At the distant southern reaches of Earth lies the untamed island continent of Antarctica, a glittering land of icy mountains, immense ancient glaciers and icebergs of gargantuan scales. Against this glittering backdrop, join International Expeditions’ exciting Antarctica expedition cruise to see some of Antarctica’s finest wildlife: whales, dolphins, seals, albatrosses and, of course, penguins. For centuries, adventurers and explorers have been drawn to Antarctica — Earth’s last frontier. This adventure aboard the Clipper Adventurer is the perfect expedition for those that have never visited Antarctica, taking in the Peninsula’s highlights on shore excursions and glacier cruises. Leaving our expedition ship usually twice daily, visit penguin rookeries, watch for whales, and feel salt spray your face as your Zodiac weaves around grounded icebergs.
Spend your days hiking on glaciers, surrounded by penguins or even taking a polar plunge in volcanically heated waters. Perhaps on this 11-day Antarctic adventure you will hike isolated landscapes, climb a craggy hill for a panoramic view of an icy harbor, or simply rest on an isolated beach surrounded by curious penguins. This is no ordinary vacation!
The icy desert soils of Antarctica are the least inhabited on Earth; however, while the number of species is limited, each is represented by such abundance that the effect is overwhelming – and a testament to the strength and power of nature. Search for polar wildlife including gentoo and Adelie penguins, pods of whales, dolphins and fur seals, and spot petrels and soaring albatrosses from deck.
In-Depth Education & Worry-Free Exploring
An all-star Antarctica Expedition Team joins you onboard and on shore to talk about history, geology, marine biology, polar ecology and more. Accompanying your group of adventurers will also be Expedition Leader Jorge Salas, who will put his decades of travel expertise into ensuring you the most relaxing journey possible.
Day 1 • Ushuaia, Argentina
Fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, and spend the night. (Meals Aloft)
Day 2 • Embark Clipper Adventurer
Prior to our afternoon embarkation in Ushuaia, you have a morning at leisure to explore. After embarkation in the late afternoon, begin your Antarctica expedition cruise by sailing down the Beagle Channel. Keep watch on deck for seabirds, penguins and rainbows. Later in the evening everyone should be on deck to watch the sure-footed Channel pilot clamber down to the boat sent to collect him. (B,D)
Days 3 & 4 • Drake Passage
Prepare for rough water, but do not be disappointed if your crossing is smooth sailing. We cross the Drake Passage, where the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans meet, accompanies perhaps by petrels and soaring albatrosses. How will you know when you are in Antarctic waters? When the ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence, also known as the Antarctic Polar Front. This biological boundary is unique to Antarctica. Encircling the continent, it is an irregular, invisible curve where the cold, northward-flowing Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. The zone is about 20 to 30 miles wide, somewhere between 48° and 61° S. Our knowledgeable Expedition Team will brief us on the history and science of Antarctica. They will also prepare us for the Zodiac cruising and hikes that will be part of our daily activities. (B,L,D Daily)
Days 5-8 • South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
Deception Island, Lemaire Channel, Neko Harbour and Paradise Harbour — these are the names that conjure iconic images of the Antarctic Peninsula! Towering, glacier-capped mountains rising from a brilliant blue sea, dotted with ice floes. Many factors play a role in shaping the expedition’s progress. During our Antarctica adventure cruise, we attempt to leave the ship to explore in a range of activity levels at least twice a day. Perhaps, you’ll feel salt spray on your face as the Zodiac weaves in and around grounded icebergs in Pleneau Bay. You could scramble to the top of a craggy hill for an unforgettable view of an icy chasm near Port Lockroy. You could sit quietly on a pebbled beach and wait for a curious penguin chick to approach or plunge into the frigid Antarctic waters. Over the course of the austral spring and summer, the sun lingers longer and longer, melting snow and ice. Wildlife abounds: chicks hatch and fledge, and pods of whales breach in a deep bay where a calving iceberg has churned up krill, the local delicacy. The natural cycle of life ensures that every expedition is different. And that every expedition is full of surprises! In Antarctica, silence is so complete that interruptions become indelible memories: noisy penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, the boom and crack of a calving glacier near Petermann Island. As you sail from island to shore to bay during four days in the Peninsula, the Antarctica Expedition Team provides opportunities for contemplation. Working with the weather and ice conditions, our explorations will include any number of interesting sites. (B,L,D Daily)
Days 9 & 10 • Drake Passage
Activities during the return voyage depend on the conditions of the Drake. A smooth crossing is a busy crossing! (B,L,D Daily)
Day 11 • Ushuaia / En Route
After disembarking in Ushuaia, transfer to the airport for connecting flights home. (B, Meals Aloft)
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.
Options and Extras
What is included in the price of IE’s Antarctica travel package?
- One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast, as indicated in the itinerary
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage.
- All shore landings per the daily program.
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities.
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
- Photographic Album on DVD, documenting the voyage.
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
- A Quark Expeditions parka – yours to keep.
- Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock.
- Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin.
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- All luggage handling aboard ship.
- Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person
Click here for special Antarctica terms and conditions.
Are visas required for travel to Antarctica?
No visas are required for U.S. or Canadian citizens to enter Argentina, where we will embark our expedition ship.
What kind of weather can you expect during your Antarctica adventure?
You will be traveling to coastal regions during the austral summer, when conditions are relatively mild. However, sunny conditions can swiftly shift to storms with very cold winds and snow flurries. Be prepared for rapid weather changes. Average daytime temperatures in mid season are between 25 and 35° Fahrenheit or -4 and +2 Celsius. Wind and weather conditions, can make it seem colder. Daytime temperatures frequently drop below freezing.
How likely are you to get seasick?
Everyone reacts differently to the rough water that could be encountered in the Drake Passage. We ask that all our guests consult their personal physicians and carry with them recommended preventative medication. Please do not be disappointed should you experience a smooth crossing. Not all Drake Passage crossings are rough.
Do you need to be in good shape to join IE’s Antarctica expedition cruise? Because you are traveling to a remote area without access to sophisticated medical facilities, you should not join the expedition if you are suffering from a life threatening condition. Our expedition cruises require sufficient independent mobility to negotiate steep gangways. The terrain is rough in polar regions. If you have difficulty walking or need an assistance device to move about, our trips may not be for you.