Pristine Antarctica

From Ushuaia to Ushuaia
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Cruising
  • Wildlife
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Tour Description

Exploring Antarctica at the beginning of the season makes it a special time to visit Antarctica with vast swathes of sea ice, the whole peninsula is blanketed in pure white snow and is very different to the scenes later in the season. Penguins are nesting, whales are starting to find their way south and there are fewer tourists than any other time of the short Antarctic summer. It’s also a perfect time to combine an Antarctic cruise with a Patagonia adventure before the crowds arrive.

This Antarctica cruise will take place on the brand new MV Hondius which has been chartered, offering an amazing itinerary exclusive to us. The trip is escorted by our tour leader, full expedition crew and special guests to be announced who will inform and delight you with their lecture series throughout the Antarctic cruise. Sailing the Drake Passage we encounter marine and bird life the whole way as seabirds including albatross follow the ship and whales can be spotted from on deck. The first sightings of ice around the South Shetland Islands are an exciting moment. Our expedition cruise weaves among rugged islands, through fjords and into ice strewn waterways around the Antarctic Peninsula and gives guests the opportunities to make a landing on the icy continent, as well as take Zodiac adventures to encounter wildlife up close. Chances for camping, kayaking, hiking and visiting research centres both old and new round out this trip of a lifetime. 

Viva's Best Bits...

See Antarctic at its best with fresh snow

Explore land & sea by Zodiacs

Abundant wildlife including penguins, seals, whales and more

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Ushuaia

On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.
There will be an evening briefing at 7:30pm to run through details of embarkation the following day. Ushuaia is the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego, with a dramatic setting overlooking the Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains. It is a major port for Antarctic bound vessels and an interesting city to explore.
Overnight in Ushuaia

Day 2
Embarkation Day - Ushuaia

This morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia and pick up any essential supplies before boarding the ship in the mid-afternoon. Highlights of Ushuaia include the award-winning Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia, (Maritime & Prison of Ushuaia Museum), located in Ushuaia’s former prison, in buildings dating back to 1906, and nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park that can be reached by the “End of the World Train”. Stroll along the main street of Avenida San Martin with its many cafes, shops and restaurants, explore the Argentinean leather markets and maybe taste a succulent lamb dish for which Patagonia is famous.

This afternoon, you will be transferred together with your fellow expeditioners to the pier to board your vessel. On embarkation you will meet the expedition crew and be shown to your suite. In the early evening we sail down the majestic Beagle Channel past magellanic penguin, rock cormorant and sea lion colonies as we head towards Antarctica. We will enter the legendary Drake Passage just after midnight.
Overnight on board M/V Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 3-4
Path of the Polar Explorers

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling waves, maybe even a fin whale blasting up a column of sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: a variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Then, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs flash into sight – always an exciting moment for those aboard. Our lecture program will commence during this time and continue for the duration of the cruise. Be prepared to be astounded by legendary tales, find out more about the unique flora and fauna of this part of the world, and learn about the geology of the Antarctic.
Overnight on board M/V Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 5-8
Enter the Antarctic

We arrive to Antarctica. The world’s most pristine wilderness. Grey stone peaks greet us, sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above. You first pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. Sites you may visit during your time here may include: Cuverville Island – Stabbing up between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula, Cuverville houses a colony of several thousand gentoo penguins, as well as pairs of breeding brown skuas.
Danco Island – Activities here may focus on the gentoo penguins nesting on the island, in addition to the Weddell and crabeater seals that may be found nearby. Crystal Sound – If conditions permit, you may enjoy a landing in this ice-packed body of water. Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, We may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. There are great opportunities for kayaking and camping here. Paradise Bay – You may be able to walk on the Continent again at this location, or to take a Zodiac cruise in the sprawling, ice-flecked waters. Here you have a good chance of seeing humpback and minke whales.
Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren – This is a great place to spot humpback whales, and you also may embark on a Zodiac cruise. Around the ghostly wreck of Guvernøren, a whaling vessel that caught fire here in 1915. Around the Melchior Islands, amid a frozen landscape peopled with icebergs, you may encounter even more whales, leopard seals, and crabeater seals. King George Island – Heading to the South Shetland Islands, the aim is a landing at the Chinese Great Wall Station. There are also Russia, Argentine, and Uruguayan research stations in this area. Onboard your adventure you will have plenty of free time, as well as enjoy some fantastic famed Chimu Adventures hospitality!
Overnight on board M/V Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 9-10
Drake Passage

Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them. The return crossing is always a great time to relive the experiences with your fellow passengers, and check through some of the incredible photography taken by the group.
Overnight on board M/V Hondius in your chosen cabin

Day 11
Disembark Ushuaia

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, after the journey of a life time.
*** Important - Please be sure not to book flights out of Ushuaia before 12PM (Noon) on the day of disembarkation from your cruise ship.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 Quad share cabin on board MV Hondius
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available (additional costs apply)
  • Included Copy 20 1 night Pre-Cruise in Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 20 All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • Included Copy 7 Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations
  • Included Copy 7 Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 150,000
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 Free use of rubber boots.
  • Included Copy 20 All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • Included Copy 7 Flights - Please ask for assistance
  • Included Copy 7 Visa and passport fees (if applicable)
  • Included Copy 7 Travel insurance
  • Included Copy 7 Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication (telephone calls, faxes, & e-mail service
  • Included Copy 7 Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings at any time
  • Included Copy 7 Staff gratuities
  • Included Copy 7 Pre or post-cruise travel expenses
  • Included Copy 31 Kayaking (USD$650 per person) - Limited availability
  • Included Copy 31 Camping (USD$290 per person) - Limited availability
  • Included Copy 20 Snowshowing (USD$150 per person)
MV Hondius | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

176 in 83 cabins + 72 Staff & Crew Passengers


  • Included Ushuaia city tour at your leisure
  • Included Drake passage crossing
  • Included Lectures of Antarctic history, geology and biology
  • Included Zodiac expeditions through the icebergs
  • Included Discover seals, whales and penguins colonies in Antarctica
  • Included Photograph seabirds in the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Included Neumayer Channel cruise
Tour on Special!
Click here for dates & prices
20% on Quad, Twin Porthole and 25% on Junior, Grand Suite. Book by 31 Oct 2019.

11 days

Price from

$6,500 $6,500 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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