Expedition Cruise to Antarctica - 12 Day Adventure
12 days with Alexander+Roberts Rating:
Day 1 Welcome to Ushuaia
On arrival, you’ll be escorted to the 5-star Arakur Resort & Spa.
Day 2 Into Tierra del Fuego and on to Our Ship
This morning’s guided tour explores the pristine forests, waterways and mountains of spectacular Tierra del Fuego National Park. Traveling all the way to Lapataia Bay, you’ll have a chance to observe indigenous species as you learn about the region’s unique geology, flora and fauna. Return to port and board the mv Ushuaia. Settle in to your cabin, meet your expedition staff of leaders, guides and lecturers, and get acquainted with our intimate Polar vessel as you set sail along the Beagle Channel. (B+D)
Day 3 Crossing the Drake Passage
Named for the renowned explorer Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence - where Polar waters sink beneath warmer currents. This creates an upwelling of nutrients that sustains a remarkable diversity of marine life. As we sail across this passage, our naturalists will be on deck to identify the many seabirds following in our wake. Shipboard lectures and briefings will also enrich your days at sea. (B+L+D)
Day 4 Another Day at Sea
Another fascinating day unfolds at sea as we continue our voyage southward! Enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow guests and the extensive knowledge of our friendly Expedition Team. With our ship’s unique open bridge policy, you can even join the Ushuaia’s officers to learn about navigation – and to watch for Minke, orca and humpback whales. Sightings of icebergs and snow-capped peaks indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands. With good sea conditions, you’ll go ashore later today for your first landing! (B+L+D)
Day 5 The South Shetland Islands + Antarctic Peninsula
The South Shetlands are a haven for wildlife, home to vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and large colonies of Southern Elephant seals. Along the Antarctic Peninsula, you’ll have time to explore a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways. Apart from penguins and seabirds, you are also likely to see Weddell, crab-eater and leopard seals as well as Minke, orca and humpback whales at close range.
Over the next 5 days, we plan to make at least two landings per day. However, our exact itinerary will be determined by local conditions on both sea and land. Among the destinations we hope to explore are:
Deception Island, South Shetland Islands
Long ago, a tremendous volcanic eruption caused the islands peak to explode and seawater flooded into the resulting caldera, creating the unique landmass we may visit today. With the right conditions, our Captain will be able to pilot the MV Ushuaia through a narrow gateway in the icy cliffs of the island and take our ship into the caldera itself!
Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands
This crescent-shaped island offers excellent hiking opportunities and some truly glorious scenery. A short uphill climb over the cobbled beach brings you to a colony of breeding Chinstrap penguins.
This spectacular rust-colored promontory on the Antarctic Peninsula is home to 20,000 Adélie penguins and a smaller group of Gentoo penguins. There is also a large number of Kelp gulls, Snow petrels and Pintado petrels in the skies above.
Argentina’s Antarctic Station
Another opportunity to actually step onto the Antarctic continent would be a visit to the Argentine Antarctic Station of Esperanza. This is a year-round station along the Antarctic Sound complete with a small school, as some of the personnel come here with their families.
This small group of islets in the Palmer Archipelago is home to Chinstrap penguins, Blue-eyed shags and Kelp gulls. An ascent to the island’s summit is rewarded with spectacular views of the Gerlache Strait and steep ice-covered mountains.
This gateway for a route to the Peninsula Plateau is distinguished by a steep snow slope that rises from the rocky shore toward the Plateau. There are large glacial tongues, high ice cliffs and a bay that is often iceberg-filled.
Day 6 Our Exploration Continues
Today, as conditions permit, we’ll continue to explore landing sites in the South Shetlands and along the Antarctic Peninsula. In addition to the sites noted above for Day 5, our exploration over these memorable days will include some of the most beautiful waterways of the Southern Hemisphere: The Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel – a narrow passage between towering rock faces and spectacular conditions. Again, we hope to make at least two landings per day – always joined of course by our expert naturalists. (B+L+D)
Day 7 More of the South Shetlands + Antarctica
Our navigation through remote Polar regions continues for another unforgettable day. Another site that we might explore on our cruise is Paradise Bay, one of the most aptly named places on Earth! If sea conditions cooperate during our time in these waters, we might negotiate the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound to visit Paulet Island – home to a bustling Adélie penguin colony of 100,000 pairs! The Nordenskjöld Expedition built a stone hut here in 1903; today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins! (B+L+D)
Day 8 Another Day of Polar Discoveries
As conditions permit, we’ll continue our exploration of the sites noted above in Days 5 through 7. Another one of the stops we hope to make over these 5 days is Petermann Island – where we’ll discover the southern-most colony of Gentoo penguins. As always, whether you’re onboard or ashore, our Expedition Team is on hand to answer questions and enrich your understanding of these pristine seas and lands. And don’t forget… Our unique open bridge policy offers a great way to learn more about Polar navigation from our experienced officers and crew. (B+L+D)
Day 9 Our Final Day in these Waters
After a hearty breakfast with your fellow adventurers, you’ll enjoy another day of cruising – with thrilling shore expeditions as weather, sea and ice conditions allow. At some point during our 5-day stay here in the South Shetlands and along the Antarctic Peninsula, we hope to take you ashore on King George. This is the largest island in the South Shetlands and home to diverse species including Adélie and Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, blue-eyed cormorants, Antarctic terns and giant petrels. Here you can also see the scientific bases of different countries. (B+L+D)
Day 10 Northward across the Drake Passage
Having left the Antarctic Peninsula behind us the night before, today finds the mv Ushuaia heading northward across the Drake Passage. Join our naturalists on deck or head to the bridge with the officers. Either way, keep your senses tuned for seabirds and whales. (B+L+D)
Day 11 Cruising toward South America
Take advantage of this full day onboard to enjoy our final lectures and maybe another visit to the bridge. This evening’s congenial dinner offers a chance to share your experiences with your fellow passengers. (B+L+D)
Day 12 Disembark + Explore Ushuaia
Step off in Ushuaia for your transfer to the airport for your onward journey. (B)
All This Included
Our Antarctica cruise aboard a nimble Polar vessel will explore remote wilderness areas not visited by the larger ships… And every day, our expert naturalists are there to enrich this voyage of a lifetime.
Ushuaia: Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa
Cruising: Cabin onboard MV Ushuaia
Terms and Conditions
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* 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.