Polar Circle & Antarctic Peninsula Cruise

Sea kayaking in Antarctica
A humpback whale breaches the polar waters
Rinie Van Meurs-Oceanwide Expeditions
Albatross in the arctic.
Beautiful King Penguins
A humpback whale passes by the expedition ship
Monica Salmang-Oceanwide Expeditions
Ortelius' dining area.
Monica Salmang-Oceanwide Expeditions
The bar and observation lounge aboard the Ortelius.
On this exciting voyage sail further south in Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circle. Aboard the ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius, cruise where few have gone, viewing the flora and fauna of Antarctic Peninsula and many more experiences.

Day 1

Embark in Ushuaia, Argentina

In the afternoon, embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.

Days 2-3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

During these two days sail across the Drake Passage. When you cross the Antarctic Convergence, arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone. In this area you may see wandering albatrosses, grey headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, Cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels and Antarctic petrels. Near the South Shetland Islands, spot your first icebergs.

The Master of the vessel may decide to sail the narrow English Strait between Robert Island and Greenwich Island or McFarlane Strait between Greenwich Island and Livingston Island if the conditions are favorable. Then you might be able to enter Antarctic waters in the late evening of the third day and see Aitcho Island at the South Shetlands. If the conditions do not allow for maneuvering through the English Strait, then continue sailing south of Livingston. These volcanic islands or the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist and fog, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as gentoo penguins, chinstrap penguins and southern giant petrels.

Days 4-9

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Start your first day in Antarctica with a landing at Hannah Point, and find a nice variety of gentoo penguins, chinstraps and southern giant petrels, as well as elephant seals hauling out on the beach.

At Deception Island, a landing will be attempted. Deception itself is a subducted crater, which opens into the sea, creating a natural harbor for the ship. Here find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape pigeons and many Dominican gulls, brown and south polar skuas, and Antarctic terns. Wilson’s storm petrels and black-bellied storm petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay. Further south call at Cuverville Island, a small precipitous island, nestled between the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula and Danco Island. It contains a large colony of gentoo penguins and breeding pairs of brown skuas. In Neko Harbor and Paradise Bay, with its myriad icebergs and deep cut fjords, have the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent and zodiac cruise between the icebergs in the inner parts of the amazing waterway of Paradise Bay.

Sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island, offering Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. Also try to land at Pléneau Island with fair chances to encounter humpback and minke whales. Overnight head south along the Argentine Islands to Crystal Sound, and cross the Polar Circle in the morning. Aim to make a landing at the abandoned British station on Detaille Island, which is likely to be our furthest south. The landscape is very impressive with very high mountains and huge glaciers.

The expedition may reach the Fish Islands on the way northwards where it encounters one of the southernmost Adélie penguin and blue-eyed shag colonies in the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing north again through Neumayer Channel and Gerlache Strait, arrive at the Melchior Islands with a very beautiful landscape with icebergs, where you may encounter leopard seals, crabeater seals, and whales.

Days 10-11

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At Sea

On your way north again be followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage.

Day 12

  • Breakfast

Disembark in Ushuaia

Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark.
 Quadruple PortholeTriple PortholeTwin PortholeTwin WindowTwin DeluxeSuperior
Kayaking option: $465
Diving option: $530
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Ortelius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites, and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Fares include:
• Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
• All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
• Free use of rubber boots aboard the Ortelius.
• Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
• All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
• Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
• Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included:
Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Please Note:
It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed $120 USD per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure the Ortelius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of $25 USD per passenger per night.