East Antarctica
In the Wake of Mawson

East Antarctica, Commonwealth Bay the "Home of the Blizzard", Mawson's Hut, Emperor Penguins, Sub-Antarctic Islands
26 Days  |  Depart:  10th Dec 2018  |  Prices from $19,020

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Regions:  Antarctic Peninsula | South Georgia | South Shetland Islands | Falkland Islands

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Summary : East Antarctica is one of the most isolated places on the planet. Here, the massive polar ice cap rolls down to a sea rich in wildlife. It is also where explorers both heroic and modern day have landed and lived in the face of nature. Mawson, David, and Mackay were the first to reach the South Magnetic Pole (January 15th, 1909)  a round manhaul trip of 1,260 miles. Celebrate the achievement with a visit to the remains of Mawson's Hut in Commonwealth Bay and several islands that were also visited during Mawson's expedition. This voyage is an opportunity to experience a seldom-visited part of Antarctica, rich in history and wildlife.

Embark / Disembark:  Hobart - Australia / Invercargill - New Zealand

Rates: $19,020 - $24,810
Landing Fees: $880 per person
Solo Rates: Available on request

Ship - Akademik Shokalskiy - Research Ship
Passengers: 48


Day 1 Hobart, Australia
Arrive in Hobart, Australia’s second-oldest city and southernmost capital. A city rich in colonial heritage, picturesque waterways, gourmet experiences and natural charms, this busy seaport at the foot of Mt. Wellington has something for everyone.

Day 2 Hobart, Australia
Enjoy breakfast at your leisure in the hotel restaurant, there will also be a compulsory luggage security check in the foyer of the hotel this morning. Afterwards there may be time for you to explore locally until boarding the coach transport which will take you to the port. After completing security formalities on arrival at the port your expedition team welcome you onboard as you embark the ship. In the late afternoon you will depart the Port of Hobart, once one of Australia’s finest deep-water ports and the center for the Southern Ocean whaling and sealing trade; it is now a busy seaport and also serves as the home port for both Australian and French Antarctic operations. You are invited to join the expedition team and captain on the bridge as you set sail across Storm Bay. Strong winds can sometimes blow through the bay, coming straight up from Antarctica, via the Southern Ocean. You will sail pass Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula and set your course for Macquaire Island.

Days 3 - 5 At Sea
Take the chance to learn more about the biology and history of these islands and the tempestuous Southern Ocean through informal lectures with our experts. This particular stretch of ocean is very productive and we can expect many seabirds, including five or six kinds of albatross and numerous species of petrel.

Day 6 - 7 Macquarie Island
Described by one Australian explorer as "One of the wonder spots of the world" this is the only place in the world where the beautiful Royal Penguin breeds. Three other species of penguins the King, Gentoo and Rockhopper also breed here. You will never forget your first experience of a noisy "penguin city", where the dapper inhabitants show no fear of their strange visitors and where you will be immersed in a tumult of chattering, feeding chicks; territorial disputes; petty pilfering and courtship displays. This all happens among hundreds of Southern Elephant Seals lolling on the beaches and dunes. On arrival, meet with scientists and Park Rangers based here who will accompany you on all your landings.

Day 8 - 10 At Sea
You depart south to East Antarctica. As you make your way across the vast southern ocean there will be many opportunities for pelagic species watching. You will be logging the location of the various albatross, petrel, and prions that you see and a keen lookout will be kept for marine mammals. Lecturers will prepare you for your time in the Antarctic with informal lectures and discussions.

Day 11 - 19 Commonwealth Bay and Beyond
Your first landing on the remote East Antarctic coastline will be Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay. Notoriously known as the "home of the blizzard". Here you will see (and experience) Mawson's Hut and its environs which include other relics from the 1911-14 expedition and Adelie Penguins. West from Cape Denison is the French Research Base, Dumont D'Urville which, if permission is granted and ice conditions permit, you will visit. There is also an Emperor Penguin colony nearby. Breeding season will be over but there could be birds around. Other landings could include Port Martin (abandoned French Base) and the McKellar Islands. You will also cruise in the Zodiacs looking for wildlife.

Day 23 - 24 Campbell Island - Perseverance Harbor
Drop anchor in Perseverance Harbour, an occasional refuge for Southern Right Whales who come here to calve. Walk to the nesting site of the Southern Royal Albatross and see the strange and beautiful megaherbs growing on the hills. These huge wild flowers that have adapted to the harsh conditions have unusual colourings and weirdly-shaped leaves. We also seek out other wildlife such as Campbell Island Shags, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and sea lions.

Day 25 At sea / Auckland Islands
You will spend this morning at sea en route to the Auckland Islands, arriving in Carnley Harbor this afternoon, once the caldera of the Carnley volcano. The walls of the caldera have been breached on both the eastern and western sides, separating Adams Island to the south. The eastern entrance is navigable for smaller vessels such as yours. The extensive harbor is rich in history and in opportunities. Your activities are totally weather dependent as the wind often funnels down the harbor making anchoring and some landings impossible. You will have a number of options including a reasonably difficult scramble to a Shy Albatross colony on South West Cape. For those not able to manage this there will be the option to Zodiac cruise the pristine shores of Adams Island and Western Harbor. If wind and weather prevent you from doing this, other options include a relatively easy walk to an abandoned coastwatchers hut and lookout used during the Second World War.

Day 26 Auckland Islands - Enderby Island
The Auckland Islands group was formed by two volcanoes which erupted some 10-25 million years ago. They have subsequently been eroded and dissected by glaciation creating the archipelago as we know it today. The group is one of the largest in the Sub-Antarctic and has a most colorful history of discovery and attempted settlement. Characterized by towering cliffs and rugged sea stacks, these islands have borne witness to many a shipwreck in days gone by. Enderby Island in this group is a great place to view birds and wildlife and is perhaps the most beautiful of all the Sub-Antarctic Islands. Located at the northern end of this cluster of islands, it offers a varying landscape with a low plateau of scrubland and cushion bog. You will enjoy the extensive areas of regenerating patches of megaherbs especially the Anisotome latifolia and Stilbocarpa Polaris.

Day 27 The Snares, Sub-Antarctic Islands - North-East Island
The Snares is the first of the Sub-Antarctic Islands that you will visit. The North East Island is the largest of the Snares, more seabirds nest on this small island than there are seabirds around the entire British Isles. Landings are not permitted, so you will Zodiac cruise the coastline to see wildlife. Snares crested penguins are plentiful around the coast as are the cape petrel. Bullers albatross also nest here. Cruising in the sheltered bays you will see, the endemic tomtit, and fernbird. Antarctic terns, white-fronted terns and red-billed gulls are around the coastline. There is an estimated 60 million of these nesting on Snares Island. Mottled petrel, diving petrel and broad billed prion are all in the vicinity.

Day 28 Invercargill
Early this morning you will arrive in the Port of Bluff. After a final breakfast and completing custom formalities you will bid farewell to your fellow voyagers and take a complimentary coach transfer to either a central city point or to the airport. In case of unexpected delays due to weather and/or port operations you are asked not to book any onward travel until after midday today.


The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. Landings at the Sub Antarctic Islands are by permit only as administered by the governments of New Zealand and Australia. No landings are permitted at Snares Island. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation in this program, all passengers must purchase full medical and emergency evacuation insurance for the specific areas they will be visiting. The minimum coverage requirement is $100,000 for program. The policy provider, policy number and contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. We can assist you with this.

Cabin accommodations; one night hotel accommodation including dinner and continental breakfast; all onboard lectures and access to public areas; all meals on board the ship; shore excursions as described; group transfers to embark the ship and transfer from the ship to city hotels and/or airport on disembarkation.

Not Included:
International / domestic airfare; passport, visa and vaccination fees; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; items of a personal nature such as laundry, beverages, communications, medical supplies, etc.; landing fees; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.

Antarctica Ross Sea Region Cruise

Antarctica Ross Sea Region - Sample Cruises - 2018 / 2019

Trip Highlights Prices USD* Days
East Antarctica - In the Wake of Mawson East Antarctica, Commonwealth Bay the "Home of the Blizzard", Mawson's Hut, Emperor Penguins, Sub-Antarctic Islands $19,020 -
The Ross Sea Region - In the Wake of Scott and Shackleton Auckland Islands, Macquarie and Campbell Islands, Explore the Ross Sea, Historic Huts, Ross Ice Shelf, McMurdo base. $23,000 -

* Prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.

Options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.