Trip Code: ACANCAT
DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)
Start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish: Ushuaia, Argentina
Undertake a truly unforgettable expedition cruise to the wonders of the 'Frozen white continent'. Experience the incredible wonders of Antarctica on the MV Ushuaia, a true expedition vessel. Cross the infamous and daring Drake Passage. As the seas calm you will witness the first sightings of snow-capped peaks as you reach the South Shetland Islands. Explore, king George Island where penguins, elephant seals and giant petrels reign superior. Humpback whales and orcas dance in the water in backdrops of snow capped peaks and crystal glaciers. This experience perfectly combines incredible natural landscapes with indescribable wildlife experiences.
Embarkation on the Ushuaia is scheduled for the afternoon. Here you will meet your expedition and lecture staff as well as your fellow crew. After you have settled into your cabins you will sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
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, lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in 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.
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches
ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this
amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing.
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.
The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers.
You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as
well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:
Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the icebergstrewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.
Further exploration may take you to the Melchior Island group, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice
conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
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.
Disembarkation is scheduled for the early morning. You will disembark in Ushuaia after breakfast where you can continue to whatever journey may lay ahead.
Undertake a classic Antarctica expedition, experience the unique beauty of the Frozen White Continent.
Experience incredible wildlife encounters including close encounters with hump back whales, orcas, elephant seals, and over 5 species of penguin.
This Antarctic itinerary is perfectly combined with a land based tour in South America, allowing you to explore 2 mystifying and extraordinary continents in one incredible journey.
Begin your incredible journey in the quaint town of Ushuaia, the worlds Southernmost town, full of rich seafaring history and set in the backdrop of incredible snow-capped peaks.
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
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
Length: 84.73 m / 278.3 feet
Breadth: 15.41 m / 51 feetMax
Speed: 14 knots
Electricity: 110 V, 60 Hz Passenger
Capacity:88 passengers and 38 staff
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.
|Classic Antarctica 10 Days | MV Ushuaia from USD 4,860|
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All accommodation on board the MV Ushuaia
All meals on board
All scheduled landings and excursions
All port fees
All landing fees
Group arrival/departure transfers in Ushuaia
Detailed post-expedition log
Programs of lectures by naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
Airfares to and from embarkation and disembarkation city
Visa fees (if applicable)
Personal expenses such laundry, on board communication
Gratuities for the crews
Pre or post cruise travel expenses
Available upon request, contact us for more details.
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.