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Raking light on a blue white floating tabular iceberg in the Weddell Sea

In Shackleton's Footsteps

Roundtrip Ushuaia - Example 19 Day Cruise aboard SH Minerva
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Experience the Antarctic Peninsula on this 19-day Antarctica cruise roundtrip Ushuaia aboard SH Minerva, much like Ernest Shackleton and his crew did when they set out to cross the South Pole. Explore Elephant Island, where the men survived two winters in the harsh Antarctic climate. Observe the thriving wildlife, including penguins, seals, whales, and seabirds, that endure in this formidable environment. Discover the Falkland Islands, a sanctuary for a variety of endemic bird species, and meet the resilient locals before crossing the treacherous Drake Passage back to Ushuaia.
King PenguinsObserve beautiful fur sealsGlacier trekkingA Base camp on Antarctica.Raking light on a blue white floating tabular iceberg in the Weddell Sea
Highlights
  • Cross the rough two-day sea journey through the Drake Passage
  • See huge icebergs in Gerlache Strait and Antarctic Sound
  • Watch many penguins up close as they gather in their natural habitat
  • Be on a look out while at sea for leaping whales and massive albatross flying above
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Buenos Aires

Arrive in Buenos Aires, relax, and spend the overnight here preparing for your adventure.

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embark

Fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and embark on SH Minerva for your Polar adventure.

Nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Martial Range, Ushuaia’s colorful streets and mismatched buildings cascade from the imposing mountains before coming to an abrupt halt at the shores of the Beagle Channel. As one of the world’s southernmost cities, Ushuaia carries its ‘end of the world’ reputation well. The moody weather and dramatic surroundings certainly help. Board the boutique ship before departing for your journey through one of the most captivating wilderness regions of the world.

Day 3-4: At Sea

Spend your day at sea enjoying the many facilities available. Head to the sauna, get in a workout in the state-of-the-art gym or relax in the jacuzzi whilst taking in incredible views along the way. If you prefer to learn a little more about the surroundings, listen to an informative talk or have a chat with one of the knowledgeable on-board experts.

Day 5-8: Antarctic Peninsula

Among captivating glaciers, majestic icebergs, and snowy islands, the Antarctic Peninsula is where most visitors to the White Continent will live out their Antarctica dream. The Antarctic Peninsula, the most accessible area of the continent, hosts several scientific bases and some of the most interesting wildlife scenery, such as the extremely photogenic Lemaire Channel. Shore excursions might include Petermann Island, where among Adelie penguins, blue-eyed shags, and skuas, huge, lumbering elephant seals haul out.

Day 9-10: At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind and do whatever takes your fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.

Day 11-13: South Georgia

Often called the “Galapagos of the Poles”, South Georgia has a number of landing sites where you get up close to half a million king penguins or three million breeding pairs of macaroni penguins, making up the largest population in the world. If you are lucky you will also see harrumphing elephant seals - from a distance! We also visit Grytviken, the historic whaling station where legendary British explorer Ernest Shackleton (1874–1922) is buried.

Day 14-15: At Sea

Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.

Day 16: Port Stanley | Saunders Island

Anyone familiar with Britain’s trademark red post boxes might spot a resemblance in this British outpost. Port Stanley, on East Falkland, is the tiny capital of the Falkland Islands and is small enough to get around on foot. You can visit The Historic Dockyard Museum devoted to maritime history and exploration or pop into the post office. Magellanic penguins gather in hordes at nearby Gypsy Cove, and sea lions and dolphins frolic in the harbor.

Black-browed albatross soar above this rugged weather-beaten island in the west of the Falklands, while Commerson’s dolphins swim below. With a sparse population of people and sheep, this inhabited island is also home to fur seals, burrowing rockhopper penguins, Magellanic penguins, and imperial cormorants who roost in the jagged cliffs and the striking Cliff Mountain towering above the dramatic coastal scenery. As you hike across the moss, keep an eye open for pink-petalled Felton’s flowers.

Day 17: West Point Island

Birdlife is the big draw on this lush sheep-farming island, where thousands of rams and ewes roam. Settled by British explorers in 1765, the island’s unique scenery includes the beaches at The Neck filled with the cacophony of rockhopper, Gentoo, and king penguin colonies, and you might spot the pillar-shaped nests of black-browed albatross. Nine of the Falklands’ 14 endemic plants, including silvery buttercup and hairy daisy, grow here and are a real treat.

Day 18: At Sea

Today as you sail, you’ll bask in the endless comforts of your ship. From the deck, marvel at the dramatic sea views. Relax with a nurturing facial treatment or massage in the spa or delve into the ship’s learning resources. Or, simply take refuge in your cabin and enjoy the opportunity to rest.

Day 19: Ushuaia | Disembark | Fly to Santiago or Punta Arenas

Ushuaia is the gateway to the White Continent. Found at the southernmost tip of South America in Argentinian Patagonia, the city is often described as “the End of the World”. The city’s mountain backdrop rises above the harbor and entrance to the Beagle Channel. The town itself is walkable and has a few small museums as well as pubs, restaurants, and cafes - a good place to try Patagonian lamb cooked over open fire pits.

Ship/Hotel

SH Minerva

SH Minerva in Arntarctica
Minerva sundeck
Minarva Jacuzzi

Buenos Aires - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Minerva Ocean View
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Oceanview D4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Minerva Ocean View
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Oceanview M4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Minerva BAlconyMinerva Balcony
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Balcony D5
28 m2, Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Minerva BalconyMinerva BAlcony
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Balcony M5
28 m2, Located at the center of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Minerva BAlconyMinerva Balcony
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Balcony D6
28 m2, Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Minerva Suite
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Suite
44 m2, Our Suites features a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
Minerva Premium Suite
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Premium Suite
49 m2, Our grandest suites feature a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, a spacious walk-in wardrobe, and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
Included
  • 18 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 16 Dinners
  • 18 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Room Service 
  • Wifi
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.
  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
  • Regional flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • We recommend every traveler to take out a travel cancellation insurance, travel interruption insurance and a travel health insurance policy with an assumption of the return transport costs of repatriation

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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