Adventures on the Southern Frontier

There are many places you can visit on Earth, but few hold as much mystery and ethereal beauty as Antarctica. With its otherworldly landscapes, storied history, and exotic wildlife, Antarctica dazzles and captivates those rare travelers determined and resourceful enough to reach her shores.

From the early cartographers of the Southern Ocean to the whalers and sealers who set up ramshackle processing camps on forlorn islands, our relationship with Antarctica is a case study in the way that ships, and shipboard life, can shape the nature of our world. Even now, it remains extremely difficult to reach Antarctica except by sea, rendering it one of the most pristine places left in the world. The continent remains a haven for some of the most compelling animals on Earth, from waddling penguins to soaring albatross, and from nimble porpoises to massive, awe-inspiring blue whales.

Although much of Antarctica is ringed by a barrier of stormy seas and jagged icebergs, the Antarctic Peninsula acts as an extended hand, stretching a beckoning finger northward and providing an entry point for intrepid captains, scientists, and travelers. Many of history’s greatest explorers have crossed the Drake Passage – the roaring channel of freezing ocean between the Peninsula and the southern tip of Chile – in pursuit of knowledge and adventure. SoulBuffalo’s Antarctic expedition will follow the same course to experience the wonders of the Southern Continent firsthand.

Any excursion to this magnificent corner of the Earth is sure to be an unforgettable experience, but it can often be an uncomfortable one as well. SoulBuffalo bucks that trend by plying the iceberg-studded waters of the Southern Ocean in style. We travel as a small group aboard a luxury yacht, from which our guests have breathtaking views of — and unparalleled access to – this lost land of penguins, whales, and prismatic ice.

Join us and explore a world that has driven men mad with its beauty, power, and unpredictable nature. There is nothing like Antarctica: come with us and find out why.

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Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia/Departure

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world, yet the influx of tourism has spurred a flurry of development. Those who arrive before the boat disembarks can enjoy the shops and European-style restaurants with the beautiful Patagonian Mountains as a backdrop. Once we set sail, we’ll pass through the Beagle Channel and have a welcome dinner as we head southward towards Antarctica.

Day 2: Drake Passage

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

A day at sea offers ample opportunities for education and familiarization. Up on the deck, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for wildlife in the sea and sky, and learn about the biodiversity of the Antarctic continent. We’ll also have plenty of time to get to know each other and the crew as we explore the vessel from bow to stern.

Day 3: Drake Passage

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

If the sea conditions are calm enough, we may be able to attempt a brief landing on the South Shetland Islands, but the majority of the day will be dedicated to continuing the education program. We’ll learn more about the wildlife of the mysterious seventh continent, but we’ll also be briefed on the safest ways to explore this wild frontier. After dinner, we’ll gather on deck to catch our first glimpses of Antarctica.

Day 4: Dallman Bay/Georges Point/Port Lockroy

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

As we cruise into Dallman Bay first thing in the morning, we’ll look for humpback whales that inhabit these waters. We’ll even board small zodiac runabouts and observe them up close. From there, we’ll land at Georges Point and observe the colonies of Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring the area around Port Lockroy before returning to the Explorer for an onboard barbecue.

Day 5: Peltier Channel/Lemaire Channel/Pleneau Bay/Petermann Island

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

The majesty of Antarctica’s landforms will be on full display as we cruise through two picturesque channels on our way to Petermann Island. Passing through Lemaire Channel, we’ll get close enough to touch the glacier walls without running aground, thanks to the deep waters. After lunch, we’ll head south through Pleneau Bay towards Petermann Island, which houses a research facility that studies the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.

Day 6: Crossing the Antarctic Circle

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

Weather permitting, we’ll attempt to reach the very “bottom” of Planet Earth as we cross the Antarctic Circle and head towards Marguarite Bay. When the ice pack makes it impossible to travel farther south, we’ll head back into Lemaire Channel for sunset and more beautiful scenery.

Day 7: Paradise Bay/Neko Harbour

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

We’ll rise this morning to dramatic vistas provided by the mountains and glaciers that make up the central coast of the western Antarctic Peninsula. After a zodiac trip to explore the features of the bay, we’ll take a close look at the icebergs that are often home to large groups of Crabeater seals. In the afternoon, we’ll head towards Neko Harbor and take a hike up to a vista point that provides panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Day 8: Brown Bluff/Paulet Island

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

Penguins are the stars of today’s show. We’ll explore ancestral breeding grounds for these playful creatures at Brown Bluff (a breeding site for Adelie and Gentoo penguins), and spend the afternoon cruising towards Paulet Island, home to more than 100,000 Adelie birds.

Day 9: Deception Island/Hannah Point/departure

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

If ice conditions permit a landing at Baily Head, we’ll take a short trip to observe the nesting area for thousands of Chinstrap penguins. If not, we’ll head on towards Deception Island, which is actually the top of an active volcano. From the deck of the boat, we’ll see steam rising from the waters that surround the seismically active landscape, which last erupted in 1969. If weather allows, we’ll even take a swim in the area where the icy Antarctic waters meet the flows from the hot springs. For the final landing of our trip, we’ll visit Hannah Point, home to a wide array of diverse wildlife

Day 10: Drake Passage

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

As we head back towards South America, we’ll continue our educational program up on deck, focusing on Antarctic waterfowl, and keeping our eyes peeled for albatrosses, sheerwaters and petrels.

Day 11: Drake Passage/Beagle-channel/Ushuaia

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer

During our final day at sea, we’ll continue to learn about Antarctic wildlife and share pictures from the trip with each other. In the spirit of competition, everyone will have a chance to guess what time we’ll spot land; the winner receives a bottle of champagne. We’ll cap off the evening with a farewell cocktail and dinner.

Day 12: Ushuaia

Accommodation: On board the Hanse Explorer / Disembarkation

As the sun rises over the morning horizon, the yacht will tie up in Ushuaia as we prepare to disembark. After passing through customs, we’ll head either to local hotels or directly to the airport for our flights home, filled with vivid memories of this once-in-a-lifetime trip. Safe travels!