Towering glaciers, amazing wildlife encounters, snow covered landscapes, massive icebergs and the option to choose your favourite activities every day make this voyage the perfect introduction to the white continent.

In the waters of the Antarctic Peninsula, we spend our days off the ship exploring by Zodiac boat, making shore landings in the company of our expert guides. By breaking into small special interest groups, we discover Antarctica and its remarkable wildlife through photography, Zodiac excursions, hiking onshore, and for the more adventurous, camping and sea kayaking. Visits to historic huts and working research bases add another dimension to the voyage.

Our classic 10-night expedition features many of the wellknown landing sites such as Neko, Paradise and Orne Harbours, Cuverville Island and the Errera Channel - and ice conditions permitting, we hope to transit the spectacular Lemaire Channel. Pleneau Island, Petermann Island and the iceberg-filled Penola Strait are all possibilities below the Lemaire. A further highlight will be a visit to the enchanting South Shetland Islands. Here, we hope to visit Deception Island and other nearby locations such as Half Moon Island, Hannah Point or Yankee Harbour. Returning to South America we have one final thrill - rounding the legendary maritime landmark of Cape Horn.

Highlights


• Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, Zodiac cruising and from the ship

• In-depth exploration of the Gerlache coastline and Antarctic Peninsula

• Visits to historic sites and science stations

• Learn about the environment, wildlife and ecology of Antarctica from polar experts

Our journey to Antarctica commences this afternoon in Ushuaia, in southern Argentina. We gather at our central meeting point and transfer to the pier and embark our expedition ship. After settling in to 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 dinner and cast off, bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
We chart a southerly course for Antarctica. This stretch of the South Atlantic is rich in its bio-diversity and showcases an 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 we 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 research 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 anticipate an increase in whale sightings.
We awaken today and the magnificent snowy peaks of continental Antarctica are laid out before us. Even our experienced expedition staff, some with more than 100 journeys south, will take a moment to pause and reflect on this incredible sight. Take a deep breath – you have arrived. This is Antarctica. The waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula are home to deep bays, pristine coves and inlets and numerous small islands. The Gerlache coastline features heavily glaciated mountains permanently covered in ice and snow. Rocky outcrops, known as ‘nunataks’ are home to gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguin rookeries and the waters are rich in marine life. We frequently encounter seals, including the powerful leopard seal, usually found hauled out on an ice floe. Curious humpback whales and the smaller minke whales are present much of the time as they feed on the vast schools of krill. Sightings of orca are not uncommon. Our activity program is in full swing and we encourage all guests to choose how their adventure unfolds. Every day we plan an exciting range of activities, including guided hikes on shore (both short and long), visits to wildlife colonies with our expert naturalist guides. The historic huts and science stations located along the peninsula provide a fascinating glimpse into the past and the present. Zodiac cruising among the ice searching for seals and whales is a memorable activity. Meanwhile, our sea kayakers may explore several miles from the ship experiencing Antarctica from an entirely different perspective. Our resident photography guide will be on hand to help you with your camera handling and image composition. Maybe what you really want to do is sit on a rock, simply watching the penguins come and go from the water? Make yourself comfortable and enjoy the show. Planned excursions along the Antarctic Peninsula could include Cierva Cove or Mikkelsen Harbour, Danco Island, the Melchior Islands and Fournier Bay - or a cruise through the Errera Channel to visit the gentoo penguin rookeries at Cuverville Island. Wilhelmina Bay is another favourite location and one where we frequently encounter playful humpback whales. Nearby, Paradise Harbour is a particular highlight and offers an excellent hiking route to a viewpoint providing expansive views. Andvord Bay and Neko Harbour provide yet another continental landing opportunity. After several busy days of exploration along the Peninsula, we head north across the Bransfield Strait, bound for the South Shetland Islands. This is an important whale migration corridor and we can expect sightings of humpbacks, or the resident pod of Orca that inhabit this stretch of water.
By morning 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, high up onto the rim of the crater. After leaving Deception Island, we cruise along the coast of Livingston Island which on a sunny day is a memorable experience. There are several other landing sites in the South Shetlands 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. Hannah Point, with its elephant seal colony and nesting Antarctic petrels - is another possibility. In the evening, we navigate north through the McFarlane Strait and into the Drake Passage.
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.
In the early morning, we arrive into Ushuaia, Argentina. It is time to say farewell to your crew and fellow travellers. Guests will be transported to their hotels or to the airport for return flights home. It will be possible to connect to flights through to Buenos Aires or other destinations in South America. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.
Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions, the planned itinerary will be updated at the time of final preparations as well as throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favourable conditions.

Main Deck Triple

$ 9095 USD pp
Main Deck Triple
Located on Deck 3 these cabins have bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared. There is a washbasin with cold/hot water in the cabin, a writing desk/chair and ample storage space. All cabins have a porthole.

Twin Semi Private

$ 11295 USD pp
Twin Semi Private
Located on Deck 4 these cabins have one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk and ample storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins). All cabins have a window which opens. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Bathrobes

Twin Private

$ 12295 USD pp
Twin Private
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Bathrobes

Superior

$ 13395 USD pp
Superior
Located on Deck 6 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Vanity kit Upgraded bed linen/duvets

Shackleton Suite

$ 14595 USD pp
Shackleton Suite
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have one double berth, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD Player, IPod Dock Alarm Clock. Facilities are private and all cabins have windows, which can be opened. Additional features and amenities: Upgraded bed linen/duvets CD player/mini stereo system with connection for Ipod™/mp3 player Use of our CD selection Mini bar/ice bucket Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Toiletry kit Vanity kit Organic cotton luxury logoed bathrobes Arrival gift basket with healthy snacks and a bottle of wine Binoculars and wildlife reference book

One Ocean Suite

$ 16595 USD pp
One Ocean Suite
Located on Deck 5 this cabin has a double berth, one sofa bed and separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD Player, IPod Dock Alarm Clock and IPod Speaker System for main room. Facilities are private and have a bathtub. This cabin has windows overlooking the bow, which can be opened. Additional features and amenities: Upgraded bed linen/duvets CD player/mini stereo system with connection for Ipod™/mp3 player Use of our CD selection Mini bar/refrigerator Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Toiletry kit Vanity kit Organic cotton luxury logoed bathrobes Arrival gift basket with healthy snacks and a bottle of wine Binoculars and wildlife reference book

Main Deck Triple

$ 9095 USD pp
Main Deck Triple
Located on Deck 3 these cabins have bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared. There is a washbasin with cold/hot water in the cabin, a writing desk/chair and ample storage space. All cabins have a porthole.

Twin Semi Private

$ 11295 USD pp
Twin Semi Private
Located on Deck 4 these cabins have one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk and ample storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins). All cabins have a window which opens. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Bathrobes

Twin Private

$ 12295 USD pp
Twin Private
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Bathrobes

Superior

$ 13395 USD pp
Superior
Located on Deck 6 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window. Additional features and amenities: Toiletry kit Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Vanity kit Upgraded bed linen/duvets

Shackleton Suite

$ 14595 USD pp
Shackleton Suite
These cabins are located on Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have one double berth, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD Player, IPod Dock Alarm Clock. Facilities are private and all cabins have windows, which can be opened. Additional features and amenities: Upgraded bed linen/duvets CD player/mini stereo system with connection for Ipod™/mp3 player Use of our CD selection Mini bar/ice bucket Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Toiletry kit Vanity kit Organic cotton luxury logoed bathrobes Arrival gift basket with healthy snacks and a bottle of wine Binoculars and wildlife reference book

One Ocean Suite

$ 16595 USD pp
One Ocean Suite
Located on Deck 5 this cabin has a double berth, one sofa bed and separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD Player, IPod Dock Alarm Clock and IPod Speaker System for main room. Facilities are private and have a bathtub. This cabin has windows overlooking the bow, which can be opened. Additional features and amenities: Upgraded bed linen/duvets CD player/mini stereo system with connection for Ipod™/mp3 player Use of our CD selection Mini bar/refrigerator Hairdryer Coffee/tea maker Toiletry kit Vanity kit Organic cotton luxury logoed bathrobes Arrival gift basket with healthy snacks and a bottle of wine Binoculars and wildlife reference book

Akademik Ioffe

Vessel Type: Expedition

Length: 117 metres

Passenger Capacity: 96

Built: 1989

Stability and Strength. Our ship was purpose built to conduct sensitive hydro-acoustic research and science in the polar regions. The original design brief dictated that the vessel offers a very high level of stability. This is achieved through a sophisticated internal trimming system, controlled via a series of gyroscopic sensors around the vessel. This stability feature is something you will greatly appreciate should you encounter less than ideal sailing conditions.

Maneuverable, Quiet and Fast. With both bow and stern thrusters and twin reversible propellers, the ship can spin on its own axis – greatly assisting embarkation of the zodiacs in windy conditions. You will notice there is little – if any – ambient noise or vibration, which makes for a quiet ship. The ship is fast, with a top speed of 14.5 knots in open water. Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination (rather than ‘at sea’) and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate our daily itinerary.

Superb Design and Layout. Throughout the ship there are spaces ideally suited to every need. Spacious outer decks provide 360 degree views of the stunning polar landscapes – as well as a great place for an outdoor barbecue, which usually happens once on every voyage. Inside there are comfortable presentation spaces for lectures and film screenings and there’s a multimedia computer lab with several large screen workstations where guests can download and back up photos.

Six Different Cabin Categories. All cabins feature outside windows allowing ample natural light to filter in. Cabins all have lower berths (some triple share cabins have one upper/lower bunk scenario and feature port holes). Akademik Ioffe carries a maximum of just 96 guests – making for true, small-ship expedition cruising. This is particularly important in Antarctica where visitor guidelines dictate that no more than 100 people can be on shore at any one time. We fall under this limit and that equals maximum time ashore at all locations. Ships carrying more than 100 guests compromise your time ashore.

Enjoy Great Dining? So do we. The exciting schedule of onshore excursions, zodiac cruises and onboard activities are guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Although the ship operates in some of the most remote locations in the world, you can expect an exceptional variety of tasty meals, prepared by a team of professional international chefs. Breakfasts are usually buffet style. Lunches offer a great choice of light meals - as well as more substantial options for those who are hungry - and each evening there is a hearty three-course meal offering both variety and choice. There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of international wines. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day or night and we always offer afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits. Guests with dietary restrictions or special meal requirements are also well catered for.

Join us on the Bridge. There is an open-bridge policy and guests are welcome to meet the navigating crew at virtually any time of day; there’s always something to learn from the officers on watch and the bridge is one of the best places on the ship for spotting whales and sea birds.

Operational Safety. There are no compromises here. The expedition staff and crew onboard Akademik Ioffe have the deepest respect for changeable weather in the polar regions and the varying sea and ice conditions. That respect is apparent in every decision made throughout the voyage. The ship carries the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require leaders to undergo vigorous and effective safety training programs. Your expedition team are well prepared, so you can relax and enjoy your voyage.

Relax — You're on Holiday. The ship also features a Finnish dry-heat sauna, a plunge pool, a hot water Jacuzzi, a small gymnasium and day spa with massage therapist.

An expedition gear package is included. An expedition cruise requires a fair bit of planning and some special items of clothing and equipment are needed. You will have use of an expedition wet weather gear package free of charge, which includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants as well as insulated, comfortable rubber boots designed for extended walking. A set of expedition binoculars and a walking pole are also available for the duration of your voyage. This saves you buying expensive items you may only ever use once and eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear all the way to the ship. If you do have your own gear, of course you are welcome to bring it. Make sure it is wind and waterproof. 

Cabin layout for Akademik Ioffe

Sea Kayaking (795.00 USD)

As a pre-booked activity, our group of sixteen paddlers and three guides gears you up with the best kit in the industry to experience one of the best paddling destinations in the world. Both single and double kayaks are available.

Akademik Ioffe
Antarctic Peninsula ExpeditionExpedition
11 Days from
$ 9095 USD pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

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