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Crossing the Circle Southern Expedition

Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentine town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy handcrafted chocolate at a café in town.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.

Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage

The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team.

You will spend this time preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures presented by your Expedition Team. You’ll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

Days 5 to 7 — Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

With the Drake Passage left in our wake, we make our approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready as the continent’s coastline makes its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. You’ll see plentiful floating icebergs and be fixated on the ocean surface as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.

As exciting as it can be from on board the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the White Continent. There are several potential landing sites that we may visit, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbour or Paradise Harbour. Although weather dictates which specific landing sites we can visit, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.

Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and polar camping are optional activities available on select voyages (at an extra cost).

Days 8 and 9 — Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66°33' S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people.

Days 10 and 11 — Northbound Along the Peninsula

By now, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like bergy bits and pancake ice will seem normal, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations while giving you time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced.

Days 12 and 13 — Crossing the Drake Passage

As you recross the Drake, Antarctica fades away, leaving you with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the crossing fly by, regardless of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up its series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve witnessed over the course of your voyage.

Day 14 — Disembark in Ushuaia

Today you’ll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and fellow travelers, disembarking in the morning to catch 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.