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Curious penguins approach during an Antarctic shore excursion

Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Diamond
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Not only does this expedition include the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula, it also offers the opportunity to venture further south across the Antarctic Circle. As you head towards a milestone few travelers reach, you feel you are in a world without borders, sailing through an endless stretch of sea, snow, and ice.

Dramatic ice formations ignite your imagination as you search the landscape for the wildlife that calls it home. Whether it’s humpback whales alongside the ship, a leopard seal diving beneath your Zodiac, penguins sliding into crystal waters from an iceberg, or a giant petrel soaring above cracking sea-ice, experience a sensory overload in Antarctica like you’ve never felt before.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2 : Ushuaia | Embark
Days 3-4 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Days 5-7 : The Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands
Days 8-9 : Antarctic Circle
Days 10-11 : Northbound along the Peninsula
Days 12-13 : Drake Passage to Ushuaia
Day 14 : Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark


  • Spot wildlife and be mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica
  • Watch penguins waddling on the beach and listen to calving icebergs
  • Visit historic research stations in the area of Marguerite Bay
  • Learn about Antarctica’s geology and wildlife from onboard lecturers


Ocean Diamond

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Curious penguins approach during an Antarctic shore excursion Wander vast ice fields on your polar expedition cruise An ocean of icebergs. Kayaking in antarctica Albatross cruising the Drake Passage to Antarctica

Day 1 Ushuaia, Argentina

Begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small, bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentinean town is an ideal gateway to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy some hand crafted chocolate at a café in town.

Day 2 Ushuaia | Embark

The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the Southern Ocean, where your next land sighting is along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture seabirds hovering overhead.

Day 3-4 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. Gaze out across the sea and get to know your shipmates and Expedition Team as you sail. Time over these two days are spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. Learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

Day 5-7 The Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
With the Drake Passage left in your wake, make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready as the continent’s coastline makes its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. See plentiful icebergs floating by and admire the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.

As exciting as it can be from on-board, true explorations occur when disembarking and setting foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor, or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites are visited, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.

Spend your days spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.

Day 8-9 Antarctic Circle

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33’ S. Celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne!

Make a toast and take pride in knowing you have made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people.

Day 10-11 Northbound along the Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins is matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and pancake ice seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions continue to fill your days, while the Expedition Team helps to fill any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.

Day 12-13 Drake Passage to Ushuaia

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away. Excited conversations with your new-found friends make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve visited over the course of your voyage.

Day 14 Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Say goodbye to your Expedition Team and your fellow travelers. Disembark in the morning so that you may catch your homeward bound flights.

Ocean Diamond

Ushuaia - Hotels


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Ocean Diamond's Triple Cabin.
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Lower Deck, 200 sq feet. Two twin beds and an upper bed, two portholes, and private bath with shower.
Ocean Diamond's Twin Cabin.
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Captains & Upper Decks, 200 sq feet, one double bed or two twin beds, picture window with a partially obstructed view, and private bathroom with shower.
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Upper, Main & Captain´s Decks, 183-200 sq feet. One double bed or two twin beds, picture window, and private bathroom with shower.
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Lower Deck, 200 sq feet, one double bed, two portholes, and private bathroom with shower.
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Balcony Suite
Observation Deck, 325 sq feet, one double bed or two twin beds, window and sliding glass door, private 96 sq ft deck, and private bathroom with shower.


- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
-Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a suite is 2 times the shared rate.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person is included. Contact us for details on arranging additional travel insurance.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that everything can be accomplished. A measure of flexibility is something all must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

- Group transfer in Ushuaia from airport to preexpedition hotel on Day 1
- One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast
- Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
- Group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Leadership throughout the voyage by your experienced Expedition Leader
-All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
- Photographic journal documenting the expedition
- Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
- An official expedition parka to keep
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard ship
- Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

Not Included:
- International airfare
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
- Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance
- Excess baggage fees on international flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
- Phone and internet charges
- Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Optional adventure activities


  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
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Rachel B

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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