Spirit of Antarctica

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

Enjoy the spirit of an expedition voyage to Antarctica on an 11 or 12 day Classic Antarctica cruise. Antarctic cruises are best-enjoyed midsummer when near-midnight sun powers an explosion of life along the shore and brightens the thought of camping out, the early alpine climbing starts or extended kayaking trips. Penguin highways are busy with traffic as parents hurry to fatten chicks and waterways are alive with whales and seals. On this Antarctic expedition, we visit historic sites and step onto the most spectacular continent on Earth.

Departing from Ushuaia you cross the mighty Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands. Your vessel is designed with a special X-BOW that will cut through the swell and make a quicker passage through the waves. From there the next 5- 6 days will be spent aboard the comfortable, purpose fitted polar vessel and in the company of expert crew who will guide you through this amazing land and impart their extensive knowledge of the polar region.  Your Antarctic cruise takes you in and around the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula and you will have many chances for small journeys by Zodiac to get up close to the local inhabitants and to set foot on the icy shores. After a busy day of activities relax in the heated saltwater open air swimming pool and jacuzzis and watch the stunning polar landscapes drift by.

Viva's Best Bits...

This comfortable expedition vessel with a bow specially designed for polar waters will get you up close with the wildlife in no time!

Kayaking in the far-flung corners of the world is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul.

"Do something super unique, snorkel in Antarctica and see a different angle! This is your chance to don a dry-suit (gear provided) and take the ultimate plunge into the icy waters of Antarctica" Tara, Team Viva

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Ushuaia

Please note: this itinerary is 11 or 12 days, depending on the departure date, please ask for full details

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your downtown hotel. Remainder of day is at leisure to explore

Day 2
Ushuaia

This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. You will have some time this morning to explore Ushuaia at your leisure.

Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests.

Embark in the afternoon, after embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important mandatory briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we’ll gather on the deck to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and friendly expedition team and crew at a welcome dinner.

Day 3
Drake Passage

As we commence the Drake Passage crossing, we make the most of our time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. Our expedition team prepare you for our first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures, and start our lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica’s history, wildlife and environment.

Our wildlife experiences begin as we enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in our wake. They rise and fall skillfully, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.

Day 4
Drake Passage South Shetland Islands

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on day four, the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks, watching for our first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once we are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a long time. Weather permitting, we may attempt our first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon.

Day 5-9
Antarctic Peninsula

It’s almost impossible to describe the feeling of arriving in Antarctica. Spotting your first iceberg and taking a deep breath of some of the most fresh, crisp air on earth is an experience that will stay with you forever.

Once we arrive, the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are ours to explore, and we have a host of choices available to us. Because we are so far south, we will experience approximately 18-24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish.

Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

We generally make landings or Zodiac excursions twice a day. You’ll want to rug up before joining Zodiac cruises along spectacular ice cliffs or among grounded icebergs, keeping watch for whales, seals and porpoising penguins. Zodiacs will also transport you from the ship to land, where you can visit penguin rookeries, discover historic huts and explore some of our favourite spots along the peninsula.

While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, wandering along pebbly beaches or perhaps up snow-covered ridgelines to vantage points with mountains towering overhead and ice-speckled oceans below. If you have chosen an optional activity, you’ll have the option to do that whenever conditions allow, and of course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!

In addition to Zodiac cruises and shore excursions, we may ship cruise some of the narrow, dramatic straits separating offshore islands from the mainland, or linger in scenic bays to watch whales travelling or feeding. This is a great time to enjoy the observation lounge or make your way to the bridge for uninterrupted views of Antarctica in all its splendour. Keep an ear out for the creak and deep rumble of glaciers as they carve their way from summit to sea, and take a quiet moment to experience the wonder of this incredible white continent.

Day 10-11
Drake Passage

Today, our landings come to an end as we re-enter the Drake Passage for our return journey to Ushuaia. With lectures and film presentations to complete our Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what we have seen and experienced, and the impact this voyage has had on our attitude to life.

As we approach the tip of South America, our Captain may sail close to legendary Cape Horn, weather and time permitting.

Day 12
Ushuaia

During the early morning, we sail along the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we begin disembarking at around 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow travellers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature. A transfer to either downtown Ushuaia or to
the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Onboard accommodation on Greg Mortimer or Sylvia Earle including daily cabin service
  • Included Copy 20 One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1
Food
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Included Copy 20 Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails & house beer
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises, walks, photography & polar plunge
  • Included Copy 20 Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Included Copy 20 A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket (to keep)
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary use of Muck boots during the voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Included Copy 20 Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
  • Included Copy 20 City tour in Ushuaia on Day 2
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Gratuities, Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges
  • Included Copy 7 Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Included Copy 31 Add on kayaking, snorkelling or camping
Transportation
Greg Mortimer | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

160 (120 in polar regions) Passengers

Sylvia Earle | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

138 Passengers

Activities

  • Included Sea kayaking (available at additional cost, please ask us for details)
  • Included Snorkelling (available at additional cost, please ask us for details)
  • Included Photographer onboard to help you get the best out of your shots
  • Included Landings & walks in the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
  • Included Camping overnight in Antarctica (Additional costs apply)
  • Included Zodiac cruising through stunning landscapes
  • Included Birdwatching, whale and mammal spotting, visits to penguin colonies...
  • Included Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
  • Included Take a polar plunge...if you dare!
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

12 days

Price from

$10,800 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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