Classic Antarctica

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

Let Antarctica overwhelm all your senses!  Join this classic 10 - 11-day cruise departing Ushuaia, Argentina on a small ship named after the world’s southernmost city.

A former oceanographic research ship beautifully converted to accommodate 88 guests, the Ushuaia offers exceptional service and an incredibly intimate Antarctica travel experience, one of the smallest ships sailing to Antarctica.

On this itinerary, you’ll cast off across the infamous Drake Passage, keeping your eyes peeled to the wild seas for migrating whales, before visiting the wildlife-enriched South Shetland Islands. The spectacular landscapes, fascinating historical sites and stupendous Antarctic wildlife will surely compete for your attention but on such a comprehensive itinerary, you’ll have plenty of time to dedicate to each. Hop on a Zodiac to explore the Antarctic shores, visiting penguin rookeries, watch whales play, and seals laze on the ice, take a walk on the Antarctic continent and simply soak up the startling spectacle of vertiginous icebergs and endlessly white horizons.

A visit to Antarctica is a lifelong dream for some many and this Antarctica tour certainly delivers the experience of a lifetime.

Viva's Best Bits...

"The MV Ushuaia is one of the smaller vessels going to Antarctica, only 88 passengers, so great if you want to experience Antarctica with a small number of people" Tara, Team Viva

Discover South Shetland Islands, a paradise for wildlife, explore the Antarctic peninsula, visit penguin rookeries, walk on shore, watch out for whales, perhaps even take a polar plunge!

Guided hikes and walks ashore, your chance to set foot on Antarctica, for many the unique opportunity to have visited all 7 continents!

Tour Itinerary


Day 1
Ushuaia departure

Please note: this itinerary is either 10 or 11 days depending on the departure date

Embark on the USHUAIA in the afternoon and sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Day 2-3
Cross the Drake Passage

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.

Day 4-8
Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands

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. The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a level of excitement only experienced by the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, together with an incredibly diverse array of wildlife.

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 the Melchior Island group, 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.

Day 9-10
Drake Passage

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.

Day 11

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

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.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 9 or 10 nights onboard the Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 All meals
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac
  • Included Copy 20 Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • Included Copy 20 All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure material
  • Included Copy 20 Bilingual crew
  • Included Copy 20 Open bridge
  • Included Copy 20 Loan of boots for shore landings
  • Included Copy 7 Airfares, travel insurance, beverages, laundry
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)


88 passengers and 38 staff Passengers


  • Included Daily shore excursions - land on the continent of Antarctica!
  • Included Be brave and dare to take a polar plunge!
  • Included Explore the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
  • Included Discover seals, albatrosses and penguins colonies in Antarctica
  • Included Navigate beautiful waterways, perhaps the famous Lemaire Channel.
  • Included Zodiac expeditions through the icebergs & past glaciers
  • Included Interesting lectures on Antarctic history, geology and biology
Click here for dates & prices

11 days

Price from

$5,730 USD

Per person, sharing

Based on a triple share cabin

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