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Ibex Expeditions

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Join Marine Biologist Annette Bombosch, PhD, and special guests for a unique 14-day expedition focusing on the marine mammals that populate the southern pole of the globe. As the Antarctic summer comes to a close in March, migratory whale species like the humpback are very active, socializing and feeding in preparation for the long journey they have ahead. Resident whale species like the Minke and Orca are abundant, giving us a good chance of encountering southern right whales and some of the larger open sea species.

Leopard seals are also very busy in March, hunting naive penguin chicks as they mature, develop their waterproof feathers, and make their first journeys to the sea. We see all this action close-up from our Zodiacs, various onshore landings and from the deck and observation platform of our ship, the Island Sky. Photographers and videographers will have ample opportunities to capture sensational images, and those of us with scientific interests will be thrilled to work with the Citizen Science team, contributing data and images to a variety of active marine mammal research projects.

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ACTIVITY LEVEL
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Ibex Expeditions

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Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today, or take advantage of our complimentary flexible arrival program and arrive up to 24 hours in advance. You'll be staying at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. The day is free to explore on your own, the trails, take a spa, relax and soak in the surroundings, or head into Ushuaia and browse the Argentinean leather markets and the Outdoor gear stores. For golfers, you may venture to play on the southern most Golf course of the world! Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers.
Today, we're free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. On board, we'll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the Ship's Officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. After dinner, we'll relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
As we make our way ever closer to the white continent, our Expedition Team and Marine Mammal experts will be out on deck and on the bridge, looking for the whales and dolphins that may be seen as we travel south. They will prepare us with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history, including helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety. Eventually, we'll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we'll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The length of our journey depends on sea conditions, but we should approach the South Shetland Islands in the evening of Day 4. We will keep especially keen watch for Pelagic whales as we approach the nutrient rich upwelling areas of the Continental Shelf.
As we make our way ever closer to the white continent, our Expedition Team and Marine Mammal experts will be out on deck and on the bridge, looking for the whales and dolphins that may be seen as we travel south. They will prepare us with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history, including helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety.
On the second day, we’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we'll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The length of our journey depends on sea conditions, but we should approach the South Shetland Islands in the evening of Day 4. We will keep especially keen watch for Pelagic whales as we approach the nutrient-rich upwelling areas of the Continental Shelf.
Exploring the South Shetland Islands, we may visit Half Moon Island with its stunning backdrop of mountainous and glaciated Livingston Island. Or perhaps we will sail the ship into an active volcano with an opportunity to take a dip in the relatively balmy waters that surround Deception Island.
Bransfield Strait, once the site of an abandoned whaling station, gives us an excellent chance to see whales, who often return to its rich waters.
In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, our Expedition Leader, Captain, and Marine Mammal experts will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and previous sightings to maximize our whale watching opportunities, while also exploring some of the lesser traveled areas of the Peninsula. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels, with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
Heading further South, we will be sure to explore the Gerlache Strait and its surrounding channels and islands. This may include trips to picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel.
We may stop at an active scientific base as Poland's Arctowksi or Ukraine's Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.'s Port Lockroy or Wordie House
At this time of year, most areas have amazing marine mammal viewing opportunities with Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors during this season and Orca sightings are also common.
As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting.
Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow.
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.
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