December 25th, 2007 -
January 8th, 2008
Our Antarctic itinerary is always subject to change due to weather and ice conditions. It is rare that we ever follow an itinerary exactly as planned. One of the mottos of expedition travel is Flexibility is the Key. We take advantage of all our opportunities, while at the same time respecting the power of the Antarctic climate. With that in mind, here is an outline of our exciting itinerary:
December 25: Departure from Home / Flight from Toronto, Ontario to Miami, Florida to Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, Argentina
Season's greetings! Our journeys begin today with many of us flying from Toronto to Miami, while others will meet us at the Miami International Airport. This evening we board an overnight flight from Miami to begin our journey south to Ushuaia, Argentina via Buenos Aires. A great opportunity to catch-up with some last minute Antarctic reading. (*All flight details are still in the process of being finalized, and the exact flights are subject to change.)
December 26: Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina
Early this afternoon we arrive to the southernmost town in the world, Ushuaia! Located on the shores of the Beagle Channel, this beautiful region is home to mountains, forests and glaciers. Upon arrival we will check into our hotel and have a chance to shower, change and rest. This evening we will have our first Expedition Briefing at the hotel and discuss our adventure ahead. Our day concludes with a wonderful dinner together.
December 27: Ushuaia, Argentina
Today we spend a full day exploring Ushuaia and the surrounding region. Our day will include a hike into the Tierra del Fuego backcountry and other pre-expedition educational activities.
December 28: Ushuaia, Argentina
This morning we will visit the Tierra del Fuego National Park. In the afternoon we'll have some free time in town for shopping and exploring before we board our expedition vessel at the dock in Ushuaia. After checking into our cabins, there will be an Introductory Briefing with our Expedition Leaders and the ship’s staff. Then we'll cast off the lines and set sail down the Beagle Channel towards the Drake Passage! Our shipboard journey to Antarctica begins! This evening, we'll also have a mandatory Emergency Drill. Be sure to look for the Southern Cross in the night sky!
December 29: Drake Passage
We spend the day at sea sailing across the infamous Drake Passage towards Antarctica. Our shipboard lecture and seminar series kicks off and there will be an important briefing on Antarctic Visitor Guidelines. Be sure to get out on deck in search of whales and seabirds, including the mighty Wandering Albatross!
December 30: Drake Passage / South Shetland Islands
We cross the Antarctic convergence during our second day at sea. Our lecture and seminar series continues and we'll be instructed on Zodiac safety and landing procedures. Depending on weather conditions and the speed of our Drake Passage crossing, we may attempt our first landing in the South Shetland Islands!
December 31: Antarctica
Our first full day in Antarctica! Almost 24-hour daylight will allow us take full advantage of our days here. Possible landing sites today include Paulet Island and a visit to the Argentine Esperanza Base. Thousands of Adelie and Gentoo penguins and their chicks await us at these sites, and we'll be in excellent whale watching territory.
January 1: Antarctica
Happy New Year! A full day for exploring and making landings along the Antarctic Peninsula. If weather conditions permit, we'll attempt Zodiac landings and cruises on and around Deception Island. This horseshoe shaped dormant volcano is Chinstrap penguin country!
January 2: Antarctica
A full day of Zodiac landings, cruises and educational activities. We hope to make visits to Danco Island, Neko Harbour and Vernadsky Station. Danco Island is home to an old cabin belonging to the British Antarctic Survey. At Neko Harbour, we'll be able to hike up onto a small icecap for an incredible view of Andvord Bay. The Ukraine's Vernadsky Station is one of the most interesting Scientific Research Bases in Antarctica.
January 3: Antarctica
Today is a full day of landings and activities! By now the beauty and wonder of Antarctica will have cast its spell over us. We hope to try and explore Petermann, Pleneau and
January 4: Antarctica
Our final full day in Antarctica will be spent on rocky Cuverville Island with Gentoo penguins. This evening we bid farewell to Antarctica and begin our journey back to South America.
January 5: Drake Passage
We spend the day at sea reflecting on the experiences and adventures behind us. Our lecture series continues and we'll begin the Student Forum activities.
January 6: Drake Passage
Our education program and lecture series wraps up. Weather conditions permitting, we'll sail around famous Cape Horn! This evening we arrive back to the Beagle Channel. Tonight we celebrate our expedition with a Farewell dinner and special presentations.
January 7: Ushuaia, Argentina
This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia and disembark our expedition vessel. We board our return flights to Buenos Aires and begin our homeward journeys.
January 8: Miami, Florida
Early this morning the main part of our group will arrive in Miami to get on connecting flights home. The Canadian contingent will overnight in Miami. Most of our other students will arrive to their respective homes today.
January 9: Toronto, Ontario
This afternoon the Canadian contingent will arrive back to Toronto to drive, train, bus or take their connecting flights home.