13 days from £14495pp plus international flights.
A visit to Antarctica is a bucket list, once in a lifetime trip for most people. This fantastic trip promises to show some of the highlights of the Antarctic Circle including some land based adventures and wildlife spotting.
Your journey begins with a night in Ushaia before you board the RCGS Resolute, your home for the duration of the voyage. Setting sail for the chilly, yet fascinating waters of the Antarctic Circle, you will be accompanied by giant petrels and albatrosses.
Time can be spent exploring the ice floes in the ship's Zodiac boats, making shore landings where possible. All trips are accompanied by expert guides, they'll separate you into small groups depending on your interests ensuring you get the absolute most out of your trip. You'll be able to discover the remarkable wildlife, hike onshore and perhaps enjoy sea kayaking if you're feeling adventurous. It doesn't stop there, there will be visits to historic sites and scientific research locations, adding another layer to this fascinating trip.
You'll be visiting Elephant Island, where Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men trod, over 100 years ago. Explore the Weddell Sea and some well-known and also some hidden gems along the Antarctic Peninsula, saving the South Shetland Islands until last.
Throughout your voyage you'll be blessed with jaw dropping scenery and a sense of adventure in an area seldom visited. All the while you'll be accompanied by polar experts who can share their knowledge on the environment, wildlife and ecology of this special place.
On arrival at Ushuaia airport you are met by a local representative who greets you and accompanies you on the drive to your hotel in the city. Relax after your journey and be sure to get a good night's sleep prior to the adventure to come which starts tomorrow.
A gentle start to your day after a good rest to recover from your longhaul flight. Your Antarctic adventure really gets underway today as you transfer to the pier and your waiting vessel, RCGS Resloute which will be your home for the next few days. The ship is a purpose built Polar expedition vessel with lots of social space and comfortable cabins. Settle in, get your bearings and enjoy a welcome cocktail and dinner as the ship casts off for the Antarctic and your trip of a lifetime.
As you wake today you'll be heading across the Drake Passage. During the crossing you are likely to be joined by giant petrels, albatrosses and Cape petrels. Your time on board is spent watching informative presentations given by the resident naturalist guides, relaxing in the lounges and enjoying tasty meals. Budding photographers can learn handy tips and techniques from the on-board photography expert. RCGS Resolute has an open-bridge policy and you might want to take the chance to join the captain and officers on watch to learn about the operation of the vessel.
At this stage of the voyage the snowy Antarctic peaks lie before you, and you cannot fail to be impressed as you appreciate first-hand the beauty of this incredible sight. Together with your guides, plan an exciting range of activities from guided hikes on shore, zodiac cruising on the icy waters as you seek out seals and whales, and sea kayaking, all offering you the chance to explore Antarctica from different perspectives. It's not all go-go-go, if you prefer to sit on a rock and watch the penguins come and go, then that's what you shall do. Your guides can shed light on the wildlife and history as you explore for yourself.
Entering the Southern Gerlache Strait there are more landing sites on Anvers and Wiencke Islands. You travel by zodiac to the shore then break into smaller groups to set off on a hike of your preferred duration, observing penguins maybe with eggs or newly born chicks. Later RCGS Resolute crosses the Gerlache Strait to Paradise Harbour, a possible landing site and your first time ashore on the continental landmass of Antarctica. These excursions are interspersed with time on board, dining and relaxing, taking in the views and enjoying a dip in the plunge pool or indulgent soak in the jacuzzi.
If weather conditions permit Resolute sails into the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island. Against this dramatic backdrop you can go ashore and explore the old whaling station. If you want the chance to stretch your legs, the Aitcho Islands provide some excellent hiking routes. Stop to admire the colourful mosses and lichens, as well as to watch gentoo and chinstrap penguins at their nesting sites and to see seals on the shore and in the water. Other possible landing sites include Half Moon Island and Yankee Harbour, a good spot for a hike or zodiac cruise. Hannah Point has nesting petrels and an elephant seal colony. Later this evening you'll begin to head north through McFarlane Strait into Drake Passage.
Leaving Antarctica behind with her stunning scenery and enchanting wildlife, you'll pass through Drake Passage for the two day crossing back to South America. You are now completely familiar with life on board, as you take in views from the observation lounge and bar. You might want to treat yourself to a massage at the wellness centre or a workout at the gym, or visit the media room to backup your photographs. With favourable weather, you'll be rounding Cape Horn and as you approach Beagle Channel in the early evening you can enjoy a special farewell dinner hosted by the captain of the ship.
This morning RCGS Resolute docks in Ushuaia and it's time to say goodbye to the crew You'll be taken to your hotel and the rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure as you reflect on this amazing trip of a lifetime. Enjoy a night in town, perhaps seek out a local restaurant or alternatively dine at the hotel and have an early night.
This morning, after an early breakfast you will be transferred to the airport where your onward flight awaits. Check-in and wait for take-off. We're pretty sure you will be taking some amazing memories home with you.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £14495 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: Valid for sailing dates as below.
Meet and greet at Ushuaia Airport, pre and post cruise night in Ushuaia hotel on a BB basis, road transfer from hotel to pier, on board accommodation, meals, snacks, tea and coffee. Use of on board expedition gear and boots. Shore excursions and activities throughout cruise; guided hikes, walks, presentations by expedition guides and on board naturalists.
International and regional flights and taxes, visas, meals not shown, drinks, items of a personal nature.
This itinerary starts and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina. Return international and regional flights from the UK cost around £1,200 per person depending on season and availability. We usually book these for you.
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Find the best time to visit Arctic and Antarctic
Time: Arctic GMT -5 Antarctic GMT -3
Flight time: Flight time approximately 22 hours to Ushuaia (Argentina) or Punta Arenas (Chile) (no direct flights from the UK)
Language: English is the most widely spoken language
Visas: Not required for British nationals for Antarctica, South Georgia or the Falkland Islands.
Health: None required but tetanus may be recommended. No other vaccinations are compulsory.