With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet retained an easy-going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early, you can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city, or visit the many boutique shops and cafes before for your expedition to Antarctica.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as you depart - the next time you see land, it will be the world’s most southern continent!
Weather permitting, the ship will attempt to land on Cape Horn, an icon of sailing culture for centuries. The Cape Horn National Park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005.
Prepare yourself for potentially rough waters, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. Spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, while receiving safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.
When the Antarctic Convergence is left in your wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time your ship has visited Antarctica, something new or unexpected has been witnessed, making your expedition unlike any other.
Take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore remote bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of your minds, visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal.
The majesty of the Peninsula’s mountains will enchant you as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbor, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here you’ll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of the curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets!
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and continue your adventure or catch your flights home.