12 Day Weddell Sea - Antarctic Discoverer tour one of Antarctica's most scenic seas SEE PROMOTION !!!

Start Point

Ushuaia, Argentina

End Point

Ushuaia, Argentina

Days

12 days & 11 nights

Price Per Person

USD 0.00 Twin/USD 0.00 Single

Tour Description

NOTE : DUE TO CORONA ALL ANTARCTICA OR ARCTIC CRUISES ARE CURRENTLY ON REQUEST PLEASE FOR MORE INFORMATIONS OR DEPARTURES PLEASE  CONTACT US ON CONCIERGE@ABOVE-5.COM

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Plancius is 10.5 knots. 

Included in this voyage

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Excluded from this voyage

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

History of the expeditions ship MS.Plancius

​M/v “Plancius” was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named “Hr. Ms. Tydeman”. The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag.

Perfect for any expedition

M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Day 1: End of the World, Start of a Journey

Place visiting
Your arrived on the end of the wprld , where you expeditions starts
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Your voyage begins where the world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the far southern tip of South America.

Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego – nicknamed “The End of the World” – and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.

Description

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Day 2 & 3: Path of the Polar Explorers

Place visiting
Your are for two days exporing the Polar region , see penguins and Whales and the icebergs are coming in to sight.
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Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale blasting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone.

Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars . Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight.

Information about Penguins !!!

What are Adelie Penguins’ mating rituals like?

The mating season begins with the Antarctic spring in October. The Penguins create nests by piling little stones in circles. Once the egg is laid in December the parents take turns incubating the egg and going to hunt. The parent that stays behind does not eat during their turn with the egg. Once the hatched chick is about 3 weeks old both parents will abandon it, returning to the sea to hunt. The downy chicks gather into a group called a crèche to keep each other warm. They will start to hunt at about 9 weeks old once their down has been replaced with waterproof feathers. Young penguins that have not learned to read social cues will sometimes attempt to mate with the wrong partners for creating offspring – other males, with chicks that are too young, or with dead females. The first recordings of this behaviour by Dr. Levick (quoted above) were considered too racy for public consumption and were not published. Adelie Penguins will migrate an average of 13,000 km in a year, moving from hunting grounds to breeding grounds and back again.

How long do Adelie Penguins live?

Adelie Penguins generally live up to 20 years in the wild.

How many Adelie Penguins are there today?

There are an estimated 10,000,000 adult Adelie Penguins living today.

Do Adelie Penguins have any predators?

In the wild Adelie Penguins are preyed upon by Seals, other sea birds like the Skua (which go after eggs and chicks), and Killer Whales.

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, Weddell Sea

Name: Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)

Height: 40 to 70 cm

Weight: 3.5 to 6 kg

Location: Antarctic Coast

Conservation status: Near Threatened

Diet: Krill, small fish, squid

Appearance: Black, white belly. Black facial feathers cover most of the orange bill. Thin white circle around the eyes.

Description

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Day 4 – 8: Enter the Antarctic sail directly into the Weddell Sea through the often ice-clogged Antarctic Sound.

Place visiting
sail directly into the Weddell Sea , Huge icebergs herald on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula , learn and see wildlife like Elephant Seals and much more
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A towering, ice-capped volcanic cliff on the southeast side of the Antarctic Sound, Brown Bluff is located near the northern coast of the Weddell Sea

You sail directly into the Weddell Sea through the often ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Weddell Sea is largely covered in sea ice during the year, but the northwestern corner offers great opportunities for exploration in places only the lucky few get to visit. The sites for your activities may include: Paulet Island – A huge number of Adélie penguins take residence here. Brown Bluff – Maybe the most scenic location in the entire northern tip of the Antarctic Continent: sheer canyon walls, fallen boulders, beautiful volcanic creations capped with ice. A large Adélie penguin rookery lives here, with gentoo penguins and nesting snow petrels also to be found. Dundee Island – A mostly uninhabited Argentine station , Base Petrel, can be seen here, as well as Antarctic fur seals (and southern elephant seals) along the coastline. Farther into the Weddell Sea, the options vary with the ice conditions: James Clark Ross Island – You can explore a number of rarely visited places here. The imagination is further stirred by suggestive names like Brandy Bay and Whiskey Bay. Devil Island – A large Adélie penguin rookery as well as stunning views of Erebus and Terror Gulf are seen here. Snow Hill Island – This location, known for its sedimentary rock, tells tales of the incredible Antarctic explorations of the early 20th century.

Region: Antarctica information

Destinations: Antarctic Peninsula

The Basaltic Rocks of Brown Bluff

The cliff face is made of rust-colored basaltic tuff, rocks that about one million years ago were part of a huge volcano with a diameter of more than 12 km (7.5 miles). Brown Bluff is part of the Antarctic Continent and is a popular destination on Weddell Sea voyages.

Brown Bluff Beaches

Below the cliff lies a 3-km-long (2 miles) beach that is blocked on both sides by large glaciers spilling into the adjacent sea, delivering bergs and brash ice (fragments of small floating ice) that sometimes block off access to Brown Bluff. The coast is also very exposed to wind, waves, and tidal currents, so landing (and leaving) can be difficult.

The Bird Life of Brown Bluff

Snow petrels and Cape petrels breed on the lower slopes of the cliff. Above the rocky beach, an extensive Adélie penguin rookery with about 20,000 breeding pairs can be seen, along with a smaller gentoo penguin rookery of about 600 pairs. Leopard seals often patrol the coast to hunt penguins, and whales frequently pass through the Antarctic Sound. 

Information about Seals Weddell Seal

Named after the British navigator and sailor James Weddell, these extensively studied seals live farther south than any other mammal

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: Bouvet Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Ross Sea, Weddell Sea, South Georgia

Name: Weddell Seal (Leptonychotes weddellii)

Length: 2.5 to 3.5 metres.

Weight: 400 to 600kg.

Location: Antarctica.

Conservation status: Least Concern.

Diet: Fish, crustaceans, krill, squid, prawns, cephalopods, penguins, other seals.

Appearance: Brown or dark silver with lighter-coloured dappling on the belly.

How do Weddell Seals feed?

Weddell Seals can stay submerged for up to 80 minutes at a time. These prolonged dives are for both foraging and for finding new breathing holes in the ice above. They can dive over 600 metres down.

Part of their ability to dive for such long periods is due to their having more red blood cells and more blood volume than other comparable mammals, which allows them to carry more oxygen with them at any one time.

The Seals have excellent underwater vision, and it is thought that they swim below fish and look up, letting the light coming through the ice silhouette the fish.

During the dark winters they are able to find prey through the use of their vibrissae (whiskers) which are extremely sensitive to movement.

Are Weddell Seals social?

Weddell Seals tend to congregate together around breathing holes made in the ice. They’ll stay together in the water during the Antarctic winters with just their noses poking out in order to avoid the harsh winter winds.

How fast do Weddell Seals swim?

The Weddell Seals’ swim speed is around 10km per hour.

What are Weddell Seal mating rituals like?

Weddell Seal females can mature sexually at around 3 years of age, but both females and males usually wait until they’re about 7.

Birthing season occurs from early September through November, depending on which latitude any particular Seal is located.

Mating season is very noisy – the Seals make noises loud enough to be heard through the ice. Actual mating occurs underwater, with the males often biting the female around the neck area.

The actual birth is very fast, usually taking less than 5 minutes. Weddell Seals are one of the few of the species that can give birth to twins.

Pups are around 1.25 metres at birth and weigh about 25kg. Like all mammals, the pups grow fat on their mother’s milk, gaining around 2kg in weight every day. By their 7th week the pups can weigh around 100kg.

During this time the mother doesn’t feed, so as the baby grows plumper the female grows thin, sometimes to the point of her ribs showing.

Pups begin to swim when they are between 1 and 2 weeks old. They can dive for 5 minutes and can dive down to 100 metres. Weaning occurs when the pups are about 6 weeks old at which point they begin to hunt on their own.

How long do Weddell Seals live?

Weddell Seals live 30 years on average.

How many Weddell Seals are there today?

There are over 800,000 Weddell Seals in the world today.

Do Weddell Seals have any natural predators?

Weddell Seals are preyed upon by Killer Whales and Leopard Seals, the latter usually attacking the young.

6 Wonderful Weddell Seal Facts

  • Weddell Seals live the furthest south of any mammals.
  • Since Weddell Seals are the most studied of any Seal species in the Antarctic.
  • Weddell Seals are named after James Weddell, a British captain of a sealing vessel.
  • Weddell Seal females are generally a little bit longer and heavier than the males.
  • Weddell Seals have a membrane over their eyes that protect them from blowing snow and the salt in the ocean.
  • Nothing is known about the Weddell Seal’s ability to hear. 
Description

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Day 9: Scenes of South Shetland

Place visiting
Visit the vulcan islands of the Shetlands, experience a wide variety of flora and fauna , and big variety of wildlife and the Argentine scientific research station etc etc
Today's Highlights

The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera.

Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with a number of kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels also nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.

As an alternative, you may be able to engage in activities near Half Moon Island.

Here chinstrap penguins and Weddell seals often haul out onto the beach near Cámara Base, an Argentine scientific research station. Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Regional information : Antarctica

Destinations: South Shetland Islands

Deception Island ​Neptune's Bellows

​Deception Island is an island unequalled in the world. The ring-shaped island is in fact the top of a volcano, a caldera. This remarkable island is located in the South Shetland Islands, north of the Antarctic Peninsula. The Caldera has a diameter of about 15 kilometres and has a narrow entrance on one side, Neptune’s Bellows. Through this spectacular passage ships can sail into the flooded crater, a unique phenomenon.

The Deception Island volcano is still active, inside the caldera there is geothermal activity; sea water temperatures of 70°C have been recorded. Eruptions have happened as recently as 1970. Sealers, whalers, explorers and scientists have been sailing into Port Foster since its discovery in 1820 and remains of these expeditions can still be seen.

History of Whalers Bay

In Whalers Bay bleached whalebones, wooden barrels and other artefacts from 20th century whale hunters can be seen beside derelict buildings from a British scientific station that was evacuated after the 1969 eruption. Although the wildlife inside the caldera is not that abundant, several bird species breed on the caldera cliffs. On the outside of Deception one of the highlights of the peninsula can be found; Bailey Head. In this natural amphitheatre about 50,000 pairs of Chinstrap penguins breed. Unfortunately the colony is seldom visited due to the difficult landing conditions on the outside of the island.

Wildlife on Deception Island

Although the wildlife inside the caldera does not seem to be that abundant, thousands of Cape Pigeons, Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels, Dominican Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skua’s and Antarctic Terns breed on the caldera shores and cliffs. Also penguins and seals venture sometimes through Neptune’s Bellows into the caldera where they enjoy a bath in the sometimes thermally heated water. As the Deception Island volcano is still active, eruptions have been taking place as recent as 1970, signs of volcanic activity can be found inside the caldera. At some places the seawater is heated by geothermal activity, water temperatures of 70°C have been recorded. In Whalers Bay and Pendulum Cove the shallow water, only during low tide, can be pleasant for skinny dipping. But take care; most of the time one side of your body feels like it is being cooked while the other side is almost freezing from the cold seawater.

Hiking on Deception Island

Unlike many other parts of Antarctica, Deception Island is not totally covered by ice and therefore it offers some great walking opportunities. ​From Whalers Bay a great hike can be made towards a viewpoint above Neptune’s Window and South East Point. From this 130 metres high summit great views of Port Foster and the little rock columns called the Sewing Machine Needles can be made. Also Telefon Bay, at the north-western side of Port Foster offers great hiking opportunities. The eruption of 1970 created a lunar landscape with a beautiful crater.

Description

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Day 10 - 11: Familiar Seas, Familiar Friends

Place visiting
Greeted by sea birds and slowly cruising back to real world
Today's Highlights

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.

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Day 12: There and Back Again

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Back where it all started
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Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end.

It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

 

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Map with the route of the expedition cruise

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Find your way
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Cruise ship MS.Plancius

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This ship will cruise your route
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History of Plancius

​M/v “Plancius” was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named “Hr. Ms. Tydeman”. The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag.

Perfect for any expedition

M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed)

Windows Info Info

  • 1 porthole
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space

Info Info    Twin cabins from 9650 USD NOW 7700 USD

Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
Staff & crew: 47
Length: 89 meters (293 feet)
Breadth: 14,5 meters (47 feet)
Draft: 5 meters (16 feet)
Ice class: 1D (Plancius has a Lloyds class notation 100A1 Passenger ship, Ice Class 1D at a draught of 5 meters)
Displacement: 3211 tonnes
Propulsion: 3x Diesel-Electric
Speed: 10.5 knots average cruising speed

ABOUT THE SHIP

Plancius was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named Hr. Ms. Tydeman. The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 when it was purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. Plancius is a Dutch flagged completely rebuilt and converted 116-passenger vessel complies with the latest SOLAS- regulations, classed by Lloyd’s Register in London. The name Plancius is a tribute to the predecessor of Oceanwide Expeditions (Plancius Foundation, 1981-1996), the first cruise operator on a yearly base in Spitsbergen, offering voyages with a small cruise vessel named Plancius. • Comfortable and nicely decorated, but not luxurious. It’s made for explorers • Spacious yet small ship character, comfort & style and modern technology • Base camp for active, adventure and wildlife minded modern explorers • Small ship operation: 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private facilities (toilet, sink shower) • 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, - all (ca. 15 m2), and 10 superior cabins ca. 21 m2) • All cabins offer lower berths (either two single beds or one queen-size bed), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (2 bunk beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed) • Restaurant/lecture room (deck 3) and a spacious observation lounge (with bar, deck 5) with large windows offer full panorama view • Large open deck spaces (with full walkaround possibilities on deck 4), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife • Equipped with 10 Mark V inflatable zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines • 2 gangways on starboard side, that guarantees a swift zodiac operation • The ship is manned by 17 nautical crew, 19 hotel staff (6 chefs, 1 hotel manager, 1 steward-barman and 11 stewards / cabin cleaners), 7 expedition staff in Antarctica (1 expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), for the Arctic we will have 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 7 guides/ lecturers) and 1 doctor. Plancius – the ‘basecamp’ for our activity program Oceanwide Expeditions offers an exploratory educational travel program in the polar regions spending as much time ashore as possible. Special interest activities are available on selected voyages: Kayaking, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Mountaineering, Field Camping, Ski Trekking, Polar Diving and Zodiac Cruising. Please check if they are offered on your voyage.

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Good to know before you go

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See the information
Today's Highlights

Plancius: a vessel with comfort and character

The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view. M/v “Plancius” has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 4), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. She is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation. M/v “Plancius” is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel. Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. Plancius fully meets our demands to achieve this. The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the vessel considerably. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots. The vessel is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages. M/v “Plancius” is manned by an international crew of 37 (18 nautical crew and 19 hotel crew), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor.

Age and Nationality

Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s - with a majority usually from 45 - 65. Our expeditions attract independent-minded travellers from around the world. They are characterised by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.

Dress code

In keeping with our expeditions atmosphere, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities. Keep in mind that much of the spectacular scenery can be appreciated from deck, which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles and make sure the parka is never far away in case of the call "Whales!" comes over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside. Wear layers since it is comfortably warm aboard the ship - and often cold on deck.

Currency & payment

Refreshments from the bar and souvenirs will be charged to your cabin. The day before departure you can settle your bill with the Hotel Manager and pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or cash (Euro or Dollar). We do not accept cheques of any kind. The prices and standard currency on board our vessels is the Euro. Other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the hotel manager at prevailing rates.

Electric current

The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220v, 60Hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins. You may need a 220v/110v converter.

Gratuities

The customary gratuity to the ship's service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage which is divided among the crew. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest US$8 to US$10 per person per day. It is better for the crew, if you can give them cash US Dollar.

Non-smoking policy

On board our vessels we have a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship. You can smoke in the designated smoking areas. Please respect the wishes of non-smokers.

Your physical condition

You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join most excursions, you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.

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Terms and conditions

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General Travel Terms and Conditions
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Thank you for deciding to book a trip with Oceanwide Expeditions (hereinafter referred to as: "OE"). Before making a definite booking, we recommend you (hereinafter referred to as "contracting party") to read carefully the following travel conditions. These general travel conditions and the term contracting party apply both to private persons (direct booking) and to (travel) organisations (see par. 1.2).


N.B.: when referring to OE, this automatically includes the affiliates, owners, officers, agents, employees, associate and/or sister companies of OE.    

1. Reservation of trip / travel notification

1.1 The contract comes about by means of a written acceptance by the contracting party of the offer of OE, and/or payment of the required deposit or invoiced total amount, upon which a binding travel contract with OE is effected, to which all conditions set out in paragraph 1.3 up to and including paragraph 11.3 apply. If the contracting party in addition to him/herself also lists one or more other persons on one notification form, this contracting party is automatically personally responsible for all obligations ensuing from the travel contract (in line with the general travel conditions of OE) which concern himself and the other persons booked.

1.2 If the contract has come about by means of a written acceptance and/or payment as per par. 1.1 by a (travel) organisation (as in the case of but not limited to tour operators, agencies, travel agents, foundations, societies etc.), this (travel) organisation enters into a binding travel contract with OE. The (travel) organisation in question is then exclusively considered the contracting party to which all conditions set out from paragraph 1.3 up to and including paragraph 11.3 apply, irrespective of the possibility that the (travel) organisation in turn enters into a binding travel contract with clients it has recruited (such as but not limited to, private persons, members of the (travel) organisation, travel agents and third parties in general).

1.3 The contracting party shall - before the effecting of the travel contract and its implementation - provide OE with the necessary (personal) data concerning him/herself or third parties - in the case of a (travel) organisation: the client(s) of the (travel) organiser. Incorrect or incomplete provision of (personal) data can result in faulty vouchers, air tickets etc. OE shall not be held liable for such. 

1.4 All trips booked through OE will be confirmed by OE by means of a confirmation (invoice) sent to the contracting party.           

2. The travel offer / the travel elements

2.1 The scope of the travel offer (the travel elements) booked by the contracting party is contractually recorded in the travel confirmation (invoice), in combination with the description from the most up-to-date brochure / programme description, sailing schedules, day-by-day itineraries of OE and / or (other) relevant publications of OE.       

2.2 OE bears no responsibility for photos, brochures and other information material, insofar as these have been published or distributed under the responsibility of third parties, nor for any undertakings, expectations or promises of third parties towards the contracting party. 

3. Payment

3.1 On the effecting of the travel contract, the contracting party must pay an advance of 20 % of the total price to OE, unless otherwise stated in the travel confirmation. The remainder of the price must have been received 60 days before departure date by OE. If the travel contract has been agreed within 60 days of departure, the full price must be paid immediately. Other (deviating) payment policies may be applicable; these are valid only if confirmed by OE in writing (in e.g. the original offer made, travel confirmation, (block charter) agreements/contracts or in additional (separate) written confirmations) and these payment policies shall prevail over those of the here above mentioned standard payment policy.

3.2 After full payment has been received, the travel documents will be sent to the contracting party.

3.3 If the contracting party fails to fulfil the payment obligations, OE will send him/her a written reminder and he/she has the possibility to make immediate payment. If the payment is still not made, the contracting party is liable to pay interest on the sum due of 1% for each month or part of a month of default. Furthermore he/she is liable to pay compensation of extra-legal collection costs equal to 15% of the sum claimed, with a minimum of 50 EURO. If the contracting party fails to comply with his/her payment obligations, OE reserves the right to cancel the contract on the day of default, with no further obligations. OE is (however) entitled to charge the cancellation costs incurred (in line with paragraph 6 or as agreed otherwise in the travel confirmation). 

3.4 If the payment is then made, but OE cannot send the travel documents on time (before the start of the journey) to the contracting party, any additional dispatch costs will be charged to the contracting party. OE may not be held responsible for any travel documents not arriving on time or any (further) events that may cause postponements / cancellations, resulting from late payments.

4. Changes in travel elements / price changes

4.1 Changes in the travel offer, agreed in the travel confirmation / invoice (which occur before the start of the journey) are permitted only if they do not substantially alter the nature of the trip. This includes, among other things, changes made by the airline, changes in flight departure times, changes referring to hotel overnight stays before or after the main journey, minor changes in the travel programme or excursion offer. Such changes may not be used by the contracting party as a reason for cancelling the travel contract or to put forward a claim of any kind to OE.

4.2 The agreed price is based on the prices, exchange rates, duties and taxes as known to OE at the time the publication went to press and at the time of the travel confirmation. OE reserves the right to raise the agreed price (on the grounds of, among other things, unforeseeable increases of e.g. exchange rates, sudden increased prices of accommodation providers, airlines, duties, taxes, harbour dues and fuel prices). In the case that a price alteration is considered necessary by OE, OE is obliged to inform the contracting party in writing of this at the very latest 60 days before the day of departure. Price increases made within 60 days of the start of the journey are not permitted. In the case of a price increase of more than 5 % of the total price of the trip, the contracting party is entitled to cancel the trip without incurring any costs.

5. Cancellation of the trip by OE

5.1 Not withstanding to what is mentioned elsewhere, OE reserves the right to cancel any trip prior to or during the departure for compelling reasons, in which case the payment in advance (indicated in the invoice / travel confirmation) will be paid  back to the contracting party and OE does not accept any claims, that may be related to such a cancellation, such as but not limited to loss of joy (of holiday), consequential and/or indirect (commercial) damages, loss of earnings and or profit, loss of market, loss of business, loss of customers, loss of opportunities, commercial losses or damages, loss of or damage to commercial image and or reputation. OE is furthermore not liable for and does not accept any claims for any costs made by the contracting party, such as but not limited to other travel elements such as but not limited to flights, hotels, connecting programmes, (travel)insurance’s etc.

5.2 Not withstanding to what is mentioned elsewhere, OE has the right to cancel the scheduled trip up to 30 days before departure, if the minimum number of participants has not been achieved. Any payment already achieved from the contracting party will be paid back by OE if the contracting party is not in agreement with an alternative trip offered by OE.

5.3 Not withstanding to what is mentioned elsewhere, OE has the right in the case of force majeure (such as but not limited to war, uprising, natural disasters, abnormal / exceptional weather and ice conditions, legal stipulations of the local/regional authorities and other events and situations that are beyond the control of OE) to cancel the trip. OE may not be held liable for force majeure. If situations of force majeure occur before departure date and OE should cancel the trip, payments made in advance will be paid back to the contracting party. If situations of force majeure occur during the trip, OE will try to offer an alternative programme. If this is not possible, either OE or the contracting party is entitled to cancel the trip. In such a case, OE may not be held financially liable. OE is obliged to assist the contracting party - in the case of a (travel) organisation: the client(s) of the (tour) organiser - in obtaining a return trip/flight. The contracting party him/herself is responsible for the costs of this. 

6. Cancellation of the trip by the contracting party

6.1 The contracting party may cancel the travel contract (exclusively in writing) at any time before the beginning of the trip. In the case of cancellation by the contracting party, OE is entitled to charge the following cancellation fees to the contracting party:

- up to and including 90 days prior to departure: 20 % of the total price;

- from 89 days up to and including 60 days prior to departure: 50 % of the total price;

- from 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price .

6.2 Other (deviating) cancellation policies / fees (for example in the case of group charters, block charters or whole boat charters) may be applicable; these are valid only if confirmed by OE in writing (in e.g. the original offer made, travel confirmation, (block) charter agreements or in communication sent later) and these cancellation policies shall prevail over those of the cancellation policy / fees as mentioned in paragraph 6.1.

6.3 In the case of flight and hotel reservations, a 100 % cancellation fee will apply for those involved costs unless this is a non-refundable ticket / hotel accommodation; in that case the terms and conditions of the related airline company / hotel will apply.

6.4 If the contracting party after booking wishes to introduce changes into the booked trip, this is considered a cancellation and the cancellation costs stated in par. 6.1 and 6.2 apply. In case of minor changes, OE is entitled to charge reservation costs of at least 50 EURO per alteration.

6.5 OE STRONGLY RECOMMENDS the contracting party in the case of a (travel) organisation: the client(s) of the (travel) organiser to take out a cancellation insurance to cover the costs of any cancellation of the trip (see also par. 10.4).

7. Liability of OE

OE is responsible for the selection of accommodation, providers of ships, hotels etc., composition and the quality control of the travel elements and excursions, description of the travel elements in the OE brochures and other publications, the processing and control of the travel confirmation and the travel documents. OE is obliged to aim for a correct execution of the trip according to the travel contract and in line with the expectations the traveller may reasonably have on the grounds of the contract.

8. Exclusion and limitation of the liability of OE

8.1 OE acts as intermediary for the sale of travel elements between on the one hand providers of accommodation /services (such as but not limited to a stay in a hotel, a voyage with a ship, services of dive bases and providers of transport, including helicopters) and on the other hand the contracting party and therefore the liability of OE is excluded. In these cases the conditions of the relevant providers of accommodation/services and/or the stipulations of (inter)national law applies and OE can not be held liable for events such as but not limited to complaints, claims, loss and damage of possessions/baggage, personal injury, death etc.

8.2 All travel elements booked with OE, such as but not limited to a stay on board of a ship and/or excursions and/or programmes off ship (such as but not limited to walking, sightseeing, hiking, camping, mountaineering and/or excursions or programmes on or in the water, incl. kayaking, (scuba) diving, swimming, snorkelling, zodiac driving/cruising and flying activities including helicopter flights) are for 100 % own risk of the contracting party - in the case of a (travel) organisation: the client(s) or the (travel) organiser. OE is therefore not liable for any damage, such as but not limited to (bodily) injury, illness, death etc. whatever the reason or cause may be, including consequential and/or indirect (commercial) damages as set forth in par. 5.1. For diving trips and or supplements and/or for programmes and/or trips for which this is explicitly indicated (such as but not limited to trips with helicopters), the contracting party must sign a Liability Release Form (Waiver), a health certificate signed by a doctor and – in the case of a dive trip - an internationally accepted diving certificate. If the contracting party does not have the required diving certificates and/or diving experience as required for participation, OE is entitled to decide to offer an alternative programme for the contracting party in question or to exclude this person from (certain parts of) the (diving) programme. These limitations apply also if the contracting party is not in possession of the correct (diving) gear, as stated in publications of OE. In the case of exclusion (or of a mandatory alternative programme) the contracting party is not entitled to make any claims (for restitution).

In the case of all (other) travel elements, the contracting party should enjoy generally sound health, according to the guidelines as mentioned in the publications of OE, including the Personal Information Form, that has to be filled out by the contracting party and should be returned to OE. In any case, If the contracting party - undertaking the trip of OE - does not enjoy generally sound health, OE has the right to offer the contracting party an alternative programme or to exclude him from (continuation of) the trip / travel elements. In the case of such an alternative programme or exclusion, OE will not accept any claims (for restitution).

8.3 If OE offers the contracting party an air travel component, including helicopter flights, all liability (such as but not limited to death, injury, delays, cancellations, refunds, loss and damage of baggage) of OE is excluded, even if such an event is at the cost of other travel elements of the trip booked or if such an event would change, postpone, cancel the (nature/scope) of the trip and /or other travel elements) and for this travel component the conditions of the relevant airline and/or helicopter operator and – if applicable - international conventions apply.

8.4 OE may not be held liable for loss, damage and robbery of travel documents, baggage or other possessions.

8.5 Not withstanding to what is mentioned elsewhere, OE shall accept no liability for damage for which there is a claim to compensation based on a travel and/or cancellations insurance (whether effected or not).

8.6 OE may not be held liable for damage as a consequence of the travel contract not being correctly implemented, if the deficiency in the execution of the contract is attributable to the contracting party.

8.7 The trips offered by OE are mainly conducted in “marginal zones” and require the qualification of expedition trips to places where infrastructure and (medical) facilities are often lacking. On booking the trip, the contracting party fully understands that those trips can not be comparable with any other trip. If for any reason such as but not limited to weather conditions, sea currents, nautical reasons, ice-conditions etc., the decision is taken by OE to change the programme and/or the programme cannot be carried out according to the travel description and (certain) places described in the travel programme cannot be visited and/or OE deviates from the programme, if OE has the opinion that such deviation will benefit the quality of the programme, or the trip has to be postponed or (partly) cancelled, OE is not liable for any claims, such as but not limited to refunds, damages, non-fulfilled expectations etc. of the contracting party. 

8.8 Notwithstanding to what is mentioned in 8.7, OE has the right to delay or postpone the (remainder of the) trip with a maximum of 24 hours, for any reason in terms of a proper and / or safe execution of the trip, such as but not limited to ship operational matters including spare parts, documents, provisions, crew and staff related matters including flight arrivals. OE accepts no claims such as but not limited to refunds. In the case of longer delays (except for helicopter flights/operations), the contracting party has the right to cancel the trip and OE will refund the travel price booked by OE, or in the case this longer delay occurs during the trip, the travel price will be paid back on a pro rata basis. Other travel elements such as, but not limited to, flights and hotels will not be refunded.

If for any reason the helicopter flights/operations can not be offered, such as but not limited to weather, ice, nautical conditions, technical reasons and break-downs of the helicopters, no claims of any kind such as but not limited to refunds - will be accepted by OE, not even if this such an event would change, postpone, cancel the (nature/scope) of the trip and /or other travel elements of the trip.     

8.9 The contracting party – having booked a ship’s voyage - is free to use the services of the doctor and medical facilities, however neither the doctor nor OE can be held liable for any claims arising out of such services and does not accept any claims. 
8.10 Should OE decide to carry out a medical evacuation during the trip and this may result in alteration or cancelation of the scheduled trip, OE accepts no claims of any kind such as but not limited to refunds.  

9. Obligations of the contracting party

In the case of a (travel) organisation: instead of "contracting party" (in paragraphs 9.1 up to and including 9.4) read also “the client(s) of the (travel) organiser”.

9.1 The contracting party is obliged to comply with all instructions given by OE and the travel leadership (such as but not limited to trip leaders, guides, diving instructor and diving assistants, captain and crew of the ships, helicopter personal/pilots, local agent and the personnel of accommodation providers such as hotels, resorts and diving locations) in order to benefit the sound execution of the trip. The contracting party is 100 % liable for damage caused by any improper behaviour, such as but not limited to damage to the environment, damage towards fellow travellers or material, damage to the hotels, ships or resorts, to be judged according to the standards of behaviour of the model traveller. The contracting party must not commit any breach of any enactment or Law in the country, including regulations and guidelines such as but not limited to the Antarctic Treaty, International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and Association of Arctic Expeditions Cruise Operators (AECO) and any breach or violation is solely the responsibility of the travel participant.  

9.2 Apart from possible punishment by Law, any contracting party who commits a breach of any enactment, Law or guideline and / or causes such disturbance or who threatens to cause such disturbance, that the proper execution of (part of) a trip is seriously hindered or could result in danger for the contracting party and/or the fellow travellers including OE and / or the environment, can by or on behalf of OE (trip leadership or the local representatives) be excluded from (continuation of) the trip (components). In the case of exclusion, the contracting party is not entitled to make any claim for restitution of (part of) the price.

9.3 If the disturbing behaviour and/or damage and/or breach/violation (as described in paragraphs 9.1 and 9.2) should occur, all costs resulting from this shall be charged to the contracting party.

9.4 The contracting party is obliged to inform the tour leadership of OE of any negligence noted in the execution of the travel contract, which is noted by him at the location – in the case of a (travel) organisation: noted by the client(s) of the (travel) organisation. This should be done as quickly as possible, in writing, or other appropriate form of communication, to the relevant tour leader/expedition leader of OE or the captain of the vessel, who shall immediately do his utmost to find an appropriate solution.

9.5 If an immediate solution for the complaints cannot be found, the contracting party – in the case of a (travel) organisation the client(s) of the (travel) organisation should present these complaints to the relevant (travel) organisation, where the trip was booked, upon which the (travel) organiser shall inform OE - shall be obliged to report the complaint to OE and request help. In the case of complaints about travel elements OE can decide to offer an alternative programme (e.g. hotel, cabin, excursion package) that is virtually identical to that in the originally booked trip (the originally booked travel component).

9.6 OE (incl. the representatives, trip leadership, local agent) is entitled to reject the complaint in the case that the complaint does not seriously influence the character of the trip and/or the complaint results only in hindrance of minor significance, if exaggerated demands are made, if it is impossible to provide help to the contracting party within the set time limit, if the deficiency in the implementation of the contract is attributable to the contracting party him/herself, if the deficiency in the execution of the contract could not have been foreseen or could not be neutralised, or if the deficiency in the execution of the contract is attributable to situations of force majeure (that is those abnormal  and unforeseeable circumstances that are independent of the will of whosoever claims it and of which  the consequences, despite every precaution having been taken, could not have been avoided, see also situations of force majeure as described in par. 5.2).

9.7 In the case that the complaint has not been satisfactorily dealt with during the trip, the contracting party – in the case of a (travel) organisation the client(s) of the (travel) organisation should present these complaints to the relevant  (travel) organisation, where the trip was booked, upon which the (travel) organiser shall present the complaint to OE  - shall present the complaint to OE at the very latest within one month of the termination of the trip (the last travel day). The complaint must be presented in writing.

9.8 In the case that the complaint has then not been satisfactorily settled by OE or if proper satisfaction has been not given in this matter, the contracting party is entitled to present the dispute to the District Court of Middelburg in the Netherlands (which court shall have exclusive jurisdiction).

9.9 The contracting party must ascertain the exact time of departure of the return journey at the very latest 72 hours before the stated departure time and reconfirm the air tickets.

10. Baggage / Travel documents and insurance

In the case of a (travel) organisation: for "contracting party" (in the paragraphs 10.1 up to and including 10.4) read also “the client(s) of the (travel) organiser”.

10.1 The contracting party must him/herself obtain the necessary information with regard to and must have in his possession on departure and during the trip the necessary travel documents, such as a valid passport and any required visa, diving certificates/documents, Personal Information Form (see par. 8.2), proof of inoculations and vaccinations. In the case that the participant is unable to make (part of) a trip due to lack of such a travel document, OE is not liable and may not be held (financially) responsible.

10.2 The contracting party must comply with the current import restrictions of the various destinations and the amount of baggage permitted (also as far as the stipulations of the different airlines are concerned). OE may not be held liable for e.g. damage and prison sentences which could be imposed in the case of a contravention.
10.3 The obligation of OE to provide assistance to a contracting party in need is greatly impeded if it is not possible to resort to the S.O.S. help service included in travel and baggage insurance.

10.4 IT IS MANDATORY that the contracting party effects the necessary travel insurance, including a medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance. OE furthermore STRONGLY RECOMMENDS the contracting party to effect cancellation insurance. In case of a medical problem arising during the voyage, either on board or on shore, which results in costs for medical treatment, evacuation, use of aircraft or repatriation etc. etc. the responsibility for payment of these costs belongs solely to the passenger. IT IS MANDATORY for the contracting party to ensure that such eventualities are covered by travel insurance (incl. medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance). In any case, If not covered by appropriate travel insurance the responsibility still remains with the passenger and OE specifically declines any responsibility whatsoever.

11. General

1.1 If the duration of the trip as stated in the publication is given in days, the day of departure and the day of arrival, irrespective of departure or arrival times, are counted as full days.

11.2 The laws of the Netherlands apply to the travel contract and all matters ensuing from this contract.

11.3 Responsible for this content is: Oceanwide Expeditions B.V. Visserijkade 5, 4382 ZA Vlissingen, The Netherlands listed at Chamber of Commerce of the Netherlands under no. 50590715 (revised version, date of issue: 01 October 2017).

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Oceanwide Expeditions has composed this website with utmost care. In no event will Oceanwide Expeditions nor any of its members, directors, employees or advisors accept any responsibility or liability for any (consequences of) mistakes, inaccurateness or incompleteness of the (information on) this website. In particular, Oceanwide Expeditions will not be liable for any mistakes or incorrectness as to prices and conditions with respect to the information and offers on this website.

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2020-05-14 2021-03-30 Available