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Quest for the Antarctic Circle | MS Expedition

14 Days
From USD 9,399

Trip Code: ACTSQAC

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

SHIP: Expedition

DestinationDestination

Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctic Circle

DestinationDeparture Date

21/12/2023, 08/02/2024, 20/02/2024

TransportAccommodation

Cabin on ship.



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OVERVIEW

SAVE UP TO 10% ON SELECTED DEPARTURES IN THE 23/24 SEASON* 

Join a voyage of discovery to Antarctica - our planet's last frontier - a mysterious and virtually pristine paradise. Our ice-strengthened expedition ship is ideally suited to cruising in this icy wilderness and the expert staff will ensure that you fully appreciate the majesty of all you encounter. The end result is more like a private expedition than a traditional cruise. Sail the Drake Passage past the South Shetland Islands, explore the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula and cross below the fabled 66.5 degrees south. Experience massive rookeries of penguins shuffling across a frozen shore, pods of whales gliding through the cold waters and dramatic landscapes floating off into the distance. This trip will be like no other…… and a memory of a lifetime.

*Discounts are on selected departures and cabins. Pricing is available until 30Jan2023 and subject to change due to availability and currency fluctuation

ITINERARY

Arrival in Ushuaia

Ushuaia is the most southerly city in the world with a dramatic setting overlooking the Beagle Channel, surrounded by mountains. It is a major port for Antarctic bound vessels and an interesting city to explore. The Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia, (Maritime & the Prison of Ushuaia Museum), located in the former prison of Ushuaia in buildings dating back to 1906, is well worth a visit. Tierra del Fuego National Park, a short bus ride from Ushuaia was the first shoreline National Park to be established in Argentina. It is a rugged, mountainous park with great views of Lapataia Bay and dramatic scenery with waterfalls, mountains, glaciers and lakes including parts of Fagnano and Roca Lakes. There are many hiking trails within the park including the Coastal Path (Senda Costera) that connects Ensenada Bay to Lapataia Bay on Lago Roca and the park is home to many species of birds and animals.

You will check into your hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure.

Ushuaia - Embark on ship

Embarkation on the M/S Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Embarkation time is set for 4:00pm. The morning is free for any last minute shopping, an optional excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park or a hike up to the Marshall Glacier. The evening is spent on board the ship watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel. On the first day on-board, your expedition leader will give you an expedition overview.

Crossing the Drake Passage - Days 3 & 4

Our adventure begins with an 800km (497 mile) crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The M/S Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic. On the second day we cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer equatorial water moving in the opposite direction. This mixing pushes nutrient rich waters to the surface attracting a variety of seabirds, whales and other species. As we make the passage you have time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where you meet your guides, ship’s crew and expedition staff. We also begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region. Keep a look out for sightings of icebergs, whales and albatross following in the ship’s wake.

Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland - Day 5 & 6

Over the next four days we will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and on to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt two excursions per day while we navigate through the area but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions. The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife. Penguins gather with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and beaches, and numerous albatross and other seabirds trail in our wake. There is plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. The Peninsula also has a remarkable history, and during the voyage we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions.

Polar Circle Crossing - Days 7 & 8

With a close eye on weather conditions, we set off southward along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Passing colossal icebergs and countless colonies of penguins we push on – our aim being to cross the Antarctic Polar Circle. Few travellers have ventured this far south, but with our fully equipped ice-strengthened vessel and favourable sea conditions, we can access many remote locations that other ships cannot reach.

Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland- Days 9 to 11

We will continue our exploration of the Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands as we move north again. Keeping a close eye out for wildlife we might have the opportunity to do some whale watching or even go for a Polar plunge in the Southern waters.

Return Drake Passage Crossing - Days 12 & 13

Today we turn north to begin our journey back across the Drake Passage to our home port of Ushuaia. In between bird watching, whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by the expedition staff, our final two days are a perfect opportunity to relax and review the highlights of the past week before returning to Ushuaia.

Disembarkation in Ushuaia

And so our adventure comes to a close. We'll say our goodbyes as we disembark in Ushuaia in the morning. Upon completion of the 8:00 am disembarkation in Ushuaia, you will be transferred to either the airport or a central location where luggage can be stored.

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

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WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • This 14 day voyage takes you further south than most of the Antarctic Cruises: venturing 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 assist with your Antarctic experience. They will provide you with insights on everything Antarctic - from the history and geology, to the incredible wildlife.

Expedition

Expedition

Safe, sturdy and fast, the MS Expedition is amongst the most comfortable and spacious expedition ships in its class, with great stability and performance in rough conditions. With a focus on top of the line safety and comfort, the MS Expedition has been transformed into one of the world's leading Polar expedition cruise ships, an ideal vessel to ply Polar waters. The ship features large common areas and observation decks including a 360° Top Observation Deck that provide panoramic views of the stunning landscapes of Antarctica. Accommodating up to 134 passengers in spacious cabins, each featuring portholes or ocean-facing windows and private en-suite facilities, the MS Expedition provides space and comfort whilst still offering an intimate small-ship cruise experience. The ship also boasts a gym, sauna and barbecue facilities.

The MS Expedition continues the tradition of ground-breaking Polar expedition travel, taking travellers to the destinations that have inspired bold explorers for centuries including the great white continent of Antarctica.

Why we like it: The MS Expedition is a very comfortable, spacious and well-run expedition ship. From the moment you board this vessel the experienced Expedition Staff and friendly Crew will make you feel welcome, safe and they are always willing to share their wealth of knowledge to ensure you have an unforgettable and educational experience. The cabins are comfortable, there are ample public areas and an abundance of deck space to view the passing scenery and wildlife. It is a true pleasure to cruise on the ship. Kieron Tebbutt, Destination Specialist.

 

Ice Class: Length: 84.73 m / 278.3 feet
Breadth: 15.54 m / 51 feetMax
Draft: Cruising
Speed: 17 knots
Electricity: European Passenger
Capacity:
134

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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.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Optional Activities vary for each itinerary. Limited spaces available. Contact your Destination Specialist for pricing & availability.

Kayaking

Experience the unforgettable thrill and serenity of kayaking in Antarctica as part of a small, expertly guided paddling group.

Learn More

Camping

Fall asleep amid the snow-capped mountains as you watch the colours of the Antarctic twilight bounce off the ocean and surrounding glaciers.

Learn More

Pricing per person & date

Quest for the Antarctic Circle | MS Expedition from USD 9,399
Departing Ending Duration
21 Dec 2023 03 Jan 2024 14
08 Feb 2024 21 Feb 2024 14
20 Feb 2024 04 Mar 2024 14

Important Info

  • 1 night hotel accommodation in Ushuaia pre cruise 

    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

    Expedition jacket

    A pair of boots for use during the voyage

    Group arrival and departure transfers  

     

    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 (telephone calls, faxes, email service) 

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

    Pre or post cruise travel expenses 

     

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • No single surcharge if willing to share (Category 1, 2 and 3 cabin classes only).

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

  • Departure date and availability