The Antarctic, land of extremes, is a destination that enthralls all who participate in the exciting voyage to one of the most remote and fascinating natural reserves of the world.
The Antarctic, with its spectacular beauty, amazing reflected on the ice, wildlife in full splendor and magnificent sites for visiting, promises to be unforgettable for travelers in search of unique experiences.
The continent is almost completely covered by an icecap formed by the constant accumulation of snow over the course of hundreds of thousands of years. At its deepest, the covering is approximately 4 kilometers, hiding beneath it mountains, valleys and prairies. Huge ice masses break off daily, turning into icebergs that can measure up to several kilometers.
Wildlife in the Antarctic is unique. The "White Continent" has no history of hunting animals, hence animals are usually unafraid of human beings and may actually be "intrigued" by our presence. The opportunity to be able to wander amidst thousands of penguins and sea lions makes this place a paradise for photographers, as well as enabling one to view first hand, the flight of large southern birds such as Cape petrels and many others.
Antarctic Dream Expedition itinerary:
Day 1- Ushuaia, Argentina
Passengers board the M/V Antarctic Dream where you will be greeted by our Expedition Leader and staff and shown to your cabin. Check-in will begin at 4:00 PM on departure day.
Day 2 to 3 - Drake Passage
Wandering albatrosses, storm petrels and other seabirds will escort the vessel as we sail south across this famous passage named after Sir Francis Drake, the 16th-century English navigator. We will continue towards the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar waters sink beneath the warmer waters of the more temperate zone. In 1819, the British explorer William Smith described the South Shetland Islands as "barren and covered with snow, with seals in abundance".
Day 4 - Aitcho Island
Aitcho Island will give us an early taste of what the Antarctic really is. Aitcho is the biggest island of the South Shetlands. In the afternoon we will disembark at Aitcho Island which is in between Greenwich and Robert Islands. We will continue with the crossing of the Bransfield and Gerlache Straits to enter Andvord Bay where we find Neko Bay.
Day 5 - Antarctic Peninsula & Neko Bay
Besides the magnificent scenery of mountains, snow and ice, in Antarctica you can expect to see a wide variety of the native wildlife. Other birds to look out for are blue-eyed shags, gulls, cape petrels, skuas, snowy sheathbills and antarctic terns. Marine mammals that you are likely to see include Weddell crab-eaters and leopard seals, while orcas, humpback and mink whales may be spotted at close range.
The program includes our first landing on the White Continent (Neko Bay) and another at Port Lockroy (Gaudier Island). Neko Bay was discovered by Adrian de Gerlache, a Belgian explorer. Port Lockroy is close to Wiencke Island in the Antarctic Peninsula and was the main base of the 1944 Tabarin Operation - the scientific research included the Antarctic's first ionosphere measurements and also the first recording of an atmospheric whistle.
Day 6 - Paradise Bay & Cuverville Island
At this point of our program we will begin our return voyage. During the morning and, stressing again that if weather permits, we will disembark or use our zodiacs in Paradise Bay. In the evening we will visit Cuverville Island. Beside its dramatic scenery it is home to one of the largest colonies of Gentoo penguins and skuas. We will continue with the crossing of Bransfield and Gerlache Straits to enter Andvord Bay where we find Neko Bay.
Day 7 - Pleneau & Petermann Island
We sail south through the narrow Lemaire Channel. We will be able to visit Petermann Island which is the most southern land point of our expedition. Here we will disembark and will be able to see the most southern colony of Gentoo penguins which nest near our landing spot. On this island we will also be able to see a colony of beautiful Adelei penguins, skuas and blue-eyed shags. At Pleneau we will visit impressive ice formations.
Day 8 - Deception Island, Whaler's Bay & Pendulum Cove
We continue sailing to Deception Island which is the largest active volcano in the area at the northwest side of the Peninsula. During the morning we will try to disembark in Whaler's Bay and Pendulum Cove where you can esperience the unique experience of swimming Antarctic water. In the afternoon we will disembark at Hannah Point (Livingstone Island). This is one of the best places in the Antarctic to see fauna and we should see Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins, giant petrels, Wilson petrels, skuas and blue-eyed shags. With luck, we should also see sea elephants.
Days 9 and 10 - Drake Passage
Today, we will leave Antarctica and head north back across the Drake Passage. Now is the chance to compare and revise notes and dwell on the adventures of the past week, to take in the final lectures and to enjoy the delicious gastronomy on board as you return to Ushuaia.
Day 11 - Ushuaia, Argentina
After an early breakfast we will land at 9:00 AM and bid farewell to our guests. Thus ends an incredible and unique expedition.
MV Antarctic Dream is a Dutch built ice-reinforced vessel and served under the name Piloto Pardo for the Chilean Navy. The vessel was rebuilt as an unrestricted, worldwide passenger vessel and was completely refurbished in July 2005. MV Antarctic Dream is registered in Belize. The vessel features a spacious dining room / observation lounge, bar, lecture room, fitness room plus sauna, boutique and passenger bridge.
The vessel offers accommodation for 84 passengers in 42 twin cabins with private toilet and shower. 4 Suites, 16 Superior cabins and 20 twin private cabins have portholes or windows and either two separate lower beds or queen beds. 2 Additional twin private cabins have no portholes / windows (inside cabins). All cabins have furthermore a desk, closed circuit TV, and inter-cabin phone service. Satellite email and phone service is available on the bridge.
The vessel is manned by 18 well-trained Chilean crew members. The on board staff consists of 1 expedition leader, 4 guides / lecturers, 1 hotel manager, 1 barman, 1 doctor, 4 chefs and 7 waitresses / cabin cleaners. The MV Antarctic Dream's expeditions offer you the ideal introduction to Spitsbergen and Greenland. Departing from and finishing most of the times in the port of Longyearbyen, we take in the most exciting sights Spitbergen. Our program is orientated to the viewing of wildlife and the breathtaking scenery of narrow waterways, glaciers and icebergs.
The Captain and the expedition leader will assess conditions daily with the intention of maximizing your time ashore. This means taking full advantage of opportunities to land passengers with our zodiacs and making best use of the light of the long summer days. On board lectures are offered by geologists, historians, naturalists and expedition leaders. Join the captain and the rest of our 36 crew and staff members for an awe-inspiring journey of discovery and adventure.
Ice class: The MV Antarctic Dream has a 1-inch thick steel ring which is 3 meters high surrounding the hull in the area closest to the ice. The frames have 300 mm of distance in between. The propeller has protection for working in ice. The vessel is not an icebreaker but can handle loose ice of about 300-500 mm in thickness. She was constructed under the following notation of Lloyd’s Register: + 100 A1 strengthened for navigation in ice.
MV Antarctic dream accommodates 42 twin passengers cabins all with lower beds and private toilet and shower, as follows:
4 with large window
(3 with queen beds, 1 with two single beds)
16 with large window
(6 with queen beds, 10 with two single beds)
20 with small porthole
(5 with queen beds, 15 with two single beds)
Twin private inside:
2 with no porthole or window
(2 with two single beds)