Antarctic Express: Cruise South, Fly North

From Ushuaia to Punta Arenas
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Explore majestic Antarctica on this 10 day adventure - perfect if you have limited time.

Experience the thrill of traversing the renowned Drake Passage from Ushuaia, to the Antarctic Peninsula. In the following days explore Antarctica, you might be greeted by the majestic sight of Minke and humpback whales or adorable Adélie penguins floating gracefully on ice floes. 

Over the next days, explore via zodiac cruises and shore landings.  Gain a newfound appreciation for Antarctica's striking contrasts – from its harsh, rugged mountain peaks to its delicate and fragile ecosystems; from the stark, solitary icescapes to the lively and sociable penguin colonies. Embark on a journey of discovery through Antarctica's mesmerizing landscapes and captivating wildlife encounters.

Then, skip the Drake Passage and fly back to Ushuaia.

Viva's Best Bits...

Explore Antarctica by zodiac a fantastic way to visit remote and isolated sites that are otherwise inaccessible.

Skip the Drake Passage crossing, and fly back from Antarctica. This is a great itinerary for those sort on time.

Fantastic opportunities to see penguins, leopard seals, whales, and lots of albatross: black-browed albatross, shy albatross and grey-headed albatross

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

This quaint city at the southernmost tip of South America is your gateway to Antarctica. The city itself provides a wide range of jewelry shops, cafés, gear shops and restaurants to explore before your voyage. Outside the city, snow-capped mountains and hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park offer ample adventure activities if you enjoy exploring nature.

Day 2
Embarkation Day

You will embark in the afternoon, with a journey through the picturesque Beagle Channel. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and be out on deck, as the channel is home to a wide variety of wildlife including seabirds and seals. Rainbows are common here too, creating a great photographic opportunity to kick off the start to your Antarctic adventure.

Day 3-4
Crossing the Drake Passage

Legendary for its high winds and rolling seas, you may get lucky and have surprisingly calm seas. Spend your time in the lounge or chatting with your fellow travelers. As you develop your sea legs during the crossing, our Expedition Team will begin their series of presentations to help prepare you for your upcoming Zodiac and land excursions. You officially enter Antarctica when your ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates around 60° south.

Day 5-8
South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Icebergs are the first attractions that welcome you to Antarctica. Massive floating bergs become more common as you get closer to land and you catch your first glimpse of the Peninsula, with its grand snow-covered mountains. In addition to spotting icebergs, you’ll likely spot Adélie penguins chilling out on ice floes and minke or humpback whales feeding and swimming in the frigid waters.

As soon as possible, the Zodiacs will be readied for your first landing in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Experiencing this immense wilderness up close for the first time can be a numbing experience. The silence is great, the vastness is even greater. Thankfully the noisy locals – penguins and seals – are there to remind you that this wonderful landscape isn’t just a dream.

Your Expedition Team will monitor the ice and weather conditions to determine which landing sites can be visited. With many sites to choose from, each expedition presents new opportunities for exploring the white continent by Zodiac and land. Swimming in Antarctica is perhaps the most adventurous option to tempt you, by taking a Polar Plunge in the water at Neko Harbour!

A typical day in this wildlife wonderland will be spent listening to calving glaciers at Petermann Island, watching penguins waddle around a beach, or taking a hike atop a hill for a panoramic view of Port Lockroy. Whatever you prefer, the photographic opportunities are endless

Day 9
Disembarkation and fly to Punta Arenas

As the ship turns north, you’ll say goodbye to the penguins, as well as many of your shipmates. With only the Drake Passage ahead, you’ll disembark and enjoy a bit of time on King George Island before flying off to Punta Arenas, Chile. Once you’re in Punta Arenas, we’ll transfer you from the airport to your hotel, where you’re free to explore and enjoy a final dinner out.

Day 10

Depart for home.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • Included Copy 20 One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast.
  • Included Copy 20 Post-voyage hotel night in Punta Arenas
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
  • Included Copy 20 Free beer, standard wines, spirits, and cocktails during bar service hours and dinner
  • Included Copy 20 Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 A group arrival transfer
  • Included Copy 20 All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
  • Included Copy 20 All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Included Copy 20 Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • Included Copy 20 Photographic journal of your expedition
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary Wi-Fi service on one device permitting*
  • Included Copy 20 All service taxes and port charges
  • Included Copy 20 Emergency Evacuation Insurance
  • Included Copy 20 Waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and zodiac cruising excursions
  • Included Copy 20 Expedition parka to keep
  • Included Copy 31 Optional activities available: Kayaking, Stand-up Paddleboarding, Paddling
  • Included Copy 20 Post-voyage hotel night in Punta Arenas
  • Included Copy 20 Specialist guides and expedition leaders
  • Included Copy 7 Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Gratuities, Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges

World Explorer

125 Passengers

Ocean Explorer

138 Passengers


  • Included Visit the Antarctica Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands
  • Included Spot iconic Antarctic wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales
  • Included Fly over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest, most direct way to Antarctica
  • Included Take a polar plunge if you dare
  • Included Landing in Antarctica, zodiac cruising, wildlife viewing
  • Included Optional kayaking, paddling, stand up paddle boarding
Tour on Special!
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Tour on Special!
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10 days

Price from

$16,795 $10,580 USD

Per person, twin share

Based On Lowest Cabin

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