Polar Circle Quest

From Ushuaia to Ushuaia
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
View Similar Tours

Tour Description

Travel further south than most travelers ever go - voyage across the polar circle. The land where the sun never sets in the height of summer, leaving the sun to roll around in the sky above.

This 12 day Antarctica cruise is the ultimate bucket list adventure. Embarking on our trip to Antarctica from the southernmost city of South America, the MV 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. 

Viva's Best Bits...

Cross the Polar Circle in Antarctica: located at a latitude of 66°33′48.1″ S

"The MV Ushuaia is one of the smaller vessels going to Antarctica, only 90 passengers, so great if you want to experience Antarctica with a small number of people" Tara, Team Viva

Go on zodiac excursions to explore icebergs and view wildlife up close

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

The Drake Passage was named after the intrepid explorer, Sir Francis Drake who sailed these waters in 1578. It also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a natural barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. Lecturers will help you to identify a wide variety of sea birds as we sail across the passage. As our journey continues the bridge will be open for you to learn about the navigation of the ship, watch for whales and enjoy the spectacular view. A full programme of lectures will also be offered. The first sightings of snow-capped mountains and icebergs indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted by Capt. William Smith in February 1819. Weather permitting you can go ashore to encounter your first penguins and seals.

Day 4-9
Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, and endeavor to cross the Polar Circle

Here, on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula you will see myriads of icebergs in different shapes and shades as they float freely in the waters around the continent. You will have plenty of time to explore the breathtaking scenery, study the historical explorers and spot gentoo, adelie and chinstrap penguins in their colonies. Seabirds will follow you as you sail and you may be lucky to see humpback whales, minkes and orcas up close. if weather permits we will visit some of the most stunning waterways such as the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the incredibly narrow Lemaire Channel.

Possible landing sites can include: the aptly named Paradise Bay to see its glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the largest gentoo penguin colony in the Peninsula flanked by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy. Exploring further will take us south to the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, where we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first detected, the rugged Yalour Islands and south beyond the Polar Circle - Detaille Island. On our way north we intend to visit the South Shetland Islands. This volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly extraordinary, as is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to chinstrap penguins in amazing 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 MV Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 Continental and American Breakfast buffet
  • Included Copy 20 Buffet or seated served lunch
  • Included Copy 20 Afternoon tea
  • Included Copy 20 Three-course dinner
Fees & Services
  • 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 Excludes pre and post tour accommodation
  • Included Copy 7 Flights not included
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuties, we suggest US$15 per person per day.
  • Included Copy 20 Loan of boots for shore landings
M/V Ushuaia | Antarctic Cruise Ship

90 passengers and 38 staff Passengers


  • Included Daily shore excursions and zodiac exploration in Antarctica
  • Included Drake passage crossing
  • Included Endeavor to cross the Polar Circle
  • Included Zodiac expeditions through the icebergs
  • Included Discover the wide variety of Antarctic wildlife
  • Included Photograph seals, seabirds and penguins colonies
  • Included Whale watching in Antarctica
  • Included Explore the South Shetland Islands
  • Included Lectures of Antarctic history, geology and biology
  • Included Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel & Lemaire Channel (possible navigations)
Click here for dates & prices

12 days

Price from

$8,810 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

Select Date