Experience Antarctica to understand the other-worldly beauty of the magnificent views, stillness, starry night skies, and pure adventure. The seventh continent is worth the hype.
We’ll float through ice, past whales (yes! it’s whale season), down the Drake Passage to Antartica, zig-zagging through the Shetland Islands and stopping for land excursions along the way. This trip is all inclusive and too amazing to even describe.
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Guaranteed landings. This small ship is able to allow all passengers to disembark at a time.
Environmentalists and photographers on board to answer your questions.
Lots of wildlife: seals, whales, penguins, birds, and more.
USHUAIA, ARGENTINA AIRPORT PICKUP
Soak in the last of the WiFi, grab any last minute necessities, and explore Ushuaia! We can help organize some afternoon hikes or tours before we board. Our ride will pick us up at the hotel and bring us to the boat to meet our expedition and lecture staff. After we’ve have settled into your cabins, we start to sail! Our scenic adventure starts with Beagle Channel and beautiful Mackinlay Pass. Meals: breakfast, dinner
3 - 4
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, expedition lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in 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. Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
5 - 8
EXPLORING THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA AND SHETLAND ISLANDS
King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins, as well as elephant seals, await you at Livingston Island.
The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will 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, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredibly wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds, you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.
We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day and possible landing sites may include:
Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg- strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins
Further exploration may take you to the Melchior Island group, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
BACK TO USHUAIA, ARGENTINA
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.
DISEMBARK and FAREWELL
We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast. Share a taxi with a fellow traveler to the airport or continue your adventure in Argentina!
VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY
- Shared room
- Bathroom shared with one other room
- Located on the upper deck
- All rooms have a porthole
- The most basic and most affordable twin option
Standard Plus Twin
- Shared room
- Private bathroom
- Located on the lower deck
- Most rooms have a porthole
Life on Board
Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the USHUAIA has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites. No more than 100 passengers are allowed to step foot in Antarctica soil at one time, and with this small ship, you are guaranteed landing every day they are available, unlike other ships.
Public areas feature a large dining room, an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, a bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a small infirmary.
The 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. The chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.
- All meals except one
- Airport pickup on day one
- Overnight in Ushuaia before departure
- Transfer to the ship from our hotel
- All shore activities
- Lectures on board by noted naturalists
- All service taxes and port charges
Arrival and departure: Ushuaia Airport (USH)
Our driver will pick you up on day one and bring you to our hotel. Hotel check in is at 2pm. If your flight lands much earlier, ask us about booking an early night (at your own expense).
To ensure that you are not delayed by our ship docking late, book your return flights no earlier than 2pm on the last day.
Balance due upon booking. Bookings are final. Antarctica cruises normally book out years in advance, and once we pay the ship, we are bound by their cancellation policies, which does not allow refunds. Should the trip be cancelled due to Covid or natural disaster, you will be able to re-book any new dates within 2 years.
- Visa fees for Argentina
- Bar/beverage and telecommunication charges
- Cold weather gear rental
- Post trip transfers
- Customer gratuity (approx. $200 total)
- Mandatory travel insurance: In order to board, you must have an insurance policy that covers $100,000 emergency evacuation and includes reparation.
- There is no SoFe Leader on board this trip, but you will have a host organizing transfers, a group of 16 passengers, and the ship crew.
Is the trip right for you? Here are some things to know before you book.
This is a converted expedition ship that is clean and comfortable but not fancy luxury like many traditional cruises (like Royal Caribbean or Carnival).
Meals are tasty, filling, and simple. If you have serious dietary restrictions and can not supplement your diet with protein bars, etc. from home, talk to us before booking. (Vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free are more easily accommodated, but bring some supplemental snacks.)
There is no wifi on board. Connect to a shared computer for $10 for 30 minutes. Expect a digital detox.
This tour has strict cancellation fees because of the terms and conditions of the ship. Please be sure these dates work for you before booking. We can not make adjustments to the cancellation policy.
What our travelers say
“Egypt was the trip of a lifetime. 16 strangers became my sisters. I never liked the idea of tour groups but this changed my mind.” Shannon | Egypt
“I would absolutely go on another trip! I would love to do the Egypt or India tours! I can tell a lot of thought is put into the tours and I like that they are created around the idea of “solo female travel.” Bonnie | Cuba
“If you are thinking about doing a SoFe tour, do it! It’s totally worth experiencing at least once. It was so awesome to connect and explore a country with like minded solo female travelers.” Michelle P. | India