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From Ushuaia to Santiago, see more of Antarctica in less time on this in-depth expedition

Our most immersive and diverse expedition, this voyage offers a comprehensive Antarctic and Southern Ocean experience in less time.  Starting in Ushuaia, brave the waters of the Drake Passage on your way to the Antarctic Peninsular. Spend several days exploring this spectacular area, before visiting the wildlife paradise of South Georgia and the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). This voyage shows you Antarctica's extremes. Conclude your once-in-a-lifetime experience with a flight back to Santiago, Chile. 

Ushuaia, Argentina
Santiago, Chile
Antarctica, Argentina, Chile, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Polar, Wildlife
Physical rating
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 117

Why we love this trip

  • Take regular walks and Zodiac rides in search of extraordinary wildlife. From penguins and reindeer to whales and seals, the Antarctic is teeming with life

  • On-board polar experts provide great insight into the history, geology and wildlife of the region, complementing what you see around you each day

  • Flights from Punta Arenas provide speed and accessibility to the remote destination of Antarctica, and are perfect for those who are nervous about crossing the Drake Passage

  • This trip offers a well-balanced mix of time spent at sea and visiting the region's diverse islands. Wherever you are, you'll be right in the middle of landscapes that are like nowhere else on earth

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although our ice strengthened ships are big and sturdy, Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially through the Drake Passage and other open water crossings. Please be prepared with medications to combat this. There is also a doctor on-board should you need further assistance.

  • As you’d expect, temperatures in the Antarctic are freezing. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.

  • Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if seas are rough.

  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are equally as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The on-board library and educational lectures are ideal ways for keeping entertained.


Welcome to Argentina. You’ll be transferred to the hotel in Ushuaia where you’ll meet your group and be briefed about the trip after checking in.

Ushuaia is a busy port town on the island of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. If you have some free time before the trip begins, explore this town at the ‘end of the world’. Perhaps take a short trek around the breathtaking lake at Laguna Esmeralda or have some dinner in the evening with your new group.

Note: If you decide to go to Laguna Esmeralda during your free time, it’s a good idea to take good hiking boots with you, as the walk can be muddy and slippery.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast board the ship, sailing into the Beagle Channel in the afternoon. This passage of water was named after the ship that once carried Charles Darwin through the area. The channel releases ships into the immense Southern Ocean, where the next sighting of land will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo opportunities abound as grand coastlines emerge and hungry sea birds follow the ship.

Note: If you’re flying from Punta Arenas to Antarctica you will meet up with the rest of the group when the boat arrives at the Antarctic Peninsula.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
During the crossing of the famous Drake Passage, become acquainted with your shipmates and learn more about the trip ahead. Thick parkas are provided to keep you warm while on deck. The expedition team will give a number of lectures about safety procedures and Antarctica’s history so you’ll be fully prepared for the adventures to come. Please be aware that seas may be rough through the Drake Passage.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Sail through dramatic landscapes into the remote world of the Antarctic Peninsula. From the boat, watch wildlife swim in the waters below and witness penguins in their natural habitat. While weather and sea conditions determine which landings can be made, the expedition team will ensure that each day of your Antarctic adventure is unforgettable.

Make your first landing by Zodiak on the Antarctic Peninsula, perhaps enjoying panoramic views from the top of a nearby hill. Other possible adventures include exploring the historic site of Port Lockroy, watching glaciers calve into the sea at Petermann Island or cruising around Pleneau Island in search of elephant and fur seals.


A gentoo penguin rookery is situated on the north end of the island on a rocky beach. Depending on the time of season you arrive, you may see them building nests or attending to their chicks. Giant petrels and kelp gulls breed on the island.
If you are lucky enough to mail a postcard in Antarctica, you’ll likely pass through Damoy Point, the northern entrance to the harbor on which Port Lockroy is located.
This small island, one mile (1.6 km) in length, is easy to explore and home to gentoo penguins. You can visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut and watch for a variety of seabirds such as snowy sheathbills, kelp gulls and blue-eyed shags.
Located in Wilhelmina Bay, the island was used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise around the island passes a wrecked whaling ship.
This strait runs between Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula; you’ll see that this is one of the most scenic locations on the western coast, especially during sunrise and sunset. The 6.8 mile-long (11 km) Channel may become
impassable when ice fills the narrow passageway, so we’ll hope for clear waters.
A group of low islands in Dallmann Bay, on which you may see male fur seals haul-out at the end of the breeding season to recuperate from their battles for supremacy.
Little evidence remains that this bay was once used by the floating whale factory ship Neko. You might see some whale vertebrae used by resident gentoo penguins as shelter from the wind. There is an unmanned refuge hut here, erected by Argentina. Climb past the hut and up a steep slope for
spectacular views of the glacier-rimmed harbour.
Here, near the Lemaire Channel, you can stand ashore and see the southernmost breeding colony of gentoo penguins. The dome of the island rises 650 feet (200 meters) above the sea, offering a challenging hike for panoramic views. Adélie penguins, shags and south polar skuas also inhabit the island.
A ‘fun’ destination of sorts, we always strive to journey to Port Lockroy if weather permits. The harbour is on the west side of Wiencke Island. A secret base was built on the harbour during the Second World War as part of Operation Tabarin. It is now designated as a historic site, where Port Lockroy is a museum and post office. Proceeds from your purchases
here support the preservation of historic sites from the Heroic Age of Exploration.
Of historic interest, you may venture to this unique point, which at low tide is connected to the Antarctic mainland. Zodiacs are used to explore the area when the tide is in. Two scientists studying penguin behavior lived in a water boat on the Point from 1921-22. The remains of their camp have been
designated an Antarctic historic site.
This is a group of small islands, some still unnamed, situated in the northern entrance of English Strait. You can often spot a great mix of wildlife here, with gentoo and chinstrap penguins having established rookeries. Southern elephant and fur seals are frequently hauled-out here too.
Also known as Rancho Point, this area is a rocky headland on the southeastern shore of Deception Island. Chinstrap penguins build nests on slopes leading to a high ridge that dominates the natural amphitheater and provides a superb setting for landscape photography.
This crescent-shaped island was known to sealers as early as 1821. Unlike sealers who liked to keep their best locations secret, we’re happy to bring you ashore on this impressive island. Many Antarctic birds breed here including chinstrap penguins, shags, Wilson’s storm-petrels, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic terns and skua.
Macaroni, chinstrap and gentoo penguin rookeries are located on the point, which is on the south coast of Livingston Island. Due to the rather congested area available to the nesting penguins, you can only visit here from January 10 onwards.
Hot geothermal waters are found along the shoreline of this cove, named for observations made in 1829 by a British expedition. You may see yellow algae and boiled krill floating on the surface because of the scalding hot water!
Antarctica has two flowering plants, both of which you can find on Penguin Island: Deschampsia antarctica and Colobanthus quitensis. Chinstrap penguins, fur seals and southern elephant seals use the island for breeding purposes.
A nice spot for Zodiac cruising, this point was known to sealers as early as 1820. Chinstrap penguins, kelp gulls and pintado breed here, and whales may be seen in the surrounding waters.
Your Expedition Team will be happy to point out that it is here where the most recent evidence of volcanic eruption on Deception Island can be seen.
Chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries are found on this point, situated on the south coast of King George Island. The beaches here are often crowded with southern elephant, fur, and Weddell seals hauled-out on the rocks.
To reach Whaler’s Bay it is necessary to sail through a narrow passage called Neptune’s Bellows. The bay was used by whalers from 1906 to 1931 and is part of a protected harbour created by a circular flooded caldera, known as Deception Island. Along with waddling penguins and lounging seals, you’ll see rusting remains of whaling operations on the beach. Watch for steam that may rise from geothermally heated water springs along the shoreline.
Gentoo penguins have established a rookery on this harbour, situated on the southwest side of Greenwich Island. Here you can see an abandoned Argentine refuge hut and a large glacier that stretches along the east and north sides of the bay. An abandoned sealing try pot is all that remains of the
activity that brought men thousands of miles in tall ships to seek their fortune.


The following Optional Activities are available to participate in, on some or all of the departures of this itinerary. These must be booked in advance (additional costs apply) and space is limited.
KAYAKING – Our kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of maximum 16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. Kayaking is open to all levels of experience, however kayaking in the polar waters is not suitable for novice kayakers. Beginners interested in kayaking should first take an introductory course prior to the voyage which includes how to do a wet exit. In addition regardless of your experience, we recommend you take part in some kayaking practise prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in the icy conditions.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
Spend your days at sea enjoying the view from the deck and taking part in educational presentations made by the expedition team. Hot drinks are available around the clock, so sit back with a cup of tea or coffee and relax.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
By the 12th day of the trip, weather permitting, the vessel should arrive into South Georgia. Known as the ‘Galapagos of the Poles’, this island is home to a huge number of curious animals. Once a hunting ground for whales and seals, old whaling stations are dotted around the island and serve as a reminder of an industry no longer in existence.

Perhaps visit the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, at the settlement of Grytviken. There is a museum, small gift shop, church and an active scientific research station in the vicinity. The group might also visit St. Andrew’s Bay, an area where reindeer and king penguins can often be spotted.


This is a photogenic and dramatic fjord, with sharp and jagged peaks rising out of the sea. Glaciation never reached the peaks of this fjord, giving it a unique landscape.
The backdrop to this harbor is the hanging Bertrab Glacier. King and gentoo penguins call this home, as do rowdy elephant and fur seals.
Only a handful of people live, albeit temporarily, on South Georgia, a United Kingdom overseas territory. Two of them are curators of the South Georgia Museum, located in the former whaling station manager’s villa. The church was built for the whaling community and is the only building in Grytviken that is still used for its original purpose.
Robert Cushman Murphy named this island for the species of petrels seen on the island. Birders will be pleased to know that wandering albatross are also known to nest on the island.
One of the largest king penguin rookeries on the island is located on Salisbury Plain. The Murphy and Lucas Glaciers flank the plain, creating a perfect backdrop for photographers.
Thousands of breeding pairs of king penguin nest at St. Andrew’s Bay. It is the largest king penguin rookery on South Georgia and is a wildlife spectacle to behold. Reindeer introduced by Norwegian whalers are known to feed on the grass in the area.
This abandoned whaling station was in full operation the day that Ernest Shackleton and his companions staggered in after a 36-hour trek across the island. There is a small cemetery here, with the graves of 14 whalers.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
Spend the next couple of days relaxing on the boat. Go on deck to catch a glimpse of whales in the deep waters and seabirds flying overhead, or attend more lectures made by on-board experts. On your last night on the ship, share your adventures with your new friends over dinner and a hot drink.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
This morning arrive into the town of Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Stanley is peaceful and isolated and feels a bit like the British countryside. There are plenty of churches and museums to explore, and the welcoming locals are often willing to chat over a drink at the pub. This afternoon, board a charter flight to Santiago in Chile (approximately five-and-a-half hours), where you’ll spend the night in an airport hotel.

The deep-water harbor of Stanley was the economic mainstay of the community since the Port’s completion in 1845. Sailing ships damaged while rounding Cape Horn called in for expensive repairs. Stanley is as lively as it gets in the Falklands (Malvinas) and the future of the port may be bright if hydrocarbon deposits off the coast prove to be abundant.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The trip finishes after breakfast and you’re free to leave the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast


16 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners


Expedition cruise ship, Plane, Zodiac


Expedition Voyage, Hotel

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Important notes

Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of A$2000pp ($6000pp on Icebreaker voyages. Different amounts apply in other currencies). The balance is due 90 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 89 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.

Kayaking is available to book on all Antarctic voyages. Some voyages also offer other activities such as camping, stand up paddle boarding, cross country skiing and mountaineering. All of these activities must be booked prior to departure and incur an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. For kayaking, previous, recent experience is essential and a good level of fitness is required for cross country skiing and mountaineering. See the itinerary for Adventure options available on this voyage.

Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

Strict luggage limits apply. Please see Trip Notes (What to Take) for more information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.