Best of Antarctica: Whale Discovery

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

Discover the magical Antarctica Peninsula, including continent landings, on this 12 day expedition cruise.  March is perfect for those looking to witness an incredible abundance of whales! 

Embark on the Ocean Endeavour’s Whale watching journey to explore the frozen continent, be overwhelmed by sculptured icebergs, thunderous calving glaciers, imposing mountain ranges and ice-strewn waters! Our days will be filled with shore landings, zodiac explorations, presentations on Antarctica history, geology and wildlife, visits to penguin rookeries and more. We will always be on the lookout for seals, whales, albatross, and other marine life. Penguin species you are likely to encounter include Gentoochinstrap and Adélie.

The Ocean Endeavour offers small ship expedition cruising with the class and comfort of a four-star hotel. One expedition team member for every eight travellers, offers you one of the best staff-passenger ratios in Antarctica, and a larger fleet of zodiacs allows all passengers to be off the ship at one time. Designed for polar expedition cruising with and emphasis on sustainability and exciting activities the Ocean Endeavour offers 360 degree views from the deck, a sauna, salt water pool, spa and gym. You may elect to add extra activities including private photography workshops, yoga, or kayaking in Antarctica! Long hours of daylight allow you time simply to relax on deck and watch icebergs, volcanoes and glaciated mountains as you cruise by. 

Want to travel November - January? Check out  Best of Antarctica  Or would you like to see more?  Journey to the Antarctic Circle or Shackletons Antarctica, South Georgia & Falklands.

Viva's Best Bits...

Witness an incredible abundance of humpback whales, as these marine mammals migrate south to feed on krill. Take daily Zodiac excursions to get closer to the whales, and other wildlife.

Explore the Antarctic peninsula by Zodiac and make shore landings amongst the iconic penguin colonies, land on the continent of Antarctica, or even opt to kayak!

“During your cruise try to get up early to experience the morning atmosphere, stand outside on the open decks, quite often you may be the only one there.” Pia, Team Viva

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the gateway to Antarctica. Before you embark on this epic journey, take an included transfer from the airport to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll meet your fellow travelers and our local team in Ushuaia with a welcome meeting in the evening, followed by an optional icebreaker. arrive early, why not head downtown for some souvenir shopping or taste some classic Argentinian flavours at one of Ushuaia’s fantastic local restaurants? If you get the chance, watching the sun go down at “The End of the World” (the nickname for the Tierra del Fuego archipelago) is the perfect way to cap off your first night.

Overnight in Ushuaia , including breakfast.

Day 2
Embarkation in Ushuaia

This morning is yours to explore Ushuaia. You can always ask your leader for suggestions, but exploring this remote town on foot makes for a beautiful start to the day. Ushuaia offers enough stunning scenery for any nature buff, so make sure you’ve grabbed your camera to snap that snow-capped backdrop. In the afternoon, transfer to the port of Ushuaia where you will board the Ocean Endeavour – your home on the sea for the next 10 nights. After meeting your fellow passengers and Expedition Team and settling into your cabin, you’ll set sail through the historic Beagle Channel towards Antarctica. Soak up incredible views as you glimpse your last sight of Argentina, then head inside to join the excitement and learn more about what to expect over the coming days.

Day 3-4
At Sea, Drake Passage

Spend two days traveling across the legendary waters of the Drake Passage, named after the British seafarer Sir Francis Drake, towards the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands. If conditions allow, there will be a chance to enjoy the outer deck spaces, scouting for dolphins, whales, and a variety of seabirds that pass by – including the iconic wandering albatross, with its enormous three-meter wingspan. Our comprehensive lecture program will also get underway for you to join at your leisure, with our team of polar experts sharing fascinating insights into Antarctic history, geology, biology, and everything in between! If the weather is on your side, you should reach the Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula by early evening on day four. Make sure you’re on deck for this, as the first sighting of land always builds great anticipation on any expedition south.

Day 5-9
South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula is known for a high number of wildlife sightings, not to mention the stunning backdrop of mountains, icy landscapes, and water. The perfect combination, as you search for migrating whales. This is why you have five full days to enjoy wildlife opportunities, both from the expansive outer decks of the Ocean Endeavour and via
Zodiac cruises and shore excursions. The peak of the migration season is the best opportunity to see these majestic ocean dwellers, as all Antarctic whale species migrate long distances, feeding in the cold, nutrient-rich Southern Ocean during the southern summer. The most common species found in the region are humpback, Minke, and fin whales, as well as orcas.

An average day on board begins with a wake-up call from your Expedition Leader around 7 am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow expeditioners for breakfast in the Polaris restaurant. You will usually have two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with lunch, served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.

As whale season is in full swing, you may like to participate in one of our exciting onboard Citizen Science projects – the Happy Whale Project, where you can upload photos of whale’s tails (called flukes) online, along with details of where the images are taken. These are used to analyze and identify individual whales and track their movement across the oceans. Sightings can happen from the outer decks of the ship, on the ship’s bridge with your Captain or during a Zodiac excursion. Our open bridge policy allows you into the command centre of the Ocean Endeavour for the ultimate behind-the-scenes access and the best place to spot whales.

You will also have the daily opportunity for optional adventure activities, including kayaking or day paddle excursions through ice floes, or photography sessions and workshops led by our expert photography guides.

Please note: Potential excursions and landing sites are determined by weather and ice conditions and cannot be guaranteed in advance.

Spaces on our optional paid kayaking and photography program are limited. Additional costs apply and these must be booked in advance. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent for more information. Beginners interested in kayaking should take an introductory course prior to the voyage, including how to complete a wet exit. Regardless of your experience, we recommend you take part in some kayaking practice prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in icy conditions. Kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather.

Day 10-11
At Sea

As the Ocean Endeavour starts its return journey north to our home port of Ushuaia, now is the time to reflect on your amazing adventure. We’re scheduled to reach the relatively calm waters of the Beagle Channel by the evening of day 11. This evening, your final meal together in the Polaris restaurant is often a highlight, so make sure to live it up and enjoy the moment as you celebrate an incredible adventure with your fellow travellers and Expedition Team. Don’t forget the group selfie!

Day 12
Disembarkation in Ushuaia

Your Antarctic adventure draws to a close as you disembark the Ocean Endeavour following breakfast. Farewell your fellow guests and your Expedition Team and join a transfer to Ushuaia airport for your onward journey (included for selected flight departures today) or to the city centre of Ushuaia, where you can make your way to your hotel if you are extending your stay and want to spend some more time exploring this incredible part of the world. With much to see and do in this quaint ‘End of the World’ town, including the Museo Maritimo, Avenida San Martin or even an adventurous hike to the Martial Glacier, your adventure doesn’t have to end here. If you would like to stay additional nights in Ushuaia, please speak to your booking agent.

Please note: A transfer to the city centre after disembarkation OR a transfer to the airport for onward flights (for selected departures today only) is included. If you are extending your stay or do not meet the requirements for the included transfers then we can arrange transportation at an additional cost, please discuss this with your booking agent.

You are advised not to book a flight out of Ushuaia before midday on disembarkation day, in case of delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions.
Cruise itinerary is subject to change depending on weather conditions, ice conditions and other factors.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 1 night hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 20 10 nights accommodation aboard the Ocean Endeavor
  • Included Copy 20 All meals including snacks whilst aboard the Ocean Endeavor
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Group transfer from hotel to pier
  • Included Copy 20 Onboard lecture program from expedition staff and naturalists
  • Included Copy 20 All onshore excursions and Zodiac cruising (excluding optional activities with cost)
  • Included Copy 20 Free use of rubber boots on land
  • Included Copy 20 Use of waterproof outer shell jacket
  • Included Copy 20 Onboard yoga
  • Included Copy 20 Transfer to airport on return to port
  • Included Copy 20 All port taxes
  • Included Copy 20 Use of gym, sauna and onboard Jacuzzi
  • Included Copy 31 Optional Activities whilst on-board: kayaking, private photo workshops, Stand-up Paddleboarding
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities for the crew
  • Included Copy 7 Airfares, travel insurance & personal expenses such as beverages, laundry

Ocean Endeavour

200 Passengers


  • Included Explore the South Shetland Islands by foot and zodiac
  • Included Land on the white continent!
  • Included Witness an incredible abundance of whales
  • Included Options to kayak in Antarctica
  • Included Fantastic photography opportunities - perhaps join the private photo workshops!
  • Included Amazing wildlife, spend time visiting penguin colonies
  • Included Gentoo and chinstrap penguins, fur seals, albatross and so much more
Click here for dates & prices

12 days

Price from

$7,899 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin, triple

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