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Journey to the Antarctic Circle (Ocean Endeavour)


Set sail for an adventure like no other. Spend 14 days following in the wake of Captain Cook as you cross the Antarctic Circle, home to the midnight sun and towering icebergs. On board the well-appointed Ocean Endeavour, leave Ushuaia and civilisation behind and journey towards the hauntingly beautiful icy wilderness of the Antarctic Continent. Experience the thrill of witnessing seals lie on ice floes, whales breaching the frigid waters and penguins patrolling the rocky shoreline in vast numbers. Enjoy jaw-dropping views witnessed by seldom few as you explore ice-filled bays by Zodiac, landing on Antarctica itself for onshore excursions.

14 days, from

$9,990

per person

GROUP SIZE

200 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: GQMCN
Style: Comfort
Theme: Polar

Details

Countries Visited:  Antarctica Argentina
Accommodation: Comfortable Hotel (1 night), Expedition Cruise Ship (12 nights)
Transportation: Expedition cruise ship , zodiac
Included Meals:

  • 13 breakfasts
  • 11 lunches
  • 12 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 200

  • Take advantage of extra days at the Antarctic Peninsula on this extended expedition. That means more places, more landings and more time to see Antarctica’s incredible wildlife and landscapes.

  • Enjoy daily Zodiac excursions to iconic landing sites, abundant with birdlife and busy penguins, and witness icebergs in a thousand different shades of blue.

  • Experience almost endless daylight in high summer once you are inside the Antarctic Circle.

  • Push further south than most Antarctic expeditions venture, exploring the remoteness of this less-visited part of the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • Customise your trip with a wide range of optional activities on top of regular Zodiac excursions. Explore the water by kayak, sign up for a photography masterclass, rejuvenate with onboard yoga and massages, take a refreshing polar plunge or camp overnight like a true polar explorer.

  • While most polar expeditions of this kind have a crew-to-passenger ratio of ten, fifteen or twenty to one, Intrepid expeditions on the Ocean Endeavour have an expedition crew member for every eight passengers for a greater personal touch.

  • Our experienced leaders have made hundreds of polar voyages between them. They’re experts in marine biology, glaciology and Antarctic history, and they’ll share their knowledge throughout the journey during a comprehensive lecture program.

  • Rest assured that footprints are all you’ll leave behind. Your Antarctica expedition is carbon offset, and we serve only sustainably sourced seafood, avoid single-use plastics and use biodegradable and phosphate-free cleaning products.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Welcome to Ushuaia, the gateway to Antarctica, located at the southern tip of Argentina. These parts are known as Tierra del Fuego, and often called ‘the end of the world’, but this is just the beginning of your Antarctic adventure. You’ll meet your fellow travellers at the hotel this afternoon, where a welcome briefing will take place. If you arrive early, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself. Those with a day or two in hand may want to head to Tierra del Fuego National Park on a full day’s adventure, or if you've only got a few hours to kill then why not take a stroll around town and visit the waterfront overlooking the Beagle Channel, or perhaps get a taste of Argentina’s famous cuisine at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Embarkation in Ushuaia

Enjoy some free time to explore Ushuaia and the surrounding area before boarding the Ocean Endeavour this afternoon. Once settled, you’ll cast off and make your way through the Beagle Channel towards the infamous Drake Passage. Named after Charles Darwin’s historic ship The Beagle, the deep open water of the channel presents many great photo opportunities. Be sure to wave goodbye to South America if you're not too busy snapping away at the incredible landscapes – your next land sighting will be the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands.

Day 3-4: At Sea, Drake Passage

The Drake Passage is one of the most famous bodies of water on the planet. It can be a little rough, but if weather conditions are good, you can head out on the outer decks for a chance to spot ocean dwellers like whales and dolphins, or perhaps seabirds including the spectacular wandering albatross, prions and petrels. Over the next two days, you'll get to know your expedition team experts as our comprehensive lecture program gets underway. Our polar experts will share their knowledge of the Antarctic region so you can gain a great understanding of its wildlife, history and geology and help prepare you for the adventure that lies ahead. Your expedition team are experts on the marine life that inhabit these parts and will help scout for sightings as you join them on the Ocean Endeavour's bridge and spacious outer decks. With favourable conditions, you are scheduled to arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula late on the evening of day four.

Day 5-8: South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

It’s time to take your first steps on Antarctica, courtesy of a Zodiac cruise through the icy waters. There are several potential landing sites including Neko Harbour, Petermann Island and Port Lockroy, and while weather dictates which specific site you'll land at, each of them presents an opportunity to get up close with some truly incredible wildlife, watch penguins waddle and seals slide as icebergs and glaciers crackle and crumble.

If you have any questions, look to your expedition team to inspire and educate you about this fascinating part of the world. A range of adventure options are available if you’re feeling active, including snowshoeing, kayaking, day paddling and overnight ice camping. You'll also have an opportunity to take a polar plunge off the Ocean Endeavour. There’s nothing quite like a quick dip in the Antarctic’s icy depths to wake you up!

Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs, and ice strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife – from extensive colonies of chinstrap, gentoo and Adelie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur and elephant seals and a plethora of fascinating birds. When you are on board the Ocean Endeavour, the expedition team will keep the education going with a range of wildlife and history presentations and documentary screenings, or you can make the most of the onboard wellness facilities including a spa, saltwater pool, sauna and gym, or perhaps join a yoga class with the incredible backdrop of Antarctica!

An average day on board begins with a wake-up call from your Expedition leader around 7am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow expeditioners for breakfast in the Polaris restaurant. You will usually have two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a delicious lunch served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.

Day 9-10: The Antarctic Circle

Venturing to the ends of the earth is a moment to revel in, as not all expeditions venture this far south. Weather conditions permitting, celebrations will be in order after reaching latitude 66°33’S and crossing the fabled Antarctic Circle. Toast to the sheer rawness of the surroundings and take it all in – while not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle leaves a lasting memory. Travel past colossal, often beautifully sculpted icebergs, to a point on earth only a few intrepid travellers have sailed. Home to Weddell seals that are specially adapted to this icy environment, they use their canines and incisors to rasp open new ice and maintain holes in the ice through which to breathe. They also have extremely accurate powers of navigation, enabling them to seek out breathing holes when their teeth are worn down and they are no longer able to maintain or create breathing holes in the ice.

Day 11: South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

You’ll be more familiar with the Antarctic waters as the Ocean Endeavour begins heading north. Test your newfound knowledge of penguin species, and finetune your wildlife spotting skills as you differentiate between fur, leopard and Weddell seals. Zodiac excursions will continue, and your expedition guides will be on hand on the journey north to Ushuaia to ensure you make the most of the peninsula’s wildlife opportunities and capture the perfect photographs.

Day 12-13: At Sea, Drake Passage

The journey’s final leg offers an opportunity to reflect on the spectacular scenery and prolific wildlife encountered throughout the voyage. Spend some time with your fellow passengers, who you’ve no doubt bonded with, and enjoy a final celebration together to toast the end of this Antarctic adventure.

Day 14: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

Disembark in Ushuaia after enjoying your final breakfast on the Ocean Endeavour. You have an included transfer to Ushuaia airport if you're flying home today, otherwise enjoy some extra time exploring Tierra del Fuego and its rugged surroundings.