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The Ultimate Antarctica Experience

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Victory
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Join this 12-day ultimate Antarctica cruise from Ushuaia and back aboard the Ocean Victory. Start your journey in the Beagle Channel, then cross the infamous Drake Passage and explore the South Shetland Islands. Witness the bounty of wildlife, from albatrosses, seabirds, and seals to whales. Venture out on Zodiac excursions and hikes and witness the majesty of the Antarctic mainlands, including the tabular icebergs of the Weddell Sea and rarely visited lands south of the Antarctic Circle.
Highlights
  • Explore the South Shetland Islands and witness the bounty of wildlife
  • Experience Zodiac excursions and hikes to the south of the Antarctic Circle
  • Witness the bounty of wildlife, from albatrosses, seabirds, seals & whales
  • Discover the tabular icebergs of the Weddell Sea
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival Ushuaia | Embark

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina - the world’s southernmost town. Explore the quaint city or local countryside. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path to the raw, natural archipelago of Tierra del Fuego. It's a hiker's paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and boggy quagmires. In the afternoon, you board the ship.
The journey begins as you navigate through the calms of Beagle Channel, a strait in the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago.

Day 2-3: At Sea | Cross Drake Passage, South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sailing onward, you cross the famed Drake Passage - a body of water that marks the intersection of the cold Antarctic with the warmer Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Drake Passage is known for strong westerly winds, heavy sea, and its nickname ‘The Roaring Fifties’. While this passage may be challenging, you can rest confidently aboard our expedition vessel, which is purpose-built with stabilizers, powerful engines and a highly qualified crew. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement – and soon you can tick it off on the list yourself! In the Drake, the excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view with our first sight of seals, penguins and albatrosses. Having crossed the Drake, you can explore the sub-Antarctic islands of the South Shetland chain and be marveled by the captivating landscapes you can  encounter along the way. Weather permitting, you hope to make the first landfall on King George Island before continuing further south to the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.
With the unique X-BOW design, the ship offer you a smoother sailing across the Drake passage than conventional expedition vessels – and with far less carbon emission. Due to the speed of the vessel, you might be able to do a first landing or activity in the South Shetland Islands on the afternoon of day 3, weather permitting.

Day 4-9: The Antarctic Peninsula and Adventure Awaits

  • Ship
  • 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
As the white shimmer of Antarctica looms on our horizon, the presence of wildlife multiples by tens of thousands with many species of lively penguins, inquisitive seals, nesting birds and the spray of marine mammals. 
Wildlife abounds on the Antarctic Peninsula: leopard, fur and Weddell seals of Cuverville Island; humpback whales of Gerlache Strait; Paradise Bay; the dramatic Lemaire Channel's orcas. Maybe you can explore as far south as the Antarctic Circle at c. 66 deg 33 minutes south of the Equator. Possible landfall in this wild and seldom visited area could be Pleneau and Petermann Islands, Crystal Sound and Detaille Island. 
Maybe you can make the way to the Antarctic Sound, named in 1902 by the Swedish vessel Antarctic, the captain and the expedition team would then keep a watchful eye on the mighty tabular icebergs, born from the floating Larsen Ice Shelf further south. You would aim to have both continental and island landings on the shores of Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea, always on the lookout for some of the unusually large penguin colonies, which have recently been observed.
Because of the considerable sea ice and enormous bergs in the Weddell Sea, navigation through this remote nature is at the edge of what is possible; your captain and expedition leader are well aware that shifting ice means that no individual part of this area can be guaranteed as accessible at any time, so they can work together to find the most magnificent opportunities.  This is part of the wonder of this part of the world, and you'll be visiting an area few humans have ever seen. 
The Weddell Sea takes its name from the early British explorer James Weddell, who by hunting seals through a break in the ice in 1823 got to the southernmost point at his time. As you enter the Weddell Sea of today, you grow accustomed to giant floating icebergs and witness the sheer quantity of sea ice in these waters. Apart from penguins, the wildlife here includes Weddell and elephant seals and seabirds. Humpbacks feed in the nutrient-rich waters (caused by the upwell of cold water from the ocean depths), so there are opportunities to see whales, as well as the Antarctic’s largest predator, the solitary leopard seal.
The itinerary and activities over the next few days depend on weather, swell and ice. The route and shore landings can be determined by the captain and expedition leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings.
Maybe as our journey draws to a close you end it by navigating to Elephant Island, home to elephant seals, maybe even along parts of the same route as Shackleton’s daring lifeboat escape (this route is only possible if conditions allow it!). While a landing is unlikely, you hope to see where the Elephant island party waited for rescue boat to reach them at Point Wild. A famous part of expedition history, that seems adequate to end our Antarctic explorations this time around.
There is no set itinerary on this trip, which allows our staff onboard to maximize the experience for all onboard. Whilst our suggestions above are just possible routes and landings, you can be sure that this can be the ultimate Antarctic experience.

Day 10-11: Departing Antarctica | At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
You depart Antarctica and spend two days at sea on our way back to the calms of Beagle Channel and Ushuaia, Argentina. En-route, you can cross Drake Passage and cruise past Cape Horn, a legendary maritime landmark and the southern tip of South America.
During our time at sea, a variety of activities can be arranged on board which can provide the perfect opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers equally passionate for discovering the world, enjoy the lectures by our expedition team on board, visit our shop, unwind in the spa or enjoy the ship’s facilities designed to provide a comfortable relaxing time.

Day 12: Back to Ushuaia | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
This morning, you arrive back in Ushuaia for the conclusion of our expedition cruise, where you can continue your adventures or begin your return home.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Victory

Ocean Victory ship
Ocean Victory ship
Ocean Victory ship in South Georgia

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Deals

Save 30% Off Antarctica 2024-2025 24546
Book by May 31, 2024, and save 30% off on select Antarctica 2024-2025 departures. This promotion is valid for new bookings and cannot be combined with other promotions. To qualify, personal details and deposit payment must be received within seven working days of the booking. For trips with less than 90 days until departure, personal details and full payment must be received within 48 hours of the booking. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Nov 28, 2024 departure

Per person starting at
$10,195 2-3 travelers
Ocean Victory Cat-G
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Category G Single
Single Stateroom (Porthole) 18 m2 Standard single stateroom onboard, located on deck 3. This is a conveniently located stateroom close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the Zodiacs during embarkation and disembarkation to begin your adventures on the Zodiacs. Single staterooms are normally with a porthole, single bed (200*90), reading light, and a sitting chair.
Ocean Victory Cat-E Cat-F Porthole_Triple
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Category F Triple
Triple Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2 There are four Triple staterooms on board Ocean Victory featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms. Triple staterooms are normally with a sofa bed and two twin beds however a double bed can be accommodated.
OceanVictory Cat-E
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Category E
French Balcony Suite 16 m2 The French Balcony Suite is a standard stateroom with a French balcony, a double bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All French Balcony Suites are located on Deck 7.
OceanVictory Cat-D
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Category D
Albatros State Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2 The standard stateroom on Ocean Victory is close to the Mudroom and has quick access to the zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the zodiacs. The staterooms are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay onboard Ocean Victory. The standard staterooms all have a double bed or 2 single beds and bathroom. The staterooms are located on deck 3 except for 1 which is located on deck 4.
Ocean Victory Cat COcean Victory Cat C
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Category C
Balcony State Stateroom 24 m2 The most abundant type of stateroom on Ocean Victory, the Balcony State Staterooms are located on decks 4 & 6. They have a balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom, and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility under this category.
Ocean Victory Cat COcean Victory Cat C
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Category Csp
Superior Balcony Stateroom (48) 24 sqm., incl. Balcony
Ocean Victory Cat COcean Victory Cat C
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Category Cxl
Grand Balcony Stateroom (4) app. 30 sqm., incl. Balcony
Ocean Victory Cat-B2
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Category B
Balcony Suite 35 m2 Ocean Victory has 2 Balcony Suites on board located on Deck 4. The suites feature double or twin beds, a seating area, a bathroom and a large balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Ocean Victory Cat-AOcean Victory Cat-A
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Category A
Junior suite 42 m2 The 4 Junior Suites aboard Ocean Victory have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom, and a private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people.
Ocean Victory Cat-D
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Premium Suite
Premium suite 45 m2 – PS The largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Victory is the Premium Suite. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, table and chair, a balcony, and a spacious bathroom. Located on deck. 4. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.

Notes

Kayaking activities available on both Arctic and Antarctic voyages. 
Although kayaking opportunities are possible in most locations during each excursion in the Antarctic region, weather, sea and ice conditions will dictate the when and where to ensure your safety and improve your experience.
In order to sign up for this activity, you need to have previous kayaking experience and attend a mandatory safety briefing by the Kayak Master. The cost is $345/person per outing and it can only be booked onboard.

Possible shared staterooms for same-gender, single travelers: Category C (Balcony Stateroom) and Category F (Triple Porthole Stateroom)
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more.
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team
  • Parkas and Boots in assorted sizes, suitable for shore landings
  • Special photo workshop
  • Complimentary house wine, beer and soda at dinner (selected labels and brands, served at the a-la-carte dinners)
  • All Zodiac landings and excursions, as per itinerary, guided by the Expedition Team
  • Free tea and coffee available 24 hours
  • Taxes and landing fees
  • Embarkation shuttle transfer to the vessel from Ushuaia city centre
  • Shuttle transfer after disembarkation from the ship to Ushuaia city centre or airport
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
  • Anything not mentioned under 'inclusions'
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance of at least $200,000 per passenger is required. Please bring a copy of your insurance onboard.

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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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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