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Take the adventure of a lifetime to the Antarctic Circle with Intrepid. Enter the southernmost region on earth then take things a step further as you cross the Antarctic Circle. This is nature at its harshest yet Antarctica’s wildlife thrives, having adapted to the beautiful, barren surrounds by the thousands. Experience the thrill of seeing seals lie on the ice-floe, whales breaching the frigid waters and penguins patrolling the rocky shoreline in vast numbers. Zip-around the ice-filled bays by Zodiac, landing on Antarctica itself for onshore excursions and jaw-dropping views witnessed by seldom few where you will celebrate Christmas and New Years Eve. With towering mountains, glaciers and mammoth icebergs dotting the landscape, you may not understand how the wildlife survives here, but you can’t blame them for wanting to stay.
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 2: Ushuaia (Embarkation)
Days 3 & 4: Cross the Drake Passage
Days 5 - 8: South Shetland Islands & the Antarctic Peninsula
Days 9 & 10: Cross the Antarctic Circle
Day 11: Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands
Days 12 & 13: Cross the Drake Passage
Day 14: Disembark in Ushuaia
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Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city, for the start of your Antarctic adventure. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel to settle in before meeting your fellow travellers. If you’re arriving earlier there are plenty of activities to choose from. Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park on a full day’s adventure, tackle part of the Martial Mountains for a memorable view over the Beagle Channel, or perhaps just a walk around town and enjoy the cafe scene. Tonight’s all about introductions, and what better place to do it than to try a traditional asado – an Argentinean-style barbecue.
Today you'll board the Ocean Endeavour for your Antarctic expedition later in the day, so this morning continue to explore Ushuaia. Perhaps check out the Museo Maritimo to brush up on local history, or just enjoy a morning strolling this languid town. Once you’ve boarded the ship, meet your expert crew and take a tour of the amenities and services available on the ship. Wave goodbye to Argentina and say hello to the legendary Drake Passage.
Spend the next few days traversing the infamous Drake Passage, named after Sir Frances Drake, on your way to the Antarctic Peninsula. While crossing the passage you can get acquainted with the many first-class amenities available on the Ocean Endeavour – maybe do a yoga class or brush up on your photography skills in preparation for your arrival. The researchers and scientists travelling with you will begin their onboard lecture program over the next few days and (if conditions are favourable) you’ll also be able to join them on deck to spot seabirds and maybe whales. Expect to reach the peninsula on the evening of Day 4.
It's time to take your first steps on Antarctica, courtesy of a Zodiac ride through the icy waters. There are several potential landing sites including Neko Harbour, Petermann Island and Port Lockroy, and while weather dictates which specific site you’ll land at, each of them presents an opportunity to get up-close with some truly incredible wildlife, watch penguins waddle and seals slide as icebergs and glaciers crackle and crumble. For a full list of potential landing sites, please visit: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/antarctica-landing-sites
If you have any questions, look to your team of polar experts to inspire and educate you about this fascinating part of the world. There are some optional activities for the more active adventurer including snowshoeing, kayaking and – wait for it – overnight camping, and you’ll also have an opportunity to take a polar plunge off the ship. There’s nothing quite like a quick dip in the Antarctic’s icy depths to wake you up.
Venturing to the ends of the earth is a moment to revel in as not all expeditions come this far south. Weather conditions permitting, celebrations will be in order after reaching 66°33’ S. Toast to the sheer rawness of the surrounds and take it all in as a dream comes to fruition – while not a typical landing, the crossing of the Antarctic Circle leaves a lasting memory.
You’ll be more familiar with the Antarctic waters as the ship begins heading north. Test your newfound knowledge of penguin species and finetune your wildlife spotting skills as you differentiate between fur, leopard and Weddel seals. The Zodiac excursions will continue, and the expedition team will be on hand to make the most of the peninsula’s wildlife opportunities for those wanting to flex their photography muscles en route to Ushuaia.
The journey’s final leg offers an opportunity to reflect on the spectacular scenery and prolific wildlife encountered over the course of the voyage. Spend some time with your shipmates, who you’ve no doubt bonded with, and enjoy a final together to toast the end of this Antarctic adventure.
Disembark in Ushuaia after having breakfast on the ship. You have the option to be transferred to the airport if you’re flying home today, otherwise enjoy some extra time exploring Tierra del Fuego and its rugged surrounds.
The Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable, well-appointed expedition ship expertly engineered to explore the polar regions. The ship has an ice-strengthened hull (Ice Class 1B), zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, generous deck space and advanced navigation equipment. It offers a superb experience for up to 199 guests with facilities that include a nautical lounge, two restaurants, a sundeck and plenty of deck space for observation of the polar landscapes.
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