Setting foot on the Antarctic Peninsula is a bucket list item for many but no one can really prepare themselves for this incredible experience. Enormous tabular icebergs that dwarf the ship will take your breath away. Close encounters with inquisitive penguins, playful seals and breaching whales, create a wildlife experience like no other. Pristine landscapes with crystal clear water and glacier rimmed peaks create a stunning backdrop for any photographer.
One of your toughest decisions will be which voyage to choose? Our advice is to seriously consider if your time and budget will stretch to a longer voyage that includes Antarctica as well as South Georgia. This beautiful island is often described as the most incredible wildlife show on earth as it is the breeding ground for King Penguins, seals and sea lions and home to the wandering albatross.
Making the choice as to which voyage, when, which ship or operator is where we help; unlike ship owners/operators we’re not obliged to sell the ships we own/operate – we offer independent expert advice and can match the best experience for you.
PLEASE NOTE: We have a dedicated Antarctic site links from this page will take you to that specialist site
Despite its small size, the city of Ushuaia is the world’s southernmost city, the capital of Tierra del Fuego and the main starting point for many voyages to Antarctica.
Admire the views of Beagle Channel and the Andes Mountains. If you arrive early, you may want to visit Tierra del Fuego National Park.
In the afternoon transfer to the pier before boarding your chosen luxury or expedition ship. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Set sail for the Antarctic Peninsula along the Beagle Channel.
There are several ships offering this or a very similar itinerary:
The Drake Passage spans 1,000 kilometres from the southern-most tip of South America to the South Shetland Islands (the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula). Presentations by the friendly team of Antarctic experts prepare you for what lies ahead. At the Antarctic Convergence, watch for whales (for the very fortunate Blue whales), albatrosses and petrels in these krill-rich waters. If the Drake has behaved, you will approach the sub-Antarctic South Shetlands during the afternoon of day 4.
The Antarctic Peninsula and nearby islands provide exceptional opportunities to discover the unique wildlife and wonderful Antarctic landscapes. Depending on weather and ice conditions, the captain and expedition team will direct the Sea Spirit to a variety of secluded bays and harbours to optimize Zodiac landings and wildlife viewing. While we have a plan, flexibility is the key to successful expedition cruising. With the help of our expedition team, look for the four penguin (Gentoo, chinstrap, Adelie and very occasionally Emperor), six seal (leopard, Weddell, crab-eater, elephant and Ross and southern fur) several whale (right, humpback, Sei, minke, Orcas and occasionally sperm). We’ll also find a time for our most adventurous travellers to take a polar plunge, perhaps in Neko Harbor or the relatively warm waters of volcanic Deception Island.
NOTE: There are over 100 possible sites to explore, the actual itinerary will not be confirmed until the August before the season commences. The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (which we are proud to be Associate members of) co-ordinates all site visits.
As we head south along the Antarctic Peninsula, you’ll understand why the imposing, snow-covered Lemaire Channel has been referred to as “Kodak Alley” (in the days of film cameras most of it was made by Kodak and many rolls would have been used photographing this stunning place). Your voyage will also try to visit a research station, although the work schedules of the scientists may not always permit this. At the Ukrainian base of Academician Vernadsky, you might want to sample the throat-burning Ukrainian pepper vodka, distilled on location. A Zodiac cruise of Paradise Bay, with its many glaciers, offers an experience like no other. Cruise by massive icebergs, with cracks and crevices reflecting an amazing spectrum of blues. Conditions permitting, we’ll set foot on the actual Antarctic Continent at Hope Bay or perhaps another site.
As the Sea Spirit heads back to Ushuaia, there are some final opportunities to ask questions of your expert expedition guides, to share photos and experiences with new-found friends, and to enjoy our festive farewell dinner.
Disembark following breakfast, and transfer to the airport or the city centre.