national geographic endurance epic Antarctica

Epic Antarctica: From the Peninsula to the Ross Sea & Beyond

  • Overview

    This extraordinary new voyage is like a blockbuster film—the star is the seventh continent.

    *** IMPORTANT: This voyage travels from New Zealand --> Argentina ***

    Exploring Antarctica in an authentic expedition style, aboard a brand new innovative purpose-built expedition ship is an incomparable experience and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with all its wonders. Join the National Geographic and their pioneering polar heritage and 50 years of experience navigating polar geographies, you're assured a safe passage in one of the wildest sectors of the planet. Our veteran polar expedition team enables you to:

    • See more of the legendary landscapes and habitats
    • Encounter iconic penguins, leopard seals, and marine mammals
    • Kayak among icebergs, Zodiac cruise past resting leopard seals, and hike on the continent with the best ice team on Earth
    • Experience the seldom-seen Antarctic undersea, too––through the efforts of our undersea specialist

    Have up-close, personal penguin encounters
    Travel with virtually any company to Antarctica, and you will see penguins. They are the citizens of the white continent, present in astounding numbers, and endlessly fascinating. Travel with National Geographic, however, and you’ll travel equipped for up-close, personal encounters—with a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks to enable you to get closer. And a team of engaging experts that enable you to spend more time enjoying penguin society, and understand more of the adaptations that enable these remarkable animals to survive their environment.  

    Take advantage of all the superb photo ops
    You’ll have a National Geographic photographer as your traveling companion, to inspire you and provide tips in the field. And the services of a National Geographic certified photo instructor, as well—to help you turn your point-and-shoot camera into an “aim and create.” You’ll find no end of subjects and the help you need to return home with your best photos ever.

    Every day is active and engaging
    You’ll get out on adventures every day we’re in Antarctica, sometimes twice a day—to walk or hike, kayak or Zodiac cruise among the bergs. Because National Geographic Endurance has a fleet of both Zodiacs and kayaks, the entire expedition community can embark at once on forays, no waiting around for returning parties. You’ll have a choice of activities each day, and the option to join the naturalist whose interests mirror yours. Choice also includes opting to enjoy the view from the bridge, the all-glass observation lounge, the library or the chart room. To visit the fitness center with its panoramic windows, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the wellness center.

    Duration: 33 days
    Passengers: 126 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Auckland, NZ
    Disembarkation Point: Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Physical rating: Expedition
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Buenos Aires, Argentina

      Thrill along the ice’s edge of remote Antarctic shores—including the Antarctic Peninsula, rarely visited Western Antarctica, the impressive Ross Sea ice shelf, Australia's Macquarie Island, and the sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand. National Geographic Endurance roams free at the bottom of the world on the most untrammelled, adventurous route on this epic voyage. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee on all of our Antarctica expeditions. Flexibility is a hallmark of our explorations, and often the shipboard day-by-day itinerary will change—so we may take full advantage of rare wildlife sightings, watching whales feed off the bow, or perfect conditions for a late day kayaking excursion.

      DAY 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
      Arrive in 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 Peron.

      *** IMPORTANT: Voyage departing 26 JAN 2021 travels in reverse. New Zealand --> Argentina ***

    • Day 2 - Fly to Ushuaia/Embark

      Fly by private charter to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel. Embark National Geographic Endurance.

    • Day 3 - At Sea in the South Atlantic

      Settle into shipboard life, listening to informal
      discussions from our naturalist staff to
      prepare us for the wildness ahead in the
      Falklands. Spend time on deck and on the
      bridge, scanning for seabirds, notably the
      albatross. (B,L,D)

    • Day 4/8 - Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula

      With 24 hours of daylight, we have ample opportunity to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the surrounding islands. In keeping with the nature of an expedition, the schedule throughout is flexible so that we can take advantage of the unexpected—watching whales at play off the bow, taking an after-dinner Zodiac cruise, or heading out on an unplanned excursion.

      We anticipate offering opportunities each day to hike, kayak among the ice floes, and experience close encounters with wildlife. You may have the thrill of watching our powerful ship crunch through the pack ice, or step ashore to thousands of Adélie and gentoo penguins. You’ll learn how climate change affects the penguin populations, and how best to capture images of penguins from a National Geographic photographer. Back aboard, our undersea specialist may present video from that day’s dive or show rare images taken up to 1,000 feet below the surface using our ROV. Our expert staff will craft an expedition where you will learn, see, and experience more.

    • Day 9/16 - Exploring West Antarctica

      This part of the planet is big and bold and full of adventure and magnificent scenery. The new National Geographic Endurance will be in full expedition mode, granting thrilling opportunities to crunch through thick ice and explore places few have seen. Rely on the planet’s best ice team as you probe the ice’s edge for wildlife, including numerous seabirds and whales. Activities throughout our journey are always weather and ice dependent. Your Captain and Expedition Leader will look for spots to “park” the ship in the pack ice, allowing guests the unique thrill of disembarking onto a frozen sea—for ice walks, cross-country skiing forays, and show-shoe hikes. There will be time, too, to relax in the library, head up to the Bridge to scan for marine life, unwind in the sauna or Yoga Room, and of course, hear presentations from our staff. Along the way, our undersea specialist captures images from the deep, revealing the hardy marine life beneath the ice. Always interesting, it can also be pioneering in this distant part of the world.

    • Day 17/24 - Exploring the Ross Sea

      On these days we navigate some of the most remote regions of the planet, as you explore the Ross Sea, just like Scott, Shackleton, and Ross (the 19th-century explorer for whom this sea is named). Here, we will see the impressive Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest, and the Transantarctic Mountain Chain. Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf is enormous, covering 182,000 square miles –the size of France—and the edge of the ice shelf is a wall of ice towering over the water by as much as 200 feet, with the majority of the ice below the waterline. The Ross Ice Shelf plays an important role in stabilizing the Antarctic ice sheet, buttressing the ice that is constantly moving over the land surface.

      Your journey to this unique part of the Antarctic waters will likely include stops at several small islands at the bottom of the world for opportunities to hike and explore via Zodiac and kayak. We’ll spot colonies of Adelie penguins, lazy seals, and majestic whales. We plan to visit Coulman Island, where we can see and photograph Emperor penguins, the largest of all penguins—an average bird stands some 45 inches tall and has been the subject of the beloved film, March of the Penguins.

    • Day 25/26 - At Sea

      During our days at sea, we learn about the
      fascinating history of Antarctic exploration,
      as well as the flora, fauna and geology of
      South Georgia. A lookout is kept to identify
      the seabirds that follow us: wandering
      albatross, prions and black-browed
      albatross. (B,L,D)

    • Day 27/28 - Macquarie Island, Australia

      Located south of the New Zealand mainland in the remote Southern Ocean, the wild and beautiful sub-Antarctic islands are home to abundant and unique wildlife, with many species of birds, plants and invertebrates found nowhere else in the world. On these days we plan to visit Macquarie Island or Macca, as it is affectionately known. Macca is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins, and has been designated a World Heritage site. Four species of penguin breed on Macca. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed there. And imagine landing on a single beach with 100,000 pairs of king penguins, the third largest such colony in the world!

    • Day 29 - At Sea

      With whales beneath and birds above, head up to the bridge to spot marine life and watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend these days enjoying the ship’s spa, yoga room, and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from our staff, including photo talks from the National Geographic photographer.

    • Day 30/32 - Exploring New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands

      Spend three incredible days discovering New Zealand’s subantarctic islands and their surrounding waters—the entire marine landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. We have special permission to explore these strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government, and considered a “bird central” among top ornithologists around the world.

      Keeping a flexible weather-dependent schedule, we plan to explore several intriguing islands. Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise The Snares, the closest subantarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds: the 99 recorded species include albatross, Antarctic terns and Snares crested penguins. The Auckland Islands are the largest of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands, with the richest flora, prolific birdlife, and an interesting human history. Conditions permitting, we cruise in Zodiacs to Enderby Island to view a large New Zealand sea lion colony with pups all jostling for position. If we are fortunate, we may see rare yellow-eyed penguins as they move to and from their nests in the forests beyond the beach.

      On our final days aboard, enjoy one last chance to view the marine life of these southern waters. And gather to toast our epic voyage at a festive farewell dinner.

    • Day 33 - Bluff, New Zealand/Disembark/Auckland/Overnight Hotel

      After breakfast, we disembark on the New Zealand mainland in the town of Bluff, one of the oldest European settlements in New Zealand, with a strong maritime history. Today we fly to Auckland, where we overnight at the SkyCity Grand Hotel (or similar).

    • Day 34 - Auckland/Home

      Today we transfer to the airport for overnight flights home, crossing the International Dateline and arriving the same day. Note this day is subject to change.

      *** IMPORTANT: Voyage departing 26 JAN 2021 travels in reverse. New Zealand --> Argentina ***

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Ross Sea highlight: Visit Mars for a Day

    McMurdo Dry Valleys in the Transantarctic Mountains are the world’s most extreme deserts. A bizarre and fascinating place comparable to the planet Mars.

    Whales

    Whale numbers swell in Antarctica over the southern summer. Arriving in Antarctica from November onwards, whale numbers reach their peak around December and January. Sightings and particularly breachings reach a pinnacle in February and March, when the Krill is closer to the surface. Some 10 species of whales are found in Antarctic water each summer, with the most abundant species being the Humpack.

    Penguins

    Taking centre stage on your Antarctic Peninsula expedition, are the Brushtail penguin species. These photogenic and intriguing species include, Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie penguins. The species are in abundance across Peninsula and are always performing.

    On board voyages in our other details you may come across Rockhopper, Macaroni, Magellanic, King and Emperor penguins.

    Macquarie Island

    Macquarie Island is home to the Wandering Albatross, King Penguins and Elephant seal colonies of wild proportions. In terms of wildlife and island ecology, it is surprising similar to South Georgia, if you did not make it to South Georgia on your Antarctica cruise, this is an excellent option to consider.

    The sub-Antarctic islands around New Zealand are home to numerous pelagic and rare endemic bird species. Although, these expeditions are music to birders ears, you certainly do not have to be a birder to enjoy the immense scenery and wildlife of wild proportions.

  • Inclusions

    Charter Flights

    Voyage is inclusive of the charter flights between:

    Buenos Aires Ushuaia, Argentina
    Auckland Invercargill, New Zealand

    Pre & Post Cruise Hotel

    The voyage is inclusive of hotel accommodation 1 night pre and 1 night post cruise.

    Expedition Parka

    A fully lined windproof, water-resistant parka is included in the cost of your expedition. Information about what size parka you will need will be sent to you after you make your reservation.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All meals and accommodation during the voyage
    - Transfers on embarkation and disembarkation day
    - Service taxes and port charges
    - All shore excursions and lectures in the itinerary

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Expenses of personal nature including; Laundry / Bar / Beverages / Internet & Wifi
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Additional overnight accommodation
    - International and internal flights that are not specified
  • Map
    Semi circum
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    A next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation.

    Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code PC5 (Category A) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore unchartered waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities.

     

    TOOLS FOR EXPLORATION:

    Expedition Landing Craft
    Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 8 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use is 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat.

    Remotely Operated Vehicle
    Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colourful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean.

    Kayaks
    National Geographic Endurance will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity.

    Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch.

    Underwater camera
    Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in Alaska, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colourful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrives in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment.

    Video microscope
    Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures.

    Hydrophone
    This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real-time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system.

    Electronic charts
    An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge.

    Open bridge
    You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Venture’s open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers.

     

     

     

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 126
    Crew #:
    Ice Class: PC5
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2020
    Length: 124m
    Width:
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 1250
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets: 2 Flat
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
national geographic cat 1 cabin

Category 1

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 183 square ft.
AUD 60,990pp
AUD 60,990pp
national geographic cat 2 cabin

Category 2

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 205 square ft.
AUD 62,800pp
AUD 62,800pp
national geographic cat 3 cabin

Category 3

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft.
AUD 72,990pp
AUD 72,990pp
national geographic cat 4 cabin

Category 4

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa, 205 square ft.
AUD 81,930pp
AUD 81,930pp
national geographic cat SA Solo cabin

Category SA (Single)

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft.
AUD 91,420pp
AUD 91,420pp
national geographic cat 5 cabin

Category 5

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Bridge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft.
AUD 93,900pp
AUD 93,900pp
national geographic cat SB solo cabin

Category SB (Single)

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft.
AUD 102,420pp
AUD 102,420pp
national geographic cat 6 cabin

Category 6

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Bridge Deck—Junior Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed 344 square ft.
AUD 107,900pp
AUD 107,900pp
national geographic cat 7 cabin

Category 7

28 Jan 2021 - 01 Mar 2021
Bridge Deck—Large Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed, bathtub, walk-in closet 430 square ft.
AUD 119,900pp
AUD 119,900pp