Join us for a once in a lifetime expedition voyage to the Weddell Sea and the seventh continent. Experience the incredible wildlife in icy waters, stunning mountain scenery and gigantic icebergs during 11 action-packed days.
Departing Ushuaia in Argentina, we cross the mighty Drake Passage on our way to the South Shetland Islands, where we plan to make our first Zodiac landing. From here we navigate the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. We plan to make landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and fascinating sights that allow us to enjoy the spectacular views. Continuing eastward, we will explore the Antarctic Sound with its mighty tabular icebergs and enter the Weddell Sea in search for wildlife. On our way back, we plan to follow in Ernest Shackleton and rest of the Endurance crews wake as we navigate close to Elephant Island. On no other journey can you experience so much pristine nature and varied wildlife in so few days!
Expedition cruises that plan to traverse into the Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea allow their guests for real adventure as the giant ice shelves often changes the routes. The rewards are great though, as the pristine waters and krill rich environment invite many penguins and whales.
When Ocean Victory returns to Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, depending on weather conditions, we might pass close to the mythical Cape Horn - the southernmost point on South America; a celebrated maritime landmark.
Any voyage to Antarctica is an adventure, but with a maximum capacity of 186 guests aboard Ocean Victory, this cruise offers a unique experience for the few. Shore landings, excursions, lectures and whale safaris are easily accommodated to help you enjoy a matchless expedition experience.
Onboard our brand new strong ice-strengthened expedition vessel, Ocean Victory, we are sure to get close to the dramatic coastlines. Zodiac cruising and shore landings are an important and considerable part of the planned itinerary, hopefully enabling all expedition guests to set foot on the Antarctic continent, as well as the many surrounding islands.
Make sure you reserve your place, on this fantastic journey in good time, as we only cruise this route once during the season.
Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. Afterwards we embark the ship Ocean Victory, our home for the coming days.
Our journey begins as we navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.
Sailing onward, we cross the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake Passage is known for strong westerly winds, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself!
In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses.
Having crossed the Drake, we will start exploring the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way.
With the patented X-BOW design, the Ocean Victory will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage, and due to the speed of the vessel, we might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland islands on the afternoon of day 3, weather permitting.
The next couple of days, we will explore the Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain.
Landfalls could include: Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Over the coming days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience at the very tip of the Continent. During these days in the Antarctic Sound, named in 1902 after the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the Captain and the Expedition Team will keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. We aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed.
The Weddell Sea takes its name from the early British explorer James Weddell, who by hunting seals through a break in the ice in 1823 got to the southernmost point at his time. As we enter the Weddell Sea of today, we grow accustomed to giant floating icebergs and witness the sheer quantity of sea ice in these waters. Apart from penguins, the wildlife here includes Weddell and elephant seals and seabirds. Humpbacks feed in the nutrient-rich waters (caused by the upwell of cold water from the ocean depths), so there are opportunities to see whales, as well as the Antarctic’s largest predator, the solitary leopard seal.
Landfalls could include: Devil Island, where we would experience a large colony of Adélie penguins; Brown bluff; with abundances of wildlife living on the beaches under the basalt cliffsides and Esperanza Base with its year-round Argentinian research station.
Because of the considerable sea ice and enormous bergs in the Weddell Sea, navigation through this remote nature is at the edge of what is possible; your captain and expedition leader are well aware that shifting ice means that no individual part of this area can be guaranteed as accessible at any time, so they will work together to find the most magnificent opportunities. This is part of the wonder of this part of the world, and you'll be visiting an area few humans have ever seen.
We plan to finalize our Weddell Sea/Antarctic Sound adventure by navigating to Elephant Island, home to elephant seals, maybe even along the same route as Shackleton’s daring lifeboat escape (this route is only possible if conditions allow it!). While a landing is unlikely, we hope to see where the Elephant island party waited for rescue boat to reach them at Point Wild. A famous part of expedition history, that seems adequate to end our Antarctic explorations this time around.
We depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. En-route, we will cross Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.
During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board which will provide the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers equally passionate for discovering the world, enjoy the lectures by our expedition on board, visit our shop or relax at leisure on our ship’s facilities, designed to provide a comfortable, relaxing time.
This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our tour, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home.
Itineraries are subject to change.
16 December, 2022 to 26 December, 2022
Triple Cabin (Porthole) 22 m2
There are four Triple cabins on board Ocean Victory featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms.
Triple cabins are normally with twin beds however a double bed can be accomodated.
Albatros State Cabin (Porthole) 22 m2
The standard cabin on Ocean Victory is close to the Mudroom and has quick access to the zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the zodiacs. The cabins are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay onboard Ocean Victory. The standard cabins all have a double bed or 2 single beds and bathroom with bathtub. The cabins are located on deck 3 except for 1 which is located on deck 4.
French Balcony Suite (Porthole) 16 m2
The French Balcony Suite is a standard cabin with a french balcony, a double bed or two single beds, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All French Balcony Suites are located on Deck 7.
Balcony State Cabin 24 m2
The most abundant type of cabin on Ocean Victory, the Balcony State Cabins are located in decks 4 & 6. They have a private balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom with bathtub and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two cabins with connecting doors, this is also a possibility under this category.
Single Cabin (Porthole) 18 m2
Standard single cabin onboard, located on deck 3. This is a conveniently located cabin close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the zodiacs during embarkation and disembarkation to begin your adventures on the zodiacs.
Balcony Suite 35 m2
Ocean Victory has 2 Balcony Suites on board located on the Bering & James Cook deck respectively, located on deck 4. The suites feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom with bath and private balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Balcony Suite 28 m2
Ocean Victory has 4 Balcony Suites on board located on the Bering & James Cook deck respectively, located on deck 4 & 6. The suites feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom with bath and private balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Junior suite 42 m2
The 4 junior suites aboard Ocean Victory have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7.
The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom with bathtub and private balcony. The cabin can accommodate up to 3 people. Located on the Amundsen deck 7.
Premium suite 45 m2 – PS
The largest of all the cabins on board the Ocean Victory is the Premium Suite. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, table and chair, a balcony and spacious bathroom with bathtub. Located on deck. 4.
Vessel Type: Luxury X-Bow®-Infinity Class Vessel
Passenger Capacity: 198 passangers in 93 cabins
This stylish cruise ship, ideally suited for our business model of small ship expeditions, will be deployed and dedicated to varied Antarctic region voyages, with sales launching from December of 2020.
With a total of 93 comfortable cabins for our guests, all with a view of the ocean, (and 90% with their own balcony), several restaurants, a wellness area, an Albatros Nordic Bar, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other amenities, the vessel will also be environmentally-friendly onboard, with an implementation of the Green Initiative Program, ensuring both absolute comfort and sustainability for our guests.
Now, for the technical details:
With the highest Polar code 6 and Ice class 1A, Ocean Victory is the ideal vessel for small-ship cruising due to her sturdy construction and X-Bow®-Infinity class, which provides high stability in rough weather and allows for the smoothest movements on high waves, and a Solas 2012 classification which facilitates a safe return to port.
The vessel is part of a brand new generation of low-energy vessels, with 4 diesel engines and 2 electro engines, all controlled electronically to optimize speed and fuel consumption.
Dinner always starts with delicious hot soups, cold cuts and crisp, fresh salads. Several choices of entrees are offered each evening, to accommodate different tastes and dietary requirements; always including a meat choice, fish choice and vegetarian choice.
After dinner, freshly prepared desserts, including ship-made ice cream or cakes are a great way to end a meal and satisfy any sweet tooth.
A selection of wines and beers is available to perfectly compliment your visit to our restaurant… and if you’re interested in relaxing during your time off from activities and landings, delight onboard Ocean Atlantic by raising your glass to the experience of a lifetime!
Our bar is fully equipped with a variety of cocktails, beers, non-alcoholic beverages and more, to quench your thirst and reward the explorer in you.
Knud Rasmussen Library
Honoring the great explorers, the lecture room allows for an adventure within an adventure. Here you can find sagas, narratives and practical information on the polar regions, in various languages and subjects. From encyclopedias of the polar wildlife and fauna to narrations of the many challenges faced by the first expeditions, this is the perfect location for entertaining your brain while we sail.
Albatros Nordic Bar Lounge
The Albatros Nordic Bar Lounge provides a bit of warm Nordic hospitality to the Antarctic. Offering a large choice of drinks, including wine tasting menus from Gerard Bertrand, this is the perfect place to relax after an unforgettable day and make new international friends.
Albatros Observation Lounge
Celebrate your dream polar adventure, engage in conversation and relax while admiring the icy landscape of the polar regions. At our Nordic Bar Lounge we aim to create a fun and enjoyable atmosphere with varied cocktails and drinks, appetizers and smaller events. Or try one of our unique wine-tasting menus from Gerard Bertrand.
Shackleton Lecture Lounge
What makes a good expedition? It is a combination of its landings and the experiences onboard the ship. At Albatros Expeditions we are honored to have an amalgam of experts in our expedition team, from climatologists and geologists to renown photographers, all eager to share their adventures and knowledge with our guests.
• Voyage in selected cabin category
• Accommodation in shared inside or outside cabins as booked
• English speaking expedition team
• Shore landings by zodiac
• Information briefings and lectures held on board by expedition team
• All meals while on board
• Welcome and farewell cocktails
• Free tea and coffee on board
• Complimentary use of boots for shore landings
• Digital journal link after voyage (Includes voyage log, gallery, species list and more)
• Port Fees, taxes and AECO fees and tariffs
• Flights to/from departure port unless specified in itinerary
• Hotel accommodations unless specified in itinerary
• Travel Insurance
• Cancellation insurance
• Additional excursions and activities not mentioned in itinerary
• Meals when not on board the ship
• Beverages other than tea/coffee and water
• Gratuities for crew (recommended USD$13.50 per passenger per day)
• Any items of a personal nature