South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

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

Experience the great white continent on this 10 day action-packed classic Antarctica voyage exploring the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

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.

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 burgs, 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. 

With the patented X-BOW design, the Ocean Victory and Ocean Albatros will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage, and due to the speed of the vessels, we might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland islands on Day 3 late afternoon, please ask us for more information about these new vessels.

**Please note the 31 October - 8th November departure is 8 nights, and called "Highlights of the Southern Spring", please ask us for more details**

**Please note the 3-12 January 2026 departure is a Halal certified dining cruise

Viva's Best Bits...

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

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

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive 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.

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

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. Drake Passage is known for rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, called the Roaring Fifties. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly-qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement, and you will complete the crossing twice!

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-know for its abundance of birds.

Day 4-5
South Shetland Islands

Over the next two days, we will begin the exciting Antarctic experience our ancestors only dreamed of. During these days we will explore the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled 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.
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 6-7

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 along our projected route 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.
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.
Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all our passengers and staff.

For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, our ships offer excellent public areas such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for our passengers to spend their spare time. Our ships are staffed by experts in the field who will also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice and wildlife.

Day 8-9
Depart Antartica 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 travelers equally passionate for discovering the world, enjoy the lectures by our expedition on board, visit our shop or relax at leisure on our ship’s facilities, designed to provide a comfortable, relaxing time.

Day 10
Disembarkation in Ushuaia

This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our tour, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home.
If you would like to extend your trip and explore more of Argentina or other parts of South America, we have many options on offer.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 9 nights accommodation in a stateroom featuring ensuite facilities
  • Included Copy 31 Stateroom upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner, 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 English-speaking expedition team
  • Included Copy 20 Special photo workshop
  • Included Copy 20 Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!
  • Included Copy 7 Domestic and International Airfares & Travel insurance
  • Included Copy 7 Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$14pp per day), personal expenses eg laundry
  • Included Copy 31 Optional kayaking , snowshoeing, camping (Nov-Jan only) - to be booked onboard

Ocean Victory

175 Passengers

Ocean Albatros

175 Passengers


  • Included Explore the South Shetland Islands - teeming with wildlife
  • Included Zodiac expeditions - witness Icebergs and glaciated mountains
  • Included Shore landings in Antarctica - set foot on the white continent!
  • Included Visit research stations, penguin colonies and more
  • Included Optional kayaking or snowshoeing
  • Included Fantastic wildlife - different penguin species, whales, seals
  • Included Strong expedition ship that enables access to remote areas
  • Included Onboard photographer to host workshops, and expert guides and lecturers
Tour on Special!
Click here for dates & prices
Tour on Special!
Save 15% off 2025/2026 season departures T&Cs apply Book by 31 August or while space lasts

10 days

Price from

$9,095 $7,731 USD

Per person, sharing

Based on a triple Cabin

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