Best of Antarctica: Whale Journey

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 11 day expedition cruise. February and March 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...

Explore at peak times for humpback whale activity and venture to humpback whale hotspots like Enterprise Island, Portal Point and Wilhelmina Bay.

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
Ushuaia, Argentina

On arrival at Ushuaia Airport, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel.

The first night of your voyage is spent in the quaint town of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).
The remainder of the day is at leisure and you are free to explore, maybe making a few last-minute purchases from the many shops or artisan markets, or relaxing in a café. Avenida San Martin is the main street and there are some excellent museums to visit or you may prefer to wander the streets taking in the town’s dramatic setting, with views of the mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south.

Overnight at your hotel in Ushuaia

Day 2
Embarkation day in Ushuaia

This morning is again free for you to explore Ushuaia further, or maybe discover Tierra del Fuego National Park, the most southerly national park of South America. The park offers a range of hiking trails that lead you through the stunningly beautiful and dramatic scenery of snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, rugged coastline, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes. Look out for guanaco, Andean foxes, muskrats and the North American beaver. Birds found here include the Andean condor, Magellanic oystercatcher, kelp goose, austral parakeet and torrent duck.

Late this afternoon we transfer to the port of Ushuaia in time for embarkation on board the Ocean Endeavour. The Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers will be waiting to welcome us aboard. As we set sail, familiarise yourself with the layout of the Ocean Endeavour and its great amenities and enjoy a welcome dinner.

This evening we sail along the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel, towards the White Continent of Antarctica. As we leave the lights of Ushuaia behind, look out for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels and black-browed albatross from the deck as well as noisy sea lion colonies.

Day 3-4
Across the Drake Passage

The infamous Drake Passage, named after the famous English explorer, Sir Frances Drake, separates the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula from the southernmost tip of South America. It is often rough and turbulent, but sometimes as calm as a lake. It is unpredictable, so be prepared!

Enjoy the fabulous onboard facilities, maybe join a yoga class, attend a presentation or two given by the Expedition Team to prepare you for what lies ahead – from the geology of Antarctica to the history, wildlife and even the ice!

As we sail towards Antarctica, there is a fall in temperature as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The Antarctic Convergence is marked by an increased number of seabirds, whales and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters pushed to the surface by the colder waters of the polar region flowing north and meeting the warmer equatorial waters flowing south.

Head out on deck to look out for the mighty albatrosses that fly overhead, scan the waters for breaching whales and icebergs, or gaze out from the panoramic windows of the observation deck. Keep on the lookout for the first sighting of land – that heralds your arrival to the White Continent!

Day 5-8
Antarctica and the South Shetlands

This is when your Antarctic adventures truly begin.

The South Shetland Islands come into view – a region that has long captivated the attention of many explorers alike. The Expedition Team and Captain will scout for whales and seabirds and alert you to any new sightings.

Enjoy in-depth explanations and more lectures on the glaciology, history, and wildlife of the region as we explore them. Even more exciting will be your first land excursion.

Daily Zodiac cruises and shore excursions take you to explore local bays, channels, and landing sites with wildlife opportunities always at the forefront of your Expedition Team’s mind.

Walk on beaches dotted with penguins, visit penguin rookeries, and search for southern seal species, including the fearless penguin eater, the Leopard seal. No two days or landing are the same, with each day presenting new photo opportunities and sightings. But it won’t take long for you to spot the difference between an Adelie, Gentoo and
Chinstrap penguin.

You might hike to a penguin rookery one day and take a Zodiac cruise among towering
icebergs the next. From coming eye to eye with a Humpback whale to the sound of a calving glacier, you will wake up excited each day with a desire to explore this icy wilderness.

You also have the option to treat yourself to an overnight ice camping experience on land,
a snowshoeing excursion to explore further afield, or hit the water for a day paddle excursion giving you a more intimate Antarctic experience.

An average day onboard 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 a delicious lunch served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.

Day 9-10
Antarctica Peninsula Crossing the Drake

Your journey back across the Drake Passage provides a final opportunity to enjoy the Antarctic air.

So make sure to spend some time on the outer decks scouting for whales, watching seabirds or enjoying a presentation by your Expedition Team.

Celebrate the unforgettable experiences you have shared with your fellow passengers
exploring the remarkable world of Antarctica.

Day 11
Ushuaia, disembarkation

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 9 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 (all voyages) 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, pool and onboard Jacuzzi
  • Included Copy 31 Optional Activities whilst on-board: kayaking, private photo workshops
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)
  • Included Copy 7 Airfares, travel insurance & personal expenses such as beverages, laundry

Ocean Endeavour | Antarctic Cruise Ship

200 Passengers


  • Included Explore the South Shetland Islands by foot and zodiac
  • Included Land on the white continent!
  • Included Witness an incredible abundance of humpback 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
Click here for dates & prices

11 days

Price from

$8,199 USD

Per person, sharing

Based on a share cabin

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