Antarctica

ANTARCTICA – FALKLAND ISLANDS – SOUTH GEORGIA

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In 2014 we celebrate the 100-year Anniversary of one of the most epic and revered adventures in Antarctica. Disaster struck Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917, when its ship, the Endurance, became trapped in  pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could be landed. There followed a sequence of harrowing exploits, and an ultimate escape with remarkably no loss of human life. The story is one of survival, leadership, comraderie and heroism in a place that reveals the essence of ones’ character under unbelievable hardship and isolation.

You may feel, as we do, that if you make the journey to the bottom of the world you may as well stay awhile. On this far-reaching expedition to the islands of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Antarctic mainland, you will revel in 20 eye-popping days of exploration. With visits to places with great historical relevance, busybody penguins in rookeries by the thousands, behemoth icebergs reflecting startling greens and blues, humpback whales feeding on krill and of course  the continent-sized sweeping ice sheet of Antarctica, this trip will expand all of your senses in the best of ways.

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Overview

This is our most extensive Antarctic expedition. We depart from Ushuaia and make our first stop in the Falkland Islands. Here, we will find a relatively warm climate where an abundance of unusual wildlife thrives. Sixty species of migratory birds and the rare rockhopper penguin inhabit these islands.

Our voyage on the well-appointed Akademik Sergey Vavilov continues through the Antarctic convergence to the pristine island of South Georgia. Towering glacier-covered mountains are merely the backdrop to spectacular wildlife sightings including rookeries of the pompous king penguin, several seal species and the laughable macaroni penguin.

We hope to see the South Orkney Islands, often cloaked in mist, as we make our way to the South Shetland Archipelago and Antarctica.  We all experience a deep sense of awe when we first glimpse the much-anticipated continent. Even Phototeva leaders, who have led tours around the world countless times, will be overcome by its formidable beauty.

We are greeted by thousands of icebergs that look like modern art sculptures lining the bays of Paradise Harbour or Hope Bay.  Meanwhile an overwhelming profusion of wildlife is on display from penguins torpedoing through the water to predatory leopard seals staking their claim on ice floes.

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We hope to stand on the mainland of the White Continent itself. From this vantage point, it is easy to understand why legendary explorers such as Roald Amundsen and Sir Ernest Shackleton were so captivated by this haunting region.  As with all our voyages, safety is our top priority. For that reason weather, ice or other conditions may require us to change our itinerary and shore excursions as we go but that is half the fun of Polar exploring. Predictability is a word that has no relevance in this environment.

Day By Day Expedition Itinerary

Day 1/Ushuaia

Today is the first day of our adventure. As we board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city near the tip of Argentina, and start to become familiar with ‘our home’ for the next 20 days we cannot help but wonder about the exciting journey ahead of us. In the early evening, we set sail and begin our voyage leaving behind Ushuaia and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.

Day 2/At Sea

Our guests have the chance to spend plenty of time with our onboard polar experts. They will be educating us as we go deep into the wonders of Antarctica. Sailing northeast, we will likely be joined by swooping seabirds including the wandering albatross, who we will come to know well on this journey.

Days 3 & 4/ Falkland Islands

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Arriving in the Falklands Islands overnight, by morning we are all excited to make our first shore excursion. Our plan will be to explore the islands of the West Falkland Archipelago, home to a profusion of seabirds and migratory birds including the black-browed albatross. Our first penguin sightings will be on the island of West Point with its bustling rookeries of rockhoppers. On Carcass Island, we will observe nesting Magellanic penguins along with oystercatchers, geese and the flightless steamer duck who is a permanent Falkland resident. The next day we will make a stop in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands. As we wander through the charming streets of brightly painted houses, we will learn how this quiet harbour was once a major port in the 19th century for ships attempting to round the formidable waters of Cape Horn. We will also make a stop in Stanley’s famed philatelic museum with its impressive collection of historic stamps.

Days 5, 6, 7/ At Sea

Now we sail southeast bound for the island of South Georgia. These days at sea are never dull. Much of our time is spent scanning the horizon in search of whales and other marine mammals as well as seabirds. Our friendly onboard experts continue to fill minds with heroic stories of some of the earliest adventurers to explore Antarctica. We will also learn about Polar conservation – a theme particularly close to the hearts of our guides and crew. The anticipation grows particularly as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and notice a dramatic drop in temperature.

Days 8, 9, 10/ South Georgia

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Majestic snow-covered mountains greet us on the island of South Georgia – the most rugged island in this region. We will cruise the protected waters of the eastern coast looking for suitable landing spots such as Salisbury Plain and St Andrews Bay. The highlight of both these excursions is the mind-boggling abundance of king penguin adults and young that live in these locations by the hundreds of thousands, covering every inch of the shore. That is not the only wildlife on display. Fur seals can be seen poking their heads above the water, skuas and giant petrels swoop in the skies above, and the albatross our constant companion is never far away.  We hope to explore an old whaling station at Grytviken (Greet-vik-in) and visit the grave of the most famous Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his right hand man Frank Wild.

Also known as “the Boss” Shackleton’s commander Frank Wild’s wish was to be buried beside Shackleton but his wish never materialized due to the outbreak of WWII a week after his death. Our voyage falls exactly three years following the transport of Wild’s ashes to South Georgia, and 94 years after his last voyage with Shackleton in 1921. The interment was only possible following a seven-year- long research journey by South African author and polar expert, Angie Butler, who discovered Wild’s ashes in Johannesburg.

Days 11, 12, 13/ Sea and South Orkneys

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As we cross the Scotia Sea, sailing ever closer to Antarctica, we hope to visit the South Orkney Islands. Linked to the Antarctic Peninsula by an enormous sub-marine mountain range these islands, often shrouded in mist, protected by large icebergs and sea ice. If we are lucky, there will be an excursion to Coronation Island to observe penguins nesting in moss beds alongside graceful snow petrels. We may also stop at the remote island of Laurie and visit the Argentinean meteorological station located there.

Days 14, 15, 16, 17/ South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Mainland – Antarctica

Elephant Island, en route to the South Shetland Islands, will be our next destination if conditions are suitable. Here, we will learn more about the famous Antarctic adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton. This island was a place of refuge in 1916 for Shackleton and his crew after his ship was destroyed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea close to 100 years ago. Following the loss of their ship the 28 exhausted men reached Elephant Island after a harrowing ordeal on drifting ice floes. They established a camp at a place they called Point Wild, named after Frank Wild.

Next, we will spend some time cruising among the South Shetland Islands just off the Antarctic Peninsula. Dazzling wildlife sightings await us on our excursions to some of these islands including King George, Half Moon, Barrientos or Livingston. Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins thrive here, as do several species of seal. We even hope to see the gentle humpback whale dining on krill off King George Island.

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Weather permitting, we will visit the flooded volcanic caldera of Deception Island. With rugged scenery, great sites of geologic interest and an overwhelming display of whaling and scientific exploration history, Deception Island is a perfect museum of natural and exploration history. For those wanting to stretch their legs, a spectacular hike to the crater rim offers a challenge. Finally, after so much anticipation, we will arrive at the Antarctic mainland in Paradise Harbour or Hope Bay. The scenery here from the colossal icebergs to the seemingly endless Antarctic ice sheet is truly breathtaking. Weather permitting, we hope to undertake a shore excursion and set foot on the White Continent itself.

Days 18 & 19 / Drake Passage

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As we leave this magical place and make our way back, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage before rounding Cape Horn, we have no doubt that time will be spent sharing and reflecting on the wonderful experiences of the last few days. Sailing up the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our Polar expedition at a special dinner.

Day 20/ Ushuaia

In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home.

After spending 19 nights on board our vessel exploring this wonderful part of the world, we are certain our guests will leave Antarctica with a completely different perspective than when they arrived. After all, it would be impossible to feel quite the same after gazing upon an unimaginable profusion of penguins tobogganing and waddling their way across the snow – or watching yet another species of whale crest the waves in close proximity. And then there is the awe you will feel when you first glimpse the sweeping ice sheet that spans an entire continent. Antarctica gets under your skin unlike any other place on earth.

Please note

Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favourable conditions.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov – Cabin Categories and prices

Main Deck Triple Share – Located on Deck 3 these cabins have bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared. There is a washbasin with cold/hot water in the cabin.
Price: $15,895 per person


Twin Semi-Private – Located on Deck 4 these cabins have one lower berth and one sofa bed. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins). All cabins have a window which opens.
Price: $18,795 pp

Twin Private – These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window which opens.
Price: $20,695 pp


Superior  – Located on Deck 3 these cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair, in-room clock radio with ipod connector kit and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a port hole (one of which opens).
Price: $21,795 pp


Shackleton Suite – These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have one double berth, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, a writing desk/chair, ipad with polar literature and access to various media. Facilities are private and all cabins have windows, which can be opened.
Price: $22,495 pp


One Ocean Suite – Located on Deck 5 this cabin has a double berth, one sofa bed and separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, ipad with polar literature and access to various media, IPod Dock Alarm Clock and IPod Speaker System for main room. Facilities are private and have a bathtub. This cabin has windows overlooking the bow, which can be opened.
Price: $25,295 pp


Single – 50% addition in the regular rooms and 100% in the suites.

There is no option for single accommodation in the triple rooms (we will match up the guests in the shared room if necessary).

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Included:
1. 11 days, 10 nights on board Akademik Vavilov ship.
2. Guided shore excursions in english.
3. professional photography guide by Roie Galitz.
4. 3 meals a day
5. Water and wind proof overall and boots.

Not included:
1. Flights and ground services
2. Personal expenses – alcohol, laundry, phone, etc.
3. Personal insurance, including sports, adventure and travel.
4. Tips
5. anything that is not under “Included” above.

 

Payment and Cancelation
To secure your reservation a deposit of US$1500 per person for an Antarctica voyage and US$1500 for an Arctic voyage and booking form are required. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure, if not received on time Phototeva reserves the right to cancel your trip.

If you wish to cancel your booking, notification of cancellation must be made toPhototeva in writing. Your deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel your booking less than 90 days before departure, One Ocean Expeditions will retain 100% of the total booking cost. No refunds will be made if you leave a trip for any reason after the trip has begun.

Contact

For any question or issue please contact us at info@phototeva.com or use the form below

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Tern and chick - Roie Galitz

Tern and Chick - Roie Galitz