camps over eight Antarctic summers, Jason Anthony understands that cold, isolated explorers dream of food. From the celebrated Hoosh of early days (a porridge of fat, melted snow and dried meat) to the cafeteria fare at McMurdo, Anthony traces the history of Antarctica through it stomach.Suprisingly appetizing, the book opens with Anthony's great good fortune of discovering an expert baker at McMurdo, who slipped 12 delicious loves of crusty olive bread into his rations for a three-month stint at a field camp. Yum! With a nod to Roland Huntford, David Walton, Charles Swithinbank, Paul Dalrymple and many other legendary Antarcticans, the book is as well-researched as it is a delight to read.



In Search of the South Pole


Author: Herbert Kari, Huw Lewis-jones


Description: Kari Herbert (daughter of polar explorer Sir Wally) and husband Huw Lewis-Jones collared an international who's who of explorers, historians, scientists and polar experts for this irresistible portrait of place. It's a scrapbook of Antarctic exploration, featuring excerpts from the logbooks, journals and books, a timeline, color reproductions of period posters and other arcana. With 150 photographs, this new book is an essential reference for all Antarcticans.



Life in the Freezer


Author: David Attenborough


Description: This informative, stirring BBC documentary with David Attenborough, set largely along the Antarctic Peninsula, features amazing footage of the marine environment, penguins, birds and people of the Antarctic.



Lonely Planet Antarctica


Author: Lonely Planet


Description: Alexis Averbuck, author of the new edition of this compact, surprisingly handy guide, expands coverage of Ushuaia, the Falklands and South Georgia. With a wildlife guide and contributions from 26 Antarctic experts on the history, geology, wildlife and future of Antarctica.



Lost Antarctica, Adventures in a Disappearing Land


Author: James Mcclintock


Description: A marine biologist who first traveled to the Kerguelen 30 years ago, James McClintock offers an intimate tour of the continent and his many voyages south, covering his field seasons at Palmer and McMurdo, his work on marine invertebrates and looming environmental challenges with equal, feet-on-the-ground aplomb. McClintock leads an annual expedition cruise to the Antarctic on climate change (some of you may havea traveled with him).



Penguin


Author: Frans Lanting


Description: For this gorgeous collection of 114 color photographs, Lanting loitered among the Magellanics, rockhoppers and gentoos of the Falklands, spent time with the king penguins of South Georgia and, famously, camped on the sea ice to follow the life cycle of the emperors and their young.



Penguins of the World


Author: Wayne Lynch


Description: Lynch weaves delightful tales of penguins, their habitats and habits, with hundreds of glorious full-color photographs.



The Crystal Desert


Author: David Campbell


Description: A biologist with the heart of a poet, Campbell focuses on fossils, glaciers, history and wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula in these vivid essays.



The Oceanites Site Guide to the Antarctic Peninsula


Author: Ron Naveen


Description: With descriptions, full-page maps and stunning aerial photographs of visitor sites.



The Storied Ice


Author: Joan Boothe


Description: A frequent visitor to the Antarctic over the past decade, Joan Boothe recounts the thrilling adventures of whalers, sealers, explorers and scientists along the Antarctic Peninsula. With abundant quotes, 100 illustrations, 30 maps and a chronology.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768