Fathom Expeditions Re-Kindles "The Spirit of Shackleton" with a Rare 13-Night Expedition Cruise of the Antarctic Peninsula

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Trip dates for the cruise of the Antarctic Peninsula, the iceberg-filled Weddell Sea and historic Elephant Island are February 7-20, 2006Â?13 nights for the price of 10 with several of Antarctica's most accomplished expedition leaders.

The "Spirit of Shackleton" will be rekindled February 07th – 20th, 2006 when specialty Polar cruise operator Fathom Expeditions Inc. brings 94 passengers on a rare 13-night journey exploring the regions of the Antarctic Peninsula, the Weddell Sea, the Antarctic Sound and Elephant Island.

An expedition team of accomplished and passionate polar explorers – whose combined experience includes over 250 previous Antarctic trips - will lead the cruise which re-enacts and retraces some of the heroic adventures of Sir Ernest Shackleton in the comfort and style of the famous ice-rated cruise ship MV Explorer. This expedition team is singularly qualified to evoke the "Spirit of Shackleton" as they are the same team that led the filmmakers for the IMAX "Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure" and the feature film "The Endurance, Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition."

Shackleton himself will be on board. Or more accurately, Bob Wallace, the polar explorer, ship captain and boat builder, whose uncanny resemblance to Shackleton landed him the part of Sir Ernest Shackleton in the films, will join the voyage.

Fathom Expeditions' "Spirit of Shackleton" Antarctic cruise, voted The Best Antarctic Trip in the World by National Geographic Adventure magazine, is priced at US $4995 double occupancy (lower prices for triple occupancy) for 13 nights - the cost of a regular 10-night cruise - giving passengers three free nights on the Seventh Continent at the bottom of the world.

These three free additional nights distinguish Fathom Expeditions' "Spirit of Shackleton" from the standard 10-night Antarctic cruises, allowing for 2-3 daily landings by small boats throughout the entire Antarctic Peninsula Region from the three-mile-long tabular icebergs near Joinville Island to whale-filled Crystal Sound, and a visit to Elephant Island of Shackleton fame. To enjoy the varied wonders of Antarctica on this relaxed, unhurried cruise aboard a superb ship accompanied by just a small group of travelers represents a true triumph in expedition cruising. Onboard chefs round out the experience with superb food and wines.    

The trip is purposely scheduled for the peak of the Antarctic summer when temperatures approach 50 degrees (10ºC), the Midnight Sun brings longer days, and the wildlife is at its most abundant. In early February, when the "Spirit of Shackleton" sets sail, the region's pack ice has broken up, allowing the Explorer to gain access to rarely-visited bays and fjords. Fin, killer and humpback whales will have arrived in protected waters to feed, and the seals and penguin chicks will be out in their maximum numbers.

Passengers can expect to visit valleys bulging with penguins, to discover remote beaches blanketed with whale bones, to take motor-boat cruises alongside 40-foot whales and to learn from scientists and lecturers onshore and onboard. Fathom Expeditions' daily programs also feature Antarctic walks along historic beaches, guided hikes on volcanoes, photography seminars, Zodiac cruising through icebergs and a chance for modern-day exploration firsts on land and by sea. The Banff Mountain Film Festival will also be shown onboard successfully completing its World Tour with Fathom Expeditions by landing on the Last Continent.

The trip is open to all ages and abilities and features a strong educational component and a varied presentation series. Leader of the Shackleton IMAX film teams, Dave German, will lead the voyage, making his 53rd Antarctic journey. He will be joined by guest lecturer Antarctic and Everest explorer Dave Hahn and wildlife expert Dr. Robert Williams, whose presentations and discussions will add yet another critical dimension to the spirit of discovery on this voyage. Other lecture team members cover history, birding and Antarctic sciences.

"It's hard to explain the impact a small ship Antarctic cruise has on people. The surreal beauty, the wildlife, the sheer whiteness of the ice - it's on a scale unlike anything else on earth and requires a mental shift to fully grasp. Veteran travelers say this tops their list of travels," says David German, founder of Fathom Expeditions Inc.

All meals, accommodations, shore excursions, guiding, lectures and transportation are included once guests join the ship. Fathom Expeditions travel partners can assist with air and pre-cruise programs.

Fathom Expeditions is dedicated to making Antarctic dreams come true by operating custom programs guided by acclaimed expedition teams. They have been leading trips to Antarctica since 1995.

For information about Spirit of Shackleton Antarctica or Fathom Expeditions custom Arctic programs, please call Fathom Expeditions at 1-800-621-0176, e-mail info@fathomexpeditions.com or visit us at http://www.fathomexpeditions.com .

Notes: The MV Explorer was dubbed "The Best of the Seaborne Expedition Ships" by P. Shultz, author of 1000 Places To See Before You Die – A Traveler's Life List (New York: Workman Publishing (2003)).

Inspired by Shackleton, Fathom Expeditions president and expedition leader, Dave German, explored South Georgia Island in 1998 and 2000 accompanied mountaineers Conrad Anker, Reinhold Messner and Stephen Venables. Dave German personally speaks with each prospective passenger prior to the journey, and is available for questions and interviews.

Contacts:                         

Allison Klus

Fathom Expeditions

1-800-621-0176

info@fathomexpeditions.com

http://www.fathomexpeditions.com

Lisa Greenberg

LBG Communications

1-914-722-1390

lbgcom@aol.com

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