Join us on this expedition cruise aboard the USHUAIA, exploring the South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and endeavor to cross the Polar Circle. Embarking and disembarking in the port of Ushuaia, our itineraries are expertly planned to take best advantage of the amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery during each part of the Antarctic season.
This sample itinerary is just a guide. We endeavor to make two landings a day including a station visit and a continental landing.
• Cruise to Antarctica by small ship
• Witness the biodiversity of the region
• Wildlife such as penguins, seals, seabirds, whales
• Open bridge policy on ship allows a great viewing area as well as learning about navigation
• Attend the onboard education programme to learn more about the region from experts
• Visit vast penguin rookeries
• Learn the human history of the area with landings and time to explore
• Land on the continent and experience the pristine environment
Embark the USHUAIA in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions' lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The USHUAIA's open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.
The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.
Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.
As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.
On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.
We arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.
The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions and they will try their best to reach the Polar Circle. However if ice conditions do not allow access the route might be changed. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.
18 January, 2023 to 29 January, 2023
2 Triple outside cabins with windows on deck E, private facilities, three
12 Twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E, semi-private facilities,
two berths (upper/lower).
11 Twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private
facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 640 has one double bed.
6 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private facilities,
two lower berths;
9 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private
facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 301 has one double and one single bed.
4 Outside cabins with windows on the upper deck G, private facilities, two
lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player and fridge. Suite 201 features two
double beds, Suite 202 one double bed and a sofa bed. Suites 204 and 207
feature three lower single beds.
2 Single cabins with portholes (view obstructed by lifeboat) on the upper
deck G, private facilities.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 84.73 metres
Passenger Capacity: 90
Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the ice-strengthened polar vessel USHUAIA is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.
All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.
FOUR DECKS - DINING ROOM (ONE OPEN SEATING) - OBSERVATION LOUNGE / LECTURE ROOM, BAR & LIBRARY - PANORAMA DECK - GIFT SHOP - INFIRMARY - ZODIACS
• Voyage aboard the Ushuaia
• All meals while on board
• All zodiac excursions
• On board lectures and education programmes by expedition staff and natuarlists
• Port fees/taxes
• Comprehensive pre-departure material.
• Detailed post-expedition log
• Rubber boots for use during the voyage (note sizes are not guaranteed - if you have rare sizing please bring your own)
• International and domestic airfares
• Pre and post voyage accommodations
• Transfers including to/from the vessel
• Passport and visa costs if applicable
• Arrival/departure taxes if applicable
• Meals when not on board the ship
• Any items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges
• Gratuities (recommended USD$15.00 per passenger per day)