Our Antarctic Peninsula expedition offers the essential experiences of one of the wildest and most spectacular places on Earth. Setting sail from the city of Ushuaia – the southernmost city in the world, we cross the Drake Passage on our way to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. The scenery is stunning with snow-capped mountain ranges, glaciers, ice-filled channels and beautifully-carved icebergs at every turn. Add to that an abundance of seals, whales, seabirds and vast penguin colonies, and you have the makings of a journey of a lifetime!
Despite its small size, the city of Ushuaia is the world’s southernmost city, the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the main starting point for voyages to Antarctica.
Explore the city and admire the views of the Beagle Channel and the Andes Mountains surrounding Ushuaia. Highlights of Ushuaia include the award-winning Museo Marítimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia, (Maritime & Prison of Ushuaia Museum), located in Ushuaia’s former prison in buildings dating back to 1906, and nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park that can be reached by the “End of the World Train”. Stroll along the main street of Avenida San Martin with its many cafes, shops and restaurants, explore the Argentinean leather markets and maybe taste a succulent lamb dish for which Patagonia is famous.
Embarkation on the Sea Spirit begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. You will be greeted by our Expedition Team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the Captain's welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on our early evening sail down the Beagle Channel past magellanic penguin, rock cormorant and sea lion colonies.
The Drake Passage spans 965 kms (600 miles) from the top of South America to the South Shetland Islands. The Sea Spirit’s stabilizer fins will help to make the crossing comfortable.
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as we sail south are the albatrosses, prions, and petrels that frequently follow the ship. Our Expedition Team will be out on deck looking for the whales and dolphins that may also be seen in the area. Our team of Antarctic experts will begin the presentations with informative and entertaining talks on the wildlife, history, and geology of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, preparing us for what lies ahead. Helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety will also be held in the comfortable lounge. At the Antarctic Convergence, watch for sea mammals, albatrosses and petrels in the krill-rich waters. If the Drake has behaved, we will approach the sub-Antarctic South Shetlands during the afternoon of Day 4.
The Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands provide exceptional opportunities to discover the unique wildlife and awesome landscapes of the region. Depending on weather and ice conditions, the captain and expedition team will direct the Sea Spirit to a variety of secluded bays and harbours to optimize Zodiac landings and wildlife viewing. While we have a plan, flexibility is the key to successful expedition cruising. With the help of our expedition team, look for the four penguin, six seal and several whale species on your Antarctic checklist. We’ll also find a time for our most adventurous travellers to take a polar plunge, perhaps in Neko Harbour or the relatively warm waters of volcanic Deception Island.
As we head south along the Antarctic Peninsula, you’ll understand why the imposing, snow-covered Lemaire Channel is called “Kodak Alley.” We’ll also try to visit a research station during the voyage, although the work schedules of the scientists may not always permit this. At the Ukrainian base of Academician Vernadskiy, you might want to sample the throat-burning gorilka, or Ukrainian pepper vodka, distilled on location. A Zodiac cruise of Paradise Bay, with its many glaciers, offers an experience like no other on the globe. Cruise alongside massive icebergs, with cracks and crevices reflecting an amazing spectrum of blue colours. Conditions permitting, we’ll set foot on the actual Antarctic Continent at Hope Bay or perhaps another site.
As the Sea Spirit heads back to Ushuaia, there are some final opportunities to ask questions of our Antarctic experts, to share photos and experiences with newfound friends, and to enjoy our festive farewell dinner. Keep a look out for your final sightings of whales, dolphins and seabirds as we cross the Drake Passage once more.
Begin your Antarctic experience by first exploring the dramatic and stunningly beautiful “End of the world”. Start in Buenos Aires, the capital of Tango and a vibrant, historical gem. Experience the wonders of El Calafate a land of stunning beauty and wonder located in the Patagonian steppe before finishing in Ushuaia and witnessing the incredible beauty of the Tierra del Fuego National Park. Find out more
Before embarking on your Antarctic voyage, why not experience the amazing wonders of two of South America’s most vibrant cities. A 9 Day Rio to Buenos Aires journey will be the perfect way to indulge in a mix of Latin American cultural experience and sights. From the awe-inspiring Christ the Redeemer, to the roaring cascades of Iguazu falls and the European avenues of Buenos Aires this is a spectacular way to experience this unique and dynamic corner of our world. Find out more
Why not start your Antarctic Journey with a visit to the “Paris of the south”? Discover the wonders of Buenos Aires on this 4-day itinerary. Explore a unique fusion of European elegance and Latin American energy as you explore the history of this magnificent city. Take part in a unique tango show or take a break from cities and visit the gaucho town of San Antonio de Areco. Find out more
1 Pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia;
Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation;
Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia;
All scheduled landings/excursions;
Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team;
All meals on board throughout the voyage;
Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily;
Welcome and Farewell cocktails;
A pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings;
Expedition jacket (yours to keep);
All port fees;
Digital Voyage Log
Visa and passport fees (if applicable);
Luggage and trip cancellation insurance;
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations;
Personal expenses such as laundry and on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service);
Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings;
Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 150,000;
Pre- or post-cruise travel expenses.
As a member of IAATO we follow guidelines appointed by the Antarctic Treaty System to go above and beyond in support of minimizing negative impacts on this pristine landscape. We also encourage clients to look to book pre-and post- accommodation with us, where local businesses will be supported. Our clients also receive restaurant recommendations which support locally owned restaurants
We carefully select all ships we work with and choose smaller sized vessels to create less impact. We use a highly regulated, licensed vessel which is well equipped to operate in the Antarctic’s delicate ecosystem. We view the voyage to the Antarctic as an expedition, not a sightseeing trip. Smaller boats such as ours can navigate narrow waterways and are far less polluting than the larger ships in Antarctic waters. By carrying less passengers, we have far less waste. The waste is carried back to the home port to allow for environmentally conscious waste management and disposal.
For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE