Days
13
Price from
$12,605CAD
Map of Crossing the Antarctic Circle from Ushuaia  including Antarctica and Argentina

See incredible wildlife and landscapes as you cruise south of the Antarctic Circle

This expedition offers you the most in-depth exploration of the Antarctic Peninsula. Extended time in the region allows you to go beyond the Antarctic Peninsula and venture south of the Antarctic Circle, home to fantastic ice formations and wildlife including the Weddell seal.  You’ll enjoy more time for communing with penguins and visits to less-frequented landing sites.

Given good ice conditions, we will travel further south than any other Peregrine expedition and cruise well south of the Antarctic Circle at 66°33S, through regions of striking beauty and abundant wildlife.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish
Ushuaia, Argentina
Destinations
Antarctica, Argentina
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Polar
Code
PPBAX
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 199

Why you'll love this trip

  • Follow in the path of historic explorers as you cross the legendary Drake Passage. Weather permitting, squeeze through the photogenic Lemaire Channel between the mountains of Booth Island and the Antarctic continent

  • Get up close to an incredible range of wildlife, such as minke, humpback and orca whales, gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins, and albatross overhead. If you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a leopard seal

  • Few people ever get the opportunity to set foot on the Great White Continent or venture as deep into Antarctica as past the Antarctic Circle, but you'll be one of them

  • A diversity of possible Zodiac landing sites and activities allows you to see the spectacular Antarctic Peninsula from multiple perspectives

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.

Boats

Ocean Endeavour

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

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Itinerary

Today, you will meet your expedition team at the port of Ushuaia ready to board and set off. Sail overnight down the Beagle Channel towards the great white continent.
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
We strongly recommend that you arrive in Ushuaia at least one day prior to embarkation. Full information on where to meet to board the Ocean Endeavour will be on your final documents
Head into the legendary Drake Passage, named after the English explorer, Sir Francis Drake. Conditions through the passage can be unpredictable, so hope for smooth sailing but please be prepared for the possibility of rough seas. Take some time getting to know your shipmates and keep watch for seabirds, whales and dolphins. On-board experts will make presentations about the whaling history and wildlife of Antarctica, as well as preparing you for the activities ahead.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
With the Drake Passage behind you, have your camera ready as you approach the Antarctic coastline. Watch the ocean surface for curious whales breaching before your eyes. Over the next few days you'll make several expeditions via Zodiac to explore the Antarctic Peninsula. Perhaps visit Neko Harbour, Orne Harbour or Paradise Bay. Watch penguins waddling on a beach, listen to the crack of a calving glacier near Petermann Island or explore the historic Port Lockroy. You may like to take a polar plunge in the icy waters or kayak among whales (subject to availability). While weather dictates which landing sites you can visit, your expedition team will ensure that each one presents exciting new wildlife opportunities and natural attractions.

POSSIBLE LANDING SITES IN ANTARCTICA

CUVERVILLE ISLAND
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.
DAMOY POINT
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.
DANCO ISLAND
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.
ENTERPRISE ISLAND
Located in Wilhelmina Bay, the island was used by whalers. A Zodiac cruise around the island passes a wrecked whaling ship.
LEMAIRE CHANNEL
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.
MELCHIOR ISLANDS
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.
NEKO HARBOUR
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 harbor.
PETERMANN ISLAND
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.
PORT LOCKROY
A ‘fun’ destination of sorts, we always strive to journey to Port Lockroy if weather permits. The harbor is on the west side of Wiencke Island. A secret base was built on the harbor 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.
WATERBOAT POINT
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.
THE ANTARCTIC CIRCLE
While not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to remember. The event will usually happen while at sea, so be sure to head up to the bridge and snap your photo of the GPS reading 66° 33’ S.
AITCHO ISLANDS
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.
BAILY HEAD
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.
HALF MOON ISLAND
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.
HANNAH POINT
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.
PENDULUM COVE
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!
PENGUIN ISLAND
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.
ROBERT POINT
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.
TELEFON BAY
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.
TURRET POINT
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.
WHALER’S BAY
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 harbor 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.
YANKEE HARBOUR
Gentoo penguins have established a rookery on this harbor, 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
Few people can say they’ve crossed the Antarctic Circle, but you'll be one of them. Celebrate in style by sharing a glass of champagne with your shipmates. This part of the world is home to Weddell seals, the midnight sun and some of the most spectacular ice formations you'll see in Antarctica. While not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle is a moment to remember. The event usually happens while at sea, so be sure to head up to the bridge and snap a photo of the GPS reading 66° 33’ S.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Spend the next two days travelling north along the western Antarctic Peninsula and back towards the Drake Passage. Weather permitting, continue to journey out in the Zodiac and make landings twice a day. As always, your expedition team will be on the lookout for wildlife. By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and 'pancake ice' will seem normal too.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Leave Antarctica behind and head back through Drake Passage. The expedition team will round up their series of lectures, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you’ve seen over the course of the voyage.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
After a shipboard breakfast this morning, your trip of a lifetime comes to an end. Disembarkation will take place around 9.00am.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Onward flights from Ushuaia should not be booked before 11.00am this morning. No departure transfer is included.

Meals

12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners

Transport

Expedition cruise ship, Zodiac

Accommodation

Expedition Voyage, Hotel

Dates & availability

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount).  The balance is due 120 days before departure. 

If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.

If a booking is cancelled between 119 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.

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
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.

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.

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