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ANTARCTICA & ISLANDS

Price from
US$12,599
(per person)
Duration
20
Days
Tour Type
Small Group

HIGHLIGHTS

Remote Atlantic islands, amazing Antarctic wildlife, Zodiak boat trips, shore excursions, pristine wilderness landscapes
COUNTRIES : Antarctic

PROMO CODE: AN10AI18 - GET 10% OFF ALL 2018 DEPARTURES WHEN YOU USE THIS CODE DURING YOUR ONLINE BOOKING

Enjoy an adventure cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula Sea via the Falkland Islands and South Georgia on board the m/v Plancius or m/v Ortelius. This cruise to the snow covered southern continent offers an amazing opportunity to view spectacular scenery and unique wildlife from the comfort of a fully equipped expedition vessel.

This once in a lifetime holiday starts in Ushuaia at the southernmost tip of Argentina. Here we embark upon our cruise ship and head out into the Atlantic. Our first stop is the famous Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and a chance to view Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper penguins. From here we'll sail east to the historic whaling island of South Georgia, with its wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the Elephant seals, Fur seals, King and Macaroni Penguins. We'll then sail south and west to the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting the South Orkney Islands en route, and our first encounter with sea ice. Ice permiting, we'll sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will greet our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula and a visit Brown Bluff where you may set foot on the Continent. Our next stop is Deception Island, famous for its huge volcanic crater that makes an excellent natural harbour. The abandoned whaling station here is home to a wealth of bird life including Cape Pigeons, Dominican Gulls, and various species of Skuas, Terns and Petrels. From here we'll cruise back across the Drakes Passage to Ushuaia.

Note: 2018 departures are extended to 20 or 21 days.

In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Arrival airport transfers and pre-cruise accommodation in Ushuaia is available on request.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Cabin upgrades (ANSGAI)

At sea, in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) we plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. A hike along the Shore of Carcass Island will give us views of Magellanic and Gentoo-Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl and Night herons and passerines. In addition, on Saunders we will be able to observe four species of breeding penguins (Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper), Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, we can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm. In Stanley and the surrounding area we can see quite an important number of stranded clippers from a century ago. All passengers are free to wander around on their own. We recommend a visit to the local church and museum (admission fees not included).

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

On our way to South Georgia we will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At sea towards South Georgia.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In the afternoon of day 7 we arrive at our first landing site in South Georgia. We might visit the bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We set course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the Elephant seals, Fur seals, King and Macaroni Penguins. One of the highlights might be our visit to Prion Island, where we will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross and enjoy watching their displays (the island is closed for visitors during breeding season from 20 Nov - 07 January).

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Fortuna Bay we might try to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stromness Bay. There and at Grytviken we'll see an abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Grytviken we'll also offer a visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton's grave nearby. We will depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of day 10.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Where the ship is again followed by a multitude of seabirds. At some point we might encounter sea-ice, and it is at the ice-edge where we might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We are planning on a visit to Orcadas station, an Argentinean base located in the South Orkney Islands. The friendly base personnel will show us their facilities and we can enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers.

On Laurie Island we may visit the Argentine base Orcadas Station. It was here that the Scottish explorer W.S. Bruce established a small research station in 1903. The station was taken over by the Argentines the subsequent year and has since been recording meteorological data. At this friendly station one can experience how it is to live and work on an isolated station in Antarctica. Around Orcadas Station we can see breeding Southern Giant Petrels. With permission of the base personnel we may also visit Punta Cormoran, which has an Adélie Penguin colony.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At sea towards Antarctica.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

If the ice permits we will sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce our arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. We plan to visit Brown Bluff where we may set foot on the Continent. In good sailing conditions we may decide to extend our time in the Weddell Sea.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

In Deception Island our ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune's Bellows. Deception itself is a sub-ducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here we find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Petrels and many Kelp Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson's Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. We leave from here and sail through the Shetland Islands attempting to land at Half Moon Island with a large Chinstrap penguin rookery and the usually non-occupied Argentinean Camara station. From here we head to the open sea with direction Ushuaia.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We may visit Cierva Cove were we find ourselves in a world of icebergs well suited for an exploratory Zodiac cruise in search of fantastic photo opportunities. Humpback whales, Crabeater seals and Leopard seals are often seen here and a small rookery of Chinstraps are found on a small island in the bay. The landscape is typical Antarctica with huge glaciated mountains all around. Mikkelsen Harbour on the southern side of Trinity Island was discovered by the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-04. Gentoo penguins nest on the island and Weddell seals often haul out on shore. We also find remains of the early 20th Century Whaling period and an Argentinean refuge hut.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

On our way north we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Full day sailing back across the Drake Passage. There will be plenty of time to go through your photos and look back on your trip of a lifetime to Antarctica.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Expedition vessel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The end of our voyage. We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark after breakfast. A group transfer to the airport for your flight home is included.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
Included:
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All transport in private vehicles
  • 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
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material

Excluded:
  • International flights (can be arranged on request)
  • 24/7 airport arrival transfer service (can be arranged on request)
  • Pre-tour accommodation in Ushuaia (can be arranged on request)
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Optional activities
  • Departure taxes
  • Tips
  • Meals, drinks & snacks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any other items not mentioned in the itinerary

Notes:

This itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

2018 departures are extended to 20 or 21 days.

PROMO CODE: AN10AI18 - GET 10% OFF ALL 2018 DEPARTURES WHEN YOU USE THIS CODE DURING YOUR ONLINE BOOKING

Antarctica & Islands accommodation
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
ortelius-arctic.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
m/v Ortelius
Ushuaia, Antarctic

Ortelius is a great expedition vessel with lots of open-deck spaces and a very large bridge which is accessible to the passenger. It offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants and a bar/lecture room.


Specifications
Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
Staff & crew: 47
Length: 91.25 meters
Breadth: 17.61 meters
Draft: 5.8 meters
Ice class: UL1 (Equivalent to 1A)
Displacement: 4575 tonnes
Propulsion: 6 ZL 40/48 SULZER
Speed: 14.3 knots maximum
Ortelius deck plan: download pdf

History of Ortelius
"Ortelius" was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was named "Marina Svetaeva", and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is re-flagged and renamed "Ortelius". "Ortelius" is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Cyprus flag. As Plancius, Ortelius was a Dutch / Flemish cartographer. Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598) published the first modern world atlas, theTheatrum Orbis Terrarum or Theatre of the World in 1570. At that time, the atlas was the most expensive book ever printed.

Perfect for any expedition
The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. "Ortelius" is a great expedition vessel for 116 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces. The vessel is manned by 20 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, including stewardesses, 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.

Ortelius: a vessel with comfort and character
"Ortelius" offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room. Our voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 116 on the "Ortelius", flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. "Ortelius" carries 11 zodiacs of which 9 are in use and 2 on reserve. The zodiac engines are 60hp Yamaha.

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.

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. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard. 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 we 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 on deck but do not throw your cigarette filter overboard ! Do not smoke on the aft deck in the proximity of zodiacs, engines and fuel. 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.

mv-plancius-antarctica.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
m/v Plancius
Ushuaia, Antarctic

With 53 cabins accommodation up to 110 passengers, this expedition vessel is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel.


Specifications
Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
Staff & crew: 45
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: 3434 tonnes
Propulsion: 3x Diesel-Electric
Speed: 10 - 12 knots maximum
Plancius deck plan: download pdf

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 privately purchased. 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 in London 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. 15 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).

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 3), 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 and will still be primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. This vessel will fully meet our demands to achieve this. The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the engines 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 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.

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.

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. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard. 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 we 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 on deck but do not throw your cigarette filter overboard ! Do not smoke on the aft deck in the proximity of zodiacs, engines and fuel. 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.

Antarctica & Islands options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you're visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Cabin upgrades (ANSGAI)
Price from
On
Request

per person



Cabin upgrades (ANSGAI)
Min numbers: 1 person

The 'from' price showing on this tour is based on the most economical way to join the cruise, staying in a shared 4-berth porthole cabin with other travellers. Other cabin types are also available for a supplement.


The 'from' price showing on this tour is based on the most economical way to join the cruise, staying in a shared 4-berth porthole cabin with other travellers. Other cabin types are also available for a supplement, including:

  • Shared triple porthole
  • Shared twin porthole
  • Shared twin window
  • Twin Deluxe
  • Superior

All these cabins are also available to book privately so you and any travel companions have the whole cabin to yourself.

To request more information regarding cabin upgrades and pricing you can either contact us or add your request to the Notes section during your online booking.

antarctica-islands-map.jpg
Antarctica & Islands tour notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers not otherwise covered by ATOL.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.

Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign

Antarctica & Islands dates & prices
Prices are based on sharing a 4-birth cabin. This tour is only available on the dates mentioned below and you will be joining other travellers on board the expedition vessel. Note, some departures may be one or two days longer.
Start Date End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
29 Nov, 2017 18 Dec, 2017 US$13159 - m/v Plancius - 20 days  
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16 Dec, 2017 03 Jan, 2018 US$13159 - m/v Ortelius - 19 days  
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19 Jan, 2018 07 Feb, 2018 US$14979 - m/v Plancius - 20 days  
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02 Feb, 2018 20 Feb, 2018 US$14279 - m/v Ortelius - 19 days  
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17 Feb, 2018 08 Mar, 2018 US$14279 - m/v Plancius - 20 days  
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03 Nov, 2018 23 Nov, 2018 US$12599 - "m/v Plancius - 21 days  
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03 Dec, 2018 22 Dec, 2018 US$13509 - m/v Plancius - 20 days  
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22 Dec, 2018 10 Jan, 2019 US$13509 - m/v Plancius - 20 days  
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09 Jan, 2019 28 Jan, 2019 US$15469 - m/v Plancius - 20 days  
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16 Feb, 2019 07 Mar, 2019 US$14699 - m/v Ortelius - 20 days  
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tripadvisor winner 2014 and 2015
Encounters Travel Reviews
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Posted Jan 16, 2015
Service rating : I arrived in Turkey a day prior to the tour,stayed in the same hotel,but unfortunately was not able to get a transfer from the hotel to the airport? Apparently, company policy, really??

Product : Turkey was amazing,hotels were really great,nice group of people on the trip, the tour guide

was fine, not too amicable,in fact kept to himself mostly, did not liaise with anyone one, I have travelled quite a bit,and found that the trips that are the most pleasurable are the ones where the guides mingle with the people! We hardly sampled local foods, which was disappointing!
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Posted Feb 14, 2014
Service rating : staff informed and capable

Product : historical interests were well met
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Posted Feb 13, 2014
Service rating : The booking forward was straight forward in comparison to what i've experienced in the past. The negetive that i have is the lack of communication. The accomodation that was sent in our packet, was not the accomodation that we ended up staying at. The change in accomodation without communicating it back to us did not give any of the travellers an opportunity to update their families and loved ones on how they could be reached. This is something that could have been avoided had an email been sent.

Product : The tour itself was great, our driver and tour guide were friendly, flexible and readily available to help out when needed.
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Posted Jan 17, 2016
Service rating : The company was efficient to work with and I enjoyed my contact with the agents.

Product : It was a trip of a lifetime. Perfect holiday and an adventure.
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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Great time in Egypt, thanks especially to Waleed
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Posted Jul 28, 2016
Good
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Posted Jan 08, 2016
very efficient, helpful, knowledgeable. No fuss, everything goes smoothly from getting the trip organised. Hopefully the holiday itself will be similar.
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Posted Feb 14, 2014
Service rating : I would have put excellent if the communication on the tour was better. I wish there was something between excellent and good.

Product : This may seem contradictory but the experience was so good it overshadowed the hiccups that we experienced. Elroy was an EXCELLENT tour guide, he made our trip so fun and tried hard to please everyone. The Country was beautiful and the activities were great! My only critique is the occasional lack of communication between our guide and the group which seemed to stem from last minute changes to accommodation that he had no control over. Instead of explanations about why we drove into one property then drove out to a new one, we were left wondering. This sparked frustrations especially since the placed were taken to was judged too harshly because of it's outward appearance (It was actually a lovely place to stay and on par or better than other places that we stayed). I knew the nature of the trip and I took the "you are in Africa, things can change" idea to heart so I rolled with the punches but others did not which may have affected how they viewed the entire trip. Overall I had a great time and I have already recommended the tour to others.
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Posted Mar 08, 2014
Service rating : Encounters was easy to work with pre-departue and made booking fast.

Product : We had an excellent time in Morocco! Our guide Zuzu was amazing and show us so much of his beautiful country.
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Posted Aug 17, 2015
always excellent
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Posted Oct 07, 2016
The booking and reservation process with Encounters Travel went smoothly without any problems. Everything was explained clearly and precisely what was needed prior to receiving our trip confirmation and itinerary. Anthony with Encounters Travel made this trip a breeze, and now I can cross this off my bucket list.
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Posted Aug 08, 2016
Service rating : I thought it was great. The only issues I had was the Morocco side had a different pick up title on their pick up so that was a little stressful. The other issue was there was a lot of taking us into 'culture' shops but almost was a sales pitch rather than the experience

Product : I would look at changing some of the hotels. A lot are outdated and need a massive makeover.