We discover the Great White Continent's stunning landscapes, glacial mountains, and fantastic animals during this 12-day ultimate Antarctica voyage. This journey is special since there is NO SET ITINERARY, which transforms it into a true exploration tour.
We navigate through the Beagle Channel's quiet, gunmetal-gray seas and slope glaciers as our journey gets underway. As we take a turn to the south, our adventure really gets going, and we enter Drake Passage. The Drake Passage, a body of water that connects the chilly Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is renowned for its merry weather and powerful westerly winds, sometimes known as the "Roaring Fifties." Our expedition ship, is equipped with stabilisers, strong engines, and a patented reclining bow that guarantees stability and comfort in rough seas while using very little fuel, so you can travel with confidence even though this passage may be difficult. You will successfully negotiate the Drake Passage twice, which is considered a lifelong achievement by even the most intrepid sailors! The excitement in the Drake increases when Antarctic animals is seen. Numerous seabird species, albatrosses, and whales of different species are drawn to the nutrient-rich seas. If the weather cooperates, we get our first glimpse of seals and penguins! We will navigate the South Shetland Islands, a sparkling chain of glinting, ice-covered islands and dormant volcanoes, with wide eyes. There will probably be several Zodiac excursions and landfalls. We are always on the watch for sea lions, elephant seals, whales, a staggering number of seabirds, and penguins. Moving forwards, we take advantage of treks and Zodiac trips to take in the tranquilly and enticing beauty of the Antarctic mainland. There is no defined course of action from here; instead, our skipper and expedition leader will review ice charts and the weather.
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.
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 strong westerly winds, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, Ocean Victory/Albatros, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself! In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses. Having crossed the Drake, 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, we hope to make our first landfall on King George Island before continuing further south to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
With the unique X-BOW design, the Ocean Albatros will offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage than conventional expedition vessels – and with far less carbon emission. Due to the speed of the vessel, we might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland Islands on the afternoon of day 3, weather permitting.
There is no set itinerary on this trip, which allows our staff onboard to maximise the experience for all onboard. Whilst our suggestions below are just possible routes and landings, we can be sure that this will be the ultimate Antarctic experience. The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather, swell and ice. The route and shore landings will be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Wildlife abounds on the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas. Maybe we will explore as far south as the Antarctic Circle at c. 66 deg 33 minutes south of the Equator. Possible landfall in this wild and seldom visited area could be Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Crystal Sound and Detaille Island.
Maybe we will make our way to the Antarctic Sound, named in 1902 by the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the captain and the expedition team would then keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. We would aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed.
Because of the considerable sea ice and enormous bergs in the Weddell Sea, navigation through this remote nature is at the edge of what is possible; your captain and expedition leader understand shifting ice means that no individual part of this area can be guaranteed as accessible at any time, so they will work together to find the most magnificent opportunities. This is part of the wonder of this part of the world, and you'll be visiting an area few humans have ever seen.
Maybe as our journey draws to a close we end it by navigating to Elephant Island, home to elephant seals, maybe even along parts of the same route as Shackleton’s daring lifeboat escape (this route is only possible if conditions allow it!). While a landing is unlikely, we hope to see where the Elephant island party waited for rescue boat to reach them at Point Wild. A famous part of expedition history, that seems adequate to end our Antarctic explorations this time around.
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 team on board, visit our shop, unwind in the spa or enjoy the ship’s facilities designed to provide a comfortable relaxing time.
This morning, we arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our expedition cruise, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home.
The luxury Ocean Victory is a modern and comfortable ship, operating in the Antarctic region. The ship started sailing in 2021 and with a total of 93 well appointed staterooms, most with ocean views it provides an incredible visual experience when sailing through some of the most pristine environments in the world. The Ocean Victory is built with unique technologies and sturdy construction; the 'X-bow' provides high stability in rough weather conditions and some of the smoothest movement on high waves. Similar to other vessels in its class, the Ocean Victory was built in mind with a strong focus on sustainability, in an attempt to preserve the unique environments through which it sails. A low-energy vessel, the Victory has 4 diesel engines and 2 electro engines, all controlled electronically to optimize speed as well as minimise fuel consumption. Holding just 189 passengers this vessel proposes an intricate focus is a unique blend of comfort and sustainability.
The luxury Ocean Victory is a modern and comfortable ship, operating in the Antarctic region. The ship started sailing in 2021 and with a total of 93 well appointed staterooms, most with ocean views it provides an incredible visual experience when sailing through some of the most pristine environments in the world. The Ocean Victory is built with unique technologies and sturdy construction; the 'X-bow' provides high stability in rough weather conditions and some of the smoothest movement on high waves.
Similar to other vessels in its class, the Ocean Victory was built in mind with a strong focus on sustainability, in an attempt to preserve the unique environments through which it sails. A low-energy vessel, the Victory has 4 diesel engines and 2 electro engines, all controlled electronically to optimize speed as well as minimise fuel consumption. Holding just 189 passengers this vessel proposes an intricate focus is a unique blend of comfort and sustainability.
Length: 104m / 341ft
Breadth: 18m / 59ftMax
Speed: 16 Knots
View Ship Details
We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
|28 Nov 2024||09 Dec 2024||12||USD 9,735|
Cabin accommodation on board vessel
All meals whilst on board
Complimentary house wine, beer and soda at dinner (selected labels and brands, served at our a-la-carte dinners)
Ushuaia shuttle transfers to ship from city centre (embarkation) / from the ship to city centre or airport (disembarkation, morning)
All scheduled landings and excursions
Complimentary use of rubber boots during course of voyage
All luggage handling on board ship
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges
Group transfer Ship to local airport/luggage facility on disembarkation day
Passport and Visa fees (if applicable)
Excess baggage fees on international flights
Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landings and excursions
Laundry, bar, spa services and other personal charges, unless specified
Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew
Any additional overnight accommodation
Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
Available upon request for some cabin categories on select departures, contact us for more details.
Note: The Ultimate Antarctica Experience has two different subtitles that are designed to give us an inkling of where these "No Set Itinerary" expeditions will go.
For the trips beginning in November it is: Peninsula In Depth, as we will explore the snowy landscapes and witness the penguins mating, nest building and courtships. Unbelievable ice formations and huge ice blocks dot the scenery. The last sunsets of the season occur, which are truly majestic. The trips that begin in DEC-FEB are called: Quest for the Circle, as we intend to go more south and if possible cross the Antarctic Circle at 66°33′, enjoy longer days with sunlight and even more active penguin rookeries and explore exciting places made possible as the breaking sea ice opens up new avenues.
Prices are based on per person, twin share* (unless otherwise stated for triple/quad cabins)
Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time.
Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions
Departure date, fuel surcharges, cabin category, currency fluctuations, seasonality and availability.