Due to a high demand of these voyages the voyages can be booked from 19 September 2017, at noon (CEST). This to give everyone a fair change to book one of these unique expeditions.
Bark EUROPA will visit this beautiful white continent for a new season of Antarctica voyages. This will be the first voyage to Antarctica. It will be a beautiful journey with some unique stops on our way from Montevideo. After the departure we will arrive in South Georgia after 10 days of sailing bliss. This remote island has a unique ecosystem with lots of birds and sea animals. After this special visit we will head towards the Antarctic peninsula to make a few landings.
Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay. The city was founded by Spanish troops as a means to counter the maritime power of Buenos Aires in the region. Halfway through the 19th century the city was the battle ground of opposing governement groups. After a cease fire, the city had time to develop and the city grew fast. Modern discoveries were added to the developing city, with the first electricity being installed in 1886 along with telephones and a train service.
The city is located along the estuary of Rio de la Plata, which is around 200 km wide at the location of the city. Along this estuary you can also find world's longest sidewalk, 13,7 km long! The natural bay on which the city is located is situated in such a way that also for road transport Montevideo is an important stop between Buenos Aires and Porto Alegre in Brazil. One of the most popular places in the city is the Mercado del Puerto, the old harbor market in the Ciudad Vieja, where a lot of bars and restaurants are located.
Today the city does no longer have its once revolutionairy railroad, but it has a bus service which drives all around town. Another option are the brightly coloured yellow and black taxi's which can be found all over town.
South Georgia is an island belonging the the British overseas territories. It was already known before 1775, and was even named and seen on maps, but it gained the name of South Georgia when James Cook circumnavigated the island and named it after King George III.
Even to this day the island does not have any permanent residents, although there have been semi-permanent settlements from the whaling days onward. In 1904 the first long term settlement was established at Grytviken, as a landing post for the whaling ships visiting the island. In 2001 a small research facility was established from where scientific research is conducted.
The island is known for its isolation, rugged nature and wildlife. Tourists can only visit the island by ship, since there is no airstrip. The sea surounding South Georgia has a large biodiversity which is unique due to its cold nature. To preserve this marine sanctuary, it has been named The South Georgia and the South Sandwich Island Protected Area.
Ushuaia is the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the most southern city in the world. The city is located along the Beagle Channel and is surrounded by the Martial Glacier.
Around 8000 BC the area was first inhabited by indigenous people, who were still living in the bay when British missionares founded what is now known as Ushuaia in the 19th century. In 1833 the British ship HMS Beagle reached the channel which is now named after her on explorations to Tierra del Fuego. After this visit the area became a bit more known and half a century later the missionaries arrived. At the end of the 19th century there came an end to the fighting and unrest in the region, after which the city began to develop and grow.
Due to the ruggedness of the terrain the Argentinian government decided to create a prison near Ushuaia, assuming that the wilderniss of Tierra del Fuego would prevent any prison escapes. Only in 1947 the prison was closed down, after rumours about prisoner abuse and the terrible state in which the prison was at that moment. The building still exists today, and currently houses the Museo Maritimo de Ushuaia.
Being the most southern city in the world, Ushuaia is the perfect starting point for our Antarctic adventure, for which we first have to cross the famous Drake Passage.
During the Antarctica expeditions there will be one or more a guides on board the Bark EUROPA. He/she knows the area we will be visiting well. The guide gives lectures on board the ship about the flora and fauna we will encounter, prepares you for the landings on shore and will guide you on the shore walks.
Photographs + Drones – You will have the possibility to see animals close by – while keeping your distance. To reach the best photo/video result we recommend you to bring a zoom lens next to your regular lens(es). Please keep in mind drones are prohibited entirely on South Georgia and Antarctica.
Antarctica is a huge, cold, white plain, which appeals to the imagination of everybody. Many are fascinated by the rich wildlife or the beauty of the unspoilt Antarctic natural environment. All penguin species are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere, but the greatest concentrations are found on Antarctic coasts and sub-Antarctic islands. On the Peninsula Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins are the most common species. Near the colder Weddell Sea we also find Adelie and Emperor Penguins, although the Emperor penguin is seen more rarely. The Antarctic waters support a vast variety of seabirds. Only a few species are adapted to breed regularly on the continent. Skuas are widespread and prominent in the Antarctic. They prey heavily on the eggs and chicks of penguins and small petrels. Also prions, fulmars, and shearwaters are often seen, as well as sterns, sheathbills, and two species of cormorants. Fish and krill are important components of the Antarctic marine ecosystem. They are major prey for higher predators, including the baleen whales, as the Humpback, Minke and Fin Whale. The Orca or Killer Whale is also seen in this area. There are many seals. Depending on the species, seals feed on fish and squid or krill. The Leopard Seal is a predator of penguins and other seals. Seals can leave the water and move on dry land to breed, rest and moult.
The voyage details are based on experiences from previous expeditions of the EUROPA to Antarctica. In putting together this year’s itinerary we have included the most impressive places we have visited in the past. However this description is an example of what the voyage may look like. It is important to realize that our day-to-day activities will depend on several circumstances. A change in the rules and regulations for visiting Antarctica might limit the visit to a specific site. Bark EUROPA is a member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctice Touroperators), which promotes and practices safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. Of course our route will depend on wind, weather and ice. This is the true Antarctic experience!
- Worlds best bar! The pinguins float by while you enjoy your drinks!
- Long voyages give you all the time to soak in all that Antarctica has to offer! Many other ships offer voyages of max 10 days while our shortest voyage is 22 days.
- Bark EUROPA is an active member of IAATO, International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.
- Small voyage groups, to give everyone the opportunity to use the entire landing time for your Antarctic discoveries. On many landing spots there is a restriction of max 100 visitors in total for a landing. Our groups are always much smaller!
- Bark EUROPA is a beautiful model for all your holiday pictures!