South Shetlands, Antarctica & Crossing the Circle

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

Be inspired by Antarctica, its dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife and glacial mountains on this 11 day adventure. This voyage will give you an in depth exploration of South Shetlands, Antarctica, plus time to attempt crossing the Antarctic circle at  66°33′

Cruise in comfort on ice-classed expedition vessels the Ocean Victory or the Ocean Albatros, taking you safely across the mighty Drake Passage into Antarctic waters. Explore the South Shetland Islands, a group of islands located north of the Antarctica Peninsula, teeming with penguin rookeries and birdlife. Land ashore to get a closer look and also visit Antarctic research stations. 

Heading further south, witness the pristine and magical continent of Antarctica. Here your days are spent exploring by zodiac and landings ashore. Cruise around ice bergs, be entertained by quirky penguins and inquisitive seals, always have your camera ready as we bird watch and whale watch. Your experienced expedition crew are always handy with informative presentations, as well as a dedicated expedition photographer to help you capture your best Antarctica shots. 

Take time to soak in the calming silence and alluring beauty of the Antarctic mainland during hikes and Zodiac excursions as we push further south, toward our goal – crossing the Antarctic Circle at 66°33′ south. Here, the sun is up for 24-hours a day during the austral summer. Our expedition may include visits to sites such as Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Crystal Sound and Fish Island.

Dense pack ice forbids many ordinary vessels from reaching this far south, but with a high ice-class rating, Ocean Victory (or Ocean Albatros depending on your voyage date) moves swiftly carrying us on an adventure of a lifetime!

Viva's Best Bits...

Voyage to Antarctica in comfort, on the newest sister ships Ocean Albatros and Ocean Victory with their special X-Bows, providing high stability in rough weather and allowing for a smooth cruise.

"I felt so privileged to be able to sit and safely watch Antarctica wildlife in their natural habit, penguins building their nests, seals sunbathing on the ice and whales feeding" Tara, Team Viva

Make unforgettable memories, Zodiac excursions, cross the polar circle, shore landings in Antarctica, visits to penguin colonies, perhaps some kayaking and dare to take a polar plunge!

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Embarkation in Ushuaia

Arrive and embark in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town.

Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. In the afternoon, we board our ship, Ocean Victory. *or Ocean Albatros depending on departure date

Our journey begins as we navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.

Day 2-3
At Sea Cross Drake Passage

In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins, and albatrosses. As well as the first icebergs as we approach the South Shetland chain of islands.

With the unique X-BOW design, the Ocean Victory will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage than conventional expedition vessels – and with a far less carbon emission.

Day 4-5
South Shetland Islands

Over the next two days, we will explore to the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain.

Projected landfalls could include: King George Island; Deception Island, an extinct volcano; Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.

The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather and ice conditions. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.

Day 6-8
Antarctic Peninsula

As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals.

Wildlife abounds on the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas. Explore as far south as possible towards the Antarctic Circle at c. 66 deg 33 minutes south of the Equator. Possible landfall in this wild and seldom visited area could be Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Crystal Sound and Detaille Island. We will also visit research stations if ice conditions allow us.

The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather, swell and ice. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.

Day 9-10
Depart Antarctica At Sea

Today, we depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. En-route, we will cross Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.

During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board, and it provides the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers.

Day 11
Back to Ushuaia and Disembarkation

This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia where our tour ends.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 10 nights accommodation in select cabin featuring ensuite facilities
  • Included Copy 31 Single room supplement and cabin upgrades
  • Included Copy 20 Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks
  • Included Copy 20 Free tea and coffee 24 hours daily
  • Included Copy 20 Welcome and farewell cocktails
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary
  • Included Copy 20 Expedition parka
  • Included Copy 20 Rubber boot rentals
  • Included Copy 20 Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team
  • Included Copy 20 Special Photo Workshop
  • Included Copy 20 English-speaking expedition team
  • Included Copy 20 Visual Journal link after voyage including voyage log, gallery, maps, species list and more!
  • Included Copy 20 Port and authority fees and taxes
  • Included Copy 31 Optional kayaking , snowshoeing, camping (Nov-Jan only)
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$14pp per day), personal expenses eg laundry
  • Included Copy 7 Domestic and International Airfares & Travel insurance
Ocean Victory

186 Passengers

Ocean Albatros

193 Passengers


  • Included Zodiac expeditions - witness Icebergs and glaciated mountains
  • Included Onboard activities while at sea - lectures, photo workshops and wildlife spotting
  • Included Top wildlife destination in the world with penguins, seals, whales and albatrosses
  • Included Explore the Antarctic Islands and Peninsula plus attempt to cross the polar circle!
  • Included Shore landings in Antarctica - set foot on the white continent!
  • Included Strong expedition ship that enables access to remote areas
Click here for dates & prices

11 days

Price from

$9,290 USD

Per person, twin share

Based on a triple cabin

Select Date