Antarctic Adventure: Hosted Expedition Cruise 2024

From Auckland to Auckland
  • Antarctic Peninsula
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Tour Description

The Antarctic Adventure, a 16 day expedition cruise to Antarctica onboard the Ocean Albatros, hosted by Tanya Gurtin from Viva Expeditions.

Departing either Auckland, New Zealand, 5th November 2024 OR Ushuaia, Argentina 8th November 2024

Looking for excitement? A true Antarctic adventure? Join this unique adventure voyage with an included kayak excursion for all guests, extended stays onshore and extra camping options. This unique voyage has NO SET ITINERARY, and we will allow the rhythms of the ice, sea and weather to lead us to adventure.

Join us onboard our purpose-built, ice-class expedition vessel to experience the majesty and wonder of Earth's last frontier up close and personal. Our vessels enable us to get closer to nature, with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft and a team of experienced expert expedition guides. This unique voyage is specially designed for those seeking adventure on Antarctica, with extra camping options, snowshoeing excursions and a kayaking excursion included for all guests. 

Departing Argentina's southernmost city of Ushuaia, we cross the mighty Drake Passage en-route to the last continent. The unique X-Bow design of our expedition vessels offers exceptional stability at sea, giving you a smoother ride across some of Earth's most challenging waters, while the vessels' speed allows us to maximise our time in Antarctica to offer a superlative exploration experience. 

Continuing southward from the South Shetland Islands, we will delve deeper into the inlets and bays of the Antarctic Peninsula, entering the famous Gerlache Strait, where glittering ice cliffs and precipitous peaks rise straight out of the frigid water. Icebergs, glaciers, mountains and rugged snowfields characterise this wildly beautiful alien landscape. Our skilled Captain and Expedition Leader will work hard to maximise opportunities to explore the White Continent. This unique thrill-seeker's voyage offers a complimentary kayak excursion to all guests, as well as extended stays on shore to allow longer snowshoeing excursions. This thrill-seekers expedition will also offer extra camping opportunities, allowing guests to test themselves like the explorers of old. Shore landings and Zodiac safaris will allow us to experience penguin colonies, historical sites and breathtaking glaciers, while our knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team will offer a selection of specially crafted lectures to inform your matchless expedition experience. 

With an extra day to explore compared to our Classic Antarctic voyages, you will have even more time to experience the White Continent. This voyage has no set itinerary - however, we always aim to visit locations which showcase the best of Antarctica; wildlife sightings and weather conditions will decide the exact sites we visit as we move with the rhythms of nature; perhaps a well known penguin colony will draw us west, and whale and seal sightings will draw us back again! Wherever the whims of Mother Nature take us, jaw-dropping scenery and landscapes are guaranteed!

Crafted to ensure our guests can experience all the thrills Antarctica offers, this voyage offers a unique experience for the brave few.

 Please note: You may join this tour in Ushuaia, Argentina (12 day cruise only), or you may prefer to join the escorted group from Auckland, New Zealand, with stopovers in Buenos Aires.

Viva's Best Bits...

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

Visit an area few humans have ever seen - the Antarctica Peninsula, and kayak in these pristine waters listening to the sounds of nature. One kayak excursion included per guest.

Voyage to Antarctica in comfort on the Ocean Albatros with her special X-Bow, providing high stability in rough weather and allowing for a smooth cruise.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Auckland Buenos Aires

Meet your Viva escort at Auckland Airport
*if you choose to join this option

Fly with LATAM airlines from Auckland, via Santiago to Buenos Aires.

Upon arrival into Buenos Aires, we will be greeted and transferred to our Buenos Aires for a 2 night stay.

Buenos Aires, Argentina’s elegant, historic and cosmopolitan capital, is known as the “Paris of the South” due to its European atmosphere with glamorous avenues lined with fashionable shops and Parisian-style restaurants and cafes. Located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, Buenos Aires has many fascinating neighbourhoods to explore including the colourful and lively La Boca, home to art galleries and tango shows; San Telmo with its restored mansions and antique stores and Recoleta, the city’s most exclusive area.

Evening at leisure to relax.

Overnight in Buenos Aires

Day 2
Buenos Aires tour with an evening Asado dining experience

Today, take a half-day tour of the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires. Specifically designed for our travelers, the tour draws from our team's own experiences and expertise. Explore the history of Plaza de Mayo Square, the site of Argentina’s most significant historical events, and learn about its surroundings and emblematic buildings. Continue to San Telmo, where you can immerse yourself in the original Tango vibes of the La Boca neighborhood, strolling along the famous Caminito Street. Enjoy the atmosphere and, if timing allows, witness a short tango demonstration. Pass by the Boca Juniors soccer stadium. Return to Recoleta and enter the Recoleta Cemetery with your guide. Wander through shadowed walkways adorned with towering marble mausoleums in various architectural styles. Discover the final resting place of Eva Peron, among other notable figures.

There will be some time at leisure before our evening Fogon Asado Experience & Wine Pairing experience.

This evening you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to Fogón to immerse yourself in their Asado Experience. From the chefs of the famous Uco Restaurant in Buenos Aires and Butterfly in Bariloche comes Fogón - a new way of living the traditional Argentine Asado, served with a twist. A closed-door dining experience awaits you that explores new ways of serving Argentine Asado classics. While seated at the bar you’ll see, feel and taste traditional and modern grill cooking techniques up close and personal as you sit with the chefs around the parrilla. Every Asado is unique but always includes the best cuts of meat available and fire roasted seasonal vegetables. The chefs have designed the tasting menu to combine new grill techniques with tried and true Argentine recipes that elevate the Asado to new heights. The wine pairing menu has also been designed to best enhance the flavours of the ingredients, while presenting you with some of the best boutique wines from Argentina.

Overnight in Buenos Aires

Day 3
Buenos Aires Ushuaia

Today we fly south - Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town.

Overnight in Ushuaia

Day 4
Tierra del Fuego Tour Embarkation in Ushuaia

This morning you will explore the only National Park on the island, Tierra del Fuego, home to a variety of wildlife including beavers, foxes and rabbits as well as some beautiful native flora.

A collection of short walks will take you to Ensenada Bay, Roca Lake and Lapataia Bay, before returning to Ushuaia by the End of the World Train.

In the afternoon, we board our vessel, waiting to welcome us in port.

After our mandatory safety drill, our expedition begins as we navigate through the calm waters of the famous Beagle Channel (named for Charles Darwin's ship). This steep-sided strait divides southern Tierra del Fuego between Chile and Argentina, and has been the jumping-off point for thousands of expeditions into the unknown. Watch out for whales and dolphins as we sail off the edge of the map into the tempestuous Drake Passage.

Overnight onboard the Ocean Albatros, in your selected cabin

Day 5-6
Crossing the Drake Passage

Sailing onward, we cross the famed Drake Passage - the body of water separating Patagonia and the Antarctic Peninsula. The Drake Passage is known for rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, nicknamed the Roaring Fifties. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest comfortably aboard our expedition vessels, which are purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and manned by a highly-qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement - and you will complete the crossing twice!

Our days in the Drake Passage will be put to good use preparing for our arrival in Antarctica - your Expedition Leader will brief you comprehensively on how to stay safe and minimise your impact on this precious wilderness, as well as briefing you thoroughly on our plans for our time spent exploring, including hints and tips for wildlife watching. Our dedicated Expedition Team will assist you to biosecure your clothing and equipment (a vital process to protect Antarctica's delicate ecology), as well as sharing tailored lectures on Antarctic exploration history, wildlife, geology, glaciology and more!

We will cross into the Antarctic Convergence on the third day of our voyage - watch the mercury plummet as we sail southwards into Antarctic waters, an abrupt cooling that marks the intersection of Antarctic waters with the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. As the sea cools, wildlife multiplies; these are some of the most biologically productive water on Earth, so expect to see petrels, albatrosses and potentially penguins, seals and whales in abundance. Weather permitting, we may be able to make landfall in the South Shetland Islands (a small but spectacular archipelago to the north of the Antarctic Peninsula) on the afternoon of our second day in the Drake Passage, marking the start of our exploration on the Last Continent.

Day 7-12
Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula

With no set itinerary in Antarctica, this voyage offers adventurous travellers the chance to experience Antarctica as it was meant to be - flowing with the wind, sea and ice, and taking the best opportunities Mother Nature provides. This voyage departs in the first half of the brief Antarctic summer, when sea ice is at its maximum - this offers us ample opportunities to explore in the icy wilderness of the last continent. Our exact route will be subject to careful planning by the Expedition Leader and Captain - however we will aim to visit a range of sites which showcase the best of this staggeringly beautiful region.

Marvel at the massive icebergs and vast glaciers on a complimentary kayak excursion in Paradise Bay. Be moved by penguins tenderly caring for their precious eggs, and fiercely defending their nests on Cuverville Island. Watch cataracts of ice tumble into clear blue ocean on a snowshoe hike over the active glaciers of Neko Harbour. Experience the Antarctica of old at historic huts such as Damoy Point, lovingly restored and open to all. Awake to the icy wind and the bray of penguins during one of this voyage's several camping options. Feel the spray of water from the blow of a humpback whale on a Zodiac safari in Wilhelmina Bay. Wonder at awe-inspiring scenery on a ship cruise through the Lemaire Channel. Watch city-sized tabular icebergs drift silently past the ship in the Antarctic Sound. Wherever we go on the Antarctic Peninsula, endemic wildlife, tantalising history and breathtaking natural beauty abound.

This time of year, expect to see penguins carefully constructing their pebble nests and fiercely defending their precious eggs from hungry skuas and Giant Petrels. The start of the Antarctic summer also sees the return of groups of humpback whales - these ocean wanderers come to Antarctica to feed on the abundant krill this time of year. With luck, we may even see the young of these gentle giants.

There is no set itinerary on this trip, which allows our staff onboard to maximize the experience for all onboard. Whilst our suggestions above are just possible routes and landings, we can be sure that this will be the ultimate adrenaline-fuelled experience on the White Continent.

Day 13-14
At Sea

We eventually depart Antarctica, and spend two days at sea on our way northwards back across the infamous Drake Passage towards the more welcoming shores of the Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. During our time at sea, a variety of activities will be arranged on board to provide our guests with the chance to reflect on their voyage. Relax with an expertly crafted cocktail in the Nordic Bar in the company of new friends, soak up the knowledge and passion of our Expedition Team during lectures in the Shackleton Lounge, or simply enjoy the flight of the albatross which accompany us northwards.

During your last evening onboard, join the Captain and Officers for the Farewell Cocktail Party, followed by a presentation of photos and video by our onboard photographer - the ideal opportunity to re-live your Antarctic adventure. Skål!

Day 15
Disembarkation in Ushuaia

On the morning of the final day of our voyage, we will arrive back at the pier of Ushuaia, Argentina. Trees, grass and a busy city may seem strange to you after the white wilderness of Antarctica! After a hearty breakfast, it is time to bid a fond farewell to the Crew and Expedition Team, and descend the gangway back to dry land with memories of the voyage of a lifetime.

From Ushuaia, fly to Buenos Aires for the night.

Day 16
Buenos Aires Auckland

Today is a free day in Buenos Aires, time to do some more exploring of this amazing city, perhaps some shopping or just a little time to rest before your onward journey.

This evening, transfer to the airport to fly home to Auckland.
(Arrival back to Auckland will be early am on 22nd November due to time zones)

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 11 nights onboard in a stateroom with private facilities
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
  • Included Copy 20 Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Included Copy 20 Free tea and coffee 24 hours daily
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary house wine, beer and soda at dinner
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary
  • Included Copy 20 Expedition parka to keep
  • Included Copy 20 Rubber boots onloan
  • Included Copy 20 English-speaking expedition team
  • Included Copy 20 Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team
  • Included Copy 20 Special Photo Workshop
  • Included Copy 20 Visual Journal link after voyage including voyage log, gallery, maps, species list and more!
  • Included Copy 20 Port taxes and fees
  • Included Copy 20 One complimentary kayak excursion per guest
  • Included Copy 7 Domestic and International Airfares & Travel insurance
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$16pp per day), personal expenses eg laundry
  • Included Copy 31 Optional snowshoeing & camping to be booked onboard

Ocean Albatros

175 Passengers


  • Included Onboard photographer to host workshops, enjoy lessons from expert guides and lecturers.
  • Included Unique wildlife destination with penguins, seals, whales and birdlife.
  • Included Be amazed by giant tabular icebergs and glaciated mountains.
  • Included Many Zodiac excursions and landings exploring Antarctica up close
  • Included Kayak in the waters of Antarctica, listening to the sounds of nature
  • Included Shore landings in Antarctica - set foot on the white continent!
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16 days

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$11,214 USD

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