Ushuaia, ArgentinaThis quaint city at the southernmost tip of South America is your gateway to Antarctica. The city itself provides a wide range of jewelry shops, cafes, gear shops and restaurants to explore before your voyage. Outside the city, snow-capped mountains and hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park offer ample adventure activities if you enjoy exploring nature.
Embarkation DayEmbark in the afternoon, with a journey through the picturesque Beagle Channel. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled and be out on deck, as the channel is home to a wide variety of wildlife including seabirds and seals. Rainbows are common here too, creating a great photography opportunity to kick off the start to your Antarctic adventure.
Crossing the Drake PassageLegendary for its high winds and rolling seas, you may get lucky and have surprisingly calm seas. Spend your time in the lounge or chatting with your fellow travelers. As you develop your sea legs during the crossing, your Expedition Team begins their series of presentations and helps prepare you for your upcoming Zodiac and land excursions. You officially enter Antarctica when your ship crosses the Antarctic convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates around 60° south.
Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Icebergs are the first attractions that welcome you to Antarctica. Massive floating bergs become more common as you get closer to land and you catch your first glimpse of the Peninsula, with its grand snow-covered mountains. In addition to spotting icebergs, spot penguins chilling out on ice floes and whales feeding and swimming in the frigid waters.
As soon as possible, the Zodiacs are readied for your first landing in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. The first time you experience this immense wilderness up close can be a numbing experience. The silence is great, the vastness is even greater. Thankfully the noisy locals – penguins and seals – are there to remind you that this wonderful landscape is not just a dream.
Your Expedition Team monitors the ice and weather conditions to determine which landing sites you visit. With many sites to choose from, each expedition presents new opportunities for exploring the white continent by Zodiac and land. Swimming in Antarctica is perhaps the most adventurous option you can enjoy, by taking a polar-dip in the water at Neko Harbor. A typical day in this wildlife wonderland is spent listening to calving glaciers at Petermann Island, watching penguins waddle around a beach, or taking a hike atop a hill for a panoramic view of Port Lockroy. Whatever you prefer, the photographic opportunities are endless.
Disembarkation & Fly to Punta ArenasAs the ship turns north, say goodbye to the penguins, as well as many of your shipmates. With only the Drake Passage ahead, disembark and enjoy a bit of time on King George Island before flying off to Punta Arenas, Chile. Once you are in Punta Arenas, transfer from the airport to your hotel, where you are free to explore and enjoy a final dinner out.
Depart for HomeAfter breakfast, make your own way to the Punta Arenas airport for your homeward flight or continue on with your other adventures.