Day 1 — Ushuaia, Argentina
With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet it has retained an easy going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early, you can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city, or visit the many boutique shops and cafés before you leave for your expedition to Antarctica.
Day 2 — Embarkation Day
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as you depart—the next time you see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!
Days 3 and 4 — Crossing the Drake Passage
Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You’ll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, while we’ll provide safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.
Days 5 to 8 — South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula
When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition.
You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica we witness something new or unexpected, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience. We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and Minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal.
The majesty of the Peninsula’s mountains will enchant you as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbour, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here you’ll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets! Amidst the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes now become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbour.
Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate you about this wonderful part of the world.
Days 9 and 10 — Drake Passage to Ushuaia
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Day 11 — Disembarkation in Ushuaia
You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning allowing for you to continue your adventure on land or catch your
- One night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia, Buenos Aires or Punta Arenas as indicated in the itinerary. (The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.)
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping.
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage. (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
- All shore landings per the daily program.
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition leader, including shore landings and other activities.
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program.
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled.
- Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage.
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings.
- An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep.
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock.
- Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader.
- A group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.
- 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.
*Ask us about additional inclusions on each of the ships!
- Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation and lunch on specified fly and cruise programs.
- Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified.
- Telecommunications charges.
- The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
- Massage services.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.