Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent - Explorer
Antarctica light is extraordinary. It makes everyone feel elated and fully alive! Take this lovely ship with her Nat Geo-level experts to the Antarctic Peninsula to see it for yourself.
Antarctica: Drink It In
Welcome Aboard the
National Geographic Explorer
Antarctica may be at the end of the Earth, but this operator has been bringing guests here for decades— safely sharing all the wonders of this vast land and sea. People come for the wildlife but fall in love with the ice: an entire museum of colossal and magical ice forms defying description. And you’ll get a front seat to the dashing history of the Heroic Age of Exploration. Armed with a flexible itinerary that allows you to go where conditions are best and wildlife is most active, you’ll experience all the splendor of Antarctica.
- • Venture into channels and coves framed by towering peaks. Watch whales play off the bow and glide around enormous icebergs in Zodiacs.
• Photograph penguin colonies with a National Geographic photographer; hike, kayak, and even possibly cross-country ski in complete tranquility.
• This operator has been offering this program for over 50 years! Benefit from their great expertise and safety standards in the region.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
From $15,080 per person
Cancel your expedition at least 14 days before departure and receive 100% future travel credit. Policies and protocols provided before you book.
Jan 6-19, 2023
Jan 16-29, 2023
Jan 26-Feb 8, 2023
Feb 5-18, 2023
Nov 27-Dec 10, 2023
Dec 7-20, 2023
Dec 17-30, 2023
Ask us for later dates.
Dec-Feb 2023, 2024
Hover here for specific dates
Trip Sustainability Awards
Offsets 100% of operations and is carbon neutral
Sources all food and seafood sustainably and locally
100% free of single-use plastics!
Day 1-2: U.S./Buenos Aires, Argentina
Depart on an overnight flight to Buenos Aires. Settle into the Alvear Art Hotel (or similar) before seeing the city’s Beaux-Arts palaces and the famous balcony associated with Eva Perón. This area is excellent for photos! (Day 2 includes Lunch)
Day 3: Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark
Today we fly south to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, where we meet our ship. Ushuaia’s spectacular setting, between the jagged peaks of the Cordillera Darwin and the protected waters of the Beagle Channel, makes it an appropriately wild place to begin our journey to the White Continent and a great destination in its own right. While we’re there, we visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, where we can view a beautiful forest of southern beech, very much like those that covered Antarctica millions of years ago. Lunch will be served onboard a private catamaran while cruising the Beagle Channel, where we’ll be on the lookout for huge South American sea lions and birds like imperial cormorants. Residents of Ushuaia often call their small city ‘El Fin Del Mundo’, The End of the World, but for us, it’s just the beginning.
Day 4: At Sea Crossing the Drake Passage
This 500-mile-wide strait between South America and the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most famous bodies of water in the world. Sometimes ferocious, sometimes flat calm, the Drake is always a fascinating place in its own right. This part of the journey is our best opportunity to see gorgeous seabirds like the wandering albatross, and we might be lucky enough to encounter killer whales or rare species of dolphins. This is also a day to get to know our ship and prepare for the adventures ahead. Visit the Bridge (a great place to spot wildlife), have a relaxing massage, attend a talk about the biology of the penguins you’ll soon be seeing, or settle into a comfy chair in the observation lounge, look out over the waves and reflect on the incredible history of this fabled passage. If it does get a little rough, just take a couple of nice naps; we’ll be in Antarctica before you know it.
Day 5: Exploring Antarctica
The Antarctic Peninsula stretches over 800 miles from north to south, a spine of craggy peaks cut by dozens of deep fjords. It’s an enormous region with many different faces and ever-changing weather, which is what makes our long experience here so important. Five decades of exploration has given us an unparalleled knowledge of the region, allowing us to stay flexible and respond to changing conditions, turn on a dime and select the optimal activity for each day. We plan to be out daily, exploring in our Zodiacs, hiking at penguin colonies, discovering remote bays, photographing wildlife, and learning fascinating details from the naturalists and other experts who accompany us on every excursion.
Day 6: Exploring Antarctica
Ice! It’s probably the very first thing most people think about when the topic of Antarctica comes up, and once you’re here it never disappoints. From icebergs the size of islands to the fragile, nearly invisible layers glistening on the surface where the sea has just begun to freeze, from near-vertical glaciers pouring down the slopes of every mountain to the endless landscapes of sea ice, frozen ocean stretching to the horizon in every direction, ice defines the Antarctic. You’ll get to know it up close and personal, hiking, kayaking and cruising in the Zodiacs through this frozen world.
Day 7: Exploring Antarctica
Our sturdy Zodiac landing craft are really the heart and soul of our explorations in the Antarctic. These tough, stable little motorized boats maneuver easily through ice-choked waters, getting us ashore safely in even the most remote and challenging locations. And simply cruising in the Zodiacs is just as much fun. What’s around the next corner? A leopard seal relaxing on an ice floe or a chance to photograph an exquisite arched iceberg that no one has ever seen before? We never know until we get there, but it’s always a thrill.
Day 8: Exploring Antarctica
Penguins, without any doubt, are the most popular residents of Antarctica, and we have many chances to get to know them well. Their colonies are almost always close to the beach, so it’s very easy to get great photos. In the short Antarctic summer these amazing birds are always busy with the many tasks of breeding and raising their chicks, so every month brings something new. In November the adults are squabbling over the pebbles they use to build their nests. By late December the first chicks are tucked in under their parents, peeping out at the world. And in February the chicks have left their nests and are very active, learning to swim and getting ready to fend for themselves.
Day 9: Exploring Antarctica
Everywhere we go in the Antarctic we’re surrounded by opportunities to capture uniquely beautiful images with our cameras. Whether we are cruising past spectacular glaciers in the ship, getting close to seals in the Zodiacs, or hiking around the penguin colonies, we are always in the company of an expert National Geographic photographer and photo instructor who share what they see and help us to perfect both the art and the technique of our own photography. The impossibly gorgeous blue in the heart of an iceberg, a penguin tenderly feeding its tiny chick or a glorious sunset over frozen ocean, shots like these surround us every day. Learning to capture these perfect moments is both a wonderful challenge and a huge thrill.
Day 10: Exploring Antarctica
Really exploring Antarctica also means simply relaxing and watching while our ship cruises through some of the most spectacular scenery on Earth. Grab a cup of cocoa and a comfortable seat in the Observation Lounge or visit the officers on the Bridge; bundle up and climb all the way up to the Monkey Deck for a really panoramic view, or just kick back in your cabin and watch for seals on ice or whales blowing in the distance. We make transits of world-famous passages like the Lemaire Channel and Antarctic Sound and go ashore on the continent itself, but we also visit equally amazing islands and places that you’ve never heard of, yet!
Day 11-12: At Sea
Enjoy the ship’s amenities as the coast of Antarctica disappears from view.
Round the southernmost tip of South America and see the meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Take some time to go through your photos. Send a message home to friends and family saying: “Don’t want this to end!” And celebrate your voyage at a farewell dinner on board.
Day 13-14: Disembark Ushuaia/Fly to Buenos Aires/Home
Today we disembark in Ushuaia. Fly by private charter flight to Buenos Aires and connect with your overnight flight home. (Day 23 includes Breakfast & Lunch)
Please Note: Some departures may have a slightly modified itinerary. Please confirm departure and arrival cities with your Travel Curator before booking your flights.
Special Offer (Subject to change): Travel aboard the National Geographic Explorer on any voyage and this operator will cover your bar tab and all tips for the crew.
Children: Take $500 off for each child under the age of 18.
Group Rates: Save 5% when traveling as a group of 8 or more people. Take advantage of these great savings, while enjoying traveling with your friends and family. This savings is applicable to voyage fares only, and is not valid on extensions or airfare. Deposit, final payments, and cancellation policies for group travel vary from regular policies.
National Geographic Explorer
Arguably the finest expedition vessel on the seas, a state-of-the-art, ice-class expedition ship, all cabins have outside views; private bathrooms; and beautiful furnishings. Public spaces include a library, a lounge, a bar, a spa, a fitness center, a sauna, an internet cafe, and delicious fresh cuisine is served in the dining room. The ship carries kayaks, a fleet of Zodiac motorized landing craft, as well as top-of-the-line video equipment that allows access to the underwater world.
• Capacity: 148 guests
• Cabins: 81
• Specialists: National Geographic Experts, National Geographic Photo Coach, Full-Time Doctor, Video Chronicler, and Wellness Coach
2019 Condé Nast Traveler - Best Small Ship Cruise Line in the World
2019 Travel + Leisure - Best Small Ship Ocean Cruise Line
2018 Cruise Critic - Best for Adventure
"The lovely National Geographic Explorer isn't as flashy as this operator's two latest ships, however she still delivers a very comfortable atmosphere, world-class guiding and 50 years of experience which definitely make a difference in this complex yet unforgettable region. The NG Explorer has long represented one of the best experiences on offer, and if you don't have to have a brand-new ship, she'll offer you an outstanding trip."
Life On Board
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I've sent scores of travelers on this lovely ship. This veteran operator delivers a fantastic experience every time!
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: