Polar Circle Quest

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

Travel further south than most travelers ever go - voyage across the polar circle, when you embark on this adventure with on 88 guests onboard the small ship, the Ushuaia!

This 12 day Antarctica cruise is the ultimate bucket list adventure. Embarking on our trip to Antarctica from Ushuaia Argentina, the Ushuaia vessel creates a comfortable environment for crossing the Drake Passage and then on to the Antarctic Peninsula. As we cruise there is opportunity to engage in a series of lectures about the natural history of this incredible polar land, as well as learn about navigating the ship and of course, witness the stunning wildlife. On this Antarctic cruise delving ever more southward to the polar circle, glaciers, icebergs, picturesque inlets greet the avid explorer - and their camera! As well as incredible amounts of seabirds and penguins, seals and hopefully humpback whales.

Our Antarctica cruise allows guests to make landings on Antarctic soil (or snow and ice!) and get up close to the unique inhabitants as well as visit sites of historic and scientific significance. 

Join the quest for the Polar Circle!

Viva's Best Bits...

This is certainly a buck list adventure - there will be the opportunity to land on the continent of Antarctica, plus cross the Antarctic circle, located at a latitude of 66°33′48.1″ S. Very few have gone this far south!

See many different penguin species, their antics will be sure to keep you entertained. Plus there is plenty of other life in Antarctic - leopard seals, Crabeater seal, albatross, petrels, orca and other whales.

"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

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Board the Ushuaia in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture crew. After you have settled into your cabins we set sail through the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Day 2-3
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 with 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 4-9
Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, and endeavoring to cross the Polar Circle

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Fin and Sei whales in the area.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.

As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faraday, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.

On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent-shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Day 10-11
Drake Passage

We leave Antarctica and return north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for whales and seabirds and enjoy some final lectures. Take this time to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on your way back to Ushuaia.

Day 12

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

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 11 nights onboard the Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 All meals
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Loan of boots for shore landings
  • Included Copy 20 Bilingual crew
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac
  • Included Copy 20 Open bridge
  • 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 7 Airfares, travel insurance, beverages, laundry
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuties, we suggest US$15 per person per day.


88 passengers and 38 staff Passengers


  • Included Zodiac expeditions through the icebergs & past glaciers
  • Included Endeavor to cross the Polar Circle
  • Included Daily shore excursions - land on the continent of Antarctica!
  • Included Photograph seals, whales, seabirds and penguins colonies
  • Included Be brave and dare to take a polar plunge!
  • Included Explore the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
  • Included Interesting lectures on Antarctic history, geology and biology
  • Included Possible navigations of Gerlache Strait, Errera & Lemaire Channels
Click here for dates & prices

12 days

Price from

$11,420 USD

Per person, sharing

Based on a twin cabin

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