Embark this 12-day expedition to spend New Year's Eve in Antarctica! Penguins, and first-landing buzz is going to help you ring in the new year. Penguin highways are congested with travel between rookeries and the shore as parents race to fatten up chicks now that summer is in full force. Waterways are teeming with feeding and breaching whales, and glaciers are roaring as they shed ice. You can go on whale-watching trips and among stunning icebergs. Life erupts in a flurry under the nearly midnight sun. What a memorable way to kick off the year!
Experience camping on the White Continent
Enjoy feeding humpback whales, when they arrive in great numbers
Sail through the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap”
Explore the supremely picturesque Gerlache Strait
Discover nesting colonies of gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of the Antarctic expedition! Upon your arrival at the airport, you are greeted by Sea Spirit staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by Sea Spirit and is included in the price of the itinerary. For the rest of the day, you are free to explore this vibrant port city and adventure hub. For an introduction to local history and wildlife, the interesting Museo del Fin del Mundo is worth a visit.
If you have time to spare, a variety of nature activities can be arranged to suit all interests and fitness levels, from hiking in nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park to wildlife viewing in the Beagle Channel. For dinner, Ushuaia offers a wide range of restaurants featuring Patagonian lamb and delectable Fuegian seafood.
After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Ushuaia. Explore the delightful waterfront and savor views of the snowcapped Martial Range, the southernmost peaks of the Andes. Take advantage of shopping for souvenirs or some lastminute necessities such as cold-weather gear. Just remember, you soon receive your very own parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, the many cafés, parrillas and gelato shops on Avenida San Martín is to be sure to satisfy any appetite. In the afternoon, you are transferred to the pier where you are warmly welcomed aboard the luxury expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that is going to be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. After getting underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the scenery and gorgeous evening light as you pass through the Beagle Channel.
After passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, turn south to begin crossing of the Drake Passage. Watch for humpback and fin whales along the way. The majestic wandering albatross and other graceful subantarctic seabirds are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks and balconies. Also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Briefings, bio-security procedures and presentations by lecture staff prepare you for the arrival in Antarctica.
Hope to arrive in the South Shetland Islands on the evening of second day at sea. During the crossing, hoping it can be smooth, celebrate the New Year's day with special meals and holiday festivities in the various traditions of multinational passengers. You are encouraged to dress in elegant attire for an evening of music, dancing and champagne. New Year’s Eve in Antarctica is a night to remember!
Day 5-9: South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Within the next days, you continue the in-depth exploration of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. This region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and the best wildlife viewing in Antarctica. Sheltered bays and channels sparkle with ice and reflect towering mountain peaks coated in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to huge numbers of marine mammals and seabirds. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large rookeries at special places on land. Here you also find Antarctic research bases of various nationalities, some with gift shops and post offices.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and is likely be the first area of exploration. This wildly beautiful island chain contains many landing sites with historical significance and abundant wildlife. You also explore the supremely picturesque Gerlache Strait area of the Antarctic Peninsula, a pristine wilderness of spectacular white landscapes, colossal icebergs, obliging marine mammals and bustling penguin colonies. You plan to pass through the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the narrow channel reflects the image of sheer snowy mountains.
Throughout the islands and on the mainland, you find nesting colonies of gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins, sometimes side by side. At this time, penguin eggs are starting to hatch, causing parents to rush to the sea and back to gather krill for their hungry chicks. Predatory skuas are quick to capitalize on this new food source. As sea ice continues to recede, humpback whales arrive in great numbers and begin non-stop feeding. Killer whales are also on the hunt for seals and minke whales. Groups of crabeater seals occupy the last of the ice floes while Weddell seals haul out on land. Solitary leopard seals can be spotted patrolling the coast near penguin colonies.
In this rugged yet accessible environment, superb wildlife viewing is best complemented by active adventure. The knowledgeable guides can offer hiking and hill climbing for an even greater perspective of this raw polar wilderness. For sea kayakers, the wildlife-rich waters of Antarctica offer many chances to paddle with seals and penguins in some of the world’s most scenic waterways. With long daylight hours and the summer’s warmest temperatures, camping is also a great way to make the most of your time on the White Continent.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. The precise route and exploration opportunities is shaped by weather and ice. The experienced captain and expedition leader are continually adjust plans to take maximum advantage of the conditions in this challenging polar environment. With over 21 hours of daylight per day, you seize every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing and amazing scenery on shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
New Year's day falls in the middle of the Antarctic Peninsula adventure. You can celebrate it with special meals and holiday festivities in the various traditions of the multinational passengers. You are encourage to dress in elegant attire for an evening of music, dancing and champagne. New Year’s Eve in Antarctica is a night to remember!
It is now time to head back across the Drake Passage toward South America, but the adventure is not quite over. Seabirds are the constant companions and there is always the possibility of whale encounters in these wild waters. This is also the time for festivities such as the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail and the end-of-voyage slideshow. Finally, as you enter the calm Beagle Channel, you enjoy a night of smooth sailing toward Ushuaia.
Day 12: Ushuaia, Argentina | Disembark
After yet another delicious breakfast on board, bid a fond farewell in Ushuaia. A group transfer is provided to the airport or to the city center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next polar adventure!
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published. Below per person rate based on previous season. Contact us to confirm upcoming season pricing.
Prices for are estimated based on inflation. Contact us to confirm pricing and availability for your desired departure date.
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Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds (convert to a King) and a sofa bed, picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities.
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Main Deck Suite
Averaging 248 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, minimum two portholes, and en suite facilities.
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Averaging 21 square meters/226 square feet, these cabins are located on the Oceanus Deck. They feature a picture window (it may be covered during rough sea crossings), two wardrobes, and a king-size bed.
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Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window, two wardrobes, and en suite facilities.
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Averaging 215 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window overlooking outside walkway, and en suite facilities.
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Averaging 258 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, walk-in closet or wardrobe, and en suite facilities.
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Averaging 323 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, lounge area, and en suite facilities.
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Averaging 463 sq ft. King size bed and sofa bed, separate living room with game and meeting area, private deck, and en suite facilities with jetted bathtub.
All rates posted are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; twice the posted price for Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite.
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