humpback whales antarctica peninsula zodiacs cruise

Humpback whale, Antarctic Peninsula

In the austral summer, the Antarctic Peninsula is home to a vast profusion of wildlife, from migrating whales to teeming colonies of penguins. On our cruise, we explore by Zodiac for up-close wildlife encounters in the iceberg-strewn bays.

Photo by Hugh Rose / Delimont, Herbig & Assoc.

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Antarctica route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7395  
Length: 12 days
Arrive: Ushuaia, Argentina
Depart: Ushuaia, Argentina
Lodging: 10 nights aboard deluxe vessel, 1 hotel night
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level: 11-day expedition cruise, nature walks on uneven ground, Zodiac cruising with wet landings, possibility of rough seas and cold weather
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Highlights

  • Cruise in luxury to the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the world’s wildlife paradises
  • Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the South Shetlands, Paradise Bay, Deception Island, Lemaire Channel
  • Explorations by Zodiac with expert naturalists
  • 5 full days to explore the Antarctic Peninsula


Where do we start to retell our adventure and odyssey? This experience was history, adventure, picture—perfect images every moment, cuisine extraordinary, service unequaled, nature and geology breathtaking.Gus and Christine H.—Meeker, CO

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Antarctica is like no other place on the planet, and to experience its ethereal splendor is a rare privilege. Our expedition cruise explores the Antarctic Peninsula, one of the most spectacular parts of the continent and one of the most wildlife-rich regions in the world. We cruise glacier-lined fjords, head out for Zodiac adventures among icebergs of fantastic form, walk through colonies of seals, sea lions, and nesting penguins—all in nearly 20-hour daylight! Throughout our voyage, expert naturalists share their in-depth knowledge of this miraculous continent. To offer you the greatest selection of dates, we've selected two superb expedition vessels, each featuring great comfort, expert naturalists, and a fleet of Zodiacs for exploring this enchanting destination up close. For details, see the individual ship descriptions.

Itinerary

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-4
Ushuaia / Embark / Beagle Channel / Drake Passage

From Ushuaia, we navigate the historic Beagle Channel, traveled by Captain Fitzroy and Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle in 1835. Huge albatross and Cape petrels follow the wake of our ship as we make our southern passage, crossing the Antarctic Convergence, where cold Antarctic waters meet the relatively warmer waters of the sub-Antarctic.

Days 5-9
Antarctic Peninsula

The Peninsula is a breathtaking panorama of enormous icebergs and endless snow-capped mountains. During the austral summer, chicks hatch and fledge and pods of whales breach in deep bays where calving icebergs churn up krill, their favorite delicacy. We walk among rookeries teeming with penguins, explore historic outposts, visit a working scientific station, and head out on exciting Zodiac excursions to towering icebergs and ice floes where seals laze. Our destinations include Deception Island, with our ship navigating a nearly hidden channel called Neptune’s Bellows to enter a giant volcanic crater, Paulet Island, home to some 200,000 Adelie penguins, and aptly named Paradise Bay, a tremendously scenic bay full of icebergs. Another highlight is our sail through the narrow Lemaire Channel between sheer 3,000-foot peaks. We also have options for camping or sea kayaking, conditions permitting.

Days 10-12
Drake Passage / Ushuaia

As we watch for whales and seabirds and enjoy onboard lectures, we return to Ushuaia via the famed Drake Passage. Disembark in Ushuaia on Day 12 and depart.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Note: These cruises are not exclusive Wilderness Travel departures. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

2014 Cruise Collection Brochure

We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to Sumatra to the great rivers of Europe. Download our beautiful new Cruise Collection Brochure! Or request a printed copy to be sent by mail, or by calling 800-368-2794.

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy. You will be travelling to a very remote destination. You must be able to complete on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures without the assistance of others. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet, especially when walking on slippery decks or up and down steep gangways. Shore excursions often require hiking over uneven terrain without the benefit of a developed trail. Some agility is required for getting in and out of the Zodiac landing crafts. While several Zodiac landings are dry, many will require that you step in the water to get ashore. Zodiac and shore excursions are weather permitting.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures

2014
Nov 7-18, 2014  Sea Spirit

Nov 27-Dec 8, 2014  Sea Explorer
Dec 5-16, 2014  Sea Spirit
Dec 17-28, 2014  Sea Explorer
2015
Jan 7-18, 2015  Sea Spirit
Jan 14-25, 2015  Sea Explorer
Jan 24-Feb 4, 2015  Sea Explorer
Feb 4-15, 2015  Sea Spirit
Feb 22-Mar 5, 2015  Sea Spirit
Mar 4-15, 2015  Sea Spirit

Trip Cost

To see complete breakdown of cabin prices by category and a deck chart for each ship, click on ship name.

Sea Spirit
12-day itinerary from $7,995

Sea Explorer
12-day itinerary from $7,395

Argentine Reciprocity Fee for US citizens: $160
   (must be obtained in advance online)

Trip Cost Includes:

Sea Spirit departures only

Download the Full Trip Brochure for details on the other ships

  • One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All meals aboard ship
  • Open bar (alcoholic and soft drinks)—Sea Spirit only
  • Educational program of lectures and discussions by accompanying Expedition Team and digital photography expert
  • Professional Expedition Leadership
  • Onboard physician
  • Photographic Journal (DVD) documenting the voyage
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per daily program
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings and an official expedition parka to keep
  • A 10 Mb card for access to the ship’s wireless internet connection (additional cards may be purchased)
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials
  • Group transfers in Ushuaia
  • 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 USD $100,000 per person

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

Sea Spirit departures only

Any airfare; passport, visa, and Argentine Reciprocity fees; government arrival and departure taxes; any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation; alcoholic beverages; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.

Trip Payment Schedule*

Sea Spirit only
At time of reservation: 20%
130 days prior to departure: Balance

Download the Full Detailed Itinerary for details on the other ships

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Sea Spirit only
Minimum fee: $1000 per person
179-120 days prior to departure: deposit is forfeited
119 days or less prior to departure: 100% of cruise cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Sea Spirit

One of the most spacious and luxurious expedition vessels in operation, the Sea Spirit carries a maximum of 112 guests in all ...
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Sea Explorer

The elegant, all-suite 114-guest Sea Explorer has established itself as one of the finest expedition cruise ships in Antarctica. With an ...
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Client Comments

Where do we start to retell our adventure and odyssey? This experience was history, adventure, picture—perfect images every moment, cuisine extraordinary, service unequaled, nature and geology breathtaking. Gus and Christine H., Meeker, CO Best trip ever—but then I say that about every trip I go on with you. Elizabeth J., Olney, MD This was probably the best trip in all my years of travels. Elizabeth L., Manchester, CT The expedition team was outstanding. Very knowledgeable, friendly, concerned for preserving the natural environment and passenger safety while having a lot of fun. Kim C., Chicago, IL
The Antarctica cruise was fantastic and the quality of the ship and staff exceeded my expectation. I was especially impressed by the experience and friendliness of the expedition staff. Lynn T., Raritan, NJ The Cruise Director was phenomenal, and the knowledgeable, extremely friendly, and upbeat Expedition staff made the trip even more enjoyable. Lesia B., Metairie, LA The expedition team was phenomenal! We were truly blessed with the best. Linda P., Ann Arbor, MI We enjoyed the trip immensely, and it exceeded our expectations. Bruce B., Ventura, CA