minerva semi-circumnavigation antarctic new zealand peninsula cruise

Ultimate Antarctica adventure

  • Overview

    Escape into another realm as you board our luxury boutique ice-class ship on this once-in-a-lifetime trip from South America to New Zealand. Our epic semi- circumnavigation cruise of Antarctica fulfils the ultimate bucket list, sailing on glassy seas, passing by monumental icebergs, unheralded landscapes and phenomenal wildlife. We explore icy waters to reach the world’s southernmost islands where only a handful of adventurers, explorers and scientists have been before. And as we cross the polar circle, you get to join an elite group of people who have been to some of the least-visited places on the planet.

    Duration: 33 days
    Passengers: 152 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Dunedin, New Zealand
    Physical rating:
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.25x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - USHUAIA

      Ushuaia is the gateway to the White Continent. Found at the southernmost tip of South America in Argentinian Patagonia, the city is often described as “the End of the World”. The city’s mountain backdrop rises above the harbour and entrance to the Beagle Channel. The town itself is walkable and has a few small museums as well as pubs, restaurants and cafes - a good place to try Patagonian lamb cooked over open fire pits.

    • Day 2 - AT SEA

      Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.

    • Day 3/5 - SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

      While the South Shetlands’ proximity to Antarctica makes the ice-bound sea impassable during winter (April to November), these are the first islands to see snow melt in spring (March) and the slightly warmer temperature means that the fauna is also different from what you see in Antarctica proper. As we go ashore by Zodiac, notice ferns, grasses, lichens and native flora that have more in common with Patagonia than they do with Antarctica.

    • Day 6/7 - ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

      Among captivating glaciers, majestic icebergs and snowy islands, the Antarctic Peninsula is where most visitors to the White Continent will live out their Antarctica dream. The Antarctic Peninsula, the most accessible area of the continent, hosts several scientific bases and some of the most interesting wildlife scenery, such as the extremely photogenic Lemaire Channel. Shore excursions might include Petermann Island, where among Adelie penguins, blue-eyed shags and skuas, huge, lumbering elephant seals haul out.

    • Day 8/11 - BELINGHAUSEN SEA

      Take in the magnitude of translucent bergs silently floating on crystal-clear seas, often broken up by the tail of a fluking whale and leopard seals resting on an ice floe, as we sail via two of the largest islands in the Antarctic - Alexander and Thurston Islands - past Peter I Island. Rarely visited by ships, Peter I is claimed by Norway. This ice-covered volcanic island is home to elephant seals, cape pigeons and southern fulmars.

    • Day 12/14 - AMUNDSEN SEA

      One of the most remote areas of Antarctica, covered mostly by glacial ice from the Thwaites ice tongue, and part of the Southern Ocean, Amundsen Sea is named for legendary Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen who led the first team to reach the South Pole in 1911. Marie Byrd Land on Antarctica’s western coast is the largest single unclaimed territory on earth where chinstrap penguins and skuas have set up home on the ice-capped Shepard Island.

    • Day 15/22 - ROSS SEA

      One of the least-visited spots in Antarctica, our on-shore excursions will hopefully take us to Hut Point on Ross Island, site of the US McMurdo research station and New Zealand’s Scott Base. But the big draw is following in the footsteps of the great explorer, Robert Scott. Scott’s cabin is here on the slopes of Mount Erebus, where he set off for the South Pole reaching it on 17 January 1912 five weeks after Amundsen.

    • Day 23 - AT SEA

      Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.

    • Day 24 - BALLENY ISLANDS

      The Balleny Islands lie over 2,000 kilometres south of New Zealand, only a couple of hundred kilometres off the coast of Antarctica. The heavily glaciated islands have had few human visitors since their discovery in 1839. The surrounding Ross Sea is one of the most biologically productive regions in the Southern Ocean, with research into the extent of this claim still ongoing. Weather and condition permitting, here we can explore the striking coastal environments in our Zodiacs. We’ll be hoping to spot humpback, fin and minke whales along with crabeater, Weddell, elephant and leopard seals. Some of the islands here are also home to large colonies of Adélie and chinstrap penguins.

    • Day 25/26 - AT SEA

      Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.

    • Day 27 - MACQUARIE ISLAND

      Sealers discovered the tiny windswept Macquarie Island (or Macca) in 1810. The southernmost territory of Australia, it is the site for Macquarie Island Station, an Australian Antarctic base, and a Tasmanian natural reserve and world heritage site protecting a pesty tundra ecosystem. Colonies of loudly barking southern elephant seals breed here and you might spot giant petrels and albatross. Four species of penguin make the island home including royal penguins, king, gentoo and southern rockhoppers.

    • Day 28 - AT SEA

      Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.

    • Day 29 - AUCKLAND ISLANDS

      Renowned for their seafaring and whaling traditions, the principal Māori iwi, Ngāi Tahu considers Auckland Islands (Maungahuka) a place of great spiritual significance. Port Ross at the north end of the main Auckland Island - the largest of New Zealand’s subantarctic islands - is a breeding site for southern right whales. You might also get to spot New Zealand sea lions alongside some of the world’s rarest birds including yellow-eyed penguins, white-capped mollymawk and Gibson’s wandering albatross.

    • Day 30 - ENDERBY ISLAND

      The smaller Enderby Island is a treat for birders including the Auckland Island snipe and teal, southern royal and light-mantled sooty albatrosses. The pocket-sized Auckland Island tomtit is a regular visitor and Hooker's sea lion haul out here. Growing on this remote archipelago 465 km south of South Island is an exceptionally rich flora of 200 native species such as pink gentiana, red rata blossoms, white tree daisies and megaherbs including the Campbell Island carrot.

    • Day 31 - AT SEA

      Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.

    • Day 32 - DUNEDIN

      Your luxury expedition cruise sadly comes to an end in Dunedin, on the South Island, the principal city of the Otago region. Set in a pretty bay that serves as a port and surrounded by bush-covered hills, the town has quirky historic appeal. One of the best-preserved Victorian and Edwardian cities in the Southern Hemisphere, Dunedin is known as the Edinburgh of New Zealand, and it’s proud of its Celtic connections. Small and eminently walkable, see elaborate civic buildings, New Zealand’s only castles, funky alleyways filled with street art, and picturesque parks. The Toitu Otago Early Settlers Museum and Otago Museum come highly recommended, as well as a visit to the Dunedin Chinese Garden.

    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

    Enjoy the unique experience

    Enjoy the unique experience of a sun that hardly sets as we cross the polar circle

    Create unforgettable memories

    Create unforgettable memories by reaching earth’s southernmost regions

    Follow in the footsteps of the world’s most legendary explorers

    Follow in the footsteps of the world’s most legendary explorers who reached the South Pole within weeks of each other

    Marvel at the colours

    Marvel at the colours as they change from glassy white to turquoise green in this vast frozen wilderness

    Discover rarely-visited islands

    Discover rarely-visited islands where the world’s rarest birds live among exceptional flora

  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
    - 24-hour room service
    - One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
    - Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions
    - One selected shore excursion/expedition activity per port of call
    - Onboard gratuities and port taxes
    - Standard WiFi
    - Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
    - Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
    - Return regional flights to the port of embarkation and/or disembarkation (where specified)
    - All meals onboard

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Items of a personal nature such as; Beverages / Laundry / Medical expenses / Gratuities / Internet & Wifi
    - Travel medical insurance including medical repatriation (mandatory)
    - International and internal flights that are not specified
  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    SH Minerva is a brand new ship has been designed to journey to off the beaten path destinations and remote polar regions in style and comfort. The ship incorporates a PC5 ice-strengthened hull combined with extra-large stabilisers to make your journey as smooth as possible.

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 152
    Crew #: 120
    Ice Class: PC5
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2021
    Length: 115m
    Width: 23
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 10600
    Registry: Malta
    Elec Outlets:
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
Minerva | iExpedition

Oceanview Low

16 Feb 2024 - 19 Mar 2024
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
AUD$ 51,627pp
AUD$ 51,627pp
Minerva | iExpedition

Oceanview Medium

16 Feb 2024 - 19 Mar 2024
Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
AUD$ 54,153pp
AUD$ 54,153pp
Minerva | iExpedition

Balcony D5

16 Feb 2024 - 19 Mar 2024
Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
AUD$ 59,767pp
AUD$ 59,767pp
Minerva | iExpedition

Balcony M5

16 Feb 2024 - 19 Mar 2024
Located at the centre of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
AUD$ 62,722pp
AUD$ 62,722pp
Minerva | iExpedition

Balcony D6

16 Feb 2024 - 19 Mar 2024
Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
AUD$ 69,288pp
AUD$ 69,288pp
Minerva | iExpedition

Suite

16 Feb 2024 - 19 Mar 2024
Our Suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
AUD$ 80,875pp
AUD$ 80,875pp
Minerva | iExpedition

Premium Suite

16 Feb 2024 - 19 Mar 2024
Our grandest suites features a superking bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, spacious walk in wardrobe and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
AUD$ 94,507pp
AUD$ 94,507pp