Polar expedition to the Great White Continent
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Group Size: Max 134 aboard the expedition ship
Trip code: XVCASX
Duration: 11 days
Departures run November-March each year
The Antarctic Peninsula is anything but a world of white desolation. Join us on a true adventure to a world of immense scale and visual splendour. Passing huge icebergs in the flat calm of a polar morning will reshape the way you look at your world. Encounter huge whales, enormous rookeries of penguins, and stunning landscapes few have ever witnessed. This 11-day expedition will introduce you to the magic of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
- Experience the world's least-visited continent
- Watch majestic albatross soar by the ship while crossing the Drake Passage
- Opt to brave the chill of a polar plunge
- Witness immense icebergs and magnificent glaciers
- Have your questions answered by Antarctica experts
Discover the least visited place on earth on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica. Sail around the South Shetland Islands and disembark on the icy shores of Antarctica from our comfortable cruise ship.
Day 1 - Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia at any time. Arrival transfer included. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the world's most southerly city.
Day 2 - Ushuaia/Drake Passage
Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia. Do any last minute shopping, explore the town, or visit the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel.
Days 3–4 - Drake Passage/South Shetland Islands
The adventure begins with an 1000km (800mi) crossing of the passage named in honour of the 16th-century English sea captain and privateer, Sir Francis Drake. Take in daily lectures from the expedition team and keep an eye out for the first sightings of icebergs, whales and albatross following in the boats wake.
Days 5–8 - South Shetland Islands/Antarctic Peninsula
Experience some of the most unique wildlife viewing and inspiring scenery in the world while setting foot on the Antarctic continent. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather permitting) and encounter Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. During the voyage, learn about the peninsula's remarkable history.
Days 9–10 - Drake Passage/Ushuaia
Begin the journey north to the home port of Ushuaia. Review the highlights of the Antarctic experience with the lecturers and staff. Keep sharp eyes on the observation deck for some last-minute whale sightings.
Day 11 - Ushuaia
Disembark the boat after breakfast.
Typical daily itinerary
There’s nothing typical about a day in Antarctica, but daily itineraries on our trip usually run something like this:
- 7am: Wake up
- 8am: Breakfast
- 9am: 1st Landing or Zodiac Cruise
- 12pm: Lunch
- 2pm: 2nd Landing or Zodiac Cruise
- 6pm: Recap, presentation and briefing
- 7pm: Dinner
- 9pm: Documentary or Polar Bear Pub
The expedition boat has multiple large public areas to enjoy during sea crossings and in between land excursions. Amenities include:
- The Penguin Library
- Medical clinic and English speaking doctor
- The Gear Shop
- Polar Bear Pub
- The Lounge
- Albatross Dining Room, serving international cuisine and large enough to accommodate all passengers in one sitting
- Large aft deck with barbecue facilities
- Forward deck viewing platforms
- Fitness centre/sauna
- All cabins have ocean views and daily housekeeping service
The staff are in everything from geology to marine biology and polar history, the members of our team are always eager to share their infectious passion for the plants, animals, and people you’ll encounter. Add in professional hotel staff and a seasoned crew, and you’ll be more than comfortable during your adventure on the water.
10:1 Passenger to Expert Ratio. More on-hand experts means deeper access and greater understanding of the planet’s most amazing places. Our experts’ lectures, Q&A sessions, and personal reflection deliver a personalized and intimate perspective on these faraway shores.
When to go
It’s always a good time to visit Antarctica, but when you choose to go depends on what you’re looking for:
- Early season (October to November): This is the start of the summer melt. While there is less accessibility, the icebergs are at their most impressive and it’s the beginning of penguin mating season.
- Antarctic summer (December): Warmer weather means greater accessibility so we can sail further south and with more than 20 hours of daylight, there’s lots of time for exploration.
- High season (January to February): This is the warmest time of year for Antarctica. It’s the optimal time to cross the Antarctic Circle and visit South Georgia and baby penguins are everywhere!
- Late Season (March): Penguins are celebrating the end of summer and going into their moulting phase, and it’s the best time to see whales.
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Online booking is unavailable for this tripOnline booking isn't currently available but if you'd like to enquire please use the form below. Alternatively if you'd like to discuss alternate trips or if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
You will need to arrive into Ushuaia Airport on day 1 of the trip or before.
From our experience, we have found that there are significant delays, especially in high season on flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. We highly recommend booking your travel arrangements to arrive into Ushuaia earlier in the day on Day 1. We are happy to book additional pre-tour accommodations should you want some additional time in Ushuaia.
Please check with your airline as to which airport your domestic flight will be flying out of. Most flights that continue to Ushuaia depart from the domestic airport, Jorge Newberry Airport (AEP); however this is not always the case and some flights do depart from Ministro Pistarini Airport (EZE). On arrival at the International airport, there is an airport shuttle service, Manuel Tienda Leon, that can take you from Ministro Pistarini Airport (EZE) to Jorge Newberry Airport (AEP), available at an approximate cost of USD $16.00 each way. It is about 1 to 1.5 hours between the airports, so please allow yourself enough time.
Upon completion of the 8am disembarkation in Ushuaia, passengers will receive a complimentary transfer to either the airport or a central location where luggage can be stored.
For those on morning flights, the 8am transfer will bring them directly to Ushuaia airport (USH). The rest of the passengers will be transferred to the luggage storage point and given time to explore the city. These passengers should then return to retrieve their luggage and board a second transfer to Ushuaia airport at 12:30pm or 4:30pm, depending on their flight times. Please note that the transfer times are subject to change according to flight schedules.
With the understanding that most will be needing to connect to their International flights in Buenos Aires, you can arrange departure flights from Ushuaia starting from 10am onward. Although if possible, we suggest you consider booking flights after 11am.
One night in a twin share hotel in Ushuaia and 9 nights aboard the expedition cruise ship are included. Quad, triple, twin, double and suites are available depending on your budget and preference. Please contact a travel advisor for prices and availability. All cabins consist of twin-size berths and are ocean-facing. Suites have one queen-size bed.
10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 9 dinners are included. Onboard our expedition ships you’ll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub or the lounge.
This trip is accessible to most fitness levels and for those able to do extended walks and light hiking on various terrain. It’s important to note that for landings in Antarctica we use Zodiacs and wet beach landings in what sometimes can be extreme environments. This will require you to be able to safely navigate ice and snow on uneven ground, to lift your leg over the side of a Zodiac and push yourself up, walk on wet, rocky beaches and stand throughout the landing with no place to sit. Our expedition team is there to assist you if needed but having good mobility is important for your safety and enjoyment.
The minimum age to join this trip is 18. This fantastic trip is an open-aged experience that caters for a mix of younger and older travellers. This means that you may travel with people who are outside your own age group. Such a mix of ages creates a great group dynamic and enhances the travel experience, as you get to know a range of people with different stories to tell!
All passengers will be required to submit a medical questionnaire prior to travelling. Those with pre-existing medical conditions will be required to get their forms signed off by their doctor.