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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.
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
Multilingual Tour Director
Select entrance fees
Breeching whales & barking seals
The towering, icy cliffs of Lemaire Channel
Spectacular Paradise Bay
Hundreds of thousands of penguins
Surprising, sophisticated Buenos Aires
Overnight Flight1 night
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
Cruise9 nights - hotel info
Set sail to the bottom of the world
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 yr 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.
High swills and rolling waves define the famed Drake Passage
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
About your cruise: This cruising itinerary is a guide only. The exact route and program will vary based on local weather and ice conditions, and the opportunity to view wildlife. A daily program sheet will be provided onboard. Flexibility is important. Spend today crossing the Drake Passage. You may wish to spend your time up on deck, where you can watch as albatrosses follow the Ushuaia south. You can also head up to the bridge to learn about navigation or watch for whales with the ship’s officers.
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 Straits 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.
Despite this island’s name, sailors have always found safe harbor here
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Over the next four days, you’ll explore the rocky South Shetland Islands and the northernmost tip of the Antarctic continent. Today's 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.
Spy on penguins, encounter elephant seals and watch for whales
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On King George’s Island, you’ll encounter Adélie and Chinstrap penguins, and on Livingston Island, you’ll come face-to-face with elephant seals. While you’re cruising between islands, keep an eye on the sea, where you might spot orcas and humpback whales.
Hang out with the local Gentoo or ogle at icebergs
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Enjoy your final day of cruising in Antarctica. Other possible shore excursions include Paulet Island, where geothermal energy keeps parts of the island ice free and 200,000 Adélie penguins live; the uninhabited Melchior Islands, where new geographic discoveries are still happening thanks to the islands’ thick covering of ice; the Gentoo penguin rookery and the towering icebergs of Cuverville Island; Portal Point, where blue ice and towering sea cliffs greeted the first explorers to venture onto the Antarctic Plateau; calving icebergs at Neko Harbor; Pleneau Island, where icebergs come to rest in a shallow bay, creating a natural art gallery; Petermann Island, home to the world’s southernmost colony of Gentoo penguins; or the placid waters of Paradise Bay, where the sea serves as a mirror for the surrounding mountains.
Keep your eyes on the water—you never know what you might see
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Enjoy two days of uninterrupted cruising back to South America. Join the Ushuaia’s lecturers and naturalists on deck for more whale- and bird-watching, and reminisce with your fellow travelers over the incredible sights you’ve seen.
Return to dry land in sophisticated Buenos Aires
Disembark in Ushuaia this morning and board a flight for Buenos Aires, for a free evening. Carnivores will love this city’s parillas, where meats, offal and sausages are grilled over wood fires. Nature enthusiasts should check out the Reserva Ecologica, an 865-acre stretch of reclaimed green space where you can wander among ten-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
Tour the bodegones, hear the music, dance the tango
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 day room in which to store your luggage before your flight.
Extend Your Stay
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.
DELVE DEEPER INTO BA OR ENJOY A DAY ON THE TIGRE DELTA
Spend a day in Buenos Aires however you please. Consider joining our optional excursion to go cruising on the Tigre Delta.
This morning, travel by bus through the northern coastal neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, including prestigious Olivos, home of the Argentinian 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 Lujan 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.
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 US 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.
There are no major health risks when traveling to Argentina and Antarctica. However, it’s always advisable to check with your doctor or health care provider for the latest updates.
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 towards European dishes with an Argentine flair. Italian pastas and pizzas, German Schnitzels and British scones 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.
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.
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.
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. See “A word about packing” for more details.
We recommend dressing in layers and avoiding cotton whenever possible. A rainjacket, water-repellant hooded parka, insulated waterproof trousers and gloves or mittens, hat, and 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 non-skid soles. Onboard, 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.
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.
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.
At the conclusion of your tour, it’s 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.
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)
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.
Overall a great trip. Met all my expectations.
Pay for your tour on your schedule. Simply pay a $300 deposit when you book ($450 for cruises, safaris, North American and special event tours), then make payments for any amount at any time by logging in to your account. Just be sure to pay the balance by your final payment date, usually 70 days prior to departure (90 days for cruises, safaris, North American, special event and customized tours). We'll let you know when your final payment is due.