Charcot Island & Peter I Island Expedition Cruise
Go on Expedition Cruise to one of the most special and remote places along the coast of Antarctica! During this trip you will sail far beyond the Antarctic Circle, on your way to Charcot Island and Peter I Island. These two mysterious volcanic islands are hidden in the Bellingshausen Sea and there are only a few ships sailing this route. Because of the ice around the islands it is almost impossible to moor here, so since the discovery of the islands only a dozen people have been able to actually go ashore. The ship will try to get as close as possible so that you, as one of the few in the world, will have the chance to admire the high steep cliffs and enormous glaciers that cover Charcot Island and Peter I Island.
On our way to these remote islands we pass some of the most beautiful places of Antarctica, like Marguerite Bay, a beautiful bay with deep blue water against a backdrop of the mountainous Adelaide Island. Whales are often spotted in this area, as well as adelie pengiuns. To get to this remote bay, the ship first has to sail through The Gullet, a narrow channel that is enclosed by high walls of ice and snow on both sides. A beautiful place, especially when the weather is clear and the landscape is reflected in the calm icy water.
During your expedition cruise you will go out and explore the area as often as possible. Usually this will be done with a zodiac that will bring you ashore in the most beautiful locations. There you can find different kinds of penguins, like emperor penguins and gentoo penguins. During a trip with the zodiac, you might also come across Weddell seals resting on the ice, and with some luck you might even see whales!
This unique expedition goes far south of the Antarctic circle, so be prepared for a lot of icebergs, unpredictable weather and incredible moments.
NOTE: this is a sample itinary, due to ice and weather conditions things may variate during your trip.
Listed below are places you are likely to visit during your trip.
Charcot island is entirely covered with ice and sheer cliffs, with the exception of the rocky tops extending over in the far north-west. Very few people have landed on this largely untouched island, whose waters attract numerous seabirds, such as petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.
Peter I Island
Located 450 km away from the Antarctic coast, lays Peter I Island. Discovered in 1821 by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen who named the island after the Russian tsar Peter the Great. Surrounded by pack ice and with about 95% of its surface covered by ice, this volcanic island, whose highest peak reaches 1,640 metres, is protected by ice cliffs some 40 metres tall, making any approach difficult.
Go along the cold English Coast and land on the pack ice with your expedition team and head off in search of emperor penguin colonies. Emperor penguins are the largest of all living penguin species and they are champions at adapting to the harsh Antarctic climate. After walking a few kilometres through the magnificent, unexplored desert of ice. After you crossed that what separates you from these colonies, you will be among the lucky few to have observed these majestic penguins from this close and enjoyed this unique and breathtaking experience.
In the northeastern part of Marguerite Bay, you will find the small island of Stonington. The island provided the foundation for a British research station from 1946 to 1975. Numerous expeditions setting off from this station on dog sledges helped with the mapping of a significant part of the Antarctic Peninsula. Equipment and facilities from that time can still be found there: the generator, the dog pens, radio equipment and weather instruments, the water reservoir and a storage space. The island is now an important breeding ground for Antarctic terns and south polar skuas.
Pourquoi Pas Island
During your expedition cruise your vessel will land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, named after the ship Le Pourquoi Pas on which the island was discovered. This mountainous island, situated in the north of Marguerite Bay , is 28 km long and 14 km large. It is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. You will go to shore with your expedition team in a Zodiac. There you might get the chance to observe Adelie penguins have made the island’s rocky shores their home.
Detaille Island is a small island situated off the Loubet Coast in the Crystal Sound, a magnificent region surrounded by snow-covered peaks. A British research station was set up there in 1956. With the island difficult to access, this station was shut down in 1959. The vestiges of the buildings and sledge dog pens that made it possible to map more than 4,000 miles around the island are now maintained by the United Kingdom Heritage Trust. Experience the island on your expedition cruise.
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