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Polar Circle Quest | MV Ushuaia

12 Days
From USD 8,810

Trip Code: ACTSPCR

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

SHIP: Ushuaia

DestinationDestination

Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctic Circle

DestinationDeparture Date

18/01/2023, 18/01/2024

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on ship.



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OVERVIEW

Explore the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula and endeavour to cross the Polar Circle which few have ever crossed. Aboard the M/V USHUAIA, you will discover the last pristine region of the world – the White Continent of Antarctica. Set amidst awe-inspiring scenery of imposing mountain ranges, beautifully carved icebergs, ice-filled channels and spectacular glaciers, you will be greeted by vast penguin colonies, seals, whales and an abundance of seabirds. 

ITINERARY

Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Crossing the Drake Passage Crossing - Day 2 & 3

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA´s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Antarctic Peninsula - Days 4 to 9

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs in different shades and shapes float freely in the waterways around the continent. You will have plenty of time to explore the amazing scenery and to learn about the remarkable history of the early explorers. Apart from Adélie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins in their masses, seabirds will follow you as you sail and you may also encounter humpback whales, minke whales and orcas as well as leopard, crabeater, fur and Weddell seals at close range.

Weather permitting we will visit some of the most beautiful waterways in the area such as the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include the aptly named Paradise Bay with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains; Cuverville Island, home of the largest gentoo penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post Office at Port Lockroy.

Further exploration will lead us south of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle. We might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faraday, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and Detaille Island, south of the Polar Circle. On our way north we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to chinstrap penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Crossing the Drake Passage - Day 9 to 10

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

*** Important - Please be sure not to book flights out of Ushuaia before 12PM (Noon) on the day of disembarkation from your cruise ship

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • This 12 day voyage takes you further south than most of the Antarctic cruises, past the Antarctic Circle.

  • While crossing the Drake Passage, you will have the chance to spot a wide range of wildlife such as dolphins, whales and orca, as well as seabirds like the mighty Albatross which follow the ship.

  • You will have the possibility to step foot on the great white continent to experience some of the most unique wildlife and inspiring scenery in the world.

  • Few travellers have ventured this far south, but with our fully equipped ice-strengthened vessel and hopefully favourable sea conditions, we can access many remote locations that other ships cannot reach.

  • The expedition team will be on hand to assist with your Antarctic experience, providing you with insights on everything Antarctic - from the history and geology, to the incredible wildlife.

Ushuaia

Ushuaia

The M/V Ushuaia started out in the service of the United States National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration Agency. It was then transformed into an ice-strengthened Polar vessel, having undergone a complete refurbishment. With accommodation for up to 88 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites, the ship also boasts a large dining room, observation lounge and bar, ample deck space, conference room with multi-media equipment, library, infirmary and an open bridge policy. Superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities are possible due to the fleet of Zodiacs carried on board. The team of expedition leaders and lecturers are all extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic and dedicated to the protection of the environment, whilst the captain and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation.

Why we like it

"A true expedition ship, built with research in mind! It has all the quirks of a scientific ship but rebuilt a decade ago to carry passengers. The ships unique history makes any trip on her a true ‘living’ expedition. The Ushuaia has a fabulous expedition team and ample outside deck viewing areas. Accommodation is comfortable, and she is our biggest-selling budget Antarctica vessel – and has been for many years."

Greg Carter, Co-Founder of Chimu Adventures

Ice Class: Length: 84.73 m / 278.3 feet
Breadth: 15.41 m / 51 feetMax
Draft: Cruising
Speed: 14 knots
Electricity: 110 V, 60 Hz Passenger
Capacity:
88 passengers and 38 staff

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Accommodation

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.

Standard

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Superior

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Deluxe

Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

Pricing per person & date

Polar Circle Quest | MV Ushuaia from USD 8,810
Departing Ending Duration
18 Jan 2023 29 Jan 2023 12
18 Jan 2024 29 Jan 2024 12

Important Info

  • Shipboard accommodation 

    All meals onboard

    All scheduled landings/excursions

    Guiding and lectures by expedition leader and team 

    English-speaking expedition team 

    All port fees

    All landing fees

    Detailed post-expedition log

     

    EXCLUSIONS:

    Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city

    Visa fees (if applicable)

    Travel Insurance 

    Beverages (other than coffee and tea)

    Personal expenses such as laundry, onboard communication (telephonce calls, faxes, email service) 

    Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)

    Pre or post cruise travel expenses 

    Transfers to/from the pier in Ushuaia 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions.

  • Season and availability.