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New Year in Antarctica

11 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: First Class

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Ushuaia
The countdown to New Year (and your departure) begins in Ushuaia, a small town at the bottom of Argentina. You’ll meet your fellow revellers – ah, travellers – at your hotel later today, but if you arrive early there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself at Tierra del Fuego (the ‘End of the World). The world-famous national park can be visited on a day trip or, if you’ve only a few hours to kill, take a stroll around the surprisingly busy downtown. Avenida San Martin is the main shopping strip and will have you covered for any last-minute Antarctic essentials, while the Museo Maritimo is worth a visit to learn about Ushuaia’s fascinating history.

Day 2 Ushuaia – Embarkation Day
Enjoy a slow morning getting your gear together and letting the excitement build. You’ll transfer to the city’s port this afternoon and board the Ocean Endeavour, your home for the next 10 days or so. Once you’ve found your cabin and settled in, the journey proper begins as the ship travels through the famed Beagle Channel that’s named for Charles Darwin’s ship. Wave goodbye to the coast and take a look around – the next landmass you see will be Antarctica.

Days 3-4 Drake Passage
Spend two days travelling across the legendary Drake Passage, named after the famous English seafarer Sir Frances Drake and notorious for its somewhat rough waters. Should conditions allow, you can enjoy the outer deck space for your first sightings of dolphins, whales and orcas as well as seabirds including the iconic albatross.

A comprehensive optional lecture program will also get under way, with Antarctic experts providing some fascinating insights into the region’s history, geology, biology and everything in-between. The ship is scheduled to reach the Antarctic Peninsula by early evening on Day 4 if conditions are favourable, and the first sighting of land always brings great excitement on any expedition south. Welcome to Antarctica!

Day 5 New Year in Antarctica
Whoever said New Year’s is a disappointment obviously hasn’t celebrated it in Antarctica. Our first day of landings will be even more memorable as we see in the New Year at the bottom of the world, and though we can’t speak for the whales, seals and penguins, we can at least guarantee the ship will be in a celebratory mood tonight. Raise your glass with your fellow passengers and toast a New Year’s Eve party that you’ll never forget.

Days 6-8 Antarctic Peninsula
The Antarctic Peninsula is known for a high number of wildlife sightings in front of stunning backdrops of mountains, ice and water. Excursions from the ship are scheduled twice daily and tailored to suit each location. Zodiac rides allow for close encounters with marine life including whales and seals, while onshore exploration may have you checking out penguin rookeries or participating in optional activities designed for the active adventurer, such as snowshoeing, kayaking and overnight camping (these must be booked before departure). The landing sites visited will depend on the ship's location and weather conditions.

Wildlife encounters are likely to include Weddell, elephant, crabeater and leopard seals, as well as Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins. The lecture program continues during your time at the Antarctic Peninsula, with experts sharing knowledge about the wildlife and answering any questions you may have. There’ll also be an opportunity to take a polar plunge, which, as the name suggests, is a jump into the frigid Antarctic waters. Now that’s the right way to kick off your year.

Days 9-10 Drake Passage
We say goodbye to Antarctica today and return north towards Ushuaia. Now is the time to reflect on the amazing journey – and New Year’s Eve – you’ve just experienced. We’re scheduled to reach the waters of the Beagle Channel by the evening of Day 10, ensuring a restful night’s sleep before disembarking. The last meal together is often a highlight, so live it up and enjoy your final evening as you celebrate the trip with your fellow travellers.

Day 11 Ushuaia
We disembark the ship after breakfast and your Antarctic adventure comes to an end. Transfers to the airport is included for flights departing today, otherwise you can enjoy spending some more time in this rugged area.
Map
All This Included
Experience a New Year’s celebration like no other on this 11-day adventure along the Antarctic Peninsula. Spend the days in search of humpback whales, seals and orcas from the bow of a Zodiac, and the evenings making the most of the ship’s onboard comforts including a heated pool, sauna and gym. With land excursions, adventurous optional activities and an ongoing lecture program delivered by polar experts, this Antarctica expedition is the most memorable way to start the year.
  • Meals - 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
  • Transport - Expedition cuise ship, zodiac
Highlights
  • Toast to the New Year in the southernmost region in the world and enjoy the included onboard celebrations
  • 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
Expedition cruise ship (9 nights)
Hotel (1 night)
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.