We invite you to join Dartmouth Professor of Environmental Science Ross Virginia and a team of Dartmouth students on an expedition cruise to Antarctica. By crossing one leg of the Drake passage by ship and one leg by air, we’ll maximize our time spent cruising and exploring in Antarctica. As we navigate some of the Earth’s southernmost straits and islands, we’ll have the chance to encounter Antarctica’s penguins, seals, and whales in abundance. Zodiacs and sea kayaks will allow us to get up-close and personal with the continent, and, weather permitting, we’ll even have the chance to spend a night camping on Antarctica.
We are on board a Canadian-operated expedition vessel, one that regularly conducts active science in the Polar Regions. This purpose-built vessel is the ideal platform for polar exploration, affording us unique opportunities to chart a course through remote waters. The feel on board is casual, the entertainment is the magnificent landscape all around us. With a maximum of just 146 passengers, we have unrestricted access to all landing sites and using 14 Zodiacs, we enjoy explorations in very small groups. This is your opportunity to experience Antarctica up close.
DAY 1: Meet in Ushuaia
DAY 2-3: At Sea Towards Antarctica
DAYS 4-7: Exploration of the Gerlache Strait & Antarctic Peninsula
DAY 8-9: Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea
DAYS 10: South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
DAY 11: King George Island (Antarctica) – Fly to Punta Arenas
DAY 12: Depart Punta Arenas
Please note: We put safety first and that means weather, ice, wildlife, or other conditions may require us to modify the itinerary as we go. We consider this half the intrigue of Polar exploring. Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions. Polar exploring is not predictable which is one of the many reasons we think it is so special.
Please call for information on optional extensions in Patagonia and beyond.
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.