M/V Hondius

 

Destination: Antarctica

Antarctica (9-22 Nights) | From $661++/night

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M/V Hondius Quick Pitch

This Oceanwide Expeditions is proud to present the world's first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel, with the M/V Hondius meeting all the highest Lloyd-s Register standards for ice-strengthened cruise ships. This means that the Hondius represents the most flexible and innovative vessel in the polar regions. This vessel is thoroughly optimized to ensure that your trips through the Arctic and Antarctica provide you with the utmost safety, comfort and first-hand contact.

 

Location

Trips depart from Ushuaia, on the island of Tiera del Fuego in Argentina.

 

Dive Overview

Antarctica offers a unique and thrilling polar diving experience as one of the last grand and remote areas of wilderness on earth. Divers get to take part in the pioneering exploration of these isolated waters, viewing stunning ice formations, glaciers, and some of the globe's most rarely seen wildlife.

[See: Antarctica Dive Travel Guide]

 

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Accommodations

Types of Cabins, Amenities and Photos

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M/V hondius Accommodation Overview

Hondius offers high-quality accommodation for 170 passengers in in 6 grand suites with balcony (27 square meters ), 8 junior suites (19-20 square meters ), 8 superior cabins (20-21 square meters),  11 twin deluxe cabins (19-21 square meters), 14 twin window cabins (12-14 square meters), 27 twin porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins and 4 quadruple porthole cabins (porthole cabin sizes vary from 12-18 square meters.) 

MV Hondius MV Hondius

Grand Suite (LEFT) & Junior Suite (RIGHT)

MV Hondius MV Hondius

Twin Deluxe (LEFT) & Twin Porthole (RIGHT) Cabins 

 MV Hondius

Twin Deluxe Bathroom

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General Facilities

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MV Hondius MV Hondius

Lecture Room (LEFT) & Observation Deck (RIGHT)

MV Hondius

Library

 

M/V hondius Boat Features

  • Restaurant/lecture room on deck 3
  • Dinner Room on deck 4
  • Spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view as well as lecture and observation decks
  • Separate library rooms
  • Large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 4)

 

M/V Hondius Dive Facilities & Features

  • Compressor: Onboard, there are a Bauer compressor (200 liters), 35 steel bottles of 12 liters each, 200 bar, with DIN and Yoke adaptable connections and two separate outlets
  • Weights: You will be provided with hard led weights and a belt
  • Zodiacs with strong out-board motors
  • Dive Buddy system
  • 1-2 days per day (depending on the weather) 
  • 8 divers per dive guide
  • Maximum number of diving passengers: 24
 

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M/V HONDIUS Liveaboard Deck Plan

MV Hondius

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Schedule & Rates

M/V Hondius 2020 - 2021 Schedule & Rates

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2020-2021 Schedule & Rates 

All rates are quoted per person in USD, based on twin occupancy.

VoyageStartEndQuadruple
porthole
Triple
Porthole
Twin
Porthole
Twin WindowTwin DeluxeSuperiorJunior SuiteGrand Suite
Private balcony
Falkland Islands – South Georgia – AntarcticaNov 01Nov 2112,60013,95015,20015,90016,90018,15019,45022,100
Antarctica – Discovery and photography voyageNov 21Dec 028,0509,1009,95010,35011,00011,90012,75014,650
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageDec 02Dec 11CHARTER
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageDec 11Dec 206,5507,4508,1008,4509,0509,70010,40011,950
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageDec 20Dec 297,3008,2508,9509,3509,90010,60011,45012,950
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageDec 29Jan 077,3008,2508,9509,3509,90010,60011,45012,950
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageJan 07Jan 167,3008,2508,9509,3509,90010,60011,45012,950
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageJan 16Jan 268,0509,1009,95010,35011,00011,90012,75014,650
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageJan 26Feb 058,0509,1009,95010,35011,00011,90012,75014,650
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageFeb 05Feb 15CHARTER
Antarctica – Discovery and learning voyageFeb 15Feb 24CHARTER
Falkland Islands – South Georgia – Elephant Island – Antarctica – Polar CircleFeb 24Mar 1815,20016,90018,40019,10020,40021,95023,50026,950
Antarctica – Whale watching discovery and learning voyageMar 18Mar 275,9506,8007,2507,5508,0508,6509,25010,650

 

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Inclusions

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff. 
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation in Ushuaia.
  • Group transfer from the vessel in Bluff to the airport in Invercargill, on OTL27-21.
  • Group transfer from Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill to the vessel in Bluff, on OTL28-21.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation). 
  • During voyage OTL22-20, OTL27-21 and OTL28-21: ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed).  
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff. 
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

 

Exclusions

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements
  • Transfers to/from the vessel outside Spitsbergen
  • Transfers to the vessel in Ushuaia and Ascension and from the vessel in Ascension and Praia
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory)
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard
  • Ski Mountaineering in the Arctic and camping which can be done on the rocks, snow, mud and froxen surfaces
 

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Other Dates & Availability

For more information on other departure dates that are not listed above and on availability email us at info@bluewaterdivetravel.com or call us at +1-310-915-6677 and we will gladly help you plan your dream dive vacation!

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Dive Information & Destinations

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Marine Life

During the Antarctic dive expedition, you may observe penguins from under the surface as well as leopard seals. The Falkland Islands are rich with krill (which is consumed by many species) and therefore interesting for finding marine wildlife. The dive sites will vary from shallow ice diving, diving along a wall, from a beach or from the zodiac. The maximum depth is around 20 meters / 60 feet. The combination of sunlight and the often extraordinary formations of ice causes an overwhelming, everchanging specter of colors, with a fantastic variety of shades and brilliance. While snorkeling or diving along the ice-floes, you will be amazed and never forget these deep blue colors. Diving in Antarctica does not only offer ice, but also an interesting marine life, such as kelp walls, sea-snails, crabs, sea butterflies, various Antarctic fish, shrubby horse-tails, jelly-fishes, sea hedgehogs, starfishes, krill and giant isopods. You may have the possibility to snorkel or dive with Fur seals, Leopard seals and Penguins.  

Experience & Qualification - These voyages are not for beginners, you’ll have to be a very experienced diver and must be familiar with cold water diving and dry suit diving (at least 30 dry suit dives in 4°C or below). Before departure, you will have to show an internationally accepted diving certificate and diver’s logbook, (you must include copies when completing your diver personal information form). The first dive of the trip will be a ‘check’ dive to try out your gear and weights and for our Dive Team Leader to see if all individual divers have enough experience to dive in the Antarctic waters.  

 

Falkland Islands - South Georgia – Antarctica

  • Day 1 (Sandy Argentine beaches) - You embark from Puerto Madryn in the afternoon, your prow aimed for the Falkland Islands. Golfo Nuevo is renowned for its visiting southern right whales, so you have a good chance of spotting one as you sail toward the open ocean.
  • Day 2 – 3 (Sea life, sea birds) - Though you’re now at sea, there’s rarely a lonesome moment here. Several species of bird follow the vessel southeast, such as albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
  • Day 4 (Finding the Falklands) - The Falkland (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of bird live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters. 
  • During this segment of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:
  • Steeple Jason – Home to the world’s largest black-browed albatross colony (roughly 113,000), Steeple Jason is a wild and rarely visited island buffeted by wind and waves. Weather and swell conditions dictate the journey here.
  • Carcass Island – Despite its name, this island is pleasantly rodent-free and hence bounteous with birdlife. Anything from breeding Magellanic penguins and gentoos to numerous waders and passerine birds (including Cobb’s wrens and tussock-birds) live here. 
  • Saunders Island – On Saunders Island you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoos are also found here. 
  • Day 5 (The seat of Falklands culture) - The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th-century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.
  • Day 6 – 7 (Once more to the sea) - En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas. 
  • Day 8 – 11 (South Georgia journey) - Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program. 
  • Sites you might visit include:
  • Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7). The previous summer’s wandering albatross chicks are almost ready to fledge, and adults are seeking out their old partners after a year and a half at sea.
  • Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January).
  • Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.
  • Grytviken – In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.
  • Day 12 (Southward bound) – There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south. 
  • Day 13 (The scenic vistas of South Orkney ) - Depending on the conditions, you might visit Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn’t possible, you may instead land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove. 
  • Day 14 ( Last push to the Antarctic) - Enormous icebergs and a fair chance of fin whale sightings ensure there’s never a dull moment on this last sea voyage south. Also, your best chance to spot Antarctic petrels is here.
  • Day 15 – 18 (Awe-inspiring Antarctica) - If the ice conditions permit, you now sail into the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Paulet Island, with its large population of Adélie penguins, is a possible stop. You might also visit Brown Bluff, located in the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound, where you could get the chance to set foot on the Antarctic Continent itself. 
  • Day 19 – 20 ( Familiar seas, familiar friends) - Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
  • Day 21 (Earth’s southernmost city) - You arrive and disembark in Ushuaia, commonly held to be the world’s most southern city. It is located on the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, nicknamed the “End of the World.” But despite this stopping point, the wealth of memories you’ve made on your Antarctic expedition will travel with you wherever your next adventure lies.

 

Falkland Islands - South Georgia - Elephant Island – Antarctica - Polar Circle

  • Day 1 (End of the world, start of a journey) - Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening. 
  • Day 2 (The winged life of the westerlies) - Several species of albatross follow the vessel into the westerlies, along with storm petrels, shearwaters, and diving petrels.
  • Day 3 (Finding the Falklands) - The Falkland (Malvinas) Islands offer an abundance of wildlife that is easily approachable, though caution is always advised. These islands are largely unknown gems, the site of a 1982 war between the UK and Argentina. Not only do various species of birds live here, but chances are great you’ll see both Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters. 
  • During this segment of the voyage, you may visit the following sites:
  • West Point Island – This beautiful island hosts a bounty of birdlife, from shore birds near the landing site to black-browed albatrosses on the nest. Among them is a rookery of rockhopper penguins who have to undertake an incredible climb from the sea to get to their nests among the albatrosses.
  • Saunders Island – On Saunders Island you can see the black-browed albatross and its sometimes-clumsy landings, along with breeding imperial shags and rockhopper penguins. King penguins, Magellanic penguins, and gentoos are also found here. 
  • Day 4 ( The seat of Falklands culture) - The capital of the Falklands and center of its culture, Port Stanley has some Victorian-era charm: colorful houses, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs are all to be found here. You can also see several century-old clipper ships nearby, silent witnesses to the hardships of 19th-century sailors. The small but interesting museum is also worth a visit, covering the early days of settlement up to the Falklands War. Approximately 2,100 people live in Port Stanley. Feel free to wander at will, though be aware that admission fees to local attractions are not included in the voyage.
  • Day 5 - 6 (Once more to the sea) - En route to South Georgia, you now cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature cools considerably within the space of a few hours, and nutritious water rises to the surface of the sea due to colliding water columns. This phenomenon attracts a multitude of seabirds near the ship, including several species of albatross, shearwaters, petrels, prions, and skuas.
  • Day 7 – 10 (South Georgia journey) - Today you arrive at the first South Georgia activity site. Please keep in mind that weather conditions in this area can be challenging, largely dictating the program.
  • Over the next several days, you have a chance to visit the following sites:
  • Prion Island – This location is closed during the early part of the wandering albatross breeding season (November 20 – January 7). From January on, the breeding adults have found their partners and are sitting on eggs or nursing their chicks. Enjoy witnessing the gentle nature of these animals, which possess the largest wingspan of any birds in the world.
  • Fortuna Bay – Near beaches inhabited by various penguins and seals, you have the chance to follow the final leg of Shackleton’s route to the abandoned whaling village of Stromness. This path cuts across the mountain pass beyond Shackleton’s Waterfall, and as the terrain is partly swampy, be prepared to cross a few small streams.
  • Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – These sites not only house the three largest king penguin colonies in South Georgia, they’re also three of the world’s largest breeding beaches for southern elephant seals. Only during this time of year do they peak in their breeding cycle. Watch the four-ton bulls keep a constant vigil (and occasionally fight) over territories where dozens of females have just given birth or are about to deliver. You can also see a substantial number of Antarctic fur seals here during the breeding season (December – January).
  • Grytviken – In this abandoned whaling station, king penguins walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they basically do. Here you might be able to see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.
  • Day 11 (Southward bound) -There may be sea ice on this route, and at the edge of the ice some south polar skuas and snow petrels could join the other seabirds trailing the vessel south. 
  • Day 12 (The scenic vistas of South Orkney) -Depending on the conditions, you might visit Orcadas Base, an Argentine scientific station on Laurie Island in the South Orkney archipelago. The personnel here will happily show you their facility, where you can enjoy expansive views of the surrounding glaciers. If a visit isn’t possible, you may instead land in Signy Island’s Shingle Cove.
  • Day 13 (Legendary Elephant Island) - You‘ve now completed roughly the same route (albeit in the opposite direction) as Sir Ernest Shackleton did using only a small lifeboat, the James Caird, in the spring of 1916. Watching Elephant Island materialize on the horizon after crossing all that water, it’s hard not to marvel at how he and his five-man crew accomplished that feat. 
  • The purpose of Shackleton’s crossing was to rescue 22 shipwrecked members of his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, also known as the Endurance Expedition, who were stranded on Elephant Island. For four and a half months, Shackleton undertook this legendary rescue.
  • Conditions on Elephant Island are severe. The coastline is mostly made up of vertical rock and ice cliffs highly exposed to the elements. If possible you will take the Zodiacs to Point Wild, where the marooned members of Shackleton’s expedition miraculously managed to survive.  
  • Day 14 (Along the Antarctic Peninsula) - If ice permits, you sail into the Antarctic Sound at the northwestern edge of the Weddell Sea. Here colossal tabular icebergs herald your arrival to the eastern edges of the Antarctic Peninsula. Brown Bluff is a potential location for a landing, where you may get the chance to set foot on the continent.
  • Day 15 (Scenes of South Shetland) - The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often cloaked in mist, but they do offer subtle pleasures: There’s a wide variety of flora (mosses, lichens, flowering grasses) and no small amount of fauna (gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins, southern giant petrels). 
  • In Deception Island, the ship plunges through Neptune’s Bellows and into the flooded caldera. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, and thousands of cape petrels – along with kelp gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. A good hike is a possibility in this fascinating and desolate volcanic landscape.
  • Day 16 – 20 (Onward into Antarctica) - Gray stone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and unique polar wildlife below and above welcome you into the otherworldly expanse of Antarctica. You enter the area around Gerlache Strait, venturing into one of the most beautiful settings Antarctica has to offer. 
  • Sites you may visit here include: 
  • Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a Zodiac cruise and landing that afford the closest views of the surrounding alpine peaks.
  • Paradise Bay – You may be able to take a Zodiac cruise in these sprawling, ice-flecked waters, where there’s a good chance you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales. 
  • Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you could sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There is also a possibility you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals. 
  • The aim is then to cut south, reaching Crystal Sound and the Antarctic Circle. You may make a landing at Detaille Island and visit an abandoned British research station, taking in the limitless landscape. Afterward, you venture back into the area around Lemaire Channel and the Gerlache Strait.  
  • As with all of our Antarctic trips, conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.
  • Day 21 – 22 (Familiar seas, familiar friends) - Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
  • Day 23 (There and back again) - Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

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Other Information

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Boat Specifications

  • Length: 107.6 meters (353 feet)
  • Breadth: 17.6 meters (47 feet)
  • Draft: 5.30 meters (16 feet)
  • Ice class: Polar Class 6 (equivalent 1A-Super)
  • Displacement: 5,590 tonnes
  • Propulsion: 2 x ABC main engines; total 4,200 kW
  • Speed: 15 knots average cruising speed
  • Passengers: 174 in 83 cabins  (170 passengers in 80 cabins as of Antarctica season 2019-2020)
  • Staff & crew: 72
 

Practical Information

  • Language Spoken: English
  • Electricity: 220v, 60Hz
  • Payment Onboard: Credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or cash (Euro or Dollar)

 

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Underwater Gallery 

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Antarctica UW Antarctica UWAntarctica UW Antarctica UWAntarctica UW Antarctica UW

 

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