Antarctic Expedition to the Weddell Sea

Antarctica: Fly and Sail Expedition

Argentina, Chile, Antarctica

13 Days

From $14,495

Level 1+

Easiest

Overview

    Contact Us Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Booking Discount
    15- 20% off and $2,000 air credit on select 2024-2025 departures
    Available on new bookings - Capacity is limited, please call for availability

    Overview

    Famed for its tremendous tabular icebergs, year-round sea ice, fascinating fossils, and the pivotal role it played in Shackleton's Endurance expedition, the Weddell Sea offers unsurpassed opportunities for exploration. Embark on a true Antarctic expedition as you not only explore the west Antarctic Peninsula, but also attempt to venture east toward the icy perimeter of the Weddell Sea, often guarded by impenetrable pack ice and home to awe-inspiring tabular icebergs. To make the most of your time in Antarctica, flights to or from King George Island (averting the two-day Drake Passage crossing) are scheduled, weather permitting. See "What the Trip is Like" for specific details and contingency plans.

    Arrive: Punta Arenas, Chile (or reverse)

    Depart: Ushuaia, Argentina (or reverse)

    Highlights

    • Be awed by the array of wildlife who play and hunt in the Antarctic Sound
    • Marvel at enormous tabular icebergs in the Weddell Sea
    • Learn about the incredible fossil-rich volcanic islands from an onboard paleontologist

    Overview

      Contact Us Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days

      Note: This trip is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as an agent in booking your reservation with the operator. Please download the Rate Sheet in the Dates & Pricing section to see the full pricing details and contact our Cruise Collection Specialists to check availability.

      Arrive in Punta Arenas, where you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Overlooking the Straits of Magellan, Punta Arenas sits astride one of the world's most historic trade routes. Today, the city reflects a great mix of cultures, from English sheep ranchers to Portuguese sailors, and it remains an utterly fascinating testament to Chile's rich history. Please arrive no later than 4:00 pm so that you may attend an important briefing this evening. At approximately 7:00 pm, meet your fellow expeditioners at a voyage briefing where your transfer times, procedures for your flight to King George Island, and IAATO regulations for visitors to Antarctica will be confirmed. Afterwards, there's free time to enjoy the local cuisine at one of Punta Arenas's many restaurants. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at Hotel Cabo de Hornos (or similar).
      Transfer to Punta Arenas airport for the charter flight to King George Island, Antarctica (weather permitting). The flight will take approximately one hour and forty-five minutes. Upon arrival at King George Island, the expedition team is on hand to greet you and prepare you for your Zodiac transfer to the vessel. You will have time to settle into your cabin before important safety briefings. Note: King George Island is located at the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote places on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required for safe take-off and landing. Please refer to "What the Trip is Like" for specific details and contingency plans.
      It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on Earth is an experience that will stay with you forever. Upon arrival,?the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are yours to explore, and a host of choices is available. Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions, and wildlife opportunities. Landings or Zodiac excursions are typically made twice a day. You will want to wear plenty of warm clothing before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals, and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to shore, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts, and explore some favorite spots along the peninsula. While ashore you will stretch your legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and, of course, keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters—conditions permitting! In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, you may cruise by ship some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales traveling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendor. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent. Central to the story of where Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, became trapped in formidable sea ice, the Weddell Sea certainly is high on the list for many polar adventurers. A small set of islands standing off to the east of the Antarctic Peninsula collectively form the Antarctic Sound—the gateway to the Weddell Sea, with its well-deserved reputation as being an iceberg alley where large icebergs try to escape the Weddell Sea through Antarctic Sound, often making navigation difficult. However, the rewards can be great. Fossils are a reminder of a more temperate era—gastropods, large clams, and spiral-shaped ammonites, all turned to stone.?You may experience memorable wildlife encounters as the Weddell boasts a large Adélie penguin colony just outside of Antarctic Sound, some of which breed on the rocky slopes of a small volcanic island, where a large colony of Antarctic blue-eyed shags jostle for space with nest-building Wilson’s storm petrels. On thrilling Zodiac excursions or slicing a path through the maze of sea ice in your kayak, keep watch for chinstrap and gentoo penguins in and out of the water, as well as humpback, minke, and orca whales. Your camera is sure to get a solid workout during your time in the Weddell Sea.
      Enjoy a final morning landing in the South Shetland Islands before re-entering the Drake Passage for the return journey to South America. With lectures and film presentations to complete your Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what you have seen and experienced. It is hoped you become ambassadors for Antarctica, telling your family, friends, and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here. As the ship approaches the tip of South America, the Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.
      During the early morning, the ship cruises up the Beagle Channel before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where you will be free to disembark around 8:00 am. Bid farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers as everyone continues their onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. On disembarkation, passengers on flights departing prior to 2:00 pm will be transferred directly to Ushuaia Airport, while those fortunate enough to be continuing their travels in this spectacular region of the world will be transferred to their post-voyage Ushuaia accommodation. Passengers flying after 2:00 pm will have time to explore Ushuaia, prior to an afternoon airport transfer, the details of which will be provided onboard prior to disembarkation. Please do not book flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12:00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.
      Day 1: Punta Arenas
      Day 2: Embarkation
      Days 3-10: Weddell Sea and Antarctic Peninsula
      Days 11-12: Drake Passage Crossing
      Day 13: Disembark in Ushuaia

      Dates & Pricing

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      At time of reservation: $2,500 per person
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Minimum fee: $2,500 per person
      90 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Please note that this differs from our standard policy.

      Included
      • All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary
      • One night's hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas or Ushuaia (depending on cruise direction) on Day 1, including breakfast
      • Charter flight from Punta Arenas or Ushuaia (depending on cruise direction) to King George Island
      • Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service
      • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
      • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
      • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
      • Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team
      • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation)
      • One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket
      • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage
      • Comprehensive pre-departure information
      • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
      Not Included
      • International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary
      • Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary
      • Travel insurance (required) or emergency evacuation charges
      • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges
      • Items of a personal nature such as laundry and alcoholic beverages
      • Gratuities for the ship's crew

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Greg Mortimer

      Days 2-13 (12 nights)

      One of the most advanced expedition ships in the world, the 132-passenger Greg Mortimer (named after the well-known Australian mountaineer and explorer) was built to world-class polar standards with the most up-to-date safety and nautical technology. Her unique, inverted bow allows for more gentle sea crossings, improved comfort, and reduced...

      Sylvia Earle

      Days 2-13 (12 nights)

      The recently launched Sylvia Earle is a floating ambassador for the conservation of the planet. Paying tribute to Dr. Sylvia Earle and six pioneering conservationists, she is certified 100% Climate Neutral, with a fully equipped Citizen Science Center, expert lecturers, and participative citizen science programs that enrich your knowledge and...

      What the Trip is Like

      The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy. You will be traveling to a very remote destination. You must be able to complete on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures without the assistance of others.

      Review Trip Level Details

      Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet, especially when walking on slippery decks or up and down steep gangways. Shore excursions often require hiking over uneven terrain without the benefit of a developed trail. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. Most Zodiac landings require that you step in the water to get ashore. Zodiac and shore excursions are weather permitting.

      The Antarctic summer begins in November and ends in March -- no tourist ships visit in the winter. December through February are the best times to visit as they bring long daylight hours and milder temperatures. You'll experience a variety of weather conditions including rain, snow, sleet, and sunny skies no matter when you visit. Temperatures can change quickly and range from the high 30s to below freezing, sometimes with a significant wind chill. We recommend packing warm layers, hats, gloves, waterproof boots, and a good pair of sunglasses.

      All meals will be taken on board. All ships we offer have the capacity to seat everyone at a single, open seating in the main dining room. In some cases outdoor buffet breakfast and lunch options are also available. Please let us know of any special dietary needs; the ship will accommodate as best as possible.

      Contingency Plan: Fly/Sail and Fly/Fly Voyages
      For Fly/Sail and Fly/Fly voyages (where a voyage commences with a flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica) Aurora Expeditions will deploy the following Contingency Plan.

      Every effort will be made to fly our expeditioners to Antarctica to start their voyage, as long as it safe to do so. This requires suitable weather conditions at both the departure point and the arrival point in Antarctica. For each day of the itinerary after Day 1, if there is a flight delay, Aurora Expeditions' ground staff will update all expeditioners on the flight status. During the delay, we are waiting for a break in the weather allowing us to depart, and are often required to leave with very little notice. All expeditioners and staff will be on standby during this time.

      Days 1 & 2
      After breakfast, there will be a briefing regarding new flight departure time from Punta Arenas (in case there is a confirmed flight time) or new briefing time (in case there is no confirmation of flight time). If the flight has been scheduled to depart early afternoon, an updated transfer bus departure time will be advised to expeditioners. If the flight is delayed until the evening, lunch will be provided and an afternoon excursion will be offered to expeditioners. If the flight has been delayed until the following day, a briefing will occur to advise expeditioners of the new flight departure time from Punta Arenas the following day. Aurora Expeditions will provide all meals and guided tours to sites of historic and wildlife interest in Punta Arenas as well as additional night(s) of hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast included.

      Day 3
      If by 2:00 pm authorization to fly to Antarctica is not provided, the voyage will be cancelled. Aurora Expeditions will provide accommodation and all meals. No other services are included after Day 3.

      Contingency Plan: Sail/Fly Voyages and Fly/Fly Voyages
      At the end of a Sail/Fly and Fly/Fly voyage, if the return charter flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas is delayed, expeditioners already in Antarctica will remain on board the ship until the return flight to Punta Arenas is authorized to depart. If the flight from Punta Arenas is cancelled after up to 72 hours of attempting to depart, the ship will transport expeditioners from King George Island to Puerto Williams or Ushuaia for disembarkation. Full board is included. Strictly no refund will be provided for any reason.

      Important Note: No refund will be provided to you for the voyage if the flight is successfully completed regardless of which day it was executed up to 72 hours after the originally scheduled flight time, or if the voyage is fully cancelled after unsuccessfully attempting to depart for up to 72 hours after the originally scheduled flight time. Aurora Expeditions will not be liable for and does not accept any claims for any costs made by you including but not limited to international airfares, domestic airfares, accommodation, any additional services purchased, or change fees impacted by or as a result of the delay or cancellation of a Fly & Sail voyage. Aurora Expeditions will provide a trip interruption letter to be submitted by the expeditioners to their insurance company for the airfare, change fees, re-booking fees, and other expenses incurred due to the trip interruption or cancellation.

      This exciting Antarctic Adventure offers optional add-on activities for an additional cost. You are only permitted to participate in one add-on activity for the duration of the voyage and space is limited. The Expedition Team tries to get you off the ship to participate in these activities up to two times per day (except for sea days). However, you are always at the mercy of the weather and changes to the voyage and itinerary. Embracing the unexpected is part of the excitement of expedition-style travel!

      Sea Kayaking: One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica. Each small group of kayakers (up to 10 per guide) will have their own intimate exploration of the small hidden bays and coasts that are inaccessible to Zodiacs. You do not need to be an expert or know how to roll, however you will need to have some kayaking experience and be fit enough to paddle for up to three hours,. getting in and out of the kayak, wearing a spray skirt, and must be able to swim.

      Paddling: This activity is suitable for novices and no prior experience is required to participate. The inflatable kayak is larger and sturdier for novices. However, you must be able to swim independently for up to 25 meters and be confident in water.

      Snorkeling: Discover the amazing mobility and speed of penguins, marvel at the beauty of icebergs below the water, and witness marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish, and nudibranchs. This activity utilizes state of the art equipment including drysuits, gloves, hood, fins, mask and snorkel for a comfortable and exciting experience. Participants will be provided with all of the training and equipment needed to experience Antarctica from this unique angle. You must be able to swim and complete a medical form that will be reviewed by the snorkel team. The initial snorkel will be a "check-out" snorkel so each participant can check and adjust their equipment. If the snorkel leader feels that you do not meet the necessary experience, they have the right to exclude you from participating in the program. This decision is made for your safety and the safety of the other divers.

      Polar Diving: Aurora Expeditions has been operating scuba diving in the polar regions for more than 20 years—the first expedition cruise operator to offer this ultimate polar adventure. Diving is not for beginners. You must be at least an Advanced Open Water Diver and Drysuit Specialty certified diver with at least 30 drysuit dives. You are also required to complete a minimum of 10 dives in the 12 months before your trip, with a minimum of 5 of those dives in a drysuit.

      Before departure you must show an internationally accepted diving certificate, diver's logbook, and a current diving medical (no more than 6 months old) from your doctor confirming that you are in suitable physical health to participate in the diving activity. A divemaster will review your form for suitability and experience before approving your diving spot. The initial dive will be a "check-out" dive so each diver can check and adjust their weights and equipment. If the divemaster feels that you do not meet the necessary experience, they have the right to exclude you from participating in the dive program. This decision is made for your safety and the safety of the other divers.

      Extend Your Trip

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

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      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

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charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Antarctic Expedition to the Weddell Sea<\/body>","Custom_Lodging":"","Custom_Meals":"","Custom_Difficulty":"","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T15:27:42 --><p>The trip is rated <strong>Level 1+, Easy<\/strong>. You will be traveling to a very remote destination. You must be able to complete on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures without the assistance of others. <\/p>","Custom_Terrain":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T15:27:50 --><p>Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet, especially when walking on slippery decks or up and down steep gangways. Shore excursions often require hiking over uneven terrain without the benefit of a developed trail. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. Most Zodiac landings require that you step in the water to get ashore. Zodiac and shore excursions are weather permitting.<\/p>","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"","Custom_Weather":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T15:30:39 --><p>The Antarctic summer begins in November and ends in March -- no tourist ships visit in the winter. December through February are the best times to visit as they bring long daylight hours and milder temperatures. You'll experience a variety of weather conditions including rain, snow, sleet, and sunny skies no matter when you visit. Temperatures can change quickly and range from the high 30s to below freezing, sometimes with a significant wind chill. We recommend packing warm layers, hats, gloves, waterproof boots, and a good pair of sunglasses.<\/p>","Custom_Accommodations":"","Custom_Cuisine":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T15:30:51 --><p>All meals will be taken on board. All ships we offer have the capacity to seat everyone at a single, open seating in the main dining room. In some cases outdoor buffet breakfast and lunch options are also available. Please let us know of any special dietary needs; the ship will accommodate as best as possible.<\/p>","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T15:29:54 --><p>Contingency Plans<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T15:30:27 --><p><strong>Contingency Plan: Fly\/Sail and Fly\/Fly Voyages<\/strong><br \/>For Fly\/Sail and Fly\/Fly voyages (where a voyage commences with a flight from Punta Arenas to Antarctica) Aurora Expeditions will deploy the following Contingency Plan.<\/p><p>Every effort will be made to fly our expeditioners to Antarctica to start their voyage, as long as it safe to do so. This requires suitable weather conditions at both the departure point and the arrival point in Antarctica. For each day of the itinerary after Day 1, if there is a flight delay, Aurora Expeditions' ground staff will update all expeditioners on the flight status. During the delay, we are waiting for a break in the weather allowing us to depart, and are often required to leave with very little notice. All expeditioners and staff will be on standby during this time.<\/p><p><em>Days 1 &amp; 2<\/em><br \/>After breakfast, there will be a briefing regarding new flight departure time from Punta Arenas (in case there is a confirmed flight time) or new briefing time (in case there is no confirmation of flight time). If the flight has been scheduled to depart early afternoon, an updated transfer bus departure time will be advised to expeditioners. If the flight is delayed until the evening, lunch will be provided and an afternoon excursion will be offered to expeditioners. If the flight has been delayed until the following day, a briefing will occur to advise expeditioners of the new flight departure time from Punta Arenas the following day. Aurora Expeditions will provide all meals and guided tours to sites of historic and wildlife interest in Punta Arenas as well as additional night(s) of hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast included.<\/p><p><em>Day 3<\/em><br \/>If by 2:00 pm authorization to fly to Antarctica is not provided, the voyage will be cancelled. Aurora Expeditions will provide accommodation and all meals. No other services are included after Day 3.<\/p><p><strong>Contingency Plan: Sail\/Fly Voyages and Fly\/Fly Voyages<\/strong><br \/>At the end of a Sail\/Fly and Fly\/Fly voyage, if the return charter flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas is delayed, expeditioners already in Antarctica will remain on board the ship until the return flight to Punta Arenas is authorized to depart. If the flight from Punta Arenas is cancelled after up to 72 hours of attempting to depart, the ship will transport expeditioners from King George Island to Puerto Williams or Ushuaia for disembarkation. Full board is included. Strictly no refund will be provided for any reason.<\/p><p>Important Note: No refund will be provided to you for the voyage if the flight is successfully completed regardless of which day it was executed up to 72 hours after the originally scheduled flight time, or if the voyage is fully cancelled after unsuccessfully attempting to depart for up to 72 hours after the originally scheduled flight time. Aurora Expeditions will not be liable for and does not accept any claims for any costs made by you including but not limited to international airfares, domestic airfares, accommodation, any additional services purchased, or change fees impacted by or as a result of the delay or cancellation of a Fly &amp; Sail voyage. Aurora Expeditions will provide a trip interruption letter to be submitted by the expeditioners to their insurance company for the airfare, change fees, re-booking fees, and other expenses incurred due to the trip interruption or cancellation.<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T15:28:57 --><p>Optional Add-on Activities<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"<p>This exciting Antarctic Adventure offers optional add-on activities for an additional cost. You are only permitted to participate in one add-on activity for the duration of the voyage and space is limited. The Expedition Team tries to get you off the ship to participate in these activities up to two times per day (except for sea days). However, you are always at the mercy of the weather and changes to the voyage and itinerary. Embracing the unexpected is part of the excitement of expedition-style travel!<\/p><p><strong>Sea Kayaking: <\/strong>One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica. Each small group of kayakers (up to 10 per guide) will have their own intimate exploration of the small hidden bays and coasts that are inaccessible to Zodiacs. You do not need to be an expert or know how to roll, however you will need to have some kayaking experience and be fit enough to paddle for up to three hours,. getting in and out of the kayak, wearing a spray skirt, and must be able to swim. <\/p><p><strong>Paddling: <\/strong>This activity is suitable for novices and no prior experience is required to participate. The inflatable kayak is larger and sturdier for novices. However, you must be able to swim independently for up to 25 meters and be confident in water. <\/p><p><strong>Snorkeling: <\/strong>Discover the amazing mobility and speed of penguins, marvel at the beauty of icebergs below the water, and witness marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish, and nudibranchs. This activity utilizes state of the art equipment including drysuits, gloves, hood, fins, mask and snorkel for a comfortable and exciting experience. Participants will be provided with all of the training and equipment needed to experience Antarctica from this unique angle. You must be able to swim and complete a medical form that will be reviewed by the snorkel team. The initial snorkel will be a \"check-out\" snorkel so each participant can check and adjust their equipment. If the snorkel leader feels that you do not meet the necessary experience, they have the right to exclude you from participating in the program. This decision is made for your safety and the safety of the other divers. <br><br><strong>Polar Diving:<\/strong> Aurora Expeditions has been operating scuba diving in the polar regions for more than 20 years&mdash;the first expedition cruise operator to offer this ultimate polar adventure. Diving is not for beginners. You must be at least an Advanced Open Water Diver and Drysuit Specialty certified diver with at least 30 drysuit dives. You are also required to complete a minimum of 10 dives in the 12 months before your trip, with a minimum of 5 of those dives in a drysuit.<\/p><p>Before departure you must show an internationally accepted diving certificate, diver's logbook, and a current diving medical (no more than 6 months old) from your doctor confirming that you are in suitable physical health to participate in the diving activity. A divemaster will review your form for suitability and experience before approving your diving spot. The initial dive will be a \"check-out\" dive so each diver can check and adjust their weights and equipment. If the divemaster feels that you do not meet the necessary experience, they have the right to exclude you from participating in the dive program. This decision is made for your safety and the safety of the other divers.<\/p>","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to follow local health protocols, wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities for the remainder of the trip, and may be asked to dine separately. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip.<br><br>We encourage all travelers to actively monitor their own well-being and to use common-sense preventative measures such as regular handwashing (or use of hand sanitizer) and\/or wearing a face mask. If you are feeling sick, we encourage you to self-isolate and\/or wear a mask to protect your fellow travelers. Guests may be required to wear a mask if the Trip Leader believes the situation warrants it.<br><br>Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. As always, by traveling with Wilderness Travel, guests agree to be accountable for their own well-being. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's cold or flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br><br>These protocols will be reviewed and adjusted as guidance evolves. <br><br>","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.lensrentals.com\/\">lensrentals.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>At time of reservation: $2,500 per person<br>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p><p><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Minimum fee: $2,500 per person<br>90 days or less: 100% of trip cost<\/p><p><em>Please note that this differs from our standard policy.<\/em><\/p><p><\/p>"}}