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Penguins on the shores of Antarctica

Best of Antarctica: Pristine Wilderness

Roundtrip Ushuaia - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour
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Explore Antarctica on this 11-day Best of Antarctica: Pristine Wilderness Cruise Roundtrip Ushuaia aboard Ocean Endeavour. The adventure begins in Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southerly city in the world and the gateway to Antarctica. Explore the quaint town and immerse in the local culture by visiting museums along Avenida San Martin or simply wander the charming streets and take in the stunning views of the mountains and the Beagle Channel. For those with extra time, a visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park is a must. Discover the beauty of this southernmost national park in South America. The next day, embark on the Ocean Endeavour. Set sail along the Beagle Channel, be on the lookout for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels, and black-browed albatross from the deck. Get ready to experience the wonders of Antarctica!
Rockhopper penguin sightingRockhopper penguinsGrytviken, South GeorgiaAntarctica kayakingCamping in AntarcticaZodiac excursion in the Antarctic PenisulaPenguins on the shores of Antarctica
Highlights
  • Immerse in the local culture by visiting Ushuaia's museums and streets
  • Experience Antarctica's diverse wildlife
  • Immerse in Zodiac excursions guided by polar specialists
Activity Level: Easy Active
Moderately active but not overly strenuous. This level includes activities like casual cycling, yoga, or excursions/activities that typically last 3-5 hours total each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina – the gateway to the Great White Continent and the world’s southernmost city. Once you arrive at your hotel, you’re free to explore. The first night of your trip is spent in the quaint town of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world, and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire). Take the opportunity to explore at your leisure independently.

Visit the excellent museums along the main street, Avenida San Martin, or wander the streets and take in the town’s dramatic setting, with views of the mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south. Be sure to check out the many shops, artisan markets, and cafés.

If you have the time, discover Tierra del Fuego National Park, the most southerly national park in South America. The park offers a range of hiking trails that lead you through the stunningly beautiful and dramatic scenery of snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, rugged coastlines, glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes. Look out for guanaco, Andean foxes, muskrats, and the North American beaver. Birds found here include the Andean condor, Magellanic oystercatcher, kelp goose, austral parakeet, and torrent duck.

Day 2: Ushuaia | Embarkation

After a morning of independent exploration in Ushuaia, transfer to the port of Ushuaia and embark on the Ocean Endeavour in the late afternoon.

In the evening, set sail along the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel, towards the White Continent of Antarctica. Leave the lights of Ushuaia behind, look out for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels, and black-browed albatross from the deck as well as noisy sea lion colonies. 

Day 3-4: At Sea | Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The renowned Drake Passage, named after the famous English explorer, Sir Frances Drake, separates the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula from the southernmost tip of South America. It is unpredictable—often rough and turbulent, but sometimes as calm as a lake—so be prepared!

Enjoy the fabulous on-board facilities: join a yoga class or attend a presentation or two given by the expedition team to prepare you for what lies ahead—from the geology of Antarctica to its history and wildlife, and even the ice!

Sailing towards Antarctica there is a fall in temperature as travelers cross the Antarctic Convergence and enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The Antarctic Convergence is marked by an increased number of seabirds, whales, and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters pushed to the surface by the colder waters of the polar region flowing north and meeting the warmer equatorial waters flowing south.

Head out on deck to look for the mighty albatross that flies overhead, scan the waters for breaching whales and icebergs, or gaze out from the panoramic windows of the observation deck.

Keep on the lookout for the first sighting of land—that heralds your arrival to the White Continent!

Day 5-8: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Spend four days exploring the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, a region that has captivated explorers for centuries and now enthralls modern-day travelers. Enjoy exploring by Zodiac, cruising among the magnificently sculpted icebergs. Make the most of every opportunity to go ashore, where friendly penguins and spectacular panoramic views await. There may even be opportunities to kayak and snowshoe and, of course, learn more about photography from onboard experts.

Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs, and ice-strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife—from extensive colonies of chinstrap, gentoo, and Adélie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur, and elephant seals, and a plethora of fascinating seabirds. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the mighty crack of a glacier calving. Every day brings a new experience and new landing sites.

Cruise from one landing site to the next, enjoy the continued lecture program and take in the views from the outer decks of the Ocean Endeavour. Maybe you will be one of the brave few to take a polar plunge in the icy waters! Make the most of the ship’s health and fitness facilities, from the relaxing spa and saunas to the pool and gym.

Day 9-10: At Sea | Drake Passage

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Leaving the magnificent Antarctic Peninsula behind, take memories and photographs and set out on your way back through the Drake Passage. As you sail, take pleasure in engaging lectures and presentations while keeping a keen eye out for wildlife from the comfort of the observation lounge and the outer decks. Before the trip concludes, perhaps you'll indulge in some relaxation at the spa and sauna.

Once successfully crossed back through the Drake Passage, enter the calm and tranquil waters of the Beagle Channel heading towards Ushuaia.

Day 11: Ushuaia | Disembarkation

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Ushuaia after enjoying your final breakfast on the Ocean Endeavour. You have an included transfer to Ushuaia Airport if you're flying home today, otherwise, enjoy some extra time exploring Tierra del Fuego and its rugged surroundings.

Note: Please do not book your flight to depart Ushuaia before midday in case of any delays caused by unfavorable weather conditions.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Endeavour

Ocean Endeavour in Antarctic waters
Polaris Restaurant at Ocean Endeavour
Sample buffet spread of Polaris Restaurant at Ocean Endeavour

Ushuaia - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$7,899
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Ocean Endeavour - Category 1 - Single Interior
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Single Interior - Cat. 1
122 sq.ft (11 sq. m) Interior location Private bathroom with hair dryer and bathrobe Single bed Flatscreen TV Located on Deck 5
Ocean Endeavour - Category 2 - Interior
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Triple Interior - Cat. 2
Approximately 220 to 230 sq. ft. (20 to 21.5 sq. m) Three lower berths One or two private bathrooms with hair dryer and bathrobes Flatscreen TV Interior location Located on Deck 4
Ocean Endeavour - Category 3 - Interior
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Interior Twin - Cat. 3
Approximately 120 sq.ft (11 sq. m) Two lower berths Private bathroom with hair dryer and bathrobes Interior location Flatscreen TV Located on Deck 4
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 4 - Twin Porthole
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Twin Porthole - Cat. 4
Approximately 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) Two lower berths Private bathroom with hair dryer and bathrobes Flatscreen TV One porthole* or window (unobstructed views) *Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution Located on Deck 4 or Deck 5
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 4A - Single Porthole
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Single Porthole - Cat. 4A
Approximately 76 sq. ft. (7 sq. m) Two lower berths Private bathroom with hair dryer and bathrobes One porthole* (unobstructed views) *Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution Flatscreen TV Located on Deck 4
Category 5 - Twin Window
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Twin Window - Cat. 5
Approximately 141 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) One or two windows (partially or fully obstructed views) Two lower berths or one double bed Private bathroom with hair dryer and bathrobes Flatscreen TV and refrigerator Located on Deck 7 and Deck 8
Ocean Endeavour - Category 5A - Single WindowOcean Endeavour - Category 5A - Single Window
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Single Window - Cat. 5A
Approximately 155 to 174 sq. ft. (14 to 16 sq. m) Two windows (partially obstructed views) Double bed Private bathroom with hair dryer and bathrobes Flatscreen TV and refrigerator Located on Deck 8
Ocean Endeavour - Category 8 - Comfort Twin
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Comfort Twin - Cat. 6
Approximately 228 sq. ft. (21 sq. m) Two single berths Separate sitting area with a pull out sofa bed *Two portholes (unobstructed views) *Please note that porthole covers may be closed during sea days or during inclement weather as a safety precaution Private bathroom (some cabins have 2 bathrooms) with hair dryer and bathrobes Flatscreen TV and refrigerator Located on Deck 4
Ocean Endeavour - Category 7 - Select Twin
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Select Twin - Cat. 7
Approximately 214 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) Two single berths Separate living area with a pull-out sofa bed Two windows (unobstructed views) Private bathroom (some cabins have two bathrooms) with hair dryer and bathrobes Flatscreen TV and refrigerator Located on Deck 5
Ocean Endeavour - Category 8 - Superior Twin
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Superior - Cat. 8
Deck 5 - Approximately. 225 sq. ft. (21 sq. m), two lower berths, a separate sitting area with a pull out sofa bed, two large windows | Deck 7 - Approximately 165 to 200 sq. ft. (15 to 19 sq. m), one double bed, a sofa, two large windows Two single berths or one double bed Two windows (unobstructed or partially obstructed views) Private bathroom with hair dryer and bathrobes Flatscreen TV and refrigerator Located on Deck 5 or Deck 7
Ocean Endeavour - Category 9 - Junior Suite
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Junior Suite - Cat. 9
Deck 5 are at least 325 sq. ft. (30 sq. m), and at least 243 sq. ft. (22.5 sq. m) on Deck 7 Bow or port-facing picture windows (unobstructed views) Double bed Separate sitting area with sofa Flatscreen TV and refrigerator Private bathroom with shower (3 cabins), bathtub (1 cabin), hair dryer and bathrobes Located on Deck 5 or Deck 7
Ocean Endeavour - Category 10 - Owner's Suite
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Owner's Suite - Cat. 10
Approximately 305 sq. ft. (28 sq. m) Four forward-facing windows (unobstructed) Double Bed Separate sitting area with sofa Flatscreen TV and refrigerator Private bathroom with bathtub, hair dryer and bathrobes Located on Deck 7

Notes

RATES
Rates correct at date above but are subject to change & subject to availability at time of booking.

SINGLES POLICY
Single Cabins (Solo Use) are available in CAT 1, CAT 4A & CAT 5A. Willing to share (same-sex) available at no extra charge in CAT 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8, subject to availability. Single Supplement to create a Solo Use cabin is available in CAT 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 (only) at a surcharge of 1.7 x applicable Twin-share rate, subject to availability.
Included
  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • For those traveling internationally with Intrepid: emergency evacuation and medical insurance are mandatory, and comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. See here for more details

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When to Go

Jan
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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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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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