Antarctica Cruise

15 days / Land & Cruise Tours
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About This Experience

Set sail to the end of the world where an icy white wilderness awaits. Start your adventure on the sophisticated streets and squares of Buenos Aires, southern capital of food and fashion. Then, in Ushuaia, board a ship bound for the lands known as the final frontier of human discovery. There, you’ll witness towering, glittering glaciers, icebergs in a thousand shades of blue and teeming colonies of penguins and seals that call these rocky shores home.

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 3 nights in handpicked hotels & 9 nights aboard the M/V Ushuaia

  • Breakfast daily, 8 lunches, 9 three-course dinners with beer or wine (on land)

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Bilingual Tour Director in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia

  • Select entrance fees

How's the weather?

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Ushuaia, Argentina
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Fly into Buenos Aires to begin your Antarctic adventure

Your journey begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Argentina on an internationally recognized airline.

Buenos Aires1 night - hotel info

Day2

Taste the unique European flavor of the Argentine capital

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Touch down in Buenos Aires. A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport after you clear customs and then escorts you to your hotel. After settling into your room, meet your fellow travelers at tonight’s included welcome dinner.

Ushuaia1 night - hotel info

Day3

Discover the world’s southernmost city

Breakfast

Fly to Ushuaia, and then get acquainted with the city on a walking tour. Afterwards, during your free time, consider exploring one of Ushaia’s unique museums, such as the End of the World Museum or the Prison of Ushuaia Museum.

Cruise9 nights - hotel info

Day4

Set sail to the bottom of the world

Breakfast, Dinner

Travel through coastal landscapes and glacier valleys on a half-day excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. Visit Bahia Ensenada to view evidence of the native 6500-year-old native settlements, then head to Roca Lake and Lapataia Bay. This afternoon, transfer to the docks and board the M/V Ushuaia, your home for the next nine days. Settle into your cabin and enjoy your passage through the Beagle Channel.

About your cruise: This cruising itinerary is a guide only. The exact route and program will vary based on local weather, ice conditions and the opportunity to view wildlife. A daily program sheet will be provided on board. Flexibility is important.

Day5

High swills and rolling waves define the famed Drake Passage

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend today crossing the Drake Passage. You may wish to pass your time up on deck, where you can watch as albatrosses follow you south. Or, head up to the bridge to learn about navigation or watch for whales with the ship’s officers.

Day6

Straddle the border between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend another day crossing the Drake Passage. At these latitudes, there are no major landmasses, which in the Age of Sail afforded wind-powered ships a safer passage than the narrow Strait of Magellan. However, the lack of landmasses also lets ocean currents and winds flow freely, which can combine to create rough seas. The Drake Passage is always unpredictable, but you’re in good hands: The Ushuaia was originally designed as a research vessel, and her crew is adept at handling whatever rough patches you might encounter.

Day7

Despite this island’s name, sailors have always found safe harbor here

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today, you'll start your four-day exploration of the rocky South Shetland Islands and the northernmost tip of the Antarctic continent. The itinerary might include a visit to the penguin rookeries on the South Shetland Islands and a cruise through Neptune’s Bellows into the natural harbor at Deception Island.

Day8

Spy on penguins, encounter elephant seals and watch for whales

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Encounter Adélie and chinstrap penguins on King George Island and come face-to-face with elephant seals on Livingston Island. While you’re cruising between islands, keep an eye on the sea—you might spot orcas and humpback whales.

Day9

Cruise through an icy maze of rocky cliffs and towering glaciers

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Weather permitting, you’ll cruise along the Antarctic coast in the Gerlache Strait and gaze in awe at the towering sea cliffs lining the Lemaire and Neumayer Channels. You might also make stops at Paulet Island, where geothermal energy keeps parts of the island ice-free; the uninhabited Melchior Islands, where new geographic discoveries are still happening thanks to the islands’ thick covering of ice; and Portal Point, where blue ice and towering sea cliffs first greeted the original explorers who ventured onto the Antarctic Plateau.

Day10

Hang out with the local Gentoo or ogle at icebergs

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy your final day of cruising in Antarctica. Possible highlights today include the gentoo penguin rookery and the towering icebergs of Cuverville Island, the calving icebergs at Neko Harbor, the shallow bay filled with resting icebergs at Pleneau Island, the world’s southernmost colony of gentoo penguins at Petermann Island and the placid waters of Paradise Bay, where the sea serves as a mirror for the surrounding mountains.

Day11

Keep your eyes on the water—you never know what you might see

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today is the first of two days of uninterrupted cruising back to South America. Join the Ushuaia’s lecturers and naturalists on deck for more whale- and bird-watching.

Day12

Relax and reminisce on your way back to South America

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend another day cruising back to the South American mainland, reminiscing with your fellow travelers about the incredible sights you’ve seen.

Buenos Aires1 night - hotel info

Day13

Return to dry land in sophisticated Buenos Aires

Breakfast

Disembark in Ushuaia this morning and board a flight to Buenos Aires for a free evening. Carnivores will love this city’s parrillas, where meats, offal and sausages are grilled over wood fires. Nature enthusiasts should check out the Reserva Ecológica, an 865-acre stretch of reclaimed green space where you can wander among 10-foot-tall bunches of pampas grass. Soccer lovers may wish to make a pilgrimage to La Bombonera (“the chocolate box”), the nickname of the Boca Juniors soccer team’s home stadium. And no trip to Buenos Aires would be complete without an introduction to the tango. Try your luck at one of the city’s tango clubs, where you can perfect your abrazo, the close embrace that defines the art form.

Overnight Flightfor a day

Day14

Tour the bodegones, hear the music, dance the tango

Breakfast

Get a local’s insight on Buenos Aires on a guided city tour. Begin at Plaza de Mayo to see the Casa Rosada, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cabildo. Then, continue to the historic neighborhood of San Telmo before exploring the colorful streets of La Boca. Next, drive along 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest street in the world, to Palermo and its beautiful parks. End your tour in aristocratic Recoleta to visit the grave of Eva Perón. This evening, a Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home. Depending on your departure time, you may have a dayroom in which to store your luggage before your flight.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day15

Soar away from the Southern Hemisphere

Arrive home today.

Extend Your Stay

Add Buenos Aires City Stay $349*

Recover from your weeks in the frigid Antarctic with some extra time in sizzling Buenos Aires. Delve deeper into the city’s eclectic architecture, flavorful cuisine and sensual music and dance, or venture out of the city on our optional excursion.

Buenos Aires2 nights - hotel info

Day14

It’s always summer somewhere

Breakfast

Today is free to spend as you’d like.

Day15

DELVE DEEPER INTO BA OR ENJOY A DAY ON THE TIGRE DELTA

Optional Excursion - Tigre Delta & Cruise

Breakfast

Spend a day in Buenos Aires on your own, or consider joining our optional excursion to go cruising on the Tigre Delta.

Optional Excursions

Tigre Delta & Cruise $85* pp

This morning, travel by bus through the northern coastal neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, including prestigious Olivos, home of the Argentine presidential palace. Continue through the affluent and architecturally rich districts of San Isidro and San Fernando to Tigre, where you will board a one-hour cruise on the Luján River, taking in the lush tropical vegetation of the Parana Delta. Explore the vast maze of canals and tributaries dotted with old residences, vacation homes and restaurants before returning to Buenos Aires by bus.

Day16

Pack up your memories—both warm and cold—and fly away home

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day17

Arrive home

Arrive home.

About the M/V Ushuaia

Operated by Antarpply Expeditions, M/V Ushuaia was originally built as a research vessel for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). She’s been refitted to accommodate up to 84 passengers in comfortable twin suites and cabins. The ship’s hull is strengthened against polar ice, and the Ushuaia’s numerous inflatable tenders make shore landings easy. Public areas include a dining room, an observation deck, a lounge, a bar and a well-stocked library.

Passport & Visa Requirements

In order to enter Antarctica and Argentina, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of your return home. In accordance with Argentine law a reciprocity fee must be paid prior to your departure. For U.S. citizens the charge is $160 USD per person. For Canadian citizens the charge is $75 USD per person. To prepay for your reciprocity fee, please visit https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/ If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Baggage Allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Clothing & Packing Tips

Though you’ll be cruising in comfort aboard the M/V Ushuaia, keep in mind that you’ll be traveling to the world’s coldest continent. A sturdy pair of rubber-soled boots is absolutely essential for shore landings. We recommend dressing in layers and avoiding cotton whenever possible. A rainjacket, a water-repellant hooded parka, insulated waterproof trousers, gloves or mittens, a hat and a scarf are necessary for shore excursions. Even more important, you MUST bring rubber boots—leather or cloth boots are not acceptable for shore excursions. You may be stepping in water up to ten inches deep during shore excursions, and we strongly recommend pull-on, unlined, knee-high, waterproof boots with a strong, rubber ridge and nonskid soles. On board, the dress code is casual. You will need rubber-soled shoes on deck. We also recommend bringing plastic bags, sunscreen, sunglasses, a backpack and binoculars.

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Argentina and Antarctica. However, it is always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates.

Cuisine

One of the pleasures of traveling is experiencing the delightful variety of local cuisine. The cuisine of Argentina is distinctive in South America because it is closer in style and flavor to Italian, Spanish, French and other European cuisines rather than the other Latin American cuisines. Also, since Argentina is one of South America’s major food producers, mainly in meat, corn, soybean and dairy products, its cuisine tends more toward European dishes with an Argentine flair. Italian pastas and pizzas, German Schnitzels and British scones and tea sandwiches are as common as the indigenous fare. Perhaps the most common dish is the asado, or barbecue, a series of salt-rubbed meats, ribs and chorizo sausages cooked over a fire pit on a series of metal grills and crosses. For dessert, try dulce de leche, a sweet honey and milk paste used to fill any number of heavenly pastries.

Transportation

Flights arrive in and depart from Buenos Aires. Round-trip flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia are also included in your trip cost. Included transportation on your tour is by private motor coach.

Electricity

All destinations on tour operate on 220 volts.

Time Zones

Argentina is one hour ahead of New York from October to April, and the same time as New York from April to October.

Currency

The Argentine peso is the currency you will use on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available at your destination, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. The most efficient and cost effective method is using ATMs, which are widely available in Buenos Aires (mostly on the Visa and Plus international networks). We also recommend that you take credit cards. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping. The customary gratuity to the ship’s service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest $15 per person per day. Credit cards cannot be accepted.

Once in a life time experience

From the get go the entire trip was exhilarating with unique experiences. Antarctica has to be seen to be believed. The tour on MVS ushuaia was very good with no dull moments. All landings to the islands were perfectly managed with plenty of time to catch up in between. The dining hall crew were fabulous and were so happy to be of service all the time. All our needs were well taken care of during the airport transfers.

review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 1/22/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: IN

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

great trip

In all, an expedition on the Ushuaia is great if you are prepared and know what to expect. The guests are an international mix and it is such a learning experience just talking with them. The crew go out of their way to be of assistance. They are extremely knowledgeable and are eager to share that knowledge with you. Time on the Ushuaia is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Excellent trip.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 1/22/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: IN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Everyone Should Go To Antarctica!!

This tour was the best experience of my life. The tour length was perfect, getting a quick taste of Buenos Aries and the city of Ushuaia was an excellent way to start and end the tour. I enjoyed my time and meals in both these cities and really fell in love with Ushuaia-it was like visiting a Swiss ski village, very backpacker friendly! The cruise itself was phenomenal. Yes, the seas at points were rocky but over all the hotel staff onboard, expedition team and crew members were world class! I felt safe, well cared for and any questions or concerns I had were accommodated for. I really enjoyed how the ship provided an 'Open Ship' policy where the Bridge (where the captain and first mates steer the ship) was open to anyone at any hour of day or night. This feature made me feel very safe and comforted. Now, the actual experience of visiting Antarctica was outstanding. I will do my best to describe the feelings and emotions but honestly no words will ever come close the majestic beauty of the untouched land that Antarctica has to offer. Traveling there has been a lifelong dream and the early morning when our ship pulled up to our first landing sight I cried. I couldn't believe that I have finally made it! the land is so gorgeous and pure. I couldn't stop smiling. The expedition staff left first to meet us on land and then we all followed in the Zodiac rafts. Everyone was layered up with their winter gear, life jackets and rubber boots! I always felt very warm when I went on land I have listed what I wore each outting! Each outting was unique getting to walk around thousands of penquins, walk on ice, hike up to the cliff of a volcanic crater and more. Every day was thrilling and more than I could have hoped for. Each photo I took was outstanding and I only brought a small camera with me. Everyone on the ship and in our group was also so fun and we all had the similar outlook of the trip as if we were 'Explorers' heading out on this amazing adventure. The combination of people and expedition to Antarctica was so thrilling I would recommend this (and I do) to everyone I know! Gear I Brought: -Shirt and Pant long johns -fleece pants -three pairs of socks (I recommend smart wool!) -rain pants -Rubber boots -a fleece top pullover -Fleece zip up jacket -rain coat -neckwarmer -winter gloves (try to get a strap to connect them to your coat) -winter hat (I brought a different hat for each day we went out-so my photos wouldn't look the same each day)

review photo review photo review photo

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MA

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Antarctica Cruise

This trip was a true adventure. It was much more difficult physically than the tour materials led one to believe. I would recommend this to those in great shape physically. I would not recommend this to any of my friends over 70 unless they are exceptionally fit. The expedition team and the crew on this trip were the best!!! I can actually use the word awesome in describing them. We liked the Lancaster Hotel in Buenos Aires and the Albatros in Ushuaia. The location in both instances was great and we could walk to anything we wished to do. The employees in both places were terrific. Our guide did an excellent job presenting the city of Buenos Aires to us.

5 / 5

Traveled On: 3/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: GA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Antarctica

Overall a great trip. Met all my expectations.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 3/13/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NC

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Q&A