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Crossing the Circle 2014-15

Trip Length

Trip Code

15 days GPCC14

Countries Visited

Antarctica, Argentina

Start City

End City

Ushuaia Ushuaia
Crossing the Circle 2014-15

Antarctica is bigger than Europe. It’s home to around 90% of the earth’s ice. In summer it’s light all day. Antarctic fish produce a natural anti-freeze chemical. Killer whales are actually a type of dolphin. Yeah it’s pretty out there, out there.

Crossing the Circle 2014-15


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia

You might think the southernmost town in the world would be some kind of wasteland. Wrong. It’s got casinos, restaurants and is a base for hiking, winter sports and Antarctic voyagers (that’s you). It can get a bit touristy but you’re not there for long.

Day 2: Ushuaia - Embarkation Day

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

This is it: The real deal, the main event, the climax, the showstopper, the crème de la crème, the most life-affirming experience you might ever…experience. Before you board the boat, take a minute to think about what you’d be doing if you were at home today,then congratulate yourself for making the right decision.

Day 3-4: Drake Passage

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Drake Passage is notorious for being a real pain in the butt, so pray (if you’re that way inclined) for clear skies, calm waters and nothing more than a slight breeze. If lady luck (or God) doesn’t make an appearance, just think of it as character building.

Day 5-8: Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

Meals included: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

You’re going to sight the Antarctic coastline for the first time. You’re going to see loads of icebergs. There might be whales. There will be penguins. Then you’re going to set foot on the ice. It’s going to be great. You might cry. We won’t judge.

Day 9-10: The Antarctic Circle

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is probably one of the most incredible things you will ever do in your life. Not to say your life is rubbish – we couldn’t possibly make that presumption - we just mean that to this day, very few people have been here. Grab a bottle of champagne and celebrate in style. Singing “We Are The Champions” is optional.

Day 11-12: Northbound Along the Peninsula

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

By now dry land will be a distant memory. If you begin to feel like you have more in common with the seals – eating fish at all hours, lazing around on the ice and clapping for no reason - it might be time to step outside the cabin and get a bit of fresh Antarctic air. Don’t stress, it’ll just be cabin fever setting in.

Day 13-14: Drake Passage to Ushuaia

Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Leave Antarctica behind and re-navigate the Drake Passage. You’ll be chock full of memories, you’ll have made new friends (both human and penguin) and you should begin to feel an overwhelming sense of pride, exhilaration and a newfound sense of awesome. You might even cry again. Just roll with it, you did good.

Day 15: Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Time to get your “I heart Antarctica” hoodie and show all the “travellers” at home what a real adventurer looks like


Your Trip

Nuts and Bolts

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Accommodation

Meals

Not Included


Important Information

These Trip Notes should be read in conjunction with Gecko’s Antarctica pre-departure information that is provided to you shortly after booking (or which can be requested prior to booking). A second information manual dealing with Antarctic history, geology, geography, marine and bird life will also be provided.

1. Budgeting: in addition to funds for onboard expenses, it is sometimes possible to purchase souvenirs such as books, t-shirts, stamps, postcards, windcheaters, caps and similar items at some of the research stations in the Antarctic Peninsula area. Mail can sometimes be posted from these stations as well. Transactions are usually in US dollars cash.

2. Clothes: please read our Antarctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival in Ushuaia, to protect yourself against the inclement weather.

3. Motion sickness: the waters of the Drake Passage can be some of the roughest seas in the world, although at other times they are so smooth that it is referred to as the 'Drake Lake'! Although our vessel is among the most stable ship in its class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.

4. Gratuities: we suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.

5. Sea kayaking: there are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required.

6. Camping: if you chose to camp on the continent, we’ll provide all the required gear such as tents or bivouac (or 'bivy') sacs and sleeping bags. This excursion is managed with strict environmental regulations - a portable toilet is used and absolutely everything is transported back to the ship afterwards. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home, it cannot be booked on the ship. Spaces are limited.

Gecko's Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Gecko's, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrolment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed.

Argentinean Reciprocity Fee (visitor visa)

This will now be done entirely ONLINE, effective October 31, 2012 (for arrivals to Aeroparque airport) and December 28, 2012 (for arrivals to Ezeiza airport).

Until now, this fee was paid upon arrival at the airport. From the dates listed above, US/AUS/CAN tourist or business visitors must pay the reciprocity rates with their credit card through the online system. After these dates, cash payments will NOT be accepted at the airports.
The rates are USD160 for Americans, USD100 for Australians and USD75 for Canadians, for single entry.

How to pay the reciprocity fee online:
• Visit www.migraciones.gov.ar or www.provinciapagos.com.ar and register to start the process
• Fill out the form with the corresponding personal and credit card information
• Print the payment receipt
• Present the printed receipt at Immigration Control on arrival in Argentia. The receipt will be scanned by the Immigration officials, the information will be checked, and entry to the country will be registered

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

18 September 2013


General Contact Details

Geckos AdventuresPhone: 855-832-4853
E-mail: sales@geckosadventures.com
Web: Visit Geckos