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Weddell Sea – Cruise to Antarctica

November 19, 2021
“Antarctica Cruise – Weddell Sea”. Our fun, adventurous kicks off in the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia. The main purpose of the expedition is to explore the area of ​​residence of the largest and heaviest representatives of the penguin family – emperor. Their approximate height is about 120 centimeters, and their weight varies from 20 to 45 kilograms. These beautiful birds are not only the largest of their kind, but also the most vibrantly colored.
We will travel on a comfortable and well-equipped ship “Ortelius”. Our expedition will spend several days between the islands of the western part of the coast, where the Weddell Sea is located, and will visit the volcanic island of Paulet. The latter was identified as the most important bird area, due to the fact that almost 100 thousand pairs of penguins nest here.
Also, under the right weather conditions, we will visit Snow Hill Island, famous as the base of the members of the brave Nordenskjold Expedition, and Seymour Island. It is there that scientists to this day discover the fossilized remains of huge penguins.
A distinctive feature of our trip can be called the fact that during the entire route we will use two highly maneuverable helicopters. This fact will help us to study this amazing region, its inhabitants and features even better and better.

Travel program

Our exciting adventure will last 11 days. Going on a real expedition with the Sparks Life company, you can fully experience the delight and greatness that the participants of the famous sea exploration voyages felt. Along the way, you will be able to admire the grandiose icebergs, take unique photos and enjoy the unsurpassed views of the surrounding nature.

Day 1

Check-in on board the comfortable and safe ship “Ortelius” will begin in the daytime. As mentioned above, we depart from the unique, southernmost city in the world – Ushuaia. Some call it the end of the world, and in translation from the language of the Indians of the Yamana tribe who once lived here, the name of the area means “a bay looking to the west.” The city is located on the banks of the Beagle Channel.

So, we leave the port and head for Antarctica.

Day 2 – 3

In the next two days, we will get to know the Drake Passage, which was named after the famous explorer, Sir Francis Drake. It was he who walked in the waters here in 1578. This strait is exceptional with its own Antarctic polar front, in which the cold waters of the Southern Ocean merge with the warmer ones – the Pacific and Antarctic.
The cold ones, due to their density, sink lower, and the warm ones rise upward, thereby forming a habitat favorable for marine organisms. Thanks to this, the region maintains a unique diversity of biological species. Also, the Drake Passage can be called a kind of northern border, where it is possible to meet a lot of species of Antarctic seabirds.
While we are crossing this strait, we will be accompanied on board by professional experts in the study of ocean biology, whom we have specially invited. It is they who will help us as accurately as possible to determine one or another species of birds. In addition, numerous albatrosses will follow the same course with us, which will be quite interesting to observe along the destination route.

Day 4 – 7

These days will be dedicated to exploring the Weddell Sea. A distinctive feature of this area is an impressive number of table icebergs. By the appearance of the latter on the horizon, it is possible to understand that we have reached the eastern part of the Antarctic Peninsula. The table icebergs got their name for a smooth and even surface, like a table.
Sometimes there are times when the Weddell Sea, the Bay of Terror and Erebus Harbor are completely filled with ice. This fact makes the navigation procedure much more fun.
The local area is also famous for its own picturesque sunrises, however, to admire them, you will need to wake up at about 3.30 in the morning. Now is the time to meet the unique emperor penguins. For the best search for colonies of these amazing birds, we will use not only our ship, but also two helicopters.

In past travels with “Sparks Life”, our team has had tremendous success in tracking down emperor penguins.

In addition, giant icebergs regularly break off the Ronne-Filchner and Larsen ice shelves. They mix with perennial sea ice and create heaps of hummocks, each of which is unique in its configuration and waves.
Also, this area can be called a real kingdom of white, like snow, petrels. These majestic birds have long been accustomed to the local beauty. Having seen this stunning sight once, you will never forget it. Huge, proud petrels soar in the sky above the snow, while skuas, gulls and storm petrels circle directly above the deck, sometimes rushing below the water level.
The Weddell Sea is the heart of the Adelie and emperor penguins’ habitat. This fact is perfectly confirmed by the islands of Paulet, Devil and Snow Hill. The number of these unusual birds seen is simply breathtaking. It is very funny to watch teenage penguins, which accelerate on the belly on the ice towards the water.
Just for a more detailed and detailed study of the habitat of these birds, their life and feeding, helicopters will come in handy, which will come with us to their destination on board.
Each air transport is capable of lifting no more than six passengers, so it will be very convenient to photograph the most interesting and exciting moments, and we can also quickly land on the terrain for a closer study of the islands.
Of course, we shouldn’t forget the most striking history associated with this territory. She is directly related to the research expedition of the early 19th century led by Otto Nordenskjold. These brave heroes were the first who managed to spend the winter on the Antarctic Peninsula. Our staff will tell you about the details and the most interesting moments of this expedition.

Day 8

Today we will visit the Crescent and Deception islands. We will land on the first one in the morning. In this area, located in the South Shetland Islands, it is possible to meet many representatives of the marine animal world, birds.
Deception or Deception Island, shaped like a horseshoe, is of volcanic origin. However, its flora is quite unique for Antarctica. It is here that it is possible to find more than eighteen varieties of mosses, lichens and liverworts that are not found anywhere else.

The greatest volcanic activity was seen on the island in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the last century, the volcano has intensified in two periods. At the end of the 20th century, seismological dynamics was limited to the disturbance of the surface of this territory and an increase in the temperature of groundwater. Due to the particularly violent eruptions of the volcano in the 1960s, it was necessary to end the once vigorous research activities in the area.

Now it is possible to examine the ruins of the scientists’ town here. There is also a large volcano crater, which was filled with sea water. Thanks to the hot springs, you can swim in some places.

Day 9 – 10

We return to Ushuaia via the Drake Passage. On the way, we continue our observations of marine life and birds.

Day 11

Arrival to Ushuaia. Our exciting expedition in search of emperor penguins has come to an end. A farewell breakfast awaits us, after which we will leave the ship and a transfer will take guests to the airport. Sparks Life hopes that you have received the most delightful, unforgettable emotions during our most interesting journey and will be very glad to see you again!

What is important to know about “Cruise to Antarctica – Weddell Sea”

The travel plan is subject to change depending on weather conditions, atmospheric phenomena, landing sites and the likelihood of encountering wild animals. The final variant of the route “Cruise to Antarctica – Weddell Sea” is determined by the leader of the expedition while on board the ship. Compliance with certain weather and other factors is a very important safety rule on expedition cruises.
Cabins and accommodation costs
Sparks Life company offers you accommodation in cozy cabins equipped with everything you need for a comfortable life.

4-berth cabin

Here you will find:
– a bathroom and shower separate from the rest of the cabins;
– two upper shelves;
– two lower shelves;
– TV;
– chair and table;
– two portholes;
– hairdryer;
– telephone;
– a place that is quite enough for storing things.
The total cost of the cabin is 32 800 EUR or 8 200 EUR per person.

3-berth cabin

Here you will find:
– two portholes;
– a bathroom and shower separate from the rest of the cabins;
– TV;
– one upper bed;
– two lower beds;
– chair and table;
– hairdryer;
– telephone;
– a place that is quite enough for comfortable storage of things.
The total cost of a cabin is 26 400 EUR or 8 800 EUR per person.

Cabin for two on deck

Here at your disposal:
– two lower beds;
– two portholes;
– separate bathroom and shower;
– chair and table;
– TV;
– telephone;
– hairdryer;
– storage space.
The total cost of a double cabin is 18 600 EUR or 9 300 EUR per person. For single occupancy the price is 15 810 EUR.

Deluxe suite for two with windows

There is:
– three windows;
– two lower beds;
– separate bathroom and shower;
– small sofa;
– table and chair;
– refrigerator;
– tea and coffee;
– telephone;
– TV;
– hairdryer;
– storage space.
The total cost of the cabin is 20,300 EUR or 10,150 EUR per person. For single accommodation the price is 17,255 EUR.

Superior

At your disposal:
– at least two windows;
– one double bed;
– one sofa bed;
– separate bathroom and shower;
– telephone;
– table and chair;
– TV;
– refrigerator;
– tea and coffee;
– hairdryer;
– storage space.
Full price per cabin – 21 400 EUR. Single room – 18 190 EUR.
The cruise price includes:
– accommodation and accommodation on board in a cabin of the category chosen by the client;
– meals – full board;
– all excursions and disembarkations along the route;
– services of guides and expedition teams;
– rental of snowshoes and rubber boots;
– helicopter tours;
– main port dues;
– informational information;
– delivery by transfer from the airport to the city of Ushuaia.
The cruise price does not include:
– international air travel;
– visa price (if necessary);
– medical insurance (mandatory);
– ground handling;
– individual expenses of the guest – laundry, bar, telephone, tips;
– any activities before and after the trip;
– additional payment for excess baggage;
– airport taxes.

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