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An Expedition to the Great White Continent

In today’s highly accessible world there are few places that still hold the power to enthral and enchant. Antarctica is certainly one of these. No amount of travel books or films can prepare you for Antarctica. It is somewhere that has to be seen to be believed. Enormous icebergs rise from the sea, hillsides are covered with thousands of penguins and seals bask on icebergs dotted in the ocean; the sights, sounds and emotions will stay with you forever.

Antarctica is to be experienced, not just to be seen, and we believe the only way to do this is on board a small ship in order to maximise the time spent ashore. To enjoy the wonders of this icy paradise in the company of an expert expedition team and a small and enthusiastic party is the perfect way to achieve the most from a visit to this extraordinary place. We have timed our expedition for what is regarded as spring as the pack ice begins to melt. This is the mating season for penguins and other species and you can witness their spectacular displays of courtship ritual, nest building and such antics as stone stealing. This is also the time when fur seals claim their breeding territories.

Our expedition starts in Ushuaia from where we will be followed by albatrosses as we sail to the Falkland Islands for our exploration of these isolated islands thriving with wildlife and a fascinating history. We continue to South Georgia where we have ample time to explore what is one of the world’s natural wonders with a remarkable concentration of wildlife. We will land on remote beaches, alive with great numbers of fur seals, elephant seals, wandering and sooty albatrosses, Macaroni and King penguins. These beach paradises are backed by some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery in the world. Finally we sail for the peninsula where enormous tabular icebergs rise from the sea, hillsides are covered with thousands of penguins and seals bask on icebergs. Whilst at sea or in between our landings you can pass the time looking for wildlife on deck, attending the series of lectures by the expedition team or simply relaxing on board.

29 November, 2019 to 21 December, 2019 Make a booking request for An Expedition to the Great White Continent, departing on 29 November, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Magellan Suite £ 11995 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Columbus Deck Superior £ 12995 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Marco Polo Deck Premium £ 13995 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite £ 14595 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. These suites have two windows, one at the front and one at the side. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Magellan Suite Sole £ 15995 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony £ 16295 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2 with an extra 4 m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Explorer Owners Balcony £ 17495 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22m2 with an extra 8m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full-length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator
view cabin photo
Columbus Deck Superior Sole £ 17995 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
01 December, 2019 to 19 December, 2019 Make a booking request for An Expedition to the Great White Continent, departing on 01 December, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Magellan Suite £ 10815 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Columbus Deck Superior £ 11815 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Marco Polo Deck Premium £ 12815 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Marco Polo Deck Corner Suite £ 13415 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. These suites have two windows, one at the front and one at the side. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Magellan Suite Sole £ 14815 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 21.35m2. The beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Erikson Deck Deluxe Balcony £ 15115 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 20.9m2 with an extra 4 m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo
Explorer Owners Balcony £ 16315 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22m2 with an extra 8m2 for the balcony. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a large wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full-length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator
view cabin photo
Columbus Deck Superior Sole £ 16815 GBP pp
Suites measure approximately 22 m2. Beds can be configured as twin or double and there is a divider between the seating and bed area. Suites feature a walk-in wardrobe, sofa, coffee table, arm-chair, vanity table with large mirror and stool, bedside lamps, full length dressing mirror, hairdryer, television, electronic safe, air-conditioning and refrigerator.
view cabin photo

An Expedition to the Great White Continent itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 - Ushuaia.
Arrive in Ushuaia and transfer to the MS Island Sky and start our adventure this evening as we cruise down the Beagle Channel.
Day 2 - At sea.
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south are albatrosses, prions and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our expedition team will be out on deck looking for whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. During our day at sea our onboard experts will begin their presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean.
Days 3 & 4 - Falkland Islands
The Falkland Islands are isolated and windswept, a haven for wildlife. We hope to land on New Island, the westernmost island with one inhabitant and 40 species of breeding sea birds including rock hopper penguins. Weather and wind conditions allowing, we may also land on Steeple Jason, the north western outpost with the world’s largest colony of black browed albatross. We will make sure to visit some of the many historic sites on the island and to call at Port Stanley, the charming capital of the Falklands.
Days 5 & 6 - The Southern Ocean.
As we cruise towards South Georgia the richness of these waters will be evident in the marine mammal life, especially the fur seals on fishing forays. We have a good chance of spotting whales such as fins and minkies whilst the birds circling our stern will be outstanding, especially the large albatrosses and numerous breeds of petrels.
Days 7 to 9 - South Georgia.
We have two and a half days of expedition cruising in and around South Georgia, a paradise island with snow-clad mountain peaks rising 9000 feet and with 165 glaciers tumbling down towards the sea. We arrive early in the season when parts of the island are still covered by a thin layer of snow. For anyone interested in wildlife, South Georgia is a true oasis. The beaches will be covered by elephant seal bulls and females with feeding pups. They share the beach with a myriad of nesting King penguins. Most of the other sea birds have arrived and started nesting. This is also the time when the great arrival of the fur seals starts. Millions of fur seals will, over a few weeks, return to the beaches to breed. During our time here we hope to visit Salisbury Plain where we will find enormous elephant seals which crowd the beaches alongside thousands of pairs of King penguins. On Prion Island we visit the nesting place of the world’s largest flying seabird, the wandering albatross and in Fortuna Bay we will see nesting light mantled sooty albatrosses and hope to witness their gracious courting flights. A few thousand King penguins nest here. Meanwhile in Grytviken we will visit the old whaling station and of course pay our respect at the grave of ‘the boss’ – Ernest Shackleton.
Days 10 & 11 - At sea
The waters between South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula are rich with fin whales, where in good conditions we have seen as many as a hundred in a day. If not whale-watching, lookout for Antarctic Petrel, Kerguelen Petrel and one of the most beautiful birds of the Southern Ocean, the snow petrel. The icebergs will also become more plentiful as we sail south. Alternatively join the lecture programme as we learn more about the wildlife and history of the region.
Days 12 to 16 - Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
We have five days of exploration around the Peninsula which will include many of the best places for wildlife and magnificent scenery. Whilst we arrive with a planned itinerary the final schedule will be determined by our Captain and the Expedition Leader based on sea, weather and ice conditions. Using our Zodiacs we will make daily landings for unique close encounters with animals such as adelie and gentoo penguins, fur seals and petrels. We hope to visit the collapsed volcanic cone of Deception Island for a chance to visit Whalers Bay, Petermann Island, home to numbers of Adelie penguins, picturesque Neko Harbour, the Lemaire Channel where towering icebergs rise from the sea and Half Moon Island with its rookery of chinstrap penguins. We also hope to sail through the breathtaking Antarctic Sound, also known as ‘iceberg alley’, where massive icebergs drift north from the continent.
Days 17 & 18 - The Drake Passage.
Two days to relax onboard and reminisce with your fellow travellers about all you have seen and experienced during our expedition. Enjoy a lecture, look for wildlife or simply relax as we make our way across the Drakes Passage toward Ushuaia. Named after the 16th century English seaman, Sir Francis Drake, the Drake Passage separates the southernmost tip of South America from Antarctica. This is a particularly good area to spot royal albatross and blue petrel and we will also be on the lookout for pods of sperm whales.
Day 19 - Ushuaia.
Disembark after breakfast.
Please Note:
Please note that flexibility is key to a successful expedition in Antarctica. Although we have outlined an itinerary above, this is only a preliminary plan, our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and the wildlife we encounter.

An Expedition to the Great White Continent reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Please note that flexibility is key to a successful expedition in Antarctica. Although we have outlined an itinerary above, this is only a preliminary plan, our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and the wildlife we encounter.
Disembark after breakfast.
Two days to relax onboard and reminisce with your fellow travellers about all you have seen and experienced during our expedition. Enjoy a lecture, look for wildlife or simply relax as we make our way across the Drakes Passage toward Ushuaia. Named after the 16th century English seaman, Sir Francis Drake, the Drake Passage separates the southernmost tip of South America from Antarctica. This is a particularly good area to spot royal albatross and blue petrel and we will also be on the lookout for pods of sperm whales.
We have five days of exploration around the Peninsula which will include many of the best places for wildlife and magnificent scenery. Whilst we arrive with a planned itinerary the final schedule will be determined by our Captain and the Expedition Leader based on sea, weather and ice conditions. Using our Zodiacs we will make daily landings for unique close encounters with animals such as adelie and gentoo penguins, fur seals and petrels. We hope to visit the collapsed volcanic cone of Deception Island for a chance to visit Whalers Bay, Petermann Island, home to numbers of Adelie penguins, picturesque Neko Harbour, the Lemaire Channel where towering icebergs rise from the sea and Half Moon Island with its rookery of chinstrap penguins. We also hope to sail through the breathtaking Antarctic Sound, also known as ‘iceberg alley’, where massive icebergs drift north from the continent.
The waters between South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula are rich with fin whales, where in good conditions we have seen as many as a hundred in a day. If not whale-watching, lookout for Antarctic Petrel, Kerguelen Petrel and one of the most beautiful birds of the Southern Ocean, the snow petrel. The icebergs will also become more plentiful as we sail south. Alternatively join the lecture programme as we learn more about the wildlife and history of the region.
We have two and a half days of expedition cruising in and around South Georgia, a paradise island with snow-clad mountain peaks rising 9000 feet and with 165 glaciers tumbling down towards the sea. We arrive early in the season when parts of the island are still covered by a thin layer of snow. For anyone interested in wildlife, South Georgia is a true oasis. The beaches will be covered by elephant seal bulls and females with feeding pups. They share the beach with a myriad of nesting King penguins. Most of the other sea birds have arrived and started nesting. This is also the time when the great arrival of the fur seals starts. Millions of fur seals will, over a few weeks, return to the beaches to breed. During our time here we hope to visit Salisbury Plain where we will find enormous elephant seals which crowd the beaches alongside thousands of pairs of King penguins. On Prion Island we visit the nesting place of the world’s largest flying seabird, the wandering albatross and in Fortuna Bay we will see nesting light mantled sooty albatrosses and hope to witness their gracious courting flights. A few thousand King penguins nest here. Meanwhile in Grytviken we will visit the old whaling station and of course pay our respect at the grave of ‘the boss’ – Ernest Shackleton.
As we cruise towards South Georgia the richness of these waters will be evident in the marine mammal life, especially the fur seals on fishing forays. We have a good chance of spotting whales such as fins and minkies whilst the birds circling our stern will be outstanding, especially the large albatrosses and numerous breeds of petrels.
The Falkland Islands are isolated and windswept, a haven for wildlife. We hope to land on New Island, the westernmost island with one inhabitant and 40 species of breeding sea birds including rock hopper penguins. Weather and wind conditions allowing, we may also land on Steeple Jason, the north western outpost with the world’s largest colony of black browed albatross. We will make sure to visit some of the many historic sites on the island and to call at Port Stanley, the charming capital of the Falklands.
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south are albatrosses, prions and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our expedition team will be out on deck looking for whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. During our day at sea our onboard experts will begin their presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history and geology of the Falkland Islands and Southern Ocean.
Arrive in Ushuaia and transfer to the MS Island Sky and start our adventure this evening as we cruise down the Beagle Channel.
* = Indicative
Map for An Expedition to the Great White Continent
Island Sky, the ship servicing An Expedition to the Great White Continent

Island Sky

Vessel Type:  Luxury Small Ship

Length:  90 metres

Passenger Capacity:  116 

Built:  1992 / refurbished 2010

With a maximum passenger capacity of only 116, a vessel of her size is capable of carrying many more but instead the MS Island Sky has the benefit of unusually large suites, luxuriously appointed public areas and spacious outside decks.

On board there is a high ratio of crew to passengers. Our friendly crew of 75 are mainly Filipino and Eastern European and our Scandinavian captains are experienced mariners, having been in service aboard large 2000 plus passenger vessels and who now prefer a less frantic life aboard a small ship.   If, like them and us, you prefer a more peaceful life at sea, you will find the MS Island Sky the perfect ship. When choosing the vessel for your next voyage of discovery, you can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service or come with us where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. The atmosphere on board is more akin to a private yacht or country hotel. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, guest speakers, informative port briefings from our cruise director and of course good food which may be enjoyed leisurely in the attractive dining room. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of a well run and exceedingly comfortable ship.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass, which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring marble-topped vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a mini-fridge, flat screen television with inbuilt DVD player which can also play CDs and a telephone in each suite. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Other facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. The suites on each deck have their own colour theme. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be.

Your Space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. The onboard library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. There is also WI-FI access throughout the vessel. Outside there is a rear sun deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade, a bar and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. On the top deck there is a Jacuzzi and further observation and sun deck. There is also a small hairdressers on board with appointments made on request.

Your Dining
Another benefit of a small ship is the quality of the cuisine. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the galley is able to provide delicious meals. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, the chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus.

Standard cabin                                                       Balcony suite, Erikson Deck

 

Cabin layout for Island Sky
• Land on New Island, the westernmost island with one inhabitant and 40 species of breeding sea birds including rock hopper penguins

• Spot whales such as fins and minkies

• Have two and a half days of expedition cruising in and around South Georgia, a paradise island with snow-clad mountain peaks rising 9000 feet and with 165 glaciers tumbling down towards the sea

• Have five days of exploration around the Antarctic Peninsula which will include many of the best places for wildlife and magnificent scenery
Enquire now about An Expedition to the Great White Continent

Travel on the Island Sky

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