Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise

Antarctic Peninsula

South Shetland Islands

Polar Circle

Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise, a expedition trought the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands & the Weddell Sea aboard the USHUAIA

Be part of this Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise, getting into the Weddell Sea aboard the M / V Ushuaia, visiting the South Shetland Islands archipelago in the Welling region, and crossing the entire west side of the Antarctic Peninsula to reach the Antarctic Circle. We invite you to discover this magical place in an incredible 12-days trip, with landings in beautiful continental places immersed in the most amazing frozen landscapes accompanied by a great variety of native flora and fauna.

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AT A GLANCE

Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise - Trip Itinerary

12 days – 11 nigths Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise itinerary to the Antarctica aboard the M / V Ushuaia, accompanied by an excellent professional and human team, as well as bilingual guides in Spanish and English who are responsible for making this a unique experience. Dare to enjoy this unique and unrepeatable trip.

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise, in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Day 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions’ lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.

The USHUAIA’s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well. The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favorable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3 on the Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise.

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Day 4 to 9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, and endeavor to cross the Polar Circle

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula´s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Fin and Sei whales in the area.

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Let's Explore more...

In this Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise we hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.

As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faraday, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.

On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent-shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Polar Circle

Day 10 & 11: At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

The 10th day of the Polar Circle Antarctica Cruise we leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

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Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

Map of Route

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Extend your visit and enjoy Patagonia

Live an adventure through the incredible landscapes of Patagonia, and discover every corner of its best attractions from north to south. Enjoy Bariloche and the lakes district, which resemble the mixture of huge forests, turquoise lakes, cozy villages, and emblematic mountains. Spot the amazing wildlife in Puerto Madryn and Peninsula Valdés, where you can see whales, penguins, sea lions, killer whales (orcas), and many other incredible species.

Experience the gaucho’s life at a local ranch (Estancia) in any part of the region. Discover the spectacular Paine Massif and its trekking trails, and Torres del Paine wildlife. Hike along the Argentina’s best trekking trails in El Chalten, and contemplate the incredible Glaciers in El Calafate. Reach the End of The World in Ushuaia and navigate on the Beagle Channel.

Whatever is your travel plan, we invite you to discover this region together, guided by our Patagonia travel experts.

Chek some of our best tours

Get inspired by these Patagonia travel itineraries, which are prepared for different travel styles, just like yours. They’re good examples to show you how your trip to Patagonia could look like. As you can see, you can also include other destinations within Argentina, Chile, or even Antarctica. Let us know your needs, wishes and preferences, and let’s work together to build a trip of a lifetime!

 

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