This is the perfect trip if you’re looking for an Antarctic experience without the time or costs involved in a longer voyage. You still get it all - from penguin rookeries and glacier hikes to Leopard Seals and giant icebergs. An Antarctic experience with a lifetime of memories and wildlife encounters packed into 10 short days.
Day 1 - Ushuaia, Argentina
Your adventure commences in Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southern settlement in South America. Before embarking, spend some time to shop for souvenirs, stock up on handcrafted chocolate treats or buy any last-minute items you may have forgot to pack. The city offers abundant services and the nearby mountains and national park offer natural beauty, hiking trails and activities to keep you busy.
Day 2 - Embarkation Day
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel. This will be your first opportunity to get to know your fellow adventurers and get acquainted with the shipboard services. As land fades away from sight, you can prepare for your first night and sea! Next stop? Antarctica.
Day 3-4 - Crossing the Drake
It is impossible to predict the sea and weather conditions we will encounter as we cross the Drake Passage Your time during these first days is largely spent chatting with other travelers and listening to the presentations given by your Expedition Team. By the time Day 4 draws to an end the anticipation and excitement of landfall will reach a feverish pitch.
Day 5-7 - South Shetland & Antarctic Peninsula
Don’t be surprised to wake up to a sea filled of icebergs! You’re now close to Antarctica, where icebergs are more frequent – and more massive. This far south, you’ll likely also get your first sightings of whales, perhaps Humpbacks or even Orcas.
Then, as land appears, you’ll soon get to shake off your sea legs and head out on your first landing. The coast can range from barren, inhospitable landscapes to mountainous peaks dotted with penguins. You will see that everything in Antarctica is done on a bigger scale - don’t be surprised if you feel dwarfed by the dramatic, imposing, environment that surrounds you.
Landing sites vary depending on conditions, but what is certain is that you will see many animals, historically significant sites and varied landscapes. Your days in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula may be spent watching penguins swimming and ambling over pebbled beaches, taking a Zodiac cruise around oddly artistically shaped icebergs, or witnessing a Leopard Seal hunt in the frigid Antarctic waters.
Hiking atop a snow-covered hill in the Peninsula will also provide you with a quiet place for contemplation to enjoy the eerie silence of the continent. Some offer 360° vantage points, others such as Orne Harbor, give you the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. The often comical movements of penguins and seals on land will provide hours of entertainment and photography opportunities. In Antarctica, you don’t have to seek out the excitement, it is all around you. Take a rest on a beach and you’ll soon be surrounded by curious penguins, hike away from the shore and you may witness an iceberg exploding in the water or glacial ice come crashing down into the ocean.
You can create your own excitement too, by taking the Polar Plunge! Harness yourself in and take a quick swim in Antarctica, or simply be amused by the shocked faces of you fellow shipmates who dare to brave the cold waters. Take comfort in the warmth of the ship, which offers plenty of free space for all to enjoy. Some of the most memorable times come from simply watching the sun set, or rise, in Antarctica. Every day will bring a new surprise and new Zodiac excursions and landings. Keep your cameras charged as you never know what wildlife or scenery will greet you next.
Day 8-9 - Drake Passage
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities for spotting seabirds and scouting for whales. Your Expedition Team will run their last lectures and presentations, recapping the great Antarctic adventure you’ve just had. This is a time to share your favourite encounters and memories with the crew and your shipmates. Enjoy a farewell dinner and final night on the seas.
Day 10 - Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina
The time to say goodbye has arrived. After breakfast, you will have time to say goodbye to your Expedition Team, after which we will transfer you to the airport for your homeward flights.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
You may like to extend your stay.