IAE 2017 Itinerary

IAE 2017 Itinerary

The International Antarctic Expedition 2017 will be an exhilarating, unpredictable adventure and a life-changing experience for the international group of men and women joining Robert Swan and the 2041 team to the last great wilderness on Earth.

The purpose for this Antarctic Expedition is to engage and inspire the next generation of leaders to take responsibility to build resilient communities and in doing so, preserve Antarctica. This trip, we will be celebrating 14 years of Antarctic Expeditions so Don't Miss it! 

The "Leadership on the Edge" program is the golden thread that ties all of the activities and presentations together throughout the expedition. You will participate in our outdoor program, learn about Antarctica, join in debates, be schooled on public speaking and learn candidly from Robert Swan, O.B.E.

Please note: Itinerary is subject to change without notice. All Antarctic travel is dependent upon local weather and ground conditions at the time of the actual expedition, so flexibility and an open mind are essential for a truly positive and successful experience!


March 5th-15th, 2017

Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Day 2: Ushuaia, Argentina, and Embarkation

Day 3 - 4: Crossing the Drake Passage

Day 4 - 7: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Day 8 - 9: The Drake Passage

Day 10: Disembarkation in Ushuaia

Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Sunday March 5, 2017


You may arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of your itinerary. Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its soaring architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to the group hotel (pre-night hotel included).

Day 2: Ushuaia, Argentina, and Embarkation

Mon March 6, 2017

USh glacier

After breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina.

Upon arrival, you will have a little time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier.

Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you’ll see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!


Day 3 - 4: Crossing the Drake Passage

Tues -Thurs March 7-9, 2017

drake sunrise small

Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing, as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates while your Expedition Team provides safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead. We will commence the “Leadership on the Edge” program this morning with an introduction to the 2041 team and our expert speakers. An overview of what to expect in the coming days, along with opening presentations.

Cape Horn, the most southerly point of the Americas, has stimulated the imagination of mankind since Sir Francis Drake inadvertently circumnavigated it in 1580. Sometimes misty and gray, other times calm and clear, crossing the legendary Drake Passage is unforgettable - a milestone in any adventurer’s personal travel history. Some of us will approach this historic crossing with more than a little trepidation. Despite its reputation, there are times when it is called the “Drake Lake”; at other times, we have encountered rough crossings with large waves. Regardless, the size of the waves and the force of the gale winds will take on gigantic proportions when relayed to folks back home.

As we cross the Drake Passage, there will be a selection of multimedia lectures about Antarctica, the timing of which is dependent on safety and weather conditions. We will also learn about the wildlife, geology, history and geography of the Antarctic Peninsula from our onboard experts. We will be given IAATO guidelines for approaching the wildlife and begin to discuss the importance of renewable energy and how it plays a vital role in the preservation of Antarctica. A favorite pastime on board is to stand at the stern watching the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels, following our wake.

Day 4 - 7: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Thurs-Sun March 9-12, 2017

Depending on ice and weather conditions, the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula is ours to explore. Our experienced leaders will use their local knowledge to design our voyage from day to day, capitalizing on the best weather and ice conditions. Once we arrive in the calmer waters of the Peninsula, we will make numerous shore landings in inflatable rubber boats called zodiacs. Cruising along spectacular ice shelves or following whales that are feeding near the surface, we will soon appreciate the distinct advantage of being on a small vessel, giving everyone the opportunity to experience these very special close encounters with the environment.
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There are many exciting places that we may visit, if time and weather permit. Shore excursion decisions will be made on board daily. Below are some places we may explore: 

Neko cover smallCuverville Island: Cuverville Island is a dome-shaped, 250m tall, island hosting several large Gentoo rookeries, making it one of the largest gatherings of this penguin in Antarctica, with more than 40,000 penguins. Giant petrels and kelp gulls breed on the island. We take this opportunity to closely observe them and their habits as we stand beneath the giant peaks that rise around the island. 

Neko Harbor: Named after the Norwegian whaling ship working in these waters in the beginning of the 20th century, Neko Harbor gives us an opportunity to enjoy a true continental landing. Our time among its carving glaciers and statuesque icebergs is a clear reminder of our goal of respecting and protecting this beautiful continent for future generations. 

Danco Island: This small island, one mile (1.6 km) in length, is easy to explore and home to gentoo penguins. You can visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut and watch for a variety of seabirds such as snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls and blue-eyed shags. 

Melchior Islands: A group of low islands in Dallmann Bay, on which you may see male fur seals haul-out at the end of the breeding season to recuperate from their battles for supremacy. 

Petermann Island: Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. The dome of the island rises 650 feet (200 meters) above the sea, offering a challenging hike for panoramic views. Adélie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island. 

LemaireThe Lemaire Channel: Surrounded by near-vertical peaks on either side, this extremely steep-sided channel is only visible once you are almost inside, providing one of the most dramatic landscapes to sail through. This strait runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula; you’ll see that this is one of the most scenic locations on the western coast, especially during sunrise and sunset. The 6.8 mile-long (11 km) Channel may become impassable when ice fills the narrow passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters. 

Waterboat Point: Of historic interest, you may venture to this unique point, which at low tide is connected to the Antarctic mainland. Zodiacs are used to explore the area when the tide is in. Two scientists studying penguin behavior lived in a water boat on the Point from 1921-22. The remains of their camp have been designated an Antarctic historic site. 

Port Lockroy: A ‘fun’ destination of sorts, we always strive to journey to Port Lockroy if weather permits. The harbor is on the west side of Wiencke Island. A secret base was built on the harbor during the Second World War as part of Operation Tabarin. It is now designated as a historic site, where Port Lockroy is a museum and post office. Proceeds from your purchases here support the preservation of historic sites from the Heroic Age of Exploration. 

Day 8-9: The Drake Passage

Mon-Tues March 13-14, 2017

First berg smallAs we leave this magical place, we will make our way north again across the Antarctic Convergence and sail home towards Argentina. Team members will get to enjoy a day at sea to be with fellow team members and reflect on all that has taken place during the expedition. A final wrap-up and award ceremony takes place as we leave Antarctic waters. We will then sail across the Drake Passage, around Cape Horn and finally down the Beagle Channel. 

Day 10: Disembarkation in Ushuaia

Wednesday March 15, 2017


You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, after breakfast. A location that mere days ago seemed wild and remote is now, in contrast to the isolation of Antarctica, cozily familiar.

After disembarking, you will get a little taste of Patagonia, touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before transferring to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires.

We say our farewells all around and make our way to the airport. An Incredible journey completed………….