Crossing the Antarctic circle: Southern Expedition

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

Voyage to the far south, on this adventure that crosses the iconic Antarctic Circle, heading south 66°33' S and tick this rare experience off your ultimate bucket list! At the same time, you will have the opportunity to set foot on the majestic 7th continent!

This expedition includes an in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. The experienced expedition team onboard with keep you informed and entertained on Antarctic history, geology, wildlife and more! You will get to explore Antarctic terrain on foot and by zodiac, with chances to visit  active penguin colonies or perhaps a research station.  Penguins can be found in large numbers, take some time and watch them go about their work and play, look out for Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoos.  See if you can spot all four different species of seals and always have your camera ready for minke and humpback whales. There will be time for great excursions daily, and to relax and be mesmerized as stunning landscapes glide by!

You will travel comfortably onboard the Ocean Explorer or the Ultramarine. If you are keen for a flight over Antarctica, make sure you ask for a departure date on the Ultramarine, or also experience kayaking, paddle excursions, or camping! 

*Please note Ultramarine itineraries depart from Buenos Aires, please ask us for the full itinerary

Viva's Best Bits...

Be one of the few travellers to venture across the Antarctic circle 66°33' S

"Do something different! Take a polar plunge, camp or kayak in Antarctica, or even ask for the Ultramarine departures and take a flight over Antarctica! Tara, Team Viva

This cruise spends plenty of time in Antarctica allowing time to explore the region and get up close with the wildlife.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

Day 2
Embarkation in Ushuaia

As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Eventually the channel opens up to the Southern Ocean, and onwards to Antarctica.

Day 3-4
Crossing the Drake Passage

The Drake Passage waters are known to be unpredictable. We are always hopeful for a smooth sailing, but it may get bumpy! Enjoy lectures on-board about what lies ahead & learn what life is like in Antarctica.

Day 5-7
South Shetland Islands & Antarctica

The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every visit to Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience.

Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal.

Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are exploring the Antarctic terrain, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with five different species of seals. Zodiac cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic minke and humpback whales. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs and glaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment, while sea kayaking, paddle excursions, or camping are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).

Day 8-9
Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line at 66°33´ S, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem..

Day 10-11
Northbound Along the Peninsula

By now, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur and Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and ‘pancake ice’ will become part of your vocabulary, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue looking out for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

Day 12-13
Crossing the Drake Passage

As you recross the Drake, Antarctica fades away, leaving you with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the crossing fly by, regardless of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up its series of presentations as well, with a slideshow of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve witnessed over the course of your voyage. Be sure to take some time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced so far.

Day 14

Today your journey comes to an end as you arrive in to Ushuaia in the morning and say farewell to all those you have met.

**please note departures on the Ultramarine are ex Buenos Aires, please ask us for full details

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Cabin onboard: Ocean Adventurer, Ocean Diamond or Ultramarine
  • Included Copy 31 Upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Activities / sightseeing as mentioned, zodiacs and shore landings
  • Included Copy 20 Rubber boots for shore landings (to borrow)
  • Included Copy 20 Parka for your warmth & comfort (to keep)
  • Included Copy 20 A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Included Copy 20 Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Included Copy 20 Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
  • Included Copy 20 On-board lectures and educational presentations from polar specialists
  • Included Copy 7 Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance — strongly recommended
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Gratuities, Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges
  • Included Copy 31 Kayaking, paddling, camping, stand up paddle boarding (additional charge)
  • Included Copy 31 Flight in a twin engine helicopter (additional activity on Ultramarine)


199 Passengers

Ocean Explorer

138 Passengers


  • Included Zodiac cruising through stunning landscapes
  • Included Landing in Antarctica - penguin colonies, research station...
  • Included Look out for whales, leopard seals and more
  • Included Lectures on all things Antarctica history, geology and wildlife
  • Included Cross the Antarctic circle
  • Included Onboard photographer to help you get amazing wildlife photos!
  • Included Optional activities: kayak, camp, stand up paddle board or flight see Antarctica!
  • Included Do something crazy - take a polar plunge!
Click here for dates & prices

14 days

Price from

$17,995 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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