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. Overnight aboard the ship. (D)
Classic Antarctica Cruise Aboard the Ushuaia
Discover the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula on this Classic Antarctica cruise. The journey’s first sightings will be of icebergs and snow-capped mountains, and as you approach land, penguin rookeries and beaches ruled by seals. Possible stops include King George Island, the site of several scientific bases, Paradise Bay, Paulet Island, which offers Adelie penguin and Blue-eyed Shag colonies, and Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
Lodging and Meals: This tour includes accommodations for 10 nights (10 nights aboard the Ushuaia), and 29 meals (10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 10 dinners).
Best Time to Go: November-March.
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Frances 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, the ship’s 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 the 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. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
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 Adelie 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 it’s 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. Possible landing sites may include Paradise Bay – perhaps the most aptly named place in the world. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adelie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Shag 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 Melchior Island, 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. Overnight aboard the ship. (B,L,D)
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join the lecturers and naturalists on deck to 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. (B,L,D)
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Prices & Dates
Price per Person
|Std. Plus Triple||n/a||n/a||$5,780|
|Std. Plus Twin||n/a||$7,870||n/a|
- The above prices are for the March 1, 2018 Departure. Call for prices of other Departures.
- A limited amount of twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate.
- Suites for single occupancy may be reserved at 2 times the share rate.
- A third birth in the Suites and Superior Cabin #301 may be occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate.
- There will be no fuel surcharge if the price of a barrel or crude oil is $100 USD or lower.
December 22 and 31, 2017; January 21 and 30, 2018; and March 1, 11, and 21, 2018.
- South American Vacations’ expert pre-departure planning services and documentation.
- Accommodations on board the M/V Ushuaia.
- All meals scheduled on board.
- Zodiac expeditions conducted by English speaking guides.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges.
- Detailed post-expedition log.
Price Does Not Include
- International airfare.
- Domestic airfare.
- Argentinian reciprocity fee ($160).
- Hotel nights before/after the cruise.
- Transfers to/from the vessel.
- Meals not indicated on the itinerary.
- Gratuities to ship crew and guides.
- Bar, gifts, and personal items.
- Travel insurance.
We will be happy to quote the cost of airfare and travel insurance and to make these arrangements for you.
Group Private: All services included in this tour are operated on a group basis.
Passport/Visa: U.S., Australian, Canadian, and EU citizens require a valid passport (for the duration of your visit) and return ticket for stays of up to 90 days. Australian and Canadian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity fee of $100 and $75 respectively (subject to change without notice due to currency fluctuations or other reasons) online, and must show proof of payment prior to arrival. The reciprocity fee for U.S. citizens has been suspended until further notice. For citizens of Australia, this fee covers unlimited entries to Argentina for 10 years, while citizens of Canada are charged the fee every time they enter the country (or $150 for multiple visits within five years). The fee can be paid online at ProvinciaNet.com.ar. You will need to register in order to make the payment. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact the embassy of Argentina in their country before traveling.
Travel Insurance: In order to protect your travel investment from unforeseen circumstances that may arise before or during your trip, we strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. We offer Allianz Global Assistance’s Classic Comprehensive and other plans. The Benefits and Coverage Limits are summarized on our Travel Insurance page. Call your travel counselor if you have any questions or to purchase a plan.
To Book This Trip: Call or email us to confirm the availability of this ship for your desired dates of travel. For reservations made more than 90 days prior to departure, the required deposit is $2,100 to $4,300 per person (depending on the cabin type), plus the cost of airfare, if we arrange it for you. The balance of the trip cost is due 90 days prior to departure.