Antarctica Complete

From Ushuaia to Ushuaia
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • South Georgia & The Falkland Islands
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

An outstanding adventure spanning 23 days and covering: the South Shetland Island, landing in Antarctica Peninsula, cross south of the Antarctic Circle, epic South Georgia and the Falkland Islands! Add in a true polar plunge, a you have got your bucket list well sorted!  Each destination offers up spectacular scenery, and at this time of year sea and land are alive with abundant life. In the Falkland Islands the hills teem with bird life and the bays are full of marine mammals. At South Georgia the horizon is dominated by imposing mountain ranges and King penguins congregate in their hundreds of thousands. Around the Antarctic Peninsula icebergs drift along glassy waters, a silent icon in a world bustling with penguins, seals, whales and sea birds. 

Throughout your Antarctic cruise, you will explore by Zodiac cruise and on shore excursions, as well as having the option to kayak or even snorkel in the polar depths! Your Antarctica cruise ship is a purpose-built polar vessel fitted to the highest level of comfort, and our experienced crew will guide you throughout every aspect of your Antarctica cruise.

 

Viva's Best Bits...

"Do something super unique, snorkel in Antarctica and see a different angle! Or just dare to do a polar plunge - why not! And the swim is free!" Tara, Team Viva

Raise a glass as you join a small club of adventurers to cross the Antarctic Circle (conditions permitting)

Antarctica bucket list dreams! The South Shetland Island, landing in the Antarctica Peninsula, cross south of the Antarctic Circle, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your downtown hotel , evening at leisure

Day 2
Ushuaia

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. Enjoy free time after check-out, meeting back in the hotel lobby at 2.00 pm to commence a short sightseeing tour of Ushuaia.

Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests. On this brief introductory tour, you will visit “La Mision” neighbourhood, the old Government House, and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. During the excursion you will see the antique houses that belonged to the first families settled in Ushuaia. The excursion ends with a visit to the Old Prison Museum before transferring to the pier for embarkation at approximately 4.00 pm.

If you choose to not participate in the sightseeing tour, you will need to make your own way to the Prison Museum carpark by 3.45 pm to re-join the group for the transfer to the pier for embarkation.

After embarkation, you will have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we will gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego.

Day 3-4
Drake Passage crossing

As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.

Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following our vessel. On sea days, you may can enjoy the facilities on board the vessel including the gym, wellness centre or the relaxing in one of the observation lounges.

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on the afternoon of day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime. Time and weather permitting, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Day 5-10
Antarctica Peninsula & Antarctic Circle

It is almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.

Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish.

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You will want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.

While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do participate in the activity whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting! The polar plunge can take place at any time during the voyage, so listen out for the announcement from the expedition team and get ready for the most exhilarating dip of your life!

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge (open at the captain’s discretion) for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Listen out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve. Take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of the pristine paradise of the splendid white continent.

On this voyage, under favourable conditions, we plan to cross the Antarctic Circle, an imaginary line located at latitude 66°33' south. This is certainly a special highlight for many expeditioners, and the moment will be celebrated with a toast on deck (conditions permitting). You have earned some boasting privileges, joining a small group of lucky adventurers who have ventured to this part of the world. As we approach The Circle, you will notice subtle changes in the landscape and in the distribution of wildlife. The waters at this time of year are rich with krill and we hope to see plenty of whales - particularly humpbacks and minkes. We also hope to enjoy the spectacle of penguins feeding their ravenous chicks.

Day 11-12
Scotia Sea

On our way to South Georgia, we will sail cross the Scotia Sea, following the route that Shackleton and five of his men took in order to find help for the rest of their crew. On 24 April 1916, they piled into the James Caird, the most seaworthy of their lifeboats, to attempt this perilous journey to South Georgia, some 1290 kilometres (802 miles) distance. Shackleton hoped to reach South Georgia in two weeks. There he would enlist the help of the whalers to return to Elephant Island and rescue the men who had been left behind.

As excitement builds for South Georgia, catch up with fellow expeditioners in the bar, keep a close watch for marine wildlife, or perhaps hear more tales of the Shackleton story from our historian.

“Nearly always there were gales. So small was our boat and so great were the seas that often our sail flapped idly in the calm between the crests of two waves. Then we would climb the next slope and catch the full fury of the gale where the wool-like whiteness of the breaking water surged around us.”

- Ernest Shackleton

Day 13-17
South Georgia

As you near the rugged island of South Georgia, spare a thought for Captain James Cook, who arrived here in 1775 and believed it to be the northern tip of a great southern continent! In fact, it is a small island only 176 km (110 mi) long, but with a 3,000 m (9,842 ft) snow-capped mountain range, some of the world’s largest congregations of wildlife and a truly fascinating human history, South Georgia is an island of incredible riches.

On approach, jagged mountain peaks rise steeply, while seabirds are often spotted soaring around the ship. You will sail along the coast, taking in the spectacular glaciated scenery. This enchanting coastline is yours to explore!

Make sure you layer up before joining Zodiac cruises around craggy coves and along the rocky coastline in search of porpoising penguins, seal haul-outs and bird cliffs. Remember to keep an eye out for South Georgia’s kelp forests—these remarkable underwater ecosystems are quite mesmerising as their fronds sway back and forth on the water’s surface.

Zodiacs will also shuttle you shore, where you can visit some of the largest king penguin colonies on Earth, take a guided walk among fur seals and elephant seals (making sure you listen to your guides and keep your distance!) and wander along pebbled streams and grassy glacial outwash plains. We also hope to visit the remnants of South Georgia’s thriving whaling stations and pay our respects to Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose incredible voyage of survival is synonymous with this island. If you have chosen an optional activity, you will have the option to do that whenever conditions allow.

We also aim to ship-cruise through fjords with towering cliffs of ancient stone, or into deeply indented bays towards dramatic glacier fronts. This is a great time to find a comfy spot in the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge to enjoy uninterrupted views of South Georgia’s majestic coast.

Day 18-20
At Sea

As we sail towards the Falklands~Malvinas, there is plenty to keep you occupied on board. Our expedition team will continue to share their wealth of knowledge about the wildlife, history and natural world as part of the onboard lecture series. You will have ample time to enjoy observing seabirds from the stern of the ship, keeping a close watch for whales and other marine wildlife, or simply enjoying the many facilities available to you on the ship.

Day 21
Falklands~Malvinas

The Falklands~Malvinas comprises two large islands (East and West Falkland), with over 700 islands scattered off the coast. All but seven of these are uninhabited, with windswept coastlines, white sand beaches and crystal-clear water. These beautifully barren islands are true wildlife havens, sheltering an impressive diversity of birdlife, including the largest black-browed albatross colony on Earth. The cold, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the islands make this a prime location for spotting marine life.

There are many beautiful areas to explore across the Falklands~Malvinas, each offering a unique perspective on this magnificent archipelago. We plan to land in historic Stanley, the capital of the Falklands~Malvinas. This charming town has a distinctly British character, with terraced town houses, pioneer cottages and even an iconic red telephone box! Colourful buildings house cosy cafes, English pubs, souvenir shops, a post office and the fascinating Historic Dockyard Museum, with displays on the maritime history of the Falkland Islands, natural history and links to Antarctica.

Day 22
At Sea

As we sail towards Ushuaia, you may choose to spend your precious time editing photos, enjoying the onboard facilities, or attend final lectures. Celebrate the end of an unforgettable voyage with newfound friends at a special Captain’s farewell dinner.

With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of the Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced. We hope you become ambassadors for the Antarctic region, telling your family, friends and colleagues about your journey to this magical place, advocating for its conservation and preservation so that they might one day visit the region to experience what you have been lucky to see and do here.

Day 23
Ushuaia

During the early morning, we cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we will be free to disembark around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to Ushuaia airport or to your hotel is included in the voyage fare.

Note: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1
  • Included Copy 20 Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Included Copy 20 Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails & house beer
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Half day city tour in Ushuaia on Day 2 prior to embarkation (lunch not included)
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises, walks, photography & polar plunge
  • Included Copy 20 Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Included Copy 20 A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket (to keep)
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Included Copy 20 Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Gratuities, Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges
  • Included Copy 7 Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Included Copy 31 Add on kayaking or snorkelling
Transportation
Greg Mortimer | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

160 (120 in polar regions) Passengers

Sylvia Earle | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

138 Passengers

Activities

  • Included Sea Kayaking & Snorkelling (available at additional cost, please ask us for details)
  • Included Take a polar plunge...if you dare!
  • Included Attempt to voyage south of the Antarctic circle!
  • Included Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
  • Included Zodiac cruising through stunning landscapes
  • Included Birdwatching, whale and mammal spotting
  • Included Landings & walks in the Antarctic Peninsula, Falklands & South Shetlands
  • Included Huge king penguin colonies on South Georgia
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

23 days

Price from

$19,116 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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