A once-in-a-lifetime journey.
This expedition to the Seventh Continent will be guided by legendary biology Professor Ken Clifton, who has taught at Lewis & Clark for more than 20 years and accompanied by President Wim Wiewel and his wife Alice. The voyage has been tailored for an intimate group of Lewis & Clark alumni, family, and friends. Our route will navigate the famed Drake Passage, visiting unique locations across the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica Peninsula that have amazed and inspired scientists, explorers, and sightseers alike for centuries.
Alongside Professor Clifton, we will be joined by highly experienced Antarctica experts and expedition leaders who will present lectures and hands-on workshops ranging from marine wildlife, ecology, climate change, photography, and the history of the various locations we visit.
Travel in style aboard one of the newest and most luxurious vessels in the polar regions—The World Navigator—which utilizes leading technological innovation to get you closer than ever to snowy peaks, colossal blue glaciers, and roaming icebergs. Enjoy gourmet meals, open bar throughout, and as many 7th-continent landings as possible on this all inclusive voyage. Our ship is also one of the most environmentally friendly at sea, using a clean-burning hybrid electric-hydro propulsion and anchor less positioning systems. All cabins feature luxurious amenities, free unlimited wifi, complimentary 24-hour room service, and a private balcony with pristine ocean views.
Exclusively for our ship, we have chartered a private plane from Orlando to Ushuaia, Argentina and round trip airfare from Portland Oregon (PDX) as well as 16 other major gateways are included in cost of the program.
Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime expedition to one of the most majestic landscapes on the planet.
Built for the explorer at heart, World Navigator is made for those who believe in experiencing their destinations up close without leaving a major footprint. The vessel sets sail in 2021 for its inaugural season with state-of-the-art technology that allows for remarkable expeditions with responsible citizenship in mind.
A hybrid power management and propulsion system from Rolls-Royce maximizes World Navigator’s fuel efficiency. It consumes as low as one-fifth the fuel used by cruise ships with conventional systems. Two onboard hydro jets propel the vessel at a near-silent cruising speed of five knots. This helps minimize underwater noise so that you can get closer to marine wildlife without disturbing it. A sophisticated, GPS-based Dynamic Position System controls propellers, tunnel thrusters, and hydro jets to maintain the ship’s position avoiding the need for anchors, which harm ocean floor life.
Designed for best in class polar small ship cruising, World Navigator features four decks of luxurious accommodations, totaling just under 100 staterooms, less than 198 total guests, and provides the best way to enjoy Antarctica while protecting it for future travelers. As the expedition-style ship quietly navigates the remote and rugged locations, you will wonder why anyone would roam any other way.
If offered, participants that select the Buenos Aires pre-trip option will meet in Buenos Aires and transfer to their 4-star hotel for the evening.
(see more details in Buenos Aires Option section below)
Fly from your city of origin to Orlando to meet the group and board your chartered flight to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia, Argentina.
For those already in Buenos Aires on the pre-trip – enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a day tour of this enchanting capital city. After another night at the hotel, fly to Ushuaia to meet up with the rest of our group!
The snow-capped Martial Mountains behind a sprawling city of colorful buildings create the backdrop of the southernmost city in the world: Ushuaia, Argentina. A mix of historic buildings and rugged nature make this city a welcoming stop for travelers venturing beyond to the Seventh Continent.
After expediting through customs from our private charter landing, enjoy a welcome breakfast and overview of this charming city, before boarding the World Navigator.
Voyage beyond the Beagle Channel and navigate the famed Drake Passage. Petrels and albatrosses that glide across the skies guide the way on this waterway where cold southern ocean meets warm northern sea water. While the waterway is famous for its challenging navigation, you may still get another side of the “Drake Lake”, as on some occasions, the channel is calm and flat. As you emerge from the Drake Passage, the mammoth, icy peaks of the South Shetland Islands loom ahead, greeting you on your victorious landing which is likely to happen before sunset on Day 4.
During the crossing, enjoy lectures by Professor Clifton on the wildlife we can expect to see in the days ahead, as well as expert talks by the seasoned guides on the ship.
The South Shetland Islands are silent and serene. Natural wonders like the black and white effect of Deception Island and the peaks of massive glaciers sitting atop the water’s surface inspire awe and admiration – even from the most veteran explorers. The stillness of the Shetland Islands evokes a sense of wilderness left to be discovered.
Along the rugged cliffs of Brown Bluff, the exposed portion of a glacial volcano, you can hike to a backdrop of expanses of ice and ocean.
Deception Island, the caldera of an active volcano, creates a black-and-white photo effect with black sands mixed with white snow at Neptune’s Bellows. A dip in the steaming hot springs of a black sand beach feels like an unreal experience amid the snow-capped mountains in the background.
Enjoy three more days of exploration on the Seventh Continent, with an estimated two landings per day, guided by weather conditions. From the remarkable blue coloring of glaciers to leopard seals napping on ice floes, the Antarctic Peninsula contains a multitude of wonders to behold. Cormorants soaring high above and orcas breaching the waters below surround you with a magnificent array of wildlife that calls to your inner explorer.
Visit the permanent ice cap at Cuverville which houses Port Lockroy, a flagship historic site for the main base building of Bransfield House. It’s also home to the famed Penguin Post Office, the southernmost post office in the world where you can make an unforgettable memory among the Gentoo penguins. At Neko Harbor, watch for humpback whales as their flukes come above the water and splash back down. Paradise Bay offers a glimpse into scientific research at Argentina’s Almirante Brown Antarctic Base or Chile’s González Videla Antarctic Base. Cruise in zodiacs along icebergs with your expedition guides, and enjoy daily optional activities including kayaking, paddleboarding, and of course, a polar plunge.
NOTE: Captain’s Choice ports of call add to the sense of adventure and an element of surprise. Your ship’s master will navigate the changing weather conditions as needed to take you to the best areas for wildlife viewing. Captain’s Choice ports include: Deception Island, Paulet Island, Brown Bluff, Neko Harbor, Paradise Bay, Cuverville Island and Goudier Island.
Recross the Drake Passage on the journey back to South America. The meeting of warm and cold waters creates an environment that attracts marvelous wildlife and the chance to witness humpback whales and hourglass dolphins that accompany the voyage back home. The soundtrack of the journey through the Drake Passage includes the cry of petrels, skuas, and gulls. We will also enjoy another series of lectures and presentations on all the wildlife we have seen throughout the journey, as well as discuss the conservation on this remarkable part of the planet and the stewardship of its land and seas in the years to come.
Behold the lush, yet imposing cliff, as you pass Cape Horn, the southerly head of Tierra del Fuego.
Enjoy a final lecture by Professor Clifton today and a farewell celebration on the World Navigator.
Arrive safely back at port in the morning at the “End of the World,” Ushuaia Argentina. Today we will have the chance to further explore this town and its wild natural surroundings. Enjoy a wide variety of hikes for all skill levels through the forest of Parque Yatana and its lush nature and rich, indigenous culture. The forest’s name translates to “weave” in the native language of Yaghan. Take a ride on the Train at the End of the World, and visit the Maritime Museum at the Presidio in town. We will come A farewell Argentinean feast, local music, and authentic boleadora performance before boarding our plane back to Orlando, Florida.
For those taking the charter flight back to Orlando, arrive this morning and transfer on to your city of origin. For those who opted for the Buenos Aires pre-trip if regulations allow, arrive back to Buenos Aires and transfer to your flight back home.
Professor Clifton has been teaching biology at Lewis & Clark for over twenty years. His studies of marine biology and vertebrate behavior have taken him across the planet, with extended periods of research in far-flung places like Panama, Australia, Micronesia and East Africa. With over 13,000 hours of scuba and snorkeling experience, and nearly 1700 species on his bird list, Ken is well suited to teach us about the birds, mammals, and other marine life we encounter during our expedition, including whales, dolphins, seals, and myriad seabirds. He is also a strong advocate for conservation and the environment, apt topics for a visit to the south polar seas.
Ken is a seasoned veteran of L&C study abroad programs, having led five trips to East Africa and another to Micronesia. Perhaps not surprisingly, the courses he teaches at L&C: Animal Behavior, Marine Biology, Vertebrate Zoology, and Introductory Ecology, all have strong field components in their curriculum. In his free time Ken enjoys nature photography, fishing from his boat, the Samaki Kubwa (“big fish” in Swahili), and trying to keep up with his two-year old granddaughter
Wim Wiewel is Lewis & Clark’s 25th president, he has drawn from the community beyond campus to create advisory boards for entrepreneurship, sustainability, global engagement, and the Graduate School of Education and Counseling. A vocal advocate of teaching and practicing sustainability, Wiewel works closely with civic, business, and academic leaders to drive collaboration. Wiewel received the 2012 inaugural Presidential Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools and was given a Climate Leadership Award from national nonprofit Second Nature in 2013.
Wim is married to the architect Alice Wiewel and together they have four children. Admirers of Portland’s eclectic cultural offerings and of Oregon’s amazing natural beauty, Wim and Alice take time to explore the mountains, coasts, and deserts. Wim and Alice journeyed on the Explore with Lewis & Clark trip to Morocco in 2018 and Cuba in 2019.
Safety will always be our top priority, and we have designed this trip with thoughtful contingency plans in mind and extremely flexible cancellation and booking policies.
For our January expedition, we have chartered a plane from Orlando (MCO) to Ushuaia, Argentina (USH), where travelers will remain in their “bubble” until boarding the expedition vessel. Included in the trip package are flights from 16 major US gateways (including Portland), to Orlando, and the round-trip flight from Orlando to the tip of Argentina. We are in close contact with Argentine authorities and are confident we will be able to enter the country on our chartered plane, enjoy some touring of Tierra del Fuego on our private transport, and safely board the vessel for our 10 day, 9 night voyage to the Seventh Continent.
Here’s another exciting option some of you might be interested in! We will offer all Lewis & Clark travelers the option of a pre-trip extension in Buenos Aires at no additional charge, including 2 nights at a 4-star hotel, welcome dinner, a day tour of this enchanting capital city, and round-trip transportation between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia to meet up with the group before boarding. Travelers selecting this option will be in charge of their own flights from their city of origin to Buenos Aires.
Note: At this time we are uncertain if the Buenos Aires option will be available. Flights should not be booked until August 17, 2021(150 days prior to departure) so that you can pivot to the Orlando departure if necessary.
Finally, we are only requiring a $500 USD deposit to hold your space, which is fully refundable for any reason up until 60 days prior to departure, when final payment will also be due.
Through December 31, 2021, 15 days prior to voyage departure, guests can cancel for any reason and receive 100% future trip credit for a future flight/voyage departing within one year from the original cancelled voyage date.
If a COVID-19 related reason or any other safety issue causes us to cancel the trip, all travelers will receive a full refund.
If a COVID-19 related issue is the reason a traveler has to cancel (positive test, quarantine mandate, etc), even the day before a trip, they will receive a 100% trip credit for a future flight/voyage departing within one year from the original cancelled voyage date.
Click here for information about our COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
Pricing starting at $12,695 USD per person