From: Montevideo. Uruguay
Duration: 18 days, 17 nights

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18 days, 17 nights
Skill Rating:
Van Supported:
Montevideo. Uruguay
Included: Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary. All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea. Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes aboard ‘Plancius’. Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation). All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac. Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff. All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program. Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Not Included: Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights, pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards, guides and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided). It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 90 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure the ship provider, Oceanwide Expeditions, reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 per passenger per night, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.

Ski trek across South Georgia: a group of up to 12 qualified explorers and 2-3 guides will attempt to traverse the island of South Georgia with skis hauling pulkas (sleds). The skiers will cover a total distance of 40 – 50 km retracing sections of the historic Shackleton route from 1916. On arrival day at King Haakon Bay, the expedition members will spend a night close to the shore preparing for the crossing. The expedition will then embark on their ski trek across alpine passes and glaciers aiming for reunion with the ship at Stromness Bay. After both expeditions have rejoined, all passengers will then continue to enjoy the latter part of the South Georgia cruise itinerary. The non-skiers (those who follow the sea voyage) will also have plenty of opportunities to walk.


Day 1: Montevideo, Uruguay - In the afternoon, we embark in Montevideo and set sail to South Georgia.

Days 2 – 6: At sea - Across the Southern Atlantic Ocean, in the Westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. At sea, on our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature will drop by as much as 10 degrees C in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas. Depending on progress (weather) we might have South Georgia in sight on day 6, which might also allow us to do our first landing.

Days 7 – 13: South Georgia - An exciting expedition with two adventure options: the normal sea voyage for “sea explorers” (with Zodiac excursions and hiking options) and a land expedition for “ski explorers” attempting the Shackleton Crossing. The sea explorers will explore the coastlines of the Island while at the same time the ski explorers will attempt to traverse the Island in the footsteps of Shackleton on a self-supplied ski trek from the South coast (King Haakon Bay) to the North coast (Fortuna Bay) in 4 days.

Ski trek across South Georgia: A group of up to 12 ski explorers and 2-3 guides will attempt to traverse South Georgia by ski and pulk. The skiers will cover a total distance of 40 km retracing sections of the historic Shackleton route, which he covered in 36 hours. On arrival day at King Haakon Bay, the expedition members will spend their first night further inland. The expedition will then embark on their trek across alpine passes and glaciers aiming for reunion with the ship at Fortuna or Stromness Bay. After both expeditions have rejoined, all passengers will then continue to enjoy the latter part of the South Georgia cruise itinerary.

Sea voyage: The sea explorers who remain on board will say their goodbyes to the skiers at Pegotty Bluff, the historic camp site. It was from there on the 19th May 1916 that Shackleton, Crean and Worsley set off across the Island to Stromness in a 36 hours marathon trek. The same day, the Plancius will stop over at Cape Rosa, where we intend to make a landing. Shackleton’s James Caird landed at Cape Rosa after an epic 16 days voyage from Elephant Island. Truly a historic day! The ship will be positioned around the Northwest corner of South Georgia. One of the highlights is the visit to Prion Island, where we will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross
and enjoy watching their displays. At Salisbury Plain, the second largest King Penguin colony in South Georgia, we will also see elephant seals. In Fortuna Bay, the ship will most likely re-unite with the ski team. The beaches are inhabited by King Penguins and seals. We might even see reindeer! Both sea explorers and ski explorers can follow the final section of Shackleton’s route to Stromness, the abandoned whaling village. At Grytviken we will also see an abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. At Grytviken we’ll also offer a visit to the Whaling
History Museum as well as to Shackleton’s grave nearby. During the next few days the expedition will explore the beaches of Ocean Harbour, Godthul, Cobblers Cover, Gold Harbour, Drygalski Fjord, Larsen Harbour, Cooper Bay, St. Andrews Bay,Possession Bay, Right Whale Bay and Elsehul. The sites that we visit give us a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, such as King and Macaroni Penguins, Light-mantled
Sooty Albatrosses, Fur Seals, Elephant Seals and the introduced reindeer. Drygalski Fjord is a particularly great scenic place for Zodiac cruising. There will be opportunities for walkers in the group to hike at Godthul and Gold Harbour hikes will be guided and vary in length with approx. 2–4 hours, 5–10 km. All hiking excursions are subject to weather and landing site availability. The voyage in South Georgia ends at Elsehul and the ship will take course to Ushuaia/Argentina in the evening.

Days 14 – 17: At sea - On our way to Ushuaia we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Southern Atlantic.

Day 18: Ushuaia / Argentina - We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.

About the ship: This expedition is a collaboration between PolarExplorers and Ocenawide Expeditions whose ship, the M/v Planicus, will be homebase for the voyage. M/v "Plancius" was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman". The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 114-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v "Plancius" is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.
M/v "Plancius" accommodates 114 passengers in 53 passenger cabins 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. 15 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 3), 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. The voyage will be primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel program, spending as much time ashore as possible. This vessel will fully meet our demands to achieve this.

The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the engines 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 17 nautical crew, 19 hotel staff (6 chefs, 1 hotel manager, 1 stewardbarman and 11 stewards / cabin cleaners), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 7 guideslecturers) and 1 doctor.

Rubber Boots and Expedition Jackets Onboard Plancius all passengers are entitled to use a pair of sturdy rubber boots for free. Sizes need to be pre-ordered with PolarExplorers at least 8 weeks prior to departure. A voucher will be sent with final travel documents approximately 4 weeks prior to departure. Laying claims on equipment items without pre-order and voucher cannot be accepted when boarding the vessel. Boots will need to be returned to the expedition team at the end of the voyage. Rubber boots are of high quality, keeping your feet dry, warm and comfortable for all landings. Expedition jackets can also be pre-ordered for a special price. Terms and conditions are available on the pre-order form.

Shore Excursions and Zodiac Cruising Guided shore excursions, walks and wildlife spotting and zodiac cruising are included in the fare and will be offered to all passengers during the voyages. We put our emphasis on active wildlife and nature experiences. All rates are quoted per person in US Dollars, based on twin occupancy. Please note that all dates & rates are subject to change. All voyages will operate subject to a minimum of 70 participants on