x
Western Antarctica Semi-Circumnavigation
M0524021631
Dates
02/16/24 - 03/19/24
Ship
SH Minerva
Duration
32 Nights
Guests
2 Guest
Price From
$ 25,064
Per Person
BOOK NOW
Trip Details

Escape into another realm as you board our luxury boutique ice-class ship on this once-in-a-lifetime trip from South America to New Zealand. Our epic semi- circumnavigation cruise of Antarctica fulfils the ultimate bucket list, sailing on glassy seas, passing by monumental icebergs, unheralded landscapes and phenomenal wildlife. We explore icy waters to reach the world’s southernmost islands where only a handful of adventurers, explorers and scientists have been before. And as we cross the polar circle, you get to join an elite group of people who have been to some of the least-visited places on the planet.

READ MORE
Trip Highlights
Enjoy the unique experience of a sun that hardly sets as we cross the polar circle
Create unforgettable memories by reaching earth’s southernmost regions
Follow in the footsteps of the world’s most legendary explorers who reached the South Pole within weeks of each other
Marvel at the colours as they change from glassy white to turquoise green in this vast frozen wilderness
Discover rarely-visited islands where the world’s rarest birds live among exceptional flora
Itinerary Map
Itinerary
Ushuaia Day 1

Ushuaia is the gateway to the White Continent. Found at the southernmost tip of South America in Argentinian Patagonia, the city is often described as “the End of the World”. The city’s mountain backdrop rises above the harbour and entrance to the Beagle Channel. The town itself is walkable and has a few small museums as well as pubs, restaurants and cafes - a good place to try Patagonian lamb cooked over open fire pits.

At Sea Day 2

You can spend your day at sea enjoying the many facilities available. Head to the sauna, get in a workout in the state-of-the-art gym or relax in the jacuzzi whilst taking in incredible views along the way. If you prefer to learn a little more about your surroundings, listen to an informative talk or have a chat with one of our knowledgeable on-board experts.

Antarctic Sound & Weddell Sea Day 3-5

As you sail quietly past house-sized, free-floating tabular icebergs and pancake ice, you may be able to hear the sounds of creaking and popping as huge chunks break off and crash into the sea. While Gerlache Strait is filled with ice, the Antarctic Sound takes it up a notch with even more impressive bergs and ice cliffs. Possible landing points where you will meet thousands of breeding Adélie penguins include Brown Bluff and Paulet Island.

Antarctic Peninsula Day 6-7

Among captivating glaciers, majestic icebergs and snowy islands, the Antarctic Peninsula is where most visitors to the White Continent will live out their Antarctica dream. The Antarctic Peninsula, the most accessible area of the continent, hosts several scientific bases and some of the most interesting wildlife scenery, such as the extremely photogenic Lemaire Channel. Shore excursions might include Petermann Island, where among Adelie penguins, blue-eyed shags and skuas, huge, lumbering elephant seals haul out.

Belinghausen Sea Day 8-11

Take in the magnitude of translucent bergs silently floating on crystal-clear seas, often broken up by the tail of a fluking whale and leopard seals resting on an ice floe, as we sail via two of the largest islands in the Antarctic - Alexander and Thurston Islands - past Peter I Island. Rarely visited by ships, Peter I is claimed by Norway. This ice-covered volcanic island is home to elephant seals, cape pigeons and southern fulmars.

Amundsen Sea Day 12-14

One of the most remote areas of Antarctica, covered mostly by glacial ice from the Thwaites ice tongue, and part of the Southern Ocean, Amundsen Sea is named for legendary Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen who led the first team to reach the South Pole in 1911. Marie Byrd Land on Antarctica’s western coast is the largest single unclaimed territory on earth where chinstrap penguins and skuas have set up home on the ice-capped Shepard Island.

Ross Sea Day 15

One of the last untouched salt-water wilderness regions, the Ross Sea region is home to an abundance of wildlife. Sailing through these remote waters, we’ll be on the lookout for southern right whales, orca, emperor penguins, parakeets and elephant seals, to name but a few. Antarctica’s largest Adelie penguin colony is located on the shores of the Ross Sea and is quite a sensory experience. This faraway place also exudes polar history - many of the expedition huts of past explorers are still perfectly preserved at the bottom of the world.

Mc Curdo Sound Day 16-18

The southernmost seaport in the world, McMurdo Sound is bordered by the Ross Sea, Ross Island the McMurdo Ice Shelf. As earth’s most southerly navigable body of water, this is about as off-the-beaten-track as it gets - an easy thing to forget with the relatively busy daily activity of the 1,000 or scientists who live and work here over the summer. However, human activity is nothing new. Discovered by Captain James Clark Ross in 1841, the sound has since served as a convenient strategic waterway for the explorers of the past as well as present-day researchers.

Ross Sea & Terra Nova Bay Day 19-20

Terra Nova Bay is located near the coast of Victoria Land and is home to the Mario Zucchelli Station, an Italian research station dedicated to earth sciences. Inscriptions, drawings and signatures cover the interior walls of the base, left behind by the few visitors who stop in each year. If conditions are right and we can visit the bay, you can take your place in Mario Zucchelli Station history.

Ross Sea Day 21-22

One of the last untouched salt-water wilderness regions, the Ross Sea region is home to an abundance of wildlife. Sailing through these remote waters, we’ll be on the lookout for southern right whales, orca, emperor penguins, parakeets and elephant seals, to name but a few. Antarctica’s largest Adelie penguin colony is located on the shores of the Ross Sea and is quite a sensory experience. This faraway place also exudes polar history - many of the expedition huts of past explorers are still perfectly preserved at the bottom of the world.

At Sea Day 23

Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.

Balleny Islands Day 24

The Balleny Islands lie over 2,000 kilometres south of New Zealand, only a couple of hundred kilometres off the coast of Antarctica. The heavily glaciated islands have had few human visitors since their discovery in 1839. The surrounding Ross Sea is one of the most biologically productive regions in the Southern Ocean, with research into the extent of this claim still ongoing. Weather and condition permitting, here we can explore the striking coastal environments in our Zodiacs. We’ll be hoping to spot humpback, fin and minke whales along with crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals. Some of the islands here are also home to large colonies of Adélie and chinstrap penguins.

At Sea Day 25-26

Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.

Macquarie Island Day 27

Sealers discovered the tiny windswept Macquarie Island (or Macca) in 1810. The southernmost territory of Australia, it is the site for Macquarie Island Station, an Australian Antarctic base, and a Tasmanian natural reserve and world heritage site protecting a pesty tundra ecosystem. Colonies of loudly barking southern elephant seals breed here and you might spot giant petrels and albatross. Four species of penguin make the island home including royal penguins, king, gentoo and southern rockhoppers.

At Sea Day 28

Spend your day at sea enjoying your boutique 5-star ship. Treat yourself to a spa day, attend an expert-led onboard lecture or enjoy the ocean views from the deck or the comfort of our Observation Lounge.

Campbell Islands Day 29

This archipelago is New Zealand’s southernmost island group, located 700km south of New Zealand’s South Island. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the islands are home to a diverse range of bird species, including black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses, giant petrels, skuas, terns, endemic Campbell snipes and Campbell teals (the world’s rarest duck). Like the fauna, the flora here has also evolved in isolation with some interesting results. Endemic megaherbs crowd the islands, often standing taller than the visitors.

Auckland Islands Day 30

Renowned for their seafaring and whaling traditions, the principal Māori iwi, Ngāi Tahu considers Auckland Islands (Maungahuka) a place of great spiritual significance. Port Ross at the north end of the main Auckland Island - the largest of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands - is a breeding site for southern right whales. You might also get to spot New Zealand sea lions alongside some of the world’s rarest birds including yellow-eyed penguins, white-capped mollymawk and Gibson’s wandering albatross.

Enderby Island Day 31

The smaller Enderby Island is a treat for birders including the Auckland Island snipe and teal, southern royal and light-mantled sooty albatrosses. The pocket-sized Auckland Island tomtit is a regular visitor and Hooker's sea lion haul out here. Growing on this remote archipelago 465 km south of South Island is an exceptionally rich flora of 200 native species such as pink gentiana, red rata blossoms, white tree daisies and megaherbs including the Campbell Island carrot.

At Sea Day 32

When Ferdinand Magellan crossed the world’s largest body of water some 500 years ago, he dubbed it Mar Pacífico, meaning “peaceful sea.” Cruise the Pacific Ocean as you depart from the north coast of New Zealand’s North Island. Perhaps attend an onboard talk or simply take in the magnificent seascapes.

Dunedin Day 33

Your luxury expedition cruise sadly comes to an end in Dunedin, on the South Island, the principal city of the Otago region. Set in a pretty bay that serves as a port and surrounded by bush-covered hills, the town has quirky historic appeal. One of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere, Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, and it’s proud of its Celtic connections. Small and eminently walkable, see elaborate civic buildings, New Zealand’s only castles, funky alleyways filled with street art, and picturesque parks. The Toitu Otago Early Settlers Museum and Otago Museum come highly recommended, as well as a visit to the Dunedin Chinese Garden.

SHOW MORE
Rates Include
Return regional flights to the port of embarkation and/or disembarkation (where specified)
Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard 
All meals onboard 
24-hour room service 
Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
Standard WiFi
Onboard gratuities and port taxes
One selected shore excursion/expedition activity per port of call (Kayak not included, bookable for a fee on board)
Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions
Itineraries are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change
SHOW MORE
Itinerary Map
Itinerary changes and surprising experiences are part of expedition cruise life. The world has a habit of amazing us with incredible things when we yield to the unexpected. Join us with an open mind and a sense of adventure and you’ll find that this can pay off in the most rewarding ways.

09:00 AM – 05:30 PM (EST)

+1 (800) 537 6777
ARRANGE A CALLBACK
Stateroom
Number of Guests
Oceanview D4
19 m2 Sleeps 2
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Price From
$ 0
Oceanview M4
19 m2 Sleeps 2
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Price From
$ 0
Balcony D5
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Price From
$ 0
Balcony M5
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located at the centre of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Price From
$ 0
Balcony D6
28 m2 Sleeps 2
Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Price From
$ 0
Suite
44 m2 Sleeps 2
Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
Price From
$ 0
Premium Suite
49 m2 Sleeps 2
Our grandest suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, spacious walk in wardrobe and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
Price From
$ 0
Itinerary changes and surprising experiences are part of expedition cruise life. The world has a habit of amazing us with incredible things when we yield to the unexpected. Join us with an open mind and a sense of adventure and you’ll find that this can pay off in the most rewarding ways.

09:00 AM – 05:30 PM (EST)

+1 (800) 537 6777
ARRANGE A CALLBACK