Quest for the Antarctic Circle - Expedition
Crossing the Antarctic Circle at 66 degrees south is a feat often celebrated with a ceremony officiated by King Neptune himself! Join the enthusiastic crew on the much-loved Expedition to experience it.
Antarctica: Drink It In
Welcome Aboard the
A massive rookery of penguins shuffles across a frozen shore; a pod of whales glides through frigid waters; dramatic landscapes float off in the distance — welcome to Antarctica. Join us on a voyage of discovery to our planet’s last frontier — a mysterious and virtually pristine paradise. Our ice-strengthened expedition ship is ideally suited to cruising this icy wilderness, and her expert staff are on hand to ensure you’ll fully appreciate all the majesty you encounter. Sail the Drake Passage past the South Shetland Islands, then really explore the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Prepare yourself for an adventure like no other — more like a private expedition than a traditional cruise.
- • With a look and feel like a college dorm this simple ship offers an active trip at a great value.
• See massive tabular icebergs and lots of Weddell seals below the Antarctic Circle.
• This ship always offers a very happy and enthusiastic expedition staff!
Travel Curator’s Insights:
From $10,199 per person
Cancel and rebook your trip with no added costs closer to the time of departure. Policies and protocols provided before you book.
Dec 21, 2023 – Jan 3, 2024
Feb 8-21, 2024
Feb 20-March 4, 2024
Ask us for later dates.
Feb, Dec 2023, Feb 2024
Hover here for specific dates
Trip Sustainability Awards
Has launched the Plastics Partnership Project to eliminate the use of single-use plastics
Works closely with The Jane Goodall Institute avoid harming and exploiting wildlife
ChildSafe certified and upholds a strict Child Welfare Traveler Code of Conduct
Day 1: Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia at any time. Arrival transfer included. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the world's most southerly city.
Accommodation: Albatros Hotel (or similar)
Day 2: Ushuaia/Drake Passage
Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia. Do any last minute shopping, explore the town, or visit the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel.
Optional Activity: Tierra del Fuego National Park Visit, Ushuaia
Explore this stunning coastal national park extending 630 sq km. We'll take care of the transport, the park entrance fee, and take you to scenic lookouts in the southern portion of the park. Pass Valle Rio Pipo on the way to Austral Fueguino train station. Opt to take the End of the World train (not included in price) before visiting Lago Roca and Bahía Lapataia. Keep an eye out for a variety of birdlife and spectacular colors in the fall. (Please note: The entirety of this activity including the End of the World train can only be booked on the ground locally.)
Days 3–4: Drake Passage/South Shetland Islands
The adventure begins with an 1000 km (600 mi) crossing of the passage named in honor of 16th-century English sea captain and privateer, Sir Francis Drake. The ship is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean. Enjoy daily lectures from the expedition team and keep an eye out for icebergs, whales, and albatross following in the Expedition's wake.
Days 5–6: South Shetland Islands/Antarctic Peninsula
Encounter some of the region's unique wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery while setting foot on the Antarctic continent. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather permitting) and encounter gentoo, chinstrap, and Adélie penguin rookeries; Weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals; and orca, humpback, and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters.
This is what we've all been waiting for - a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next four days the Expedition will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt two excursions per day while navigating through the area but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions. The peninsula also has a remarkable human history; during the voyage, learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.
Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The Expedition has one of the highest ratios of expedition team members to guests – with one expert for every ten guests there is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes. The expedition team is comprised of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure.
Days 7–8 Antarctic Peninsula/Antarctic Circle
With a close eye on weather conditions, continue southward along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Passing colossal icebergs and countless colonies of penguins, push on with the goal in mind - crossing the Antarctic Polar Circle. Few travelers have ventured this far south, but with our fully equipped ice-strengthened vessel and favorable sea conditions, the Expedition can access many remote locations other ships just can't reach.
Days 9–11: Antarctic Circle/Drake Passage
Turn north for the first time to continue exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Continue our exploration of the peninsula and the then into the South Shetland while moving North again. Keeping a close eye out for wildlife there might be opportunities to do some whale watching or even go for a polar plunge in the Southern waters.
Polar Plunge: You remembered to pack your bathing suit, right? Depending on weather conditions, opt to do the polar plunge and jump into the frigid waters of the Antarctic. Convince some of your fellow passengers to join and you’ll be left with an amazing group experience no one will ever forget!
Day 12: Drake Passage
Leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. In between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by the expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia. Remember, the best way to experience the wildlife of the Drake Passage is to be on deck keeping a look out for Albatross, Prions and Whales!
Day 13 Drake Passage/Ushuaia
Begin your journey to your home port of Ushuaia. Review the highlights of your Antarctic experience with our lecturers and staff, and keep your eyes open on the observation deck for some last-minute whale sightings.
Day 14: Ushuaia
Disembark the Expedition after breakfast.
Please Note: Expedition travel can be full of surprises! While it is our intention of adhere to the itinerary as described, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day onboard, the Expedition Leader will give an expedition overview outlining what the specific plans are for the trip.
Pre-Cruise Hotel Night: The first night in Ushuaia is on twin share basis. If you're travelling solo or have an odd number of travelers in your group and have not purchased a private cabin, you will be paired with another solo traveler of the same gender.
Activity Level: Moderate. Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Age requirement: 10+. All travelers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Antarctica Camping - From $379pp
Follow in the footsteps of bold explorers and experience this land’s awe-inspiring splendours first-hand. Our Antarctica camping experience includes time to enjoy the beauty of Antarctica near your campsite with ample photography options. Experience the sounds of heaving ice, the fresh scent of the sea, and the stars at night. Nothing gets you closer to the humbling forces of nature than spending a night ashore! Available on certain departures.
Antarctica Kayaking - From $1,299pp
Weather permitting, you will head out in kayaks on days where zodiac landings are also available. Kayaking as part of a group led by experienced and skilled leaders allows an opportunity to experience these remote regions from another vantage point. No other activity gets you as close to the natural environment! This activity is offered on all departures.
The Expedition has multiple large public areas to enjoy during sea crossings and in between land excursions. Amenities include: all cabins with private en suite baths and outside views, a gear shop, a dining room that accommodates all passengers in one sitting, a large aft deck with barbecue facilities, a forward deck viewing platforms, a fitness center/sauna, and a large fleet of Zodiacs with 4-stroke engines. Not only will the Expedition steer you closer to some of our planet’s most amazing places, this ship's professional and highly-skilled team of on-board experts will offer keen insight, unique perspectives, and hands-on attention not found in a guidebook. Make your next trip a voyage you’ll remember the rest of your life. Return home a different person than when you left after traveling on the Expedition.
• Capacity: 134 Guests
• Cabins: 67 Cabins
• Specialists: Credentialed Experts, 1:10 Staff to Guest Ratio
USA Today "10 best Reader's Choice 2019 - Best Adventure Travel Company"
Gold Travvy Awards "Best Escorted Tour Operator 2019"
Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards "2019 Best Adventure Operator"
"The Expedition is a much-loved vessel with simple cabins and amenities much like a college dorm. She has a very enthusiastic crew and expedition staff. This ship is spacious and highly functional with quad and triple cabins along with the opportunity for solo travelers to share with a same-sex roommate at the twin, triple or quad rate. She was originally a car ferry that was turned quite intentionally into an expedition vessel. The extra space allowed this operator to be one of the first to add a mud room for boots and gear which later became the fashion on many expedition vessels. One of the pioneers in sustainable travel, this operator protects the environment in countless ways and gives back to communities across the globe. If you're active, are fine with casual surroundings, and like to travel with happy people, the Expedition will provide you with a wonderful experience."
Life On Board
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I've had many happy clients return from adventures on the Expedition with rave reviews. The key is for me to make sure the client I'm speaking with is just right for, and knows exactly what to expect on this fun yet simple ship.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: