Below the Antarctic Circle
This special journey takes us further south than at any other time in the season. We'll witness stunning landscapes, sizable Adelie penguin rookeries and large flat-topped tabular icebergs that drift north from the Bellingshausen Sea. With favourable weather and ice conditions we hope to reach Marguerite Bay. This spectacular location is reached by just a handful of ships each season and we always anticipate exciting ice navigation when pushing this far south.
Island hopping wildlife adventure
Returning north, we navigate along the glaciated coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula, passing through the Argentine, Fish and Yalour Island archipelagos and onward to the Gerlache Strait region. There are several important scientific stations here and a number of significant historic sites we hope to investigate. A transit of the Lemaire Channel is another goal on this voyage and always a highlight. Every day we explore off the ship in the company of our expert guides, enjoying shore visits and Zodiac cruises that may last up to three and four hours at a time. For those with an adventurous streak why not spend a night ashore camping like the early Antarctic explorers? This trip is ideal for those who love the excitement and spontaneity of small ship exploration in the most remote locations on the planet
Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 1. Santiago, Chile
Once you’ve arrived in Santiago, the cultural centre of Chile, make your way to our signature hotel for an included prevoyage stay. This evening, we encourage you to visit the welcome desk set up in the lobby of the hotel to check in with the One Ocean Expeditions' representative and to collect luggage tags for your voyage. By starting your voyage in Santiago, you’ve opened the door to countless pre-voyage excursion opportunities, such as exploring the colourful beach towns of the west coast or wine tasting at renowned vineyards.
DAY 2. Santiago, Chile and Stanley, Falkland Islands - embark RCGS Resolute
We depart Santiago this morning on our special charter flight direct to Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands. We are met on arrival and transfer from the airport into town. There is time to explore the town or enjoy a guided visit to nearby Gypsy Cove which provides our first opportunity for observing the local wildlife, including nesting Magellanic penguins and other sea birds. Making our way to the port, we board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote regions on Earth. [B,D]
DAYS 3-5. At sea towards Antarctica
We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. The Drake Passage is rich in bio-diversity and showcases a great abundance of wildlife. We will be joined by hundreds of seabirds including the wandering albatross. Giant petrels and smaller Cape petrels are also constant companions as make our way south. Photographing these magnificent birds takes patience and skill and our photography expert will be on hand to show you the best techniques. Join the ship’s Captain on the bridge and learn about the operations of our modern expedition vessel. Throughout the day our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, the wildlife and history and the locations we hope to visit in the coming days. As we approach the coastline of Antarctica, we encounter more icebergs and anticipate our first whale sightings. [B,L,D]
DAYS 6-8. Below the circle - Detaille Island, Marguerite Bay & Lower Antarctic Peninsula
Given optimal ice conditions, we aim to sail south of the Antarctic Circle. A favoured landing site here is Detaille Island, home to an abandoned British science hut. ‘Base W’ was established in the 1950s and is in a remarkable state of preservation. For the history buffs this is a fascinating place, providing a glimpse into the harsh life of early Antarctic scientists and researchers. This far south, we are always at the mercy of prevailing ice conditions. Years of experience pushing this far to the south, indicates that February gives us our best chance of reaching Marguerite Bay. We may take the ‘shortcut’, through a narrow channel known as 'the Gullet' if the passage is ice-free. Otherwise, we could navigate around the outside of Adelaide Island - which will take more time, yet bring us to the same destination. Marguerite Bay is home to several important science bases - Rothera (UK), San Martin (Argentina), Carvajal (Chile). We hope to make a visit to at least one of these locations. The area is full of history and the British Graham Land Expedition (BGLE) of the early 1930s - led by intrepid Australian explorer, John Rymill, established their southern base in this area. They explored and surveyed large areas of the Antarctic Peninsula by airplane, establishing the Antarctic Peninsula was indeed connected to the main continental landmass - and not just a series of offshore islands as earlier believed. This vicinity marks our turnaround point and from now on, we cruise in a northerly direction exploring the dramatic coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. There are several locations in the Fish and Argentine Island archipelagos which allow for Zodiac cruising and potential shore landings. We hope to visit a working scientific base to learn of the important climate-related research happening here. A hike over the snowy saddle of nearby Winter Island allows us to stretch our legs and explore the old British Antarctic Survey hut. [B,L,D]
DAYS 9-11. Gerlache Strait & Antarctic Peninsula Exploration
Petermann Island is home to a sizable Adelie penguin rookery. Adelies - the smallest of the Antarctic penguins nest here and share the location with gentoo penguins and Imperial cormorants. The view to the north of Mount Shackleton and Mount Scott is impressive. These towering granite sentinels mark the southern entrance to the Lemaire Channel. Nearby Pleneau Island offers more opportunities for shore landings. Just off shore, in the shallow waters of the Penola Strait, massive icebergs run aground. Constant wind and wave action sculpt these gargantuan chunks of ice into fantastic shapes, revealing more shades of blue than you could ever imagine. For many, a Zodiac cruise here will be a highlight of the voyage. We aim to transit the Lemaire Channel on our way north towards Paradise Harbour. This may be the first opportunity to step foot on the continent of Antarctica proper. Nearby Neko Harbour offers another continental landing. Both locations offer terrific hiking opportunities up to panoramic view points. Expect to be in full sensory overload by this time of the voyage. The good news is, our adventure is not over and we still have several days of exciting exploration ahead. Orne Harbour is another spot we hope to visit and the hike up to a rocky knoll provides great access to a chinstrap penguin rookery and jaw-dropping views over the Gerlache Strait. At Cuverville Island, there is a large gentoo penguin colony which we observe at close quarters. Leopard seals are often sighted cruising the shallows along the landing site. For the kayakers, a full circumnavigation of the island is a real possibility. It is somewhere in this vicinity we hope to spend a night ashore camping if weather conditions permit. We have all the gear and an expert team to make this unique experience happen. We are now at our most northern point on the Peninsula. Additional visits may include Mikkelson Harbour or nearby Cierva Cove, rounding out what has been a comprehensive exploration of the Gerlache coastline. Tonight, leaving the continent in the soft twilight, we reflect on an incredible 10-days of exploration south of the Circle and the Antarctic Peninsula. [B,L,D]
DAY 12. South Shetland Islands
Having crossed the Bransfield Straight overnight, we arrive in the South Shetland Islands. The adventure is not over and if the weather conditions allow, we sail the ship into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. This is a very dramatic place and history is all around us as we explore the old whaling station, with the rusted old boilers and dilapidated wooden huts. At the far end of the beach is an old aircraft hangar. This is where Australian, Sir Hubert Wilkins made the very first flight in Antarctica in 1928. There is also an outstanding hike here, high up onto the rim of the crater. On a sunny day, cruising along the coast of Livingston Island is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the vicinity including Half Moon Island, or the broad pebbly beach at Yankee Harbour, where we sometimes encounter Weddell seals sunning themselves. This is another great spot for a hike or a Zodiac cruise. [B,L,D]
DAYS 13-14. Drake Passage - return to Falkland Islands
As we make our way back to South America, the educational presentations continue and we enjoy an entertaining and memorable voyage recap by our Expedition Leader. Join our photography experts in the multimedia room and download and back up your precious images. If weather conditions allow, we hope to make a rounding of Cape Horn. This fabled stretch of water is home to legendary tales of exploration and early navigation. It’s a fitting place to reflect on a wonderful expedition. Approaching the entrance to the Beagle Channel in early evening light, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship. [B,L,D]
DAY 15. Arrive Stanley - Voyage concludes - Return to Santiago
This morning we find ourselves in the port of Stanley. We say goodbye to our crew and make our way to the airport for our return flight to Santiago. On arrival in Santiago our journey comes to an end. Onward regional and international flight connections may be possible this evening. Discuss the options with your booking agent. A transfer is provided to the One Ocean Expeditions' signature hotel located downtown for those choosing to stay and explore Santiago and the delights of Chile. [B]
Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may hinder our a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.
We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.
- Charter flight from Santiago to Stanley
- Charter flight from Stanley to Santiago
- All cruising on board the RCGS Resolute
Accommodation & Meals
- 1 night pre-cruise accommodation in Santiago
- 13 nights on board the RCGS Resolute
- 14 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners
- Antarctic gear hire package including waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated comfortable rubber boots, binoculars, trekking pole and waterproof backpack for use on shore
- Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
- Transfer from the hotel to the airport on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation day
- Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
- 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in cabin tea and coffee making facilities
- Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
- Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
- Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
- Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
- Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). On board or on shore
- Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
- Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
- An emergency trained Physician on board every voyage
- Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
- On board sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
- Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
- End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
- Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
- Any international or local airfares unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
- Visa and passport expenses
- Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
- Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
- Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
- Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
- Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
- Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day
Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices
|Valid From:||This tour does not include flights from Australia to Chile. Please contact our office for the latest special fares to match your independent tour.|
|Other departure cities:|
|Tips:||Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day|
|Single supplement:||On application|
Single Travellers, please note:
- No single supplement is required if you are happy to share. You would be matched up with a fellow expeditioner of the same gender. If there is no-one suitable to share, you will have sole use of the cabin at no extra cost.
- If you prefer exclusive use of the cabin a single supplement would apply which is 1.5 x the cabin price or 2 x cabin price for suites.
- Triple share cabins are also available for single travellers on a limited basis.
Cabin upgrades and itinerary length variations may be available, please contact Bunnik Tours for more details.
Fitness to Travel
Let's Talk Fitness
At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.
Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation
In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas
Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats
Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.
One Ocean RCGS Resolute
NEW: 360 Degree Virtual Ship Tour. With the highest possible ice classification, a proven track record for stability and safety, large indoor and outdoor viewing platforms, and exceptional manoeuvrability, RCGS Resolute is ideally equipped to carry you through the world’s most pristine regions. RCGS Resolute carries a maximum of just 146 passengers in great comfort, with an array of amenities, educational opportunities and all of the well known One Ocean Expeditions activities tailored to guests’ particular interests, as well as personalised service. The ship features two expansive full-view dining areas, a forward observation lounge with 180 degree panoramic windows, bridge access, a fleet of 14 zodiacs, multimedia room, modern gym, and wellness centre with massage therapy, steam room, jacuzzi and Finnish sauna.
ON BOARD CRUISE SHIP
Sea kayaking - $795.00pp US
Sea kayaking allows you to experience another side of Antarctica and highly professional guides will introduce you to a slower paced, quieter polar experience. Kayak excursions are offered whenever weather conditions permit and you can expect to get out around six or seven times over the course of your voyage, for periods up to three or four hours. The programme is directed at any passenger with an adventurous spirit and a some previous paddling experience.
Please note: This option MUST be reserved at the time of booking and attracts an additional charge of $795 US per participant. You will need to complete a special questionnaire outlining your previous paddling experience. Ask us for a copy of this document if you are interested in the sea kayaking programme.
Please note, a Reciprocity Fee is payable upon arrival in Chile for Australian passport holders. Please check with your travel agent for further details.
- Australian passport holders
- A Chile Reciprocity Fee of $117pp US is payable upon arrival by cash or credit card.
- Non-Australian passport holders
- Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.
The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.
Reviews for Antarctica - Deep South
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- View stunning bird life while crossing the Drake passage
- Marvel at the abundant wildlife across the Antarctic Peninsula
- Cruise past towering Icebergs
- Enjoy time whale spotting
- Spend time at the South Shetland Islands, one of the most unique wildlife sanctuary's in the world
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Polar Expedition ship
Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day
Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The ship's Captain and Expedition Leader will adjust the itinerary to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlifeView Tour Map