Each suite features: Sea view, Queen-sized bed, separable into two twin-sized beds, Sitting area, Satellite TV, DVD/CD player, Telephone, Mini-refrigerator, Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries and each is 225 square feet or more. The Penthouse Suites (400 square foot) and Veranda Suites (300 square foot) feature private balconies accessed via sliding-glass doors.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are changed daily and the emphasis is on providing delicious, as well as balanced and nutritional, cuisine.
Returning from excursions, passengers enjoy complimentary refreshments, afternoon tea and all-day coffee in The Club, a great space for relaxation, surrounded by panoramic windows. Other Sea Explorer facilities include: Library with Internet access, Lounge with audio-visual facilities, Dining room, Wraparound sun deck with Jacuzzi, Exercise room. Medical facilities, Lift serving all passenger decks, Swimming/zodiac platform
The Hebridean Sky offers three itineraries which are Classic Antarctica, Antarctica for the Holidays (Christmas and New Year special incl. the Weddell Sea!) and Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica Explorer via Buenos Aires.
There are also great sea kayaking possibilities for the more adventurous (booked in advance).
If you’ve savoured the peaceful feeling of gliding through nature that can only be found in a kayak, you’re going to love kayaking in Antarctica. As in all activities on the peninsula, we take advantage of good weather, and put our kayaks into calm protected waters, in what are indisputably some of the most beautiful settings on earth.
You won’t need to bring any special gear. You supply the passion and a bit of basic kayaking competency and we’ll provide everything else, including kayaks, dry suits and pogies. The number of kayaking opportunities will vary based on the length of your itinerary and the weather. Our Expedition Leader and kayaking guide team will evaluate the opportunities at each landing site, and put-in as often as they determine is safely possible
A Sample day in Antarctica
We thought it would help by explaining what a typical day on Antarctica would look like, so here with the details!
Our Captain has positioned the ship overnight and we awake to a breathtaking panorama. The sun has already been up for several hours, but early-risers are just beginning to stir, some are headed to the club, where a fresh pot of pre-breakfast coffee and sweet rolls are waiting. A few others are off to the exercise room for their morning workout, and a few are headed to the deck for a morning spa. Meanwhile the Expedition Staff is readying the Zodiacs and equipment for the morning’s adventure.
07:30 – 09:00
Buffet breakfast service in the main dining room includes a sumptuous assortment of cooked and continental items, including crispy bacon, eggs to your liking, oatmeal, fresh rolls, toast, cold cuts, condiments, fresh fruits and a selection of juices. Coffee and a variety of teas are served at your table. The hour and a half long service allows everyone to arrive and dine at his or her own pace. Soon after breakfast most are eager and ready to participate in the days activities.
09:30 – 12:30
Life in Antarctica is dynamic and daily programs are, of course, adapted to fit the weather conditions. Today the conditions are perfect, and it’s time to don outdoor gear and partake in a shore landing. Some of us go directly to shore to visit a Chinstrap penguin rookery, others take a more casual route; “Zodiac cruising” in search of Leopard seals and whales which abound in this area. Antarctica is a photographer’s dream location and many of us are furiously filling our cameras with once in a lifetime shots and wishing we had brought spare memory cards!
12:30 – 14:00
Full lunch service commences in the main dining room and a light buffet is offered in the bar. In the dining room the choices are extensive; a selection of salads and condiments along with hot appetizer dishes are available buffet style. A daily changing set menu is also offered which includes a soup and selection of four entrees, including vegetarian and healthy dining options. The energy expended on our shore excursion offers a ready excuse to indulge in the tempting confections prepared by our onboard pastry chef, and many take full advantage.
14:30 – 17:30
While lunch was being served our captain has positioned us at our next landing site. Back to shore we go to visit an historic British research base, now preserved as it was decades ago. Here we can get an authentic Antarctic stamp in our passports. Upon return to the ship many of us gather in the lounge to share stories and pictures. But this is interrupted by announcements over the P.A. system that a pod of Orcas has been spotted. The outside decks quickly fill with onlookers and the photographers are once again snapping away. The decision is made to lower the Zodiacs and gain a closer look. All this is done with streamlined precision from the expedition staff and ship’s crew. The Zodiacs are on the water and before long boat loads of guests are in awe of the Orcas a short distance away. Strangely all is quiet as if this wonder of nature has left the guests speechless. All this has been going on under the watchful eye of a small group that have stayed on board to view the Orcas from the comfort of the ship’s lounge. The lounge opens in the late morning and provides an ideal space to relax, enjoy live music, and meet new friends.
The Expedition Team and the passengers now meet for the daily re-cap. We will review the day’s activities; confirm wildlife sightings, and exchange stories and adventures. We will also review the proposed landings and activities for tomorrow.
19:30 – 21:00
Entering the main dining room on Magellan Deck you can instantly tell the chefs have been busy. A pleasant aroma of fresh herbs and smiling wait-staff greet you on your return.
A subtle transformation has taken place and what had been a group of guests onboard a polar cruise, has become a band of adventurers, who have braved the elements together, and have begun unraveling the mysteries of Antarctica. Easy smiles and laughter abound, heralding their new-found camaraderie.
A complimentary selection of wines and beer are being offered, and here and there the festive sound of champagne corks popping marks celebratory splurges taking place around the room. The happy hubbub begins to die down as everyone settles into the serious business of deciding which entrée they will select to follow their appetizer and soup courses. Tonight’s offerings of seafood, meat, and vegetarian main course dishes all sound delicious, so the decision will not be an easy one. On top of that the Pastry Chef will soon be tempting them with something decadent. Hand-made chocolates and a selection of cheeses accompanied by dessert wine will follow.
After dinner many will retire to their cabins or to the lounge to upload and edit photos on their laptops. Some will meet in the bar to share stories over a nightcap, or gather round the piano, and relax before heading off to bed.
It’s been another great day in Antarctica
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Day 1, Embark Ushuaia
Arriving at the ship in the afternoon, you will be greeted by our Expedition Team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on our early evening sail down the Beagle Channel past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Day 3-4, Drake Passage
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south are the Albatrosses, Prions, and Petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck as well, looking for the Whales and Dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Our experts will hold informative and entertaining presentations on the wildlife, history, and geology of Antarctica. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the comfortable lounge. The length of our journey depends on sea conditions but we should approach the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula in the evening of Day 4.
Day 5-9, In Antarctica
The land of superlatives, Antarctica! Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The route will stress the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as an historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the aggressive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.
Day 10-11, Drake Passage
We will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting as we sail back to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. We arrive at Ushuaia in the early hours of Day 12.
Day 12, Ushuaia disembarkation
Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.
Manor Cottage, Papermill Lane, South Moreton, Oxfordshire, OX11 9AH