VIP Antarctica Cruise with Sir John Key

From Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires
  • All Antarctic Cruises
  • Antarctic Peninsula
  • Luxury Antarctica
  • Wildlife and Nature
  • Luxury
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Tour Description

Experience the magic of the wildest, most isolated continent on the planet, travelling alongside special guest, former NZ Prime Minister Rt Hon Sir John Key.

From world leaders such as Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and David Cameron, to iconic All Black legends Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, Sir John has spent time with many of the world’s most influential figures. Having played golf with Obama, chatted with Xi Jinping, stayed with the Queen at Balmoral, camped on Antarctica’s Mt Erebus, and attended the funeral of Nelson Mandela, Sir John’s experiences have given him a unique perspective on the world. 

Joining this VIP Antarctica cruise for his third trip to the great white continent, Sir John says

“Antarctica is the most remarkable place in the world, it is a desert of ice and it is a once in a lifetime experience. There are very few places I could say I'd take any opportunity to go back to but Antarctica is absolutely one of them.”

Join Sir John for this exclusive experience, venturing together to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands aboard brand-new luxury vessel, the Ocean Albatros to explore an other-worldly landscape of towering icebergs, curious penguins, and unmatched serenity that simply cannot be exaggerated.

Departing from Ushuaia in Argentina, we cross the mighty Drake Passage en-route for the South Shetland Islands, making Zodiac landings at penguin rookeries, research stations and fascinating lookouts along the way. Weather permitting, our projected landfalls include: King George Island; Deception Island, an active volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.

Continuing southward, deep into the inlets of Antarctica, we pass the famous Gerlache Strait, where 3000-ft ice cliffs rise straight out of the still water. Zodiac cruising and shore landings enable all expedition guests to set foot several times on the Antarctic continent, as well as the many surrounding sub-Antarctic islands.

A range of optional activities are available to explore Antarctica in new and different ways, such as kayaking, a photography program, camping, snowshoeing and the unforgettable ‘polar plunge’ for the thrill seekers!

For the full itinerary, pricing, ship and cabin details and more, view our online brochure:

Viva VIP Antarctica Brochure (NZD pricing)  /  Viva VIP Antarctica Brochure (USD pricing)

*Please note, availability is limited on this one-off charter trip, so get in touch today to reserve your place onboard! 

SPECIAL OFFER: Free return international flights (Auckland to Buenos Aires). Offer valid for bookings until 30 September or until sold out. See full offer T&Cs here

Video Highlights

Viva's Best Bits...

Early in the Antarctic summer is a great time to travel, with penguin chicks hatching and seal pups playing, amazing sunsets and pristine snowy landscapes.

Travel with Rt Hon Sir John Key, who has rubbed shoulders with many of the world's most influential figures, giving him unique insights and anecdotes to share with fellow travellers.

Experience the magic of the wildest, most isolated continent on the planet, on a brand new luxury expedition vessel.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Buenos Aires

The birthplace of the tango is, like the dance itself, captivating, seductive and bustling with energy. Atmospheric old neighbourhoods are filled with romantic restaurants and Buenos Aires' European heritage is evident in its architecture, boulevards and parks. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2
Buenos Aires

Explore Buenos Aires to discover the unique perspective of the city’s culture, history, inhabitants and secrets. In the evening we will enjoy an intimate and passionate tango show.

Day 3
Buenos Aires Ushuaia

Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city, or take a visit to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park, home to stunning glaciers, waterfalls, mountains and an impressive range of flora and fauna.

Day 4
Ushuaia Cruise Embarkation

After a morning spent exploring Ushuaia, we board our ship and navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago. The ship will be buzzing with excited explorers as we start our epic Antarctica journey

Day 5-6
On route to Antarctica

Sailing onward, we cross the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view. Weather permitting, we will catch our first sight of seals and penguins! The area is also well-known for its abundance of birds. During this time, you can enjoy the ships excellent facilities such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library and enjoy great lectures along the way, hosted by our special guests and expedition leaders, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice and wildlife.

Day 7-8
South Shetland Islands

Over the next two days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience our ancestors could only dream of. We will explore the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marvelled by the captivating landscapes we will encounter along the way. Weather permitting, our projected landfalls include: King George Island; Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar swim; and Half Moon Island with nesting Wilson's storm petrels and chinstrap penguins.

Day 9-10
Antarctic Peninsula

As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiplies by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals. Wildlife abounds along the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas and much more.

Day 11-12
At Sea

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 which will provide the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travellers equally passionate for discovering the world. You will also have time to relax, enjoy lectures and the ship’s facilities, designed to provide a comfortable, relaxing journey.

Day 13
Disembarkation in Ushuaia - Fly to Buenos Aires

This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia full of wonder and amazement of our Epic Antarctica VIP journey

This afternoon we will fly to to Buenos Aires where the tour ends in the early afternoon.

*We are able to assist with onward arrangements if required

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 2 nights’ accommodation at the Sofitel in Buenos Aires including breakfast daily
  • Included Copy 20 1 night accommodation at the Wyndham Hotel in Ushuaia including breakfast
  • Included Copy 20 10 day / 9 night Antarctica cruise onboard the Ocean Albatros
  • Included Copy 20 Full board on ship; breakfast-lunch-dinner, from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on last day
  • Included Copy 20 Coffee and tea during the voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Captain's Welcome & Farewell Cocktail Receptions (sparkling wine; non-alcoholic beverages)
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Tour escort ex Auckland, New Zealand.
  • Included Copy 20 Buenos Aires city tour, evening dinner and tango show
  • Included Copy 20 Transfers in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 20 Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
  • Included Copy 20 English speaking expedition team during voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Information briefings and lectures by expedition team in English
  • Included Copy 20 Shore landings and Zodiac cruises
  • Included Copy 20 Boots in all assorted sizes, suitable for shore landings
  • Included Copy 20 Parka to keep
  • Included Copy 20 Special VIP package in all Premium, A and B cabins.
  • Included Copy 20 Photographic trip-log shared after the voyage via an online link
  • Included Copy 20 Flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires
  • Included Copy 7 International Airfares,travel insurance, personal expenses such as laundry, gratuities
  • Included Copy 31 Kayaking, camping, snowshoeing, drinks packages (additional charges)

Ocean Albatros

175 Passengers


  • Included Buenos Aires city tour
  • Included Buenos Aires evening dinner and tango show
  • Included Wildlife viewing and shore landings
  • Included Zodiak expeditions
  • Included Explore South Shetland Islands
  • Included Explore Antarctic Peninsula
  • Included Optional kayaking
  • Included Optional snowshoeing
  • Included Optional photography workshops
  • Included Optional camping in Antarctica
  • Included Relax in the spa, pool, sauna, jacuzzi or workout in the wellness centre
  • Included Presentations by our special guests and the opportunity to mingle with them throughout the cruise.
Click here for dates & prices

13 days

Price from

$10,440 USD

Per person, sharing

Based on triple cabin

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