Sunday, 25 December 2011 12:53
Published in Expedition News


A letter to Santa from Pat Falvey

Printed in the Irish Examiner 24th December.

Save Santa's home.

Dear Santa.

I know all the problems you are having in the North Pole and that soon you, your elves and all the polar bears may not have a place to live anymore or to base yourself from due to global warming and climate change. I'm worried as to what are we going to do for Christmas if you have no home.

So this year I'm going to visit you on one of the hardest expeditions our team Clare, Mick, Bill Freddy and I has ever undertaken to see at first hand the effects of the melting ice and to eye witness what we in the world are causing and to highlight the problems as we travel.

It's going to be hard to get to you, I know. 60 days equivalent to 120 marathons of man hauling our sleds in the most hostile place on earth walking on thin ice with 14,000 feet of water below us. It's scary as we have to endure freezing temperatures of down to - 60 degrees and thin ice that at times we will fall through and have to swim to get to you. I thank you for the invitation to come and see you..

What I'd like from you this year is to help the adults and children of the world to understand more of how they can preserve your home and the melting ice caps as most don't understand what this means to the planet at large.

Millions and millions of people will be affected by the ignorance of man which is causing all our weather systems to go crazy. We now see it every day on our tv. Massive flooding, shrinking ice caps, people dying from the cold in some countries, flooding in others and famine in others. We all need your help to understand.

So for Christmas can you bring to each home a booklet and advice on how to help save your home and the colder regions of the earth to help us save millions of other people's homes and lives.

When I get this information we can use our expedition to the North Pole to see you in February to help spread the messages though our web sites www.irishnorthpole.com and my own web site www.patfalvey.com to help you, your elves and the polar bears to help all of us protect the melting ice caps. We also you might like to know have Freddy T Bear coming with us. Freddy and Dr Clare O Leary will be keeping all the young people posted of their journey to you.

Ps if you have any influence on the movement of the ice, can you please also send us a map with a safe passage to the North Pole and we will see you around the 26th April 2012. So please have a bottle of champagne ready for us and you might get Rudolph to drop us back to Norway as we'll be very tired.

Pat Falvey
Motivation speaker, entrepreneur, adventurer, expedition leader

Also www.patfalvey.com for more information for all of Pats adventures throughout the world that you can join in on next year.

Tuesday, 01 March 2011 09:25
Published in North Pole 2011

The team are yet again delayed and this time it looks like they may be waiting a while!! Two Weather cyclones pouring in from northern Greenland westerly across cape discovery and northern ellesmere. Pilots will not fly due to high winds. Ice conditions are looking bad with lots of breakup off the coast. Assessing everyday with the excellent weather team and pilots in Resolute. Transcription shortly.

Listen to Podcast:

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Sat image of northern canada

Niall Foley

Thursday, 03 February 2011 11:02
Published in Awards & Appearances

Pat Falvey spoke with the today with Pat Kenny show on RTE Radio 1 last Friday the 28th. He also featured on 98fms news spot with Teena gates. Below is the podcasts of both.

RÓISÍN INGLE visited the the Expedition Office recently to interview Pat for a piece in the Irish Times Saturday Travel Interview on the 29th January. Check it out on the times website here. You will find a PDF copy of the article on the download attachment link at bottom on this page also.

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More podcasts? visit our podcast section!

www.patfalvey.com

 

Thursday, 13 May 2010 10:03

Great news to hear that our friend Charlie Paton has reached the North Pole as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey 2010. The Survey was led by Pen Hadow last year and has been continued this season by Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley. The unique survey will establish realistic data of the ice thickness from over 700km and 60 days of sampling. Charlie was a leader on our crossing of South Georgia in Nov. 2008. Below is their latest news report which is taken from the Catlin Arctic Survey 2010 website. Hope to see some footage from the expedition soon on tv probably a BBC documentary at some stage - keep an eye out for that later this year or maybe 2011.

Explorers Reach North Pole After 60 Day Survey Trek

12/05/2010

Described as three of 'the world's toughest' explorers, Ann Daniels, Charlie Paton and Martin Hartley reached the Geographic North Pole at on 12th May, ending a grueling 60-day trek across the floating sea ice of the Arctic Ocean.

The Catlin Arctic Survey expedition's headquarters in London were contacted at 20:05 hours (BST) to confirm the team had completed their final scientific data capture on the very top of the world.

The explorers have been collecting water and marine life samples from beneath the floating sea ice as part of the expedition's leading edge science programme which is assessing the impact of carbon dioxide on the ocean and its marine life.

Their celebrations could not begin until they had taken the last samples through a hole drilled manually through the ice at the North Pole.

"We called it our Hole at the Pole," said Ann Daniels. "Getting the science work done has always been our top priority, but it is absolutely fantastic to reach the Pole as well. We’re ecstatic."

Speaking from Catlin Arctic Survey's headquarters in London, the Survey Director and explorer Pen Hadow described the achievement as extraordinary."It's not possible to imagine what this team has had to do to pull off this extreme survey. Together they’re the face of modern exploration helping to advance the understanding of scientists and public alike about how the natural world works.“

The three explorers have travelled over 483 miles (777 kilometres) in total since March 14th, but to reach the Pole have had to increase the amount of trekking time each day. They made it with only hours to spare before a Twin Otter plane was scheduled to land on the ice to collect them.

Commenting on the harsh conditions Ann Daniels said: "It has been an unbelievably hard journey over the ice. Conditions have been unusually tough and at times very frustrating with a frequent southerly drift pushing us backwards every time we camped for the night. On top of that we've had to battle into head-winds and swim across large areas of dangerously thin ice and open water."

The second phase of the survey will see the samples the team have collected, along with the data captured at the Scientific Ice Base that formed the other part of this survey, undergo analysis by the participating institutes. Results are expected in September.

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

Monday, 08 February 2010 17:10
Published in North Pole 2010


8th Feb. 2010

We have arrived to our training camp in the diamond capital of Canada, a bit disappointed with the weather, a cool -12 degrees. I know at home in Ireland that would nearly close the country but we are here training to go to the North Pole, we were expecting -32 degrees Celsius. This is not what it is supposed to be here now.

As we drive to our new home for the next 17 days, at our new base camp, The Blue Raven B&B on the old part of the city, the taxi driver is delighted that we are in Yellowknife in the coolest it has been in 30 years, not realising how disappointed that we were to hear that. “It must be climate change, the world’s weather is gone crazy” he said but very good for tourists right now.

As he is saying that, we are concerned that the ice condition up North will be bad for us.

Base Camp On Otto Drive;
Our Base camp, is situated right at the edge of the Slave Lake which will be our test ground for our gear checks and training over the coming days.

yellowknife from plane

 

From here we will make switch back journeys up and down the lake tweaking any final adjustments that we need to make to our gear. Once we are out of here that is it.

Our lovely host Tessa Macintosh, is a professional photographer and has been involved in a number of cultural publications.  She has worked with “Native Press and the NWT government and she has a great insight into the native culture, which is also a keen interest of mine.

Well as I said the journey begins for Clare, John and I. Tomorrow the work and the worry about our gear clearing customs begins.

Questions in our head going to bed tonight:


• Will we have all our gear sent from Ireland? 18 large duffle bags.

• Will customs look for extra money and hold the consignment?

• Will we have any damaged equipment?

 

To find out more - www.patfalvey.com

 

Friday, 29 January 2010 18:06
Published in Arctic/Antarctica

Antarctica

  • Classic Antarctica

  • Classic South Georgia

  • Polar Circle Quest

  • Polar Circle Quest

  • The USHUAIA

  • Dates & Rates

Trip: Classic Antarctica

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 11 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

Visit the last pristine region of the world. Our Classic voyage is the ultimate introduction to the White Continent.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

*Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

*Day 4 to 8: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.

The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.

We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:
Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.

*Day 9 & 10: At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

*Day 11: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

classic antarctica trip map

 

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

 

Trip: Classic South Georgia

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), South Georgia, Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 20 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

A truly memorable trip to the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and South Georgia. Amazing wildlife, spectacular scenery and the fascinating history of the early explorers.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Ushuaia

In the afternoon we will board the USHUAIA. A welcome drink and then an introduction to the crew and expedition staff will follow, and we will have time to get to know our new shipmates. The ship will then set sail towards the Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas), known for their rugged beauty and wealth of seabirds and waterfowl.

*Day 2: At Sea

The open bridge policy on the USHUAIA allows us to join the officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for marine life, and enjoy the views of the open ocean. These waters are also home to an interesting group of seabirds, which often ride the currents created in the wake of the ship, such as albatrosses and petrels. Join the expedition staff and naturalists on deck whilst we are at sea as we search for seabirds and other local wildlife, such as orcas and dolphins. An interesting selection of lectures will help us to prepare for our first excursions in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

*Day 3: Western Falkland Islands (Malvinas)


On the western coast we might visit the following islands:

West Point Island
West Point Island lies off the most north-westerly point of mainland West Falkland (Malvinas). The attractive settlement sits on the edge of a small harbor on the eastern side of the Island, in the lee of Black Bog Hill and Michael´s Mount. The valley between these two peaks rolls over the center of the island to the dramatic Devil´s Nose, one of the Island´s main attractions. From here visitors are treated to splendid views of Cliff Mountain, the Island´s highest point at 1,250 ft (381 m), and the highest cliffs in the Falklands. This is where we will encounter a vast colony of Rockhopper Penguins and Black-browed Albatrosses, nesting together in close vicinity.

Carcass Island
Carcass Island lies to the north-west of the Falkland archipelago (Malvinas). A mature tussac plantation covers much of the lower ground below Jason Hill to the east. The availability of abundant cover and the absence of cats, rats and mice throughout the island have made for a spectacularly large population of small birds, which is one of Carcass Island´s most delightful features. Gentoo and Magellanic Penguins do also nest here. Peale´s and Commerson´s dolphins come frequently close to the shoreline to get a glimpse of the visitors as well. At the settlement with its beautiful gardens, we are invited to enjoy tea and cookies with the locals.

Overnight we will sail around the northern islands of the archipelago in easterly direction to reach the capital, Stanley, in the following morning.

*Day 4: Eastern Falkland Islands (Malvinas) / At Sea

In the morning hours we will have time to explore the quaint little town of Stanley and its wonderful Museum, souvenir shops and pubs. The town was established in the early 1840´s. Isolation and the weather conditions made life hard, but progress was gradual and punctuated by the extremely eventful times of involvement in two world wars. For those who are more interested in the outstanding wildlife the Islands have to offer, you do not even have to leave town to enjoy it. Southern Giant Petrels often fly close to the shoreline. The endemic Falkland Steamer Ducks abound on the shorelines while Kelp Gulls can often be seen flying together with Dolphin Gulls. The less obvious but frequent visitors to Stanley area are Black-crowned Night Herons, Red-backed Hawks and Peregrine Falcons. Turkey Vultures are regularly seen on top of any prominent building. Many pairs of Upland Geese frequent the park and it might be nice to take a stroll around the gardens of town to see some of the singing birds as well.
In the early afternoon it is time to set sail, heading for South Georgia.

*Days 5 & 6: At Sea

An extensive lecture program will be offered during the days at sea. Expert naturalists share their knowledge of the wildlife and unique ecosystems we will encounter throughout our voyage. South Georgia is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth with more wildlife than virtually anywhere else on the planet.

*Day 7: At Sea / South Georgia

South Georgia will come in sight! Though extremely isolated, it has amazing scenery ranging from high mountains and mighty glaciers to deep fjords and low-lying grassland.

*Days 8 to 10: South Georgia

Our exact itinerary will depend on local land and sea conditions but the following destinations are among those that we would like to explore:

Salisbury Plain
Sometimes called the "Serengeti of the South", Salisbury Plain is a wildlife site without parallel. Several large glaciers provide a dramatic backdrop for the tens of thousands of King Penguins that nest in the tussac grass of this remarkable ecosystem. The wide beach makes for excellent walking as we visit the colony, where we are literally surrounded and delightfully outnumbered by throngs of curious, gentle penguins. Elephant and fur seals also abound, as well as Southern Giant Petrels and the occasional wandering Gentoo Penguin. Prepare for an awe-inspiring experience, as the elephant seals are giving birth on the beaches.

Prion Island
Prion Island is a beautiful tussac-grass covered islet. If we are lucky we will get the opportunity to see a breeding colony of Wandering Albatross on top of it. We will climb to the summit on a wooden boardwalk, which takes us close to their nests and offers comfortable viewing platforms.

Grytviken
Grytviken lies within King Edward Cove, a sheltered harbor tucked between Hope Point and Hobart Rock on the western shore of Cumberland East Bay. The rusting ruins of the Grytviken whaling station are situated on a level plain at the head of the cove, backed by steep hills and mountains. Now the site of the South Georgia Museum, the station remains a focal point of interest for many visitors, as does Sir Ernest Shackleton´s grave in the nearby whaler´s cemetery and his memorial cross on Hope Point.

The scenery in this area is exceptionally beautiful even by South Georgia standards: the glaciers and snow covered peaks of the Allardyce Range - Mt. Sugartop, Mt. Paget, Mt. Roots, Nordenskjöld Peak, Mt. Kling and Mt. Brooker - form a magnificent backdrop to the cove, and the views from King Edward Point in particular, must be among the finest on earth.

Godthul
Situated 9km east of Cumberland East Bay on the eastern shores of Barff Peninsula, Godthul is a 3km long inlet that lies between Cape George and Long Point. Gentoo Penguins are abundant on the tussac plateau and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses echo off the natural cliff amphitheater that encircles the harbor. A floating factory ship serviced by two whale catchers was stationed here each summer between 1908 and 1929. A small shore depot supporting the whaling operations was established close by the stream in the southeast corner of the harbor, and the rusting barrels, wooden shed and boats are fascinating relics of the whaling era, as is the impressive collection of whale and elephant seal bones scattered along the beach.

St Andrews Bay
The surf beaten coastline at St. Andrews Bay runs north-south in a 1.86 mile (3 km) long uninterrupted sweep of fine dark sand, covered in penguins and seals and bounded in the interior by the Cook, Buxton and Heaney Glaciers. The bay hosts the biggest colony of King Penguins on South Georgia. Early in the season, the beach is also carpeted with fur and elephant seals. Such a large assemblage of wildlife attracts an entourage of persistent and voracious scavengers. Sheathbills dart in and around the penguin colony. Cape Petrels nest in a small number on the cliffs north of St. Andrews Bay. Leopard seals patrol the rocks at this end of the beach too, hunting for penguins along the edge of kelp beds. A few White-chinned Petrels and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses nest on the tussac slopes. Brown Skuas and Antarctic Terns breed on the outwash plain and scree slopes at the north end of the beach, defending their nest sites with their characteristic noise and vigor.

Cooper Bay
Cooper Bay is found at the southeast extremity of South Georgia. There is a wealth of wildlife at this site, in a spectacular setting. Chinstrap, Gentoo and maybe one or two Macaroni Penguins dot the tussac slopes and there are plenty of fur seals on the beaches. Fascinating volcanic rocks tower over small fjords, giving a stunning invitation for a thrilling zodiac cruise to watch wildlife from the waterfront.

Drygalski Fjord
Drygalski Fjord is also located in the far south east of the island. The glaciers found in this dramatic fjord have retreated significantly in recent decades, but they still remain one of the most striking features of this coastline, particularly the Risting and Jenkins Glaciers. With a little luck, we might see the glaciers calve and witness the birth of a new iceberg from on board the ship.

*Days 11 & 12: At Sea

We spend the next two days crossing the Scotia Sea towards the Antarctic Peninsula offering opportunities to be out on deck, catch up on some reading, check through and edit our photos, or simply reflect on the magical experiences of the last days on South Georgia. Lectures and other activities will be offered throughout these days.

*Day 13:  Elephant Island, South Shetland Islands

We hope to have a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

*Day 14: At Sea

Our expedition team will prepare you for our experience in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.

*Day 15 to 17: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

In the area of the Antarctic Sound, we will try to visit the following sites:

Argentine Antarctic Station Esperanza
We will try to sail the passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula, which traverses the Antarctic Sound and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza are located on the western side of the Sound.

Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie Penguin population.

Paulet Island
Paulet and the already mentioned sites, might give us ample proof of this. The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. The region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay, Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega Island. Our expedition staff will be pleased to share their exciting story with you. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area.

Our plan is to sail through the Gerlache Strait into the Northwest Antarctic Peninsula area.

Gerlache Strait
This region of broad straits, mountainous islands, protected bays, and narrow channels offer moments of solitude. A profusion of tall peaks humans have never climbed and vast glaciers flowing inexorably seaward are the physical features here.

Hydrurga Rocks
We might visit Hydrurga Rocks, a small group of islets, which lie east of Two Hummock Island in the Palmer Archipelago, at the northern entrance of the Gerlache Strait. Chinstrap Penguins, Blue-eyed Shags and Kelp Gulls are confirmed breeders here.
Cuverville Island

We might also go to Cuverville Island, which lies in the scenic Errera Channel, in the center of the Gerlache Strait. A well-defined raised beach forms a nesting site for many Gentoo Penguins here. On our way north we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands.

Deception Island
Deception is the largest of three recent volcanic centers in the South Shetlands. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. Once inside, the rising slope of the black, cinder-covered volcanic rim can be walked uphill to a rather spectacular vantage point.

Half Moon Island
This crescent-shaped island, in the entrance of Moon Bay between Greenwich and Livingston Islands, is home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

*Days 18 & 19: At Sea

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales. We will also enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures we have had over the past days.

*Day 20: Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

 

 

classic south georgia trip map

 

 Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Trip: Polar Circle Quest

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, & endeavor to cross the Polar Circle. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 12 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

Exploring the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and endeavoring to cross the Polar Circle which few have ever crossed.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

*Day 2 & 3: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.

The USHUAIA's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

*Days 4 to 9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, and endeavor to cross the Polar Circle

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula's remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.
 
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.

As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.
On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

*Days 10 & 11: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

*Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

 

classic antarctica trip map

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Trip: Weddell Sea Quest

 
Route: Expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands & the Weddell Sea. Aboard the USHUAIA


Duration: 12 Days aboard plus travel time


PLEASE CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS AND AVAILABLE DATES

 

Follow in Shackleton's footsteps and join us for a truly unique trip to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands & the Weddell Sea.

Itinerary:

*Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

*Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

*Days 4 to 6: Exploring the Weddell Sea

This is where huge tabular icebergs roam. In some years, the Erebus & Terror Gulf and Weddell Sea are chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation. Get up early and go out on deck. It may be 3:30h in the morning, but the sunrises will be unlike anything you´ve ever seen. Huge tabular bergs break from the Larsen, Ronne, and Filchner ice shelves and combine with one-year-old and multi-year sea ice to produce a floating, undulating panorama of rugged ice scenery. All-white Snow Petrels are likely to be coursing over the floes, often joined by Pintado Petrels.

The usual passage to the east side of the Antarctic Peninsula traverses the Antarctic Sound, which is 30 miles (48 km) long and 7-12 miles (11-19 km) wide and runs northwest-to-southeast. Hope Bay and the Argentine Station Esperanza, are located on the western side of the Sound. Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites. The Weddell Sea represents the center of the Peninsula´s Adélie Penguin population. Devil Island, Paulet Island and the already mentioned sites, might give us ample proof of this. The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. Sometimes juvenile Emperor Penguins have been sighted, riding ice floes but are by no means regular in the area.

This region also teems with vibrant exploration history. The most bizarre of these tales involves the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1901-03 under the command of geologist Otto Nordenskjöld. Four visitor sites have links to this expedition: Hope Bay, Paulet Island, Snow Hill Island, and Cape Well-Met on Vega Island. Our expedition staff will be pleased to share their exciting story with you. Nordenskjöld´s expedition was the first to overwinter in the Peninsula. His ship the Antarctic, under the command of the famous Norwegian whaling captain Carl Anton Larsen, was trapped in the ice and sank, but the men survived on different locations and even managed to carry out significant scientific research in the area.

*Days 7 to 9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy.

Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

There might also be a chance to visit the enigmatic Elephant Island. Sir Ernest Shackleton fans will need no introduction to this historic windswept island. In 1916 Shackleton was forced to leave 22 of his men stranded on these shores, while he and five others embarked on an unbelievable last-ditch rescue attempt. What followed is one of the greatest rescue stories of all time. Every passenger will return with a greater knowledge of this gripping tale of adventure in a truly remarkable part of the world.

*Days 10 & 11: At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

*Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

 

 

classic antarctica trip map

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

The USHUAIA has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites.

ushuaia ship

 

Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the USHUAIA has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites.

The ice-strengthened polar vessel USHUAIA is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.

All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary.

Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.

 

Accomodation

*Suites: 4 Outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private facilities,   two lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player and fridge. Suite 201 features two double beds, Suite 202 one double bed and a sofa bed. Suites 204 and 207 feature three lower single beds.

*Superior: 9 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private  facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 301 has one double and one single bed.

*Premier: 6 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private  facilities, two lower berths;
2 Single cabins with portholes (view obstructed by lifeboat) on the upper deck G, private facilities.

*Standard Plus: 11 Twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 640 has one double bed.
2 Triple outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, three lower berths.

*Standard: 12 Twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E, semi-private facilities,  two berths (upper/lower).

N.B. Semi-private facilities: Two cabins share one bathroom accessible from both cabins (shower and wc). Each cabin is also equipped with its own washbasin.

Ushuaia deck plan

 

Expedition cruises on board the USHUAIA

Rates-page0001

 

Thursday, 12 November 2009 15:44


The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro will be gone within two decades, according to scientists who say that the rapid melting of it's glacier cap over the past century provides dramatic physical evidence of global climate change. If the forecast — based on 95 years of data tracking the retreat of the Kilimanjaro ice — proves correct it will be the first time in about 12,000 years that the slopes of Africa’s highest mountain have been ice-free. Since 1912, 85% of the glacier has disappeared and the melting does not appear to be slowing down. 26% of the ice has disappeared since 2000. The study, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that the primary cause of the ice loss is the increase in global temperatures. Although changes in cloudiness and snowfall may also play a role, these factors appear to be less important. Even intense droughts, including one lasting about 300 years, did not cause the present degree of melting.

Related Links: Battle hots up over Kilimanjaro's melt; The Arctic 'will be ice-free within 20 years; A balmy Copenhagen summit might focus minds.


The study, based on terrestrial and satellite photographs, shows the shrinking contours of ice at points between 1912 and 2007. The 12 sq km (4.6 sq miles) of ice coverage in 1912 contracted to 1.9 sq km by 2007, going from two large ice fields to a collection of several smaller, isolated patches. In a second part of the study, scientists from the Ohio State University drilled down to the rock beneath the ice and extracted cylindrical crosssections, known as ice cores, at six different sites on the glacier. The cores, which were up to 49m (160ft) long, provided a record of the freezing, melting and precipitation patterns of the past 11,700 years. Elongated bubbles in the surface layer of one of the cores indicated that extensive melting and refreezing had taken place in the past 40 years. In the past even extreme climate events had not led to substantial melting. A severe drought 4,200 years ago lasting three centuries left a 1in dust layer but no evidence of significant melting. Radioactive dating techniques also showed that the ice was quickly thinning, as well as contracting in area. The Southern Ice Field had thinned by 5.1m between 2000 and 2007, and the smaller Furtwängler Glacier had thinned by 4.8m — 50 per cent of its total depth. “There will be a year when Furtwängler is present, and, by the next year, it will have disappeared,” Lonnie Thompson, a paleoclimatologist at Ohio State University who led the study, said.

The melting of Kilimanjaro is part of a trend of glacial retreat throughout Africa, India and South America. Melting is occurring on Mount Kenya, the Rwenzori Mountains in central Africa, as well as on tropical glaciers high in the Andes andHimalayas. “The fact that so many glaciers throughout the tropics and subtropics are showing similar responses suggests an underlying common cause,” Professor Thompson said. He attributed the changes to increases in the Earth’s surface temperatures, which are exaggerated at high altitudes. Scientists predict that, even if no further significant warming occurs, all but the very highest of summits will eventually melt. The melting of glaciers can be devastating for species who rely on snowy environments for survival. It can also have consequences for agriculture. Much of the river flow in glacial regions comes from melt water and glacial retreat is predicted to increase water scarcity. The Met Office predicted this month that glacial retreats could lead to a 20 per cent decline in global agricultural productivity.

 

By Hannah Devlin 

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

Thursday, 06 November 2008 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2008

The Beyond Endurance Voyage 2008 is set to depart Ireland tomorrow! This promises to be an exciting expedition for all involved. Pat and his team of fifteen will be crossing South Georgia in the coming weeks, world class scientists will be carrying out important research, and for the first time ever, eight Irish transitional year students will be participating in an innovative project on global warming and climate change. Follow progress live on beyondendurance.ie or www.patfalvey.com

 

Wednesday, 04 June 2008 00:00

This week Freddy T. Bear has announced that he will be traveling to Antarctica in November with students to help them complete a project on Global Warming and Climate Change. He is really excited! You can read Freddy's daily blog on the website. Stay tuned for more information!

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

Thursday, 22 May 2008 00:00

Climate change is "significantly amplifying" the threats facing the world's bird species, a key study concludes.

Full story:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/1/hi/sci/tech/7409034.stm

 

www.patfalvey.com

 

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