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A penguin colony hanging out on the ice.

Classic Antarctica

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard MV Ushuaia
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The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history provides you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. This amazing 11-day Antarctic cruise on the MV Ushuaia allows plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range. Navigate some of the most beautiful waterways between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. Plan to make at least two landings per day while exploring Antarctica on this polar cruise.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Ushuaia
Days 2-3 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Days 4-8 : Exploring the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
Days 9-10 : Crossing the Drake Passage
Day 11 : Disembark in Ushuaia

Highlights

  • Explore vast penguin rookeries on the South Shetland Islands
  • Sail into Deception Island, a flooded caldera
  • View minke, orca, and humpback whales
  • Navigate narrow passages between towering rock faces

Ship

MV Ushuaia

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A penguin colony hanging out on the ice. Humpback whale in Antarctica Travelers enjoying a zodiac cruise during an Antartctic cruise An Adelie Penguin protecting her new born. Taking pictures of the beautiful sunset from the ship.

Day 1 Embark in Ushuaia

Embark the ‘Ushuaia’ in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabin, sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Day 2-3 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 you sail across the passage, lecturers are out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in your wake. The Ushuaia’s open bridge policy allows you to join the officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures is offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that you 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 your lecturers and naturalists accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Day 4-8 Exploring the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls, blue-eyed cormorants, Antarctic terns, and southern giant petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.

The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history provides you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.

Hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel - the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. Plan to make at least two landings per day. Possible landing sites may include:

Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and the crew attempts a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, you may visit the bustling Adélie penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and blue-eyed cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of gentoo penguins.

Day 9-10 Crossing the Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join your lecturers and naturalists on deck as you 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.

Day 11 Disembark in Ushuaia

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the ‘Ushuaia’ after breakfast.

MV Ushuaia

Per person starting at
$6,080
Standard Plus Triple Cabin
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Standard Plus Triple
2 Standard Plus triple outside cabins with portholes or windows on Deck E, private facilities, 3 lower berths.
Standard Twin cabin on the Ushuaia
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Standard Cabin
12 Standard twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E with semi-private facilities, 2 berths (upper/lower).
Standard Plus Twin on Ushuaia (#640)
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Standard Plus
11 Standard Plus twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, 2 lower berths. Cabin 640: 1 double bed.
Ushuaia's Category A Cabin.
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Premier Twin
6 Premier twin outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths.
Premier Single Cabin
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Premier Single
2 outside Premier single cabins with portholes (view obstructed by lifeboat) on upper Deck G, private facilities, 1 single bed.
Ushuaia's Superior Cabin.
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Superior
9 Superior twin outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths. Cabin 301: 1 double & 1 single bed.
Ushuaia's Suite.
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Suite
4 Suite outside cabins with windows on upper deck G, private facilities, 2 lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player & fridge. Suite 201: 2 double beds. Suite 202: 1 double bed & sofa bed. Suite 204 & 207: 3 lower single beds.

Notes

- Fuel surcharge may vary: no surcharge if the price of the barrel of crude oil is $100 or lower.
- 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.
- Twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth (sofa bed) in a few suites maybe occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate.
- Special family rates: A child (under 16 years) accompanied by two adults will be free of charge in a triple Superior cabin or triple Suite.

FUEL SURCHARGE applies if price of crude oil barrel is $100 or higher.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Your 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. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Included in the cruise price:
  • Voyage aboard the Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the Ushuaia
  • 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
  • Detailed post-expedition log

Not included in the cruise price:
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post land arrangements
  • Transfers to / from the vessel
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided)

Included

  • 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Change & customize to make it yours.
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Kevin M

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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
Lisa Bridge

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