Join Prof. Ross Virginia and a group of Dartmouth students on this extraordinary journey below the Antarctic Circle. This voyage encompasses two additional days of exploration in Antarctica without adding to the total length of the voyage. We achieve this by flying from South America to King George Island (Antarctica) at the beginning of the voyage, which saves two days on the sea crossing. Those two days 'saved' allow us the time we need to dive far to the south with the objective of crossing the Antarctic Circle. This extra time also provides for great flexibility in daily programming. Ultimately, it equals more time on shore, more time in the Zodiacs and more time spent in the company of our expert guides soaking up the experience. We always anticipate exciting navigation as we head for the Antarctic Circle. The region is home to several fascinating historical sites including the old British Antarctic Survey (BAS) hut – “Base W” situated on Detaille Island. We encounter sizable Adelie penguin rookeries here and the low-lying Fish, Argentine and Yalour Island groups provide fantastic options for Zodiac cruising and wildlife observation. Many of the classic locations along the Peninsula are also included and a day in the South Shetland Islands rounds out the experience. Our full range of activities will be offered on this voyage – walks on shore, visits to wildlife colonies, visits to historic sites and possibly even a working science station. For the more adventurous, sea kayaking is a wonderful way to discover Antarctica – and if weather conditions permit – why not spend the night camping on shore?
DAY 1: PUNTA ARENAS (CHILE) TO KING GEORGE ISLAND
DAY 2: GERLACHE STRAIT AND CUVERVILLE ISLAND
DAY 3: REACH THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE
DAYS 4-7: EXPLORATION OF THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND THE GERLACHE COASTLINE
DAY 8: SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS
DAYS 9-10: DRAKE PASSAGE – RETURN TO SOUTH AMERICA
DAY 11: ARRIVE USHUAIA (ARGENTINA) – VOYAGE CONCLUDES
Professor Virginia is the Myers Family Professor of Environmental Science, Professor of Environmental Science and the Director of the Institute of Arctic Studies within the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding. Growing up in snowy Syracuse, New York, Dr. Virginia read fervently about the race to the South pole. Today, he studies human influences on biogeochemical cycles in terrestrial systems and has participated in analysis of critical issues facing the Arctic and its inhabitants as a result of climate change. His current research focuses on carbon and nutrient cycling in the tundra ecosystems of western Greenland and the polar deserts of Antarctica. In his role as Co-Director of the University of the Arctic Institute of Arctic Policy, and in conjunction with Dartmouth College, Professor Virginia has established an exchange program for Greenlandic students and secured grants to design a program of collaboration between scientists and engineers around polar environmental change while incorporating fieldwork and policy studies in Greenland. In Antarctica, a portion of the McMurdo Dry Valleys has been renamed “Virginia Valley,” honoring his lifelong efforts in conducting long-term ecological research. In October 2014, Professor Virginia was selected by the U.S. State Department as one of two distinguished lead scholars of the newly established Fulbright Arctic Initiative. Check out some of his work here.