Classic Antarctica – Expedition

Resort:Classic Antarctica - Expedition
Operator: Explore
Destination: Antarctica, Argentina, Latin America
Price From: £4999.00

Over View

We leave Ushuaia and navigate the Beagle Channel, heading south across the Drake Passage and the turbulent waters of the Antarctic Convergence. Ice-capped mountains, crevassed glaciers and endless white expanses herald our arrival in Antarctica. Possible landings include Paradise Harbour, Neko Harbour and Wilhelmina Bay and an opportunity to cruise through the Lemaire Channel. Explore the rich diversity of Antarctic wildlife, including Gentoo, Adelie and Chinstrap rookeries and enjoy the varied marine life, witnessing seals hauling out on ice floes and a variety of whales such as Humpback, Minke and Orca, following in our wake. There is plenty to discover on this journey to the bottom of the World, no two voyages are the same, so be prepared to be delighted by the unexpected.

Superb wildlife viewing opportunities – on land and at sea
Enjoy the freedom of Antarctica – enjoy the vast, ice-sculpted, Antarctic wilderness
Join expert naturalist guides – learn about the wildlife and history of the region
Astonishing wildlife – see whales, sea birds and abundance of penguins


Day 1 Join trip in Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. The city has 40,000 inhabitants and is a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers.

You can arrive at any time and an arrival transfer is included if arriving in on day one of the itinerary. Upon arrival into Ushuaia City Airport (USH) please collect your luggage and look for a representative in the Arrivals Hall, holding a sign with your name on it. If you have booked your flights independently, please make sure that you have advised us of your arrival flight details into Ushuaia, so that a transfer is booked for you. Be sure to keep all of your important documents – i.e. passport and travel insurance, and also your medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the hotel.

From our experience we have found that there are significant delays, especially in high season on flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. We highly recommend booking your travel arrangements to arrive into Ushuaia earlier in the day.

There are no activities planned today. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to explore the city, visit the Maritime Museum or join a tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park, which offers magnificent hiking opportunities.

Day 2 Embark on the Expedition

Today we will embark on the expedition ship. Embarkation time is set for 4:00 pm. The morning is free to do any last minute shopping, an optional excursion to Tierra Del Fuego National Park or a good hike up to the Marshall Glacier. The evening is spent on board the ship watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel.

On the first day onboard, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview. Due to ice and weather conditions, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion, it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations.

Day 3 The Drake Passage

Our adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The M Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic. At some point on the second day we cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer equatorial water moving in the opposite direction. This mixing pushes nutrient rich waters to the surface attracting a variety of seabirds, whales and other species.

Day 4 The Drake Passage

As we make the passage, you have time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where we meet our guides, ship’s crew and expedition staff. We also begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.

Day 5 Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands

This is what we’ve all been waiting for – a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next four days we will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt two excursions per day, while we navigate through the area, but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.

Day 6 Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands

The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife activity. Penguins gather with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and beaches, and numerous albatross and other seabirds trail in our wake.

Day 7 Antarctic Peninsula

There is plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains.

Day 8 Antarctic Peninsula

The Peninsula also has a remarkable history and, during the voyage, we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world. Keeping a lookout from the Bridge or the deck of the ship, as we thread our way along the continent, you’ll feel the same sense of excitement as many of those early Explorers. The continent itself is roughly circular with a spindly arm, called the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching northwards towards Tierra del Fuego. South America is the nearest landmass, some 600 miles away. Antarctica is a continent of superlatives. It is the coldest, windiest, iciest and highest of all the major landmasses in the world. It is the continent with the longest nights and the longest days and it is home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife. It is also one of the last true wilderness areas left on earth – largely unchanged since the early Explorers and Whalers first landed on its inhospitable shores less than two centuries ago.

Day 9 The Drake Passage

Today we leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage.

Day 10 The Drake Passage

In between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by our expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia.

Day 11 Trip ends in Ushuaia

The trip ends after breakfast on board the ship.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart at any time after 9am. You will receive a complimentary transfer at the end of your trip. For those on morning flights, a transfer will take you directly to Ushuaia City Airport (USH). For those on later flights, you will be transferred to the luggage storage point and given time to explore the city. You will need to return later to retrieve your luggage and board a second transfer to Ushuaia City Airport in the afternoon, depending on flight times.