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Pristine Antarctica

10 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Ushuaia
Kickstart your adventure at the 'end of the world'. Ushuaia, Argentina, is located down on South America's southern tip, and it's commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. Jump aboard the Hondius mid-afternoon in the little resort town after which the boat was named, located on Tierra del Fuego. The cruise begins across the gorgeous Beagle Channel, where you'll no doubt be reaching for your camera to document that mountain scenery. As you sail away the rest of the evening, sit down and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner and welcome drinks.

Days 2-3 Crossing the Drake Passage
Tackle the Drake Passage in the spirit of the early Antarctic explorers before you. You'll be taking in many a sight and sound: the cool salty breezes, rolling waves, and, if you're lucky, a fun while rearing its head through the sea spray. You'll pass over the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary which forms at the point where north-flowing cold waters meet with warmer subantarctic waters. Notice the marine life and birdlife change at this juncture, with seabirds such as albatrosses, petrels, Cape pigeons and southern fulmars making their presence known. Approaching the South Shetlands Islands, enjoy a thrilling moment as the first icebergs of the trip burst into view. The lecture program begins today and will carry on for rest of the cruise, deepening your understanding of this continent's fascinating natural and human history.

Days 4-7 Exploring Antarctica
It's time to explore Antarctica. Welcome to the world's most untouched wilderness, where snow-dusted stone peaks, towers of ice, and a myriad species of wildlife create a spectacle like no other. You'll pass the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. During the journey there is plenty of free time for you to enjoy the warm hospitality on board.

Areas we may visit include:

Cuverville Island, which sits between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. This impressive isle plays host to several thousand gentoo penguins, plus pairs of breeding brown skuas.

Danco Island, where nesting gentoo penguins make for quite a cute scene. Weddell and crabeater seals might be found nearby.

Crystal Sound, whose ice-choked waters are an exciting place to land.

Port Lockroy, on Goudier Island, across the Neumayer Channel. The former British Research Station here now serves as a museum and, interestingly, a working post office.

Jougla Point, where gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags hopefully come out to play. The kayaking and camping opportunities over here are superb.

Paradise Bay, which offers the chance to walk on the great continent again. Zodiac cruises along the bay reveal humpback and minke whales.

Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren, another terrific area for humpback whale spotting and exploring by Zodiac.

Guvernøren, a historic location where a whaling vessel caught on fire in 1915.

The Melchior Islands, which boasts beautiful icebergs. Look out for whales, leopard seals and crabeater seals here also.

King George Island (South Shetland Islands). The plan here will be to land at the Chinese Great Wall Station. There are also Russian, Argentine, and Uruguayan research stations in this area.

Days 8-9 Crossing the Drake Passage
As you sail back across the Drake Passage, take a second look at the incredible seabirds you saw on the way over. Enjoy the opportunity to look back on the adventure, sharing photos and trading experiences with your fellow adventurers.

Day 10 Ushuaia
Returning to Ushuaia, disembark and bid farewell to your shipmates.
Map
All This Included
Experience one of the most Intrepid experiences out there — an expedition to Antarctica via the famous Drake Passage. Departing from Ushuaia late January, ready the camera for the arrival of mid-summer and the full spectacle of the Antarctic season. As the ice and snow melts away, wonderful rocky beaches spring into view, and the region is primed for explorations by Zodiac. Each day on this otherworldly continent presents a new jaw-dropping scene, as whales, penguin chicks and seabirds reveal themselves in their element. In the comfort of the brand-new MV Hondius, and under the guidance of an expert leader, full expedition crew and onboard naturalists, rest assured this trip provides all the essential ingredients for an unforgettable Antarctic adventure.
  • Meals - 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Transport - Expedition cruise ship, zodiac
Highlights
  • The wildlife viewing opportunities are next-level in this extreme environment, and the abundance is astounding for such a remote and extreme environment. Scan the seas for seals; look out for minke, humpback and orca whales; spot rare birds on the Beagle Channel; and witness gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins
  • Come for the beautiful animals, stay for the eye-popping landscapes. The mountains, plains and beaches are half the fun of exploring this unique white continent, and the sight of an iceberg calving into the sea is a moment you won’t forget
  • A polar plunge in the sub-zero Antarctic waters is one invigorating experience. You’ve never a had a swim quite like this!
  • Onboard presentations from our Antarctica experts bring you up to speed on the geology and wildlife of the region, along with some remarkable tales of expeditions past
  • Your ship, the brand-new, ice-strengthened MV Hondius, is the strongest vessel operating in the Antarctic, to say nothing of the creature comforts to be enjoyed on board
Accommodations
Expedition cruise ship (9 nights)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 15
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 176
  • Although our ice-strengthened ships are large and sturdy, Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially on the Drake Passage and other open water crossings. Be sure to prepare with appropriate medication; there is also a doctor on board for any further assistance needed.
  • Lots of warm clothing, base layers, and a waterproof parka are all absolutely essential. 
  • Depending on the weather, there will be regular excursions in a Zodiac boat for exploring and wildlife-viewing. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and take care to keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are required for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, and the handrails will come in handy when the seas are rough.
  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure, and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are equally interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The onboard library and educational lectures are ideal ways for keeping entertained.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.