ushuaia antarctica circle cruise

Polar Circle Quest

  • Overview
    This extended voyage explores the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula in-depth and sails below the Antarctic Circle, where you will celebrate your expeditions achievements. Sailing below the Antarctic opens up a new world of ice-filled channels and intimate experiences.
    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 88 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ushuaia; Embarkation Day

      Embark the USHUAIA 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 - At Sea. 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 with 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.

    • Day 4/9 - The Antarctic Peninsula & Polar Circle

      Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. 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, Finn and Sei whales in the area.

      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 Faradey, 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.

    • Day 10/11 - At Sea. Crossing the Drake Passage, northbound

      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.

    • Day 12 - Ushuaia; Disembarkation

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

    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

    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.

    Shoot to your shutter's content!

    For aspiring photographers, the best time to shoot the Antarctic landscape is definitely October, November and March. At these times the sun is much lower in the sky and thus creates beautiful twilight hues and shadows, which contrast the landscape magnificently.

    Of course, if it is wildlife and Antarctica’s babies you are hoping to shoot, then January and February are the best times. Alternatively, consider an early season South Georgia & Antarctica expedition for the best of wildlife and photo opportunities in Antarctica.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    On board your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration and adventure or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    During your expedition these team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with first hand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back on board the vessel, the team members will hold lectures about their studies or perhaps the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Detailed post-voyage log
    - Port charges
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Gratuities
    - Internet & Wifi
    - Bar & beverage charges
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa fees
    - Transfers to/from the vessel
    - Pre and post-cruise land arrangements
    - Any airfares
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 04 at 5.22.21 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    USHUAIA

    Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the ice-strengthened polar vessel USHUAIA is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline. All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfortable accommodation
    • Large observation decks
    • Open bridge
    • Dining room
    • Observation lounge
    • Lecture room
    • Bar
    • Library
    • Internet
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 84
    Crew #: 38
    Ice Class: 1C
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 84m
    Width: 15
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 2923
    Registry: Comoros
    Elec Outlets: 110V / 2 Flat Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability

Standard Plus Triple

25 Feb 2019 - 08 Mar 2019
Triple cabin with private facilities
USD 7,150pp
USD 7,150pp

Standard Twin

25 Feb 2019 - 08 Mar 2019
Twin cabin, with semi-shared facilities
USD 7,640pp
USD 7,640pp

Standard Plus

25 Feb 2019 - 08 Mar 2019
Twin cabin with private facilities and a window
USD 9,570pp
USD 9,570pp

Premier Twin

25 Feb 2019 - 08 Mar 2019
Premier cabin with twin beds, private facilities and window.
USD 11,390pp
USD 11,390pp

Superior Twin

25 Feb 2019 - 08 Mar 2019
Superior cabin with 2 lower berths, private facilities and window
USD 12,060pp
USD 12,060pp

Suite

25 Feb 2019 - 08 Mar 2019
Suite have a seperate sitting area, private facilities, windows and can accommodate up to 3 guests
USD 12,670pp
USD 12,670pp

Premier Single

25 Feb 2019 - 08 Mar 2019
A dedicate single cabin, with private facilities and window
USD 13,660pp
USD 13,660pp