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A majestic view from the kayak

Antarctic Express: Cruise South, Fly North

Ushuaia - Punta Arenas - Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Explorer
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On this 10-day Antarctic Express: Cruise South, Fly North Expedition Cruise aboard Ocean Explorer, experience the thrill of cruising the Drake Passage upon departure from Ushuaia, complemented by the convenience of a return flight heading north. Along the way to the northernmost point of the Antarctic Peninsula, you might encounter Minke and humpback whales or spot Adélie penguins gracefully floating on ice floes. Initially, the immense silence in this wild place is a bit overwhelming, but the lively and charming wildlife will keep travelers grounded. Appreciate the incredible differences in Antarctica – from its rugged, pointy mountain peaks to its delicate ecosystems, and the isolated ice landscapes contrasting with lively penguin colonies. 





 
Kayaking in antarcticaCruising the chilly waters in the ZodiacA humpback whale dives beneath the Antarctic watersNights in UshuaiaUshuaiaA majestic view from the kayak
Highlights
  • Spot iconic Antarctic wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales
  • Fly over the Drake Passage and experience the fastest way to Antarctica
  • Enjoy presentations on wildlife, history & geology by onboard polar experts
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get water-level views of icebergs, wildlife and more
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: Ushuaia, Argentina

This quaint city at the southernmost tip of South America is your gateway to Antarctica. The city itself provides a wide range of jewelry shops, cafés, 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.

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Embarkation occurs in the late afternoon, after which your vessel sails down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you see land you are in the world’s most southern continent!

Day 3-4: Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Legendary 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, our Expedition Team will begin their series of presentations to help 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.

Day 5-8: Antarctic Peninsula | South Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
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, you’ll likely spot Adélie penguins chilling out on ice floes and minke or humpback whales feeding and swimming in the frigid waters.

As soon as possible, the Zodiacs will be readied for your first landing in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Experiencing this immense wilderness up close for the first time 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 isn’t just a dream.

Your Expedition Team will monitor the ice and weather conditions to determine which landing sites can be visited. 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 to tempt you, by taking a Polar Plunge in the water at Neko Harbour!

A typical day in this wildlife wonderland will be 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

Day 9: Disembarkation | Fly to Punta Arenas

As 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’re in Punta Arenas, join a transfer from the airport to your hotel, where you’re free to explore and enjoy a final dinner out.

NoteIf the weather at King George Island does not allow for flights this morning, the ship operator will follow their well-established contingency plan, again. 

Day 10: Depart Punta Arenas

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, make your way to Punta Arenas airport on your homeward flight.

Note: Flights arranged for later in the day provide more buffer against any of those potential flight delays out of King George Island.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Explorer

Ocean Explorer
Atrium - Two level lounge
Explorer Presentation Lounge

Ushuaia - Hotels

Punta Arenas - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Deals

Save up to 30% on Antarctica 2025 - 2026
Book your Antarctica 2025 - 2026 cruises now and enjoy up to 30% savings. On select departures, an additional savings of up to 10% discount may be applied if paid in full at the time of booking. This offer is valid only for new bookings, subject to availability, and not combinable with other discounts. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
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Per person starting at
$16,995
Ocean Explorer - Studio Double
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Studio Double
The Studio Double, located on Deck 3 and classified as Standard, offers a peaceful atmosphere with a porthole window, all necessary amenities, and a double bed of twin berths. It can accommodate up to two occupants in its 175-186 sqft space.
Studio Veranda State Room
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Studio Veranda Stateroom
The Studio Veranda Stateroom, located on Deck 6 and measuring approximately 173 sq. f. (16.1 sq.m.), is classified as Standard and features a floor-to-ceiling glass view that opens to a walkout balcony, one double bed that can be configured into two singles, a desk and chair, TV, state-of-the-art 'infotainment' system, and a private bathroom with shower, vanity and heated floor, making it ideal for 1-2 occupants.
Ocean Explorer  - Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom
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Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom
The Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom is a standard class on Deck 4, providing guests with privacy, elegance, and sweeping views from their private veranda. It is 168-195 sqft and has a bed configuration of one double bed made up of two twin berths, with a maximum occupancy of 2.
Ocean Explorer - Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom
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Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom
The Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom, located on Deck 4 and classified as Standard, offers guests easy access to all ship amenities. It is 203-272 sqft and accommodates 1-2 guests on a double bed made up of two twin berths plus some with a fold-out sofa bed.
Ocean Explorer - Deluxe Veranda Stateroom
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Deluxe Veranda Stateroom
Experience the panoramic ocean views from the comfort of a Deluxe Veranda Stateroom on Deck 4. This room has a bed configuration of one double bed made up of two twin berths plus a fold-out sofa bed, a size ranging from 200-205 sqft, and a standard class.
Ocean Explorer  - Studio Single
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Studio Single
The Studio Single is a standard class located on Deck 3, with an occupancy of one person. It features a double bed made up of two twin berths, a porthole view, a desk and chair, a TV, a state-of-the-art 'infotainment' system, and a private bathroom with shower, vanity, and heated floor, all within approximately 177 sq. ft. (16.5 sq. m) of space.
Grand Veranda State Room
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Grand Veranda Stateroom
This premium Grand Veranda Stateroom, located on Deck 6 and spanning over 195-205 sqft, is perfect for 1-2 occupants. It features a double bed made up of two twin berths plus a fold-out sofa bed, and it has easy access to the lounge, dining room, and private veranda.
Royal Veranda State Room
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Royal Veranda Stateroom
The Royal Veranda Stateroom, located on Decks 4 and 6, is a spacious premium-class cabin that can accommodate up to two guests. It features one double bed made up of two twin berths and a fold-out sofa bed, and its size ranges from 189 to 272 sqft.
Ocean Explorer - Studio Veranda Single
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Studio Veranda Single
The Studio Veranda Single is a premium cabin located on Deck 7, with an occupancy of 1 person, featuring a twin single bed, a private bathroom with shower, vanity, and heated floor, a state-of-the-art 'infotainment' system, and a floor-to-ceiling glass view that opens to a generous walkout balcony, covering an area of approximately 162 sq. ft. (15.1 sq. m.).
Junior SuiteJunior Suite Receiving area
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Junior Suite
This Junior Suite, located on Deck 6, boasts an impressive decor and layout, a private veranda, and proximity to the lounge and downstairs dining room. It is 296-299 sqft and has a bed configuration of two rooms: one double bed made up of two twin berths and a fold-out sofa bed. It accommodates up to two guests and is classified as Premium.
Ocean Explorer - Explorer Suite
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Explorer Suite
The Explorer Suite is a premium class accommodation located on Deck 7, featuring a unique 2-room layout with a double bed that can be configured into two singles in the inner bedroom, a fold-out sofa bed in the outer sitting area, walk-out access to a double-sized balcony from either room, 2 TVs, state-of-the-art 'infotainment' system, private bathroom with shower, vanity, and heated floor, as well as an additional powder room in the outside sitting area, and can accommodate up to 2 guests.
Owners SuiteOwner's Suite - Receiving area
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Owners Suite
The Owners Suite, located on Deck 7, is a premium class, palatial apartment that features a large master bedroom, living room, dining area, two master bathrooms, and a private veranda with stunning views while accommodating 1-2 occupants with a bed configuration of two rooms, one double bed made up of two twin berths, and a fold-out sofa bed, all within a total size of 443 square feet.

Notes

- 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.

- Standard Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Premium Cabin is 2 times the shared rate.

Insurance: Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person is included. Travelers should have a minimum US$50,000 (or equivalent) of emergency medical coverage prior to embarkation. It is recommended that you and all members of your party have comprehensive travel insurance covering trip cancellation, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage, and repatriation. Contact us for details.
Included
  • 9 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Available Around the Clock
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Official Expedition Parka to Keep
  • Select Beer and Wine During Dinner
  • Photographic Journal Documenting the Expedition
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Flight: King George Island to Punta Arenas
  • Group arrival transfer in Ushuaia from airport to pre-expedition hotel on Day 1
  • Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast. (Note: The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.)
  • Free beer, standard wines, spirits, and cocktails during bar service hours and dinner
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi service on one device permitting basic Internet browsing, email, posting on social media and voice applications. (Premium packages are available for more data intensive applications.)
  • A post-expedition group transfer in Punta Arenas from the airport to the hotel
  • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas with breakfast
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • 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
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Mandatory Waterproof Pants for Zodiac Cruising & Any Other Gear Not Specifically Mentioned
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Phone charges may vary by location
  • Basic complimentary Wi-Fi service does not include Premium packages, which enable more data-intensive applications

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