Best of Antarctica from Punta Arenas (Ocean Endeavour)

Trip Code: GQMBP

Why we love it

Discover the historic Chilean town of Punta Arenas – a second South American gateway to the Great White Continent and future home to the International Antarctic Center., On Intrepid’s comfortable and well-equipped Ocean Endeavour, learn a thing or two about your upcoming explorations with a series of lectures and workshops presented by photographers, marine biologists and glaciologists., Zodiac excursions open up exploration opportunities in Antarctica’s glacial waters, icy coves and wildlife-rich shores. Get on board with a number of trips scheduled during your Antarctic expedition., Antarctica’s wildlife is varied, unique and undeniably incredible. Penguins, seals, whales, albatross – your expedition crew will curate your adventure to ensure you’ve got the best chance of multiple sightings., Disembark the Ocean Endeavour at the Argentinean port of Ushuaia, with the option to extend your adventure in this vibrant city at the end of the world.

Is this trip right for me?

The Antarctic waters can be rough and unpredictable, but don’t worry - our ice-strengthened ship is big and sturdy and equipped with stabilizers to ensure you’ll have a safe crossing to the white continent. Some people may experience seasickness, especially through the Drake Passage and other open water crossings, so please be prepared with medications to combat this. There is also an Expedition Doctor on board should you need further assistance.

It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof muck boots that are sturdy and warm as well as an insulated inner jacket (yours to keep) and a robust outer Expedition Parka. Please see the Antarctic Travellers Guide for more detailed information on what Expedition Gear we provide and what to bring with you.

Depending on the weather, you’ll be zipping around in Zodiacs quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. Some spray could occur, so make sure you dress appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Enduring the elements is one thing, having no photos to show for it is another. Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings from the Zodiacs, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The Ocean Endeavour has an elevator, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the elevator does not provide access to.

The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and, although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are just as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The ship’s Polar library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the Australis spa, saunas, gym and yoga and meditation classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.

Important information

PRICES AND SURCHARGES
Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with our Antarctic Voyage Booking Conditions, specifically "4. - Prices and Surcharges” prior to booking a voyage. Fuel surcharges are subject to market conditions and fluctuations.
Please note as of the 22nd of July we have begun adding a fuel surcharge per ship night to the 22/23 season. All impacted customers will be contacted and advised of the surcharge details.
A fuel surcharge of USD54 per ship night has now been added onto this trip.
For more information, please read the FAQ’s here www.intrepidtravel.com/antarctica-fuel-surcharge

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
Approach a looming glacier in a sea kayak, strap on snowshoes to reach the best icy viewpoints, capture the perfect penguin shot under the guidance of expert Photography guides or camp under an Antarctic night sky – these are just some of the ways you can enrich your exploration of the great White Continent with our additional activities. Our additional adventure options are subject to availability, weather and sea conditions, itinerary and departure date, so please contact your booking agent for more detailed information. Spaces on all adventure options are limited. For pre-booked activities, we recommend booking via your booking agent early to avoid disappointment.

PRE-BOOKED ADVENTURE OPTIONS (extra charge)

KAYAKING:
In small groups of 16 kayakers, under full instruction from our Expedition Kayak Guides, experience true tranquillity as you paddle through clinking ice floes in awe of the enormity of the surrounding scenery. Previous kayaking experience and a good level of fitness is required. Single and double sea kayaks are available. Please refer to our Kayaking Preparation Notes for more information.

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Capture incredible wildlife and landscape shots under the expert guidance of our world-class photographers, whilst utilising the latest photography gear available on loan throughout your voyage. Our small group dedicated Photography Program offers photography enthusiasts of any skill level the opportunity to make photography a focus of their expedition.

CAMPING:
Camp out on the ice and experience the silence that blankets the continent by night. This is your chance to completely connect with this ethereal ice world – wrap up warm and embrace the Antarctic elements. Please refer to our Camping Preparation Notes for more information. Please note: Camping is not available on late-season departures.

BOOK ON BOARD ADVENTURE OPTIONS
We also have a range of adventure options that can be booked and paid on board. These include:

SNOWSHOEING :
Get a spring in your step when you clip on a pair of snowshoes in Antarctica. Enabling you to easily scale gentle slopes, this unique activity allows you to access hard to reach places and seek out the most impressive views. Weather dependent. Please note: Snowshoeing is not available on late-season departures.

DAY PADDLE:
Enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in the breathtaking surroundings of Antarctica, whilst accompanied by Expedition Day Paddle Guides. Our expertly guided, one-off, day paddle excursions in our stable, sit-on-top inflatable kayaks give you the rare chance to see Antarctica from the same perspective as most of the wildlife – at the surface of the sea. No previous kayaking experience is required.

YOGA AND MEDITATION CLASSES:
It doesn’t get more serene than a yoga class to the tune of glacial scenery. Join the most unique exercise setting in the world after a day of exploration. Classes are complimentary and regular but are dependent on weather conditions and swell.

What to bring/pack

The Antarctic Peninsula has relatively mild weather conditions when compared to the rest of the continent. As a result, you should not need to make many expensive specialist gear purchases, although you do need good wet weather pants and warm clothing.
The dress code onboard is relaxed and casual and you will not need to dress formally for meals.

The inside of the Ocean Endeavour is well heated, so you will not require special clothing on board. Indeed, you could spend most of your time in light trousers and a t-shirt! However, it is not unusual for you to want to go out on deck suddenly – a whale sighting or seals on a nearby ice-floe nearly always produce a major exodus, so you need to keep warm clothing handy at all times, even when a shore excursion is not imminent.

When you do go ashore you will require warm clothing - a few layers of light and medium-weight items which can be easily adjusted rather than one or two large and bulky items - and wet weather gear to protect you from the spray which can sometimes be encountered on the Zodiacs.

PROVIDED EXPEDITION GEAR
Staying warm and dry during your voyage is vital. Our Expedition gear has been carefully selected and has all the important features to ensure maximum enjoyment on your Antarctic adventure. Sizing for your provided Expedition Gear will be collected approx 6 months prior to departure of your voyage and provided to you once onboard the vessel.

• Expedition Parka (on loan): A water repellent coating on the outer layer helps to move moisture away from the body, making this a breathable and light jacket. With hi-vis elements, large pockets for easy accessibility and watertight seals, this is the perfect parka to keep you warm and dry on the ship to shore Zodiac excursions in all kinds of weather.

• Insulated Inner Jacket (yours to keep): Made out of 100% recycled synthetic fibres, your vegan 600 fill insulated puffer jacket will keep you warm even on the wildest days of your expedition. With a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish, which encourages water to bead off the fabric’s surface, the jacket was produced using sustainable chemistry with minimal impact on people and the environment. A great memento to take home at the end of your voyage to remember your incredible Antarctic adventure!

• Muck Boots (on loan): We will provide black, rubber Muck Boots for the entire duration of your voyage. They are specifically engineered to deliver grip and performance on snow and ice while keeping your feet warm and dry.

PACKING LIST
We have prepared a full list of equipment to use as a checklist when packing for your Antarctic expedition. Please refer to the Antarctic Travellers Guide for more information. Laundry facilities are available onboard the Ocean Endeavour (at extra cost).

Physical rating

1

Although you don't need to be particularly fit to take part in an Antarctic expedition, you do need to have a good level of mobility. You must be able to complete the onboard safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures unaided. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet while negotiating the ship over potentially slippery decks and gangways. Zodiacs are accessed via a gangway which is reached via some steep and narrow internal stairs. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift (elevator), but it does not access all decks so some stair climbing on board will be necessary.

Onshore conditions will vary. Ice and snow underfoot can make conditions slippery. Some locations have steep climbs or longer walks to reach a place of interest but wherever possible, the expedition guides will offer options of shorter or longer stays onshore, and varying levels of activity. The Expedition Team and crew are on hand to assist guests on and off the Zodiacs during all excursions.

Joining your group

Your Joining Point Hotel in Punta Arenas, Your allocated hotel will be advised in your Final Travel Documentation, Punta Arenas, CHILE

Joining instructions

In Punta Arenas we have two joining point hotels:

Almasur Punta Arenas Hotel (formerly Hotel Rey Don Felipe)
Armando Sanhueza, 965, 6200729 Punta Arenas, CHILE

Hotel Cabo de Hornos
Décima Segunda, Pl. Benjamín Muñoz Gamero 1039, Punta Arenas, Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena, CHILE

Your allocated hotel will be advised in your Final Travel Documentation. If you wish to know the details of your pre-departure hotel in advance please contact your booking agent.

An arrival transfer from Punta Arenas airport (PUQ) to your hotel is included if you are arriving on Day 1. Please meet the Intrepid representative in the arrivals hall.
A pre-departure briefing will be held on the evening of Day 1 at your joining point hotel. The time of your pre-departure briefing will be confirmed in your Final Travel Documentation.
If you are arriving prior to Day 1, please contact your booking agent to discuss additional arrangements. If you have not pre-arranged a transfer, taxis are available from the airport to your hotel. A taxi counter is located in the arrival halls. A Taxi fare from the airport to downtown is approximately USD20.

Finishing your trip

Ushuaia Port, , Ushuaia, ARGENTINA

On the day of disembarkation in Ushuaia we highly recommend that you book your flights to depart after 12 noon incase of delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions. On the day of disembarkation the following transfers are included. Our onboard team will request your chosen transfer prior to disembarkation.
- Morning transfer from port to Ushuaia airport (USH) for your onward flight - or -
- Morning transfer port to Ushuaia downtown. Luggage storage is available for the day (at no cost). Onward travel (i.e to the airport) will be at your own cost.
- Morning transfer to Ushuaia downtown hotels for those extending their stay in Ushuaia.

Please note on the day of disembarkation in Ushuaia all guests will be arriving internationally into Argentina, and will need to clear customs and immigration.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 11

Lunches included: 9

Dinners included: 10

All main meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered in the Polaris restaurant. Hours of operation will be posted and are subject to change to accommodate the expedition.
Menus feature a diverse selection of gourmet dishes prepared by professional chefs. Breakfasts and lunches tend to be buffet style, while dinner is usually a three-course meal. We are able to meet most special dietary requests but please advise us of any special dietary requirements at the time of booking. An opportunity for you to detail any allergies or sensitivities will also be provided on your Passenger Information Form. Vegetarian options are available, however, Kosher and Halal food cannot be prepared. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available around the clock. Drinking water is available onboard, please bring your own drink bottle.

Climate & seasonal information

In case of emergency

Issues on your trip:
While we always endeavour to provide you with the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your Expedition Leader straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

Intrepid’s Antarctica Ground Operations: 54 9 261 532 3110

Accommodations

Transportation

The Ocean Endeavour has a fleet of 20 Zodiacs which means that all passengers can enjoy a landing at the same time.


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