Classic Antarctica & South Shetland Islands 11 daysAboard: MV Ushuaia
A classic expedition cruise to the South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Sound and the Antarctic Peninsula. See spectacular ice, glacier and mountain scenery along with myriad wildlife such as whales, seals penguins and other birdlife.
Family Special - One child under the age of 16 travels FREE when sharing a triple superior or triple suite with two adults.
- Amazing wildlife including penguins, seals and a variety of whales
- Myriad birds
- Beautiful ice and snow scenery
- Historical associations
- Step foot on the white continent
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Guided Zodiac excursions and landings
- Programme of expert lectures
- Service taxes and port charges
So much to experience
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After having arrived independently to Ushuaia, the southernmost town in Argentina, you will embark your ship in the afternoon. Settle in to your cabin and meet your expedition team and lecture staff as we set sail through the scenic Beagle Channel on our way to Antarctica.
At Sea - Drake Passage
These 2 days will be filled with excitement as we make our way to Antarctica through the famous Drake Passage. As we sail we recommend spending some time on deck with your expedition leaders who will help you to identify the amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake, along with whales attracted to the nutrient rich seas below us. Your programme of informative and entertaining lectures and presentations will begin, covering everything from navigation and polar exploration to the wildlife and geology of the areas you are about to encounter.
As we cross the Antarctic Convergence we will near the South Shetland Islands and experience the first of many iceberg sightings. The snow-capped mountains of the South Shetlands will greet us as we attempt our first landing on the afternoon of day 3, where you can go ashore with your lectures and naturalists to experience your first encounters with the penguins and seals of the islands.
South Shetland Islands & the Antarctic Peninsula
We are now in the heart of Antarctica, a land where words cannot do justice to its majestic scenery and awe-inspiring majesty. In true expedition style our route here will be flexible and dependent on weather and ice conditions. Your captain and crew will decide each day on the best course to take to gain the very best views and wildlife encounters. We will spend our days exploring by Zodiac and on foot along the Peninsula, the Sound and the South Shetland Islands, racking up unforgettable experiences and memories. The abundance of wildlife we expect to encounter includes various species of penguins, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales.
Our first port of call will be the South Shetland Islands, a group of ice-tinged islands that are a haven for wildlife with vast penguin rookeries and beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals. A visit to King George Island, the largest of the islands, may reward in sightings of colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels, as well as visits to some of the scientific stations that are based here. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island, before navigating through some of the most beautiful waterways in the world as we sail along the remarkable Antarctic Peninsula.
We will have ample time to explore along the Peninsula to discover its pristine landscape of snow, ice and mountains and an enchanting array of wildlife. Sailing through the exceptionally scenic Gerlache Strait, Neumayer Channel, and Lemaire Channel, we hope to make at least two continental landings each day, exploring areas such as the aptly named Paradise Bay, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and, if ice conditions permit, Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
Other areas we may visit include the Melchior Island group, Cuverville Island, Portal Point and Livingston Island in the South Shetlands where Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals will await you. We also hope to sail through the breathtaking Neptune’s Bellow’s into the flooded caldera of Deception Island.
At Sea - Drake Passage
As we leave the wonders of Antarctica behind it’s time to make our return to Ushuaia as we sail back through the Drake Passage. Take the chance to reflect on the unforgettable experiences you will have had over the past days and join your lecturers and naturalists on deck for some final bird spotting and whale sightings.
Arrival back into the port of Ushuaia signals the end of our thrilling Antarctica cruise and after breakfast it will be time to disembark and bid a fond farewell to your crew and shipmates.
A view from Above
Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the USHUAIA has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 46 comfortable outside cabins and suites with windows or portholes.
This ice-strengthened polar vessel is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.
All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a gift shop and small infirmary.
Onboard chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.
we work hard to earn passionate reviews from our clients.
Now that I am back from my odyssey voyage, I thought I would let you know that after all that planning it really did exceed my expectations – we managed landings everywhere even on Tristan da Cuhna and had great bird sightings. The guides all knew what they were talking about too and made sure I got some great photos – still sorting them all out! Thanks for everything and see you at Birdfair!Dave Martin
I want to thank you for all you did to make my recent Falklands trip run so smoothly and comfortably. Thank you for all your help over the diet too.Dr Lorna Mairs
Just a quick note to express my sincere thanks to you and all your staff for making this an epic adventure of immense proportions. Everything went smoothly, pickups, hotels and most of all the expedition itself. Truly a mind blowing experience unlike any I have ever taken.Mr J Borg, Malta
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Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Antarctica adventure for you.
Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.