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Atlantic Odyssey

From Antarctica and the South Atlantic to the tropics and beyond!

MOL32  02 April - 02 May, 2010 (31 days) Ushuaia - Ascension Island
MOL33  02 May - 09 May, 2010 (08 days) Ascension - Praia (Cape Verdes)

aboard Professor Molchanov

Due to the uncertainty of flight schedules in 2010, we cannot give precise details of departure and arrival dates and flights to and from the UK, especially Ascension. The schedules may mean extra days there. The costs are given for the cruise only.

Map of ���Atlantic Odyssey Cruise

Day 1 (02 April)
In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia and sail through the Beagle Channel.

Day 2 & 3
In the Drake Passage we witness a multitude of Albatrosses, Petrels and Fulmars.

Day 4
At Hope Bay and Brown Bluff we hope to set foot on the Antarctic Continent. In this area chances are good for encounters with Gentoo Penguins, Weddell Seals, Leopard Seals and Orcas.

Day 5
From Devil Island at the tip of the Weddell Sea is surrounded by huge table icebergs of the Larsen Ice Shelf. We will climb a hill with a gently slope from where we have a great view on the surroundings. At Paulet Island we will observe the last individuals of a large Adelie Penguin colony near the ruins of the Nordenskiöld Expedition from the beginning of the 20th century.

Day 6
At sea we will probably sail along the sea ice drifting north out of the Weddell Sea. On the floes we may see some juvenile Emperor Penguins.

Day 7
On our way north we plan to visit South Orkneys, where the Scotsman Bruce once wintered and where we now may visit the friendly people of an Argentinean base.

Day 8
At sea, on our way to South Georgia, we witness a multitude of Albatrosses, Petrels and Fulmars.

Day 9 - 11
In South Georgia we will pay visits to the abandoned whaling settlements Grytviken, where now the penguins walk through the streets, and King Edwards Point with the grave of Shackleton. We will walk near the big King Penguin colony on Salisbury Plain and the breeding Wandering Albatrosses on Prion Island in the Bay of Isles. The last day in South Georgia we will spend in Cooper Bay where we will observe Chinstrap Penguins and Macaroni Penguins and breeding Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses. Later we intend to sail to Gold Harbour to visit another King Penguin colony and to see many Elephant Seals and Fur Seals. It is a good area for long walks. We conclude our visit with zodiac excursions in the magnificent Drygalski Fjord and Larsen Harbour.

Day 12 - 16
In the westerlies we have a pleasant tailwind. On both sides of the Antarctic Convergence, we observe many species and great numbers of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic seabirds.

Day 17
Today we plan to approach the unique Gough Island for zodiac cruising around the island, as always weather permitting. In previous years we managed to circumnavigate all but four miles of the 33 mile circumference of the island in the ship, saw spectacular scenery and an unprecedented abundance of wildlife. We felt very privileged to be among the few visitors who have been able to experience Gough and in particular, to see it at such close quarters and in such favourable conditions. We hope to be lucky to repeat this unique experience with you.

Day 18 - 20
In the Tristan da Cunha archipelago we call at the settlement at the west side of the main island. We will also try to make landings at Nightingale Island with millions of seabirds ranging from Yellow-nosed Albatrosses to Brown Noddies. We allow one day in reserve for bad weather.

Day 21 - 24
At sea, we now enter sub-tropical waters with their own brand of seabirds and dolphins.

Day 25 - 27
St. Helena has a good anchorage and landing site. On this island, we will have ample opportunities to enjoy local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic plants and birds. We will visit the place where Napoleon lived in exile. There will be opportunities to explore the Island on your own and for snorkelling, in the shallow surf near a wreck we can find a lot of fishes.

Day 28 - 29
At sea.

Day 30 - 31 (02 May)
Ascension Island is a dry volcanic island with a moist and richly vegetated top. The Sooty Tern (wide-awake) colony sometimes consists of more than 1 million breeding pairs. We will try to climb the moist summit of Ascension Island and make a zodiac-cruise around Boatswain Bird Island offering also great opportunities for snorkelling. We may witness egg-laying sea turtles coming ashore at night. Some of our passengers may disembark and fly with the scheduled RAF (Royal Air Force) flight to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, UK. Others may proceed their voyage to Cape Verdes (voyage code: MOL33).

Day 1 (02 May)
In the evening the vessel will depart from Ascension Island.

Day 2 - 6
At sea, we witness the northbound spring migration as northern birds like Arctic Terns and Long-tailed Skuas join us to cross the Equator (“the Line”).

Day 7
We land at Fogo. This is the great vulcanological laboratory of the Cape Verde Islands. Here we shall see lava as fresh as is possible because it emerged from the ground within the last 10 years and with the dry atmosphere of the islands there is little weathering to take place. We shall land a short distance from the capital, Sao Felipe and shall take an excursion into the very crater to the village of Portela where the people, unbelievable as it seems, make wine. This is perhaps not, one of the greatest vintages of the world but it deserves tasting because of its curiosity. On returning to Sao Felipe we shall relax for a while before re-embarking for an early dinner after which we shall try an evening zodiac cruise in order to see the sea birds before dark.

Day 8 (May 09)
Praia on Sao Tiago, the main island of the southern group, has a character of its own. We shall make an excursion to Cidade Velha, steeped in history, and shall observe the massive fortress on the hill, built to deter English marauders in the period when the Crowns of Portugal and Spain were united and Portuguese possessions became as fair game to the likes of Drake and Raleigh as were Spanish ones. We shall see the ruins of the Cathedral, the oldest Christian Church in the tropics, and the slave whipping post in the main square. The village is well watered and there are plantations of sugar cane, which support a rum distillery, and several species of birds. We shall have another guided stroll around the City of Praia, which is the capital of the Cape Verdes, and which has given rise to a unique variety of folk music, which we shall hear as we pass the various bars! Shortly after midnight (May 10) we fly to Lisboa in Portugal (not included in the cruise rate). Passengers can also disembark in Praia, evening Day 8 and stay for a day or more in a hotel in Praia and take a later flight to Lisboa.

M/V Professor Molchanov
  • Length 71,6 metres (236 feet)
  • Breadth 12,8 metres (42 feet)
  • Draft 4,5 metres (15 feet)
  • Speed 12,5 knots
  • Passengers capacity 52
  • 20 Russian crew
  • 3 international expedition staff
  • 3 international hotel & catering staff and 1 emergency doctor
The ships are modern, ice-strengthened research vessels, built in Finland for the Russian Academy of Science. They are under long-term contract to Oceanwide Expeditions and have been converted for passenger use and are ideally suited to expedition cruising in polar areas. They comply with the highest international safety and environmental regulations, as well as the Arctic and Antarctic Shipping guidelines. The passengers are accommodated in triple, twin, superior cabins or a suite. All cabins are ‘outside’ and most cabins have private facilities. The public areas are comfortable and cosy and include a dining room which could also act as the lecture room, a bar with reference books, a small infirmary and a sauna. The best viewing places on board for spotting wildlife are the bridge (where passengers are welcome) and the open-deck areas. The ships carry a full complement of Zodiac crafts, for both cruising and landing ashore. Usually on our voyages the Chef will organize a Polar barbecue on deck. Surrounded by an impressive landscape and accompanied by your fellow-travellers, staff members and the Russian crew members, this event is one to remember.

'Professor Multanovskiy and Professor Molchanov' deckplan

Accommodation: Cabins as described above subject to availability.

Travel: Please enquire for details.

Leaders: Guides from Oceanwide Expeditions

Professor Molchanov
Prices per person: Ushuaia - Ascension Ascension - Praia (Cape Verdes)
Triple not en suite £ 4,810 £ 680
Twin not en suite £ 5,680 £ 770
Twin en suite £ 6,445 £ 865
Superior twin en suite £ 7,230 £ 955
Twin Suite £ 8,230 £ 1,045
Deposit :

20% of cost 20% of cost

Please enquire for single supplements.

The prices are per person, and are fully inclusive the cruise, meals during the voyage, shore excursions by Zodiac and activities throughout the voyage, lectures and leadership by expedition staff, taxes and port charges and pre-departure information.

The prices exclude flight UK/Ushuaia and flights back from Ascension/UK and Cape Verde/UK, any necessary accommodation in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Ascension and Cape Verde, travel insurance, meals ashore, optional tips to leaders and crew, drinks, and other personal expenses.

Please allow two days either side of the cruise dates for travel and an overnight at each end of the cruise in case of any delays.

Please note that we can arrange optional extensions in Ushuaia (see our Patagonia itinerary for details), or anywhere else in Argentina. You can also opt to leave the UK a day earlier and spend a day in Buenos Aires to break the long journey south.