This 12-day Classic Antarctica expedition on the Sea Spirit offers the essential experiences of the wildest and most fantastic place on Earth. The cruise begins in the city of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Next, cross the Drake Passage on your way to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. On the return journey, take the opportunity to catch everything you missed the first time around.
Day 1 : Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina Day 2 : Embarkation in Ushuaia Days 3-4 : Crossing the Drake Passage Days 5-9 : South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula Days 10-11 : At Sea Day 12 : Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
Arrive at Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world and starting point of your expedition. Upon your arrival at the airport, you are provided with a pre-arranged transfer to your hotel, which is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city. Take advantage of souvenir shopping and a variety of dining options in the city center. Visit the Argentinean leather markets and succulent lamb dishes that make Patagonia famous. Highlights of Ushuaia include an award-winning museum and trips to nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park and its popular “Train at the End of the World.”
In the afternoon join the group transfer to the pier and be welcomed aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as the ship slips its moorings and sails toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through the Beagle Channel on the first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, head south across the Drake Passage. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies. On the way cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Briefings, orientations, and lectures from your expert staff prepare you for arrival in Antarctica.
Day 5-9 South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic! Take advantage of long daylight hours to exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery, and excursions via Zodiac.
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities. Some stations have a gift shop and post office.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and likely are your first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Deception Island, where the flooded caldera of an active volcano harbors an abandoned whaling station.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies. At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs.
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with final opportunities for spotting seabirds and looking for whales. Presentations and workshops by expert staff, as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for End of Voyage ceremonies, including a slideshow and farewell dinner.
Day 12 Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
Arrive in Ushuaia early this morning to disembark for your continued journey home. A group transfer is provided to the airport or the town center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
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Below per person rate based on previous season.
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250 square feet; 2 twins (convert to a King) and a sofa bed; picture window; private facilities.
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Main Deck Suite
215 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; minimum 2 portholes; private facilities.
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250 square feet; 2twin or a King Size bed; picture window; private facilities.
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235 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; picture window overlooking outside walkway; private facilities.
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277 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
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353 square feet; 2 twin or a King Size bed; private balcony; private facilities.
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437 square feet; separate living room; King Size bed and sofa bed; private deck; jetted bathtub.
All passengers are covered by a medical travel insurance policy to the value of US 100,000 which includes medical emergency evacuation and reparation for the cruise portion of the tour only. Additional insurance is strongly recommended.
All rates posted are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; twice the posted price for Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite.
Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Included in your cruise fare:
- 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia
- Group transfer from the airport to the hotel on a day prior to departure
- Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation
- Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia
- Shipboard accommodations
- All scheduled landings/excursions
- All lectures and briefings onboard, leadership throughout the voyage by the experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
- All meals
- Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
- Welcome and farewell cocktails
- A pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings
- Expeditions jacket (yours to keep)
- All port fees
- Pre-departure materials
- Digital Voyage Log
Excluded in cruise fare:
- Visa and passport fees (if applicable)
- Luggage and trip cancellation insurance
- Meals, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations
- Personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service and gratuities to shipboard personnel
- Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings
- Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 150,000
- Pre- or post-cruise travel expenses
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.