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Antarctic Whale Journey

10 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

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Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia, gateway to Tierra del Fuego National Park and the departure point for many Antarctic expeditions. Transfer from the airport to your hotel and if you happen to arrive early, there are plenty of ways to keep busy at ‘the End of the World’. Take a day trip to the epic national park or, if you only have a few hours, head downtown to do some shopping or taste some classic Argentinean flavours at a local restaurant. Later this afternoon you’ll meet some the people you’ll be sharing a memorable Antarctic experience with.

Day 2 Ushuaia – Embarkation Day
This afternoon you’ll transfer to Ushuaia’s port to board the Ocean Endeavour, your home for the next 10 days. After meeting your fellow passengers and settling into your cabin, set sail through the historic Beagle Channel towards Antarctica. Soak up the incredible views as we glimpse our last sight of land, then head inside to join the excited chatter about what’s to come.

Days 3-4 Drake Passage
Spend two days travelling across the legendary waters of the Drake Passage, named after the famous English seafarer, Sir Frances Drake. If conditions allow there’ll be a chance to enjoy the outer deck space and scout for dolphins, whales and the odd albatross trailing past. A comprehensive optional lecture program will also get under way, with polar experts sharing some fascinating insights into Antarctic history, geology, biology and everything in-between. If the weather gods are on our side, we should reach the Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula by early evening on Day 4 – the first sighting of land always brings great excitement on any expedition south.

Days 5-7 Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula is known for a high number of wildlife sightings in front of stunning backdrops of mountains, ice and water, which pull together for incredible scenes as we look search for whales migrating along the coast. The peak of the migration season (February and March) is the best opportunity to see these majestic ocean dwellers, and the most common species found in the region are humpback, minke and fin whales, as well as orcas. Sightings can happen from the deck of the ship or during a Zodiac excursion, and there’ll also be an opportunity to take your first steps on Antarctica during onshore exploration.

Other wildlife encounters are likely to include Weddell, elephant, crabeater and leopard seals, as well as gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. Excursions are scheduled twice daily and tailored to suit the ship’s location. Zodiac rides allow for a closer encounter with marine life, while the onshore exploration will take you to penguin rookeries and includes optional activities like snowshoeing, kayaking and camping overnight (these must be booked prior to departure). The landing sites visited will depend on the ship's location and weather conditions.

The lecture program will continue throughout the voyage and the polar experts will be on-hand to answer any questions you may have. An average day on board will begin with a wakeup call from your expedition leader around 7 am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow passengers for breakfast in the restaurant. You will usually have two excursions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with lunch on the ship in-between excursions.

Days 8-9 Drake Passage
Leaving Antarctica behind we cruise north to our home port of Ushuaia. This is your time to reflect on the amazing journey, and we’re scheduled to reach the relatively calm waters of the Beagle Channel by the evening of Day 9. The last meal together is often a highlight, so live it up and enjoy as you celebrate the trip with your fellow travellers.

Day 10 Ushuaia
Disembark the ship after breakfast as your adventure comes to an end. Transfer to the airport is included for flights departing today.
Map
All This Included
It’s peak whale season at the Antarctic Peninsula and this 10-day adventure takes you to the heart of the action. Fill your days with wildlife encounters as you visit penguin rookeries, spot seals along the shores and witness seabirds nesting by the thousands. Have a whale of a time taking Zodiac excursions through ice-filled bays to get closer to the magnificent, migrating mammals, all under the expert guidance of our expedition crew. With comfortable living quarters, a full team of onboard polar experts and services catering for health and wellness, this is the best way (and time) to discover the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • Meals - 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Transport - Expedition cruise ship, zodiac
Highlights
  • We stop for whales. If conditions allow, we’ll launch the Zodiacs to get a closer look at minke and humpback whales, as well as orcas, during peak season.
  • Freezing is great but freedom is better. 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 some onboard yoga and a massage, take a refreshing polar plunge or camp overnight like a true polar explorer.
  • Whereas 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 8 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.
  • Travelling solo? This is your perfect Antarctic adventure, with single cabins at the same price as some twins.
Accommodations
Hotel (1 night)
Ocean Endeavour (8 nights)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 8
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 200
  • Although our ice-strengthened ships are big and sturdy, the Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially through the Drake Passage and other open water crossings, so please be prepared with medications to combat this – we’d hate for you to miss a single minute of this journey. There is also a doctor on board should you need further assistance.
  • Believe it or not, temperatures in the Antarctic can be freezing. And yet it can get surprisingly warm when the sun comes out, for instance, or with increased physical activity. It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof boots that are sturdy, warm and highly fashionable (in Antarctica, at least).
  • Depending on the weather, you’ll be zipping around in a Zodiac boat quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you dress appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Being cold and miserable is one thing, having no photos to show for it is another. Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the lift does not provide access to.
  • 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 in 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 as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The ship’s library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the wellness spa, saunas, gym and yoga classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.
  • 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.