A Classic voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula and across the Polar Circle aboard M/V USHUAIA.
Our Polar Circle Quest voyage is the ultimate introduction to the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula. The most accessible part of the continent, etched with fjords and dozen little islands.
We travel south from the Argentine port of Ushuaia. The journey provides time to ponder the immensity of the Southern Ocean. Learn about the frozen continent and all its wildlife through a series of special lectures by our Antarctic experts. Zodiacs allow us to cruise among the ice and make easy landings.
Reminders of early explorers and the whaling industry are scattered amongst penguin rookeries and seal colonies.
Our small group size makes it easy to appreciate these treasures of the Antarctic Peninsula and crossing the Polar Circle.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Ushuaia (Argentina)|
18 January 2024 – 29 January 2024
|DURATION||11 nights/12 days|
|PRICES per person||Triple Standard Plus US$8,810
Twin Standard US$9,430
Standard Plus Twin US$11,420
Premier Twin US$13,620
Premier Single US$16,350
Superior Twin US$14,390
Suite Twin US$15,130
|GROUP SIZE||88 Guests|
Welcome to Ushuaia – Argentina.
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.
Crossing the Drake Passage
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, Antarpply Expeditions’ 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.
Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands and endeavour to cross the Polar Circle
Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will also 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 and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.
As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.
On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.
At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
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.
Arrival in Ushuaia
We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.
Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.
Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the ice-strengthened polar vessel USHUAIA is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.
All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.
|Length||84.73 m / 278.3 feet|
|Beam||15.41 m / 51 feet|
|One of two outside Standard Plus triple cabins on Deck E featuring a window, private facilities and three lower berths.|
|One of twelve outside Standard twin cabins on Deck E featuring a porthole, two berths (upper/lower) and semi-private facilities.|
|One of eleven outside Standard Plus twin cabins on Deck E featuring a porthole, private facilities and two lower berths.|
|One of six outside Premier twin cabins on the upper Deck G featuring a window, private facilities and two lower berths.|
|One of two outside Premier single cabins on upper Deck G featuring a porthole (view obstructed by lifeboat), private facilities and one single bed.|
|One of nine outside Superior twin cabins on the upper Deck G featuring a window private facilities and two lower berths.|
|One of four outside Suites on the upper Deck G with windows, private facilities, lounge, TV, DVD player and fridge. This portside corner suite features one double bed in the bedroom and one sofa bed in the sitting area.|
How to Book
To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your USD per person deposit.
|Deposit required per person:||30% in US$ per person|
|Balance due:||90 days prior to departure|
|If booking within 89 days of departure:||Full payment must be made.|
Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.
Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.
|More than 150 days prior to departure||US$ 1000 per person|
|Between 149 and 90 days prior to departure||Full loss of deposit per person|
|Between 89 and 76 days prior to departure||75% of tour cost per person|
|On or within 75 days prior to departure||No Refund|
If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.