Classic Antarctica Cruise

A 10 night cruise aboard small ice-strengthened ships (54 – 148 passengers), the Classic Antarctica cruise is a fantastic introduction to Antarctica. Sail from the southern tip of South America, across the Drake Passage to the South Shetlands and Antarctic Peninsula. Each day offers completely different experiences to the next, one day you will sail past tabular icebergs, another sit among a penguin colony, the next hike to a viewpoint for amazing views across ice-strewn bays. A wonderful experience that will be hard to beat!

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival into Ushuaia, southern Argentina, you will be transferred to your hotel, where a representative will greet you. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to explore the town and Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).

Day 2: Ushuaia – Drake Passage

Morning at leisure before embarking on your expeditionary ship in the afternoon. Set sail from Ushuaia, charting a course through the Beagle Channel.

Days 3 to 5: Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands

Over the coming days as you sail south across the renowned Drake Passage, the excitement builds as draw ever closer to the white continent. Meet the expeditionary staff and take in the various lectures offered by these polar experts on subjects ranging from the wildlife and history of this incredible destination. Birds such as the Wandering Albatross and Storm Petrels will travel beside the ship, whilst whale sightings are very common, also spot the huge icebergs lost at sea. Sail across the Antarctic Convergence, an area of rich biology where the warmer waters meet the cold water of the Antarctic Ocean before arriving in the South Shetland Islands. Here you ought to see huge numbers of nesting penguins and seabirds as well elephant seals on the beach at islands such as Livingston, Elephant and King George Islands, whilst you may like to take the ‘Antarctic Plunge’ in the freezing/sometime thermal-warmed waters of volcanic Deception Island.

Days 6 to 9: Antarctic Peninsula

Itineraries are very flexible to allow the captain to make decisions based upon weather conditions and whale sightings for example. Sailing along the shores of the Antarctic Peninsula the aim of getting off the ship as much as possible; usually twice a day to explore the remote bays and islets by zodiac boat, kayak and on foot. The magnificent scenery of snow-capped mountains, huge tabular icebergs and ice-blue waters is a spectacular back drop to the fabulous wildlife experience, not forgetting the rich history of the early explorers. Planned stops may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay and the striking Lemaire Channel. You may also stop at an active scientific base as well as an historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy. You can expect to see colonies of Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins throughout your Antarctic cruise alongside many bird species such as Antarctic Terns and the cobalt Blue-eyed Shags. Marine mammals are plentiful, you are likely to see Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals as well as the predatory Leopard Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales sightings are regular through much of the season whilst Orca are also common, often hunting amongst the ice flows. There are a variety of unique activities on offer from most ships including kayaking, hiking, overnight camping, snowshoeing and some even offer snorkelling and scuba diving for the very experienced! At extra cost on the majority of departures.

Days 10 to 11: Drake Passage

Sail back across the Drake Passage followed by plentiful sea birds. Look out for whales too!

Day 12: Arrive Ushuaia

Disembark in Ushuaia. This afternoon fly onto Buenos Aires or another destination within Argentina such as Patagonia, the Lake District or the Mendoza Wine Region.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Ushuaia – Drake Passage
Days 3 to 5: Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands
Days 6 to 9: Antarctic Peninsula
Days 10 to 11: Drake Passage
Day 12: Arrive Ushuaia

Map

1- Ushuaia 2- Drake Passage 3- South Shetland Islands 4- Antarctic Peninsula 5- Drake Passage 6- Ushuaia