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Expedition Itinerary

The 2014 Antarctic expedition begins this year in Ushuaia, Argentina, with two days of pre-expedition activities connecting students and staff amongst the breathtaking southern Patagonian Andes. Sailing from Ushuaia, we will explore Elephant Island and learn of its importance during Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1913 expedition. We will also visit an abandoned whaling station and dormant volcano on Deception Island en route to the Antarctic continent.

Each day will be filled with exploration, discovery, presentations, workshops, hands-on research, hikes and lots of adventure! Activities will include wildlife encounters, a visit to a research station as well as first-hand knowledge and insight into the dynamics of climate change, the rich Antarctic biodiversity, the importance of the Antarctic Treaty, scientific research policy, and other important Antarctic and global topics.

Our Antarctic itinerary is always subject to change due to weather and ice conditions. It is rare that we ever follow an itinerary exactly as planned. One of the mottos of polar expedition travel is “Flexibility is the Key”. We take advantage of all opportunities that present themselves, while at the same time respecting the power of the Antarctic environment. Educators will collaborate with the Students on Ice management team to ensure that locations of interest are included in the itinerary.

With these points in mind, here is an outline of our exciting itinerary:

December 25, 2014
Toronto – Buenos Aires
The journey begins for various expedition members from around the world making their way to meet the SOI expedition team. Today, many of you will board flights from cities around the world to join us on our group flights in Toronto, Canada or Miami, USA. This will be a great opportunity to catch-up on some last minute Antarctic reading. The adventure officially begins!
December 26, 2014
Miami – Buenos Aires
Meeting other students and staff in transit, expedition groups arrive to Buenos Aires for the night before continuing to Ushuaia.
December 27, 2014
Ushuaia, Argentina
Located on the shores of the Beagle Channel, this beautiful region is home to mountains, forests and glaciers. Upon arrival, expeditioners will check into our hotel and have a chance to settle in. This evening, we will have our first full team dinner and our first Expedition Briefing to discuss our adventure ahead. Expedition members who have arranged their accommodations independently in Ushuaia will move to the SOI group hotel on this day.
December 28, 2014
Ushuaia, Argentina and the Beagle Channel
Our expedition program begins with a combination of educational presentations, workshops and field-course meetings that will help us to prepare for the journey ahead! Today we board our expedition vessel, the M/V Ushuaia, at the dock in Ushuaia. After checking into our cabins, there will be an introductory briefing and mandatory emergency drill with our Expedition Leader. Soon after we will cast off the lines, raise the Students on Ice flag and set sail down the Beagle Channel towards the Drake Passage. Our shipboard journey to Antarctic begins! This evening, we will enjoy our first meal on board our ship, share our excitement and be on the look out for the Southern Cross.
December 29, 2014
Drake Passage
We spend the day at sea sailing across the infamous Drake Passage towards Antarctic. Our onboard education program kicks off and there will be an important briefing on Antarctic visitor guidelines. Be sure to get out on deck in search of whales and seabirds, including the might Wandering Albatross!
December 30, 2014
Drake Passage and South Shetland Islands
We cross the Antarctic convergence during our second day at sea. Our education program continues and we will be instructed on Zodiac safety and landing procedures. Depending on weather conditions and the speed of our Drake Passage crossing, we may attempt our first zodiac cruise and/or landing in the South Shetland Islands at Point Wild.
December 31, 2014
Our first full day in Antarctica! Almost 24-hour daylight will allow us to take full advantage of our days here. Possible landing sites today include Brown Bluff, Paulet Island, and a visit to the Argentine research station, Esperanza. Thousands of Adelie and Gentoo penguins and their chicks await us at these sites, and we will be in excellent whale watching territory.
January 1, 2015
Happy New Year! Today we will have a full day for exploring and making landings along the Antarctic Peninsula. If weather conditions permit, we will attempt Zodiac landings and cruises on and around Deception Island. This horseshoe shaped dormant volcano is also home to a giant Chinstrap penguin colony and abandoned whaling station.
January 2, 2015
Today we will have another full day of Zodiac landings, cruises and educational activities. We hope to make visits to Danco Island, Neko Harbour and Goudier Island. At Neko Harbour, we will be able to hike up onto a small icecap for an incredible view of Andvord Bay and some ice-coring research activities. We may be able to visit Port Lockroy’s United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust museum and post office, examine whale bones and observe Cormorants at Jougla Point.
January 3, 2015
Today is a full day of landings and educational activities. By now the beauty and wonder of Antarctic will have cast its spell over us. We hope to try and explore Pleneau and Wauwemans Islands, and also visit the Ukrainian station, Vernadsky, one of the most interesting and active scientific research bases in Antarctica.
January 4, 2015
Our final full day in Antarctica will be spent on exploring areas around  Skontorp Cove and Cuverville Island. More workshops in the field and landings are planned. This evening we bid farewell to Antarctic and begin our journey back to South America.
January 5, 2015
Drake Passage
We spend the day at sea reflecting on the experiences and adventures behind us. Our shipboard education program continues with a variety of presentations, hands-on workshops, and reflective activities.
January 6, 2015
Drake Passage and Beagle Channel
Our shipboard education program wraps up. Weather conditions permitting, we will sail around famous Cape Horn! This evening we arrive back to the Beagle Channel. Tonight we celebrate our expedition with a farewell dinner and special presentations and fun activities.
January 7, 2015
Ushuaia, Argentina – depart for home
This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia and say goodbye to the crew, our floating home, and the expedition team. Upon disembarking our ship most students and staff will transfer to the airport to return home. Those who remain in Ushuaia will be free to explore the town and make independent reservations before beginning their travels homeward.
January 8, 2015
Most students arrive home to their respective countries and home communities.

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