11 Days / 10 Nights
You can now visit the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands in the comfort of the USHUAIA. From the southern spring; onwards, large birds and sea mammals gather at breeding colonies, and the ceaseless daylight of the southern summer makes exploration in this incomparable landscape a unique experience. … Our expedition cruises are trips of a lifetime!
Selected departures from January 2017 through March 2018
Cruise departs and returns from / to Ushuaia, Argentina
For complete vessel information please click here.
Starting at: $6,180
Rate per person, sharing double occupancy STD Cabin, cruise only for March 11, 2018 departure
The MV Ushuaia's Classic Antarctic Peninsula voyage is the ultimate introduction to the White Continent.
Visit the last pristine region of the world, landing at penguin colonies and research stations and observing various different species of whales, seals, penguins and sea birds. You will often make two landings a day via our fleet of zodiac crafts.
- Voyage aboard the USHUAIA as indicated in the itinerary.
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the USHUAIA.
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac.
- 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.
- Detailed post-expedition log.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided).
Day 1 - Depart from Ushuaia
Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins, we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass. (d)
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It is the "Big Day", for years you may have been dreaming to embark on a journey to Planet Earth's last frontier.. today this dream comes true. Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon, and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins, we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass. (d)
Day 2 and 3 - Crossing the Drake Passage
In the following two days we sail through the Drake Passage. (b,l,d)
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Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.
The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3. If conditions are favorable you will make your first landing either in the afternoon or evening of Day 3. (b,l,d)
Day 4 through 8 - Exploring South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
Finally, we are in Antarctica. We travel between the Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, enjoying unparalleled vistas and wildlife from aboard the ship, as well as our excursions by zodiac and by foot. (b,l,d)
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The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.
The Antarctic Peninsula's remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:
Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins. Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins. (b,l,d)
Day 9 and 10 - At sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
In the following two days we depart the Antarctic Peninsula and sail through the Drake Passage towards Argentina. (b,l,d)
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We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia. (b,l,d)
Day 11 - Arrival at Ushuaia
We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast. (b)
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While our remarkable journey had come to its end, our mind is only starting to digest everything we have seen in the last 10 days. The memories will last forever. We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast. (b)
PLEASE NOTE: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.