Antarctica: Journey to the Circle

14 Days from
$11,790 USD
Antarctica
Ship Tour
Highlights

Highlights

  • Experience the wildlife of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula including albatross, penguins, elephant seals, whales and dolphins.
  • Enjoy regular Zodiac excursions and landings amid spectacular scenery
  • Set foot on the continent of Antarctica - a rare privilege only a few can claim
  • Learn about Antarctic history from our onboard resource staff.
  • Admire breathtaking scenery such as icebergs, glaciated mountains and volcanoes
Map

Map

Map for Antarctica: Journey to the Circle

Tour Overview

Voyage in comfort aboard Ocean Endeavour from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula and back. Visit the wildlife-rich South Shetland Islands. Join the fortunate few (conditions permitting) who have travelled below the Antarctic Circle. Journey to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula and add the great southern continent to your travel bucket list!

Itinerary

Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

On arrival at Ushuaia Airport, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. They will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to contact them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.

The first night of your voyage is spent in the quaint town of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world, and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).

The remainder of the day is at leisure and you are free to explore, perhaps making a few last-minute purchases from the many shops or artisan markets or relaxing in a cafe. Visit the excellent museums along the main street, Avenida San Martin, or wander the streets and take in the town’s dramatic setting, with views of the mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south.

Ushuaia at night

This morning is again free for you to explore Ushuaia further, or maybe discover Tierra del Fuego National Park, the most southerly national park of South America. The park offers a range of hiking trails that lead you through the stunningly beautiful and dramatic scenery of snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, rugged coastline, glaciers, waterfalls and lakes. Look out for guanaco, Andean foxes, muskrats, and the North American beaver. Birds found here include the Andean condor, Magellanic oystercatcher, kelp goose, austral parakeet, and torrent duck.

Late this afternoon we transfer to the port of Ushuaia in time for embarkation on board the Ocean Endeavour. The expedition team and the ship’s officers will be waiting to welcome you aboard.

This evening we sail along the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel, towards the White Continent of Antarctica. As we leave the lights of Ushuaia behind, look out for Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants, petrels, and black-browed albatross from the deck as well as noisy sea lion colonies.

Black-browed Albatross

The infamous Drake Passage, named after the famous English explorer, Sir Frances Drake, separates the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula from the southernmost tip of South America. It is unpredictable—often rough and turbulent, but sometimes as calm as a lake—so be prepared!

Enjoy the fabulous onboard facilities: join a yoga class or attend a presentation or two given by the expedition team to prepare you for what lies ahead—from the geology of Antarctica to its history and wildlife, and even the ice!

Sailing towards Antarctica there is a fall in temperature as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The Antarctic Convergence is marked by an increased number of seabirds, whales, and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters pushed to the surface by the colder waters of the polar region flowing north and meeting the warmer equatorial waters flowing south.

Head out on deck to look for the mighty albatross that fly overhead, scan the waters for breaching whales and icebergs, or gaze out from the panoramic windows of the observation deck.

We continue our course south and hope to make landfall by the evening of Day 4, depending on the weather conditions. Keep on the lookout for the first sighting of land—that heralds your arrival to the White Continent!

he next four days are spent exploring the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, a region that has captivated explorers for centuries and now enthrals modern-day travellers. We explore by Zodiac, cruising among the magnificently sculpted icebergs and making shore landings where we mingle with penguins, climb to vantage points to absorb the spectacular panoramic views, and maybe visit a scientific or historic base. There may even be opportunities to kayak and snowshoe and, of course, learn more about photography with one of our experts.

Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs, and ice-strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife—from extensive colonies of chinstrap, gentoo, and Adelie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur, and elephant seals, and a plethora of fascinating seabirds. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the mighty crack of a glacier calving. Maybe you will be one of the brave few to take a polar plunge in the icy waters! Every day brings a new experience and new landing sites.

As we cruise from one landing site to the next, enjoy the continued lecture program and take in the scenery from the outer decks of the Ocean Endeavour. Make the most of the ship’s health and fitness facilities, from the relaxing spa and saunas to the pool and gym.

Antarctica: Journey to the Circle

Depending on the weather conditions, we will continue southwards in an attempt to reach latitude 66°33'S and cross the fabled Antarctic Circle. Our voyage south takes us past colossal, often beautifully sculpted icebergs, to a point on Earth only a few intrepid travellers have ever sailed. If we reach this momentous goal, we will toast the explorers who first ventured this far south and celebrate our own impressive achievement. This land is home to the midnight sun, shifting ice, and incredible ice formations. Weddell seals are found here, as are humpback whales and minke whales that feed on the krill-rich waters.

Weddell seals in particular are specially adapted to this icy environment, using their canines and incisors to rasp open new ice and maintain breathing holes in the ice. They also have extremely accurate powers of navigation, enabling them to seek out breathing holes when their teeth are worn down and they are no longer able to maintain or create breathing holes.

Having crossed the Antarctic Circle, we set a course north, exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands further by Zodiac and shore landings, scanning the waters for whales and seals and looking out for the seabirds that soar above the ship.

zodiac cruise Antarctica

As we leave the Antarctic Peninsula behind, we take with us our memories and photographs. We set a course for the Drake Passage as we enjoy some final lectures and presentations and look out for wildlife from the observation lounge and the outer decks. There will be ample opportunity at this time to make final use of the spa, sauna, and saltwater pool.

Having crossed the Drake Passage once more, we enter the calm and tranquil waters of the Beagle Channel bound for Ushuaia.

We are scheduled to arrive into Ushuaia early this morning, and disembark after a final breakfast aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

After saying our farewells to our expedition team and the crew of the Ocean Endeavour, we transfer you to the airport for your onward flight. You may also choose to spend an extra day or two in Ushuaia, giving you time to explore this fascinating town and the surrounding areas.

Ushuaia

Departures

What's Included

Tour Includes

  • 1 night hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia
  • Group transfer from hotel to pier
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All meals on-board including snacks
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruising
  • Guiding and lectures by expedition team
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Free use of rubber boots on land
  • Use of gym, sauna, pool, and on-board Jacuzzi
  • On-board yoga
  • Wind and water resistant jacket
  • All port taxes
  • Transfer airport to hotel on Day 1 and pier to airport on day of disembarkation

Tour Does Not Include

  • Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email service)
  • Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)
  • Optional activities (kayaking, camping, intensive photo course)

What to Expect

Our small ship cruising programs allow you to experience the best of the natural world, while enjoying the comforts of our friendly floating hotel. The ship generally makes crossing between islands at night, so every morning you awake to new vistas and discoveries. Every day we offer a combination of interesting shore excursions and fun shipboard activities. You can choose which elements of the program you want to participate in.

Our excursions onshore will involve a relatively low level of exertion, but you will need a reasonable level of mobility to get up and down the gangway and climb into and out of Zodiacs (with assistance). Some of our shore landings will be 'wet', requiring waterproof boots. Once you have left the zodiac, you'll find our shore excursions accommodate both those who wish to enjoy a gentle stroll and those who prefer more active hikes. Our onboard specialists will join us on these shore excursions to provide interpretation and narration to these wonderful landscapes and experiences.

Each evening we will gather in the lounge to recount the day’s events and share memorable stories. Our onboard musician will provide some lively entertainment during happy hour and the expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule. Our resource staff of naturalists, historians, and other guest speakers will give informative talks at various times throughout the voyage.

Meals in the ship's dining room are a great opportunity to meet new friends and recount the day's adventures. Special diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Safety is also a top priority with Eagle-Eye Tours – our team has extensive experience in the field, and all of our Voyages are run in conjunction with operators with the highest safety standards.

When the ship is underway, it is a wonderful time to join a naturalist on deck, take photos of the stunning scenery, or get caught up on some reading in the library.

We know that everyone travels for different reasons. Over the years, however, we have found one common element among the guest who choose to travel with us - a thirst of knowledge and authentic experience. Knowing this drives us to ensure the highest quality learning experience on our trips, by taking time to carefully design each trip we offer.

Ship & Deck Plan

Ocean Endeavour Antarctica

Ocean Endeavour Antarctica

Sailing with a maximum of 198-passengers, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. The Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer.

Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014. At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub! The spacious interiors allow for multiple workshops and presentations to occur simultaneously. Community is at the heart of Adventure Canada’s expedition experience. We gather together to learn, enjoy a drink, sing a song or share a yarn – connecting with one and other. The three lounges aboard Ocean Endeavour are fantastic public spaces for seminars, events and dialogue.

The Ocean Endeavour’s private spaces are stylish and comfortable. All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning.

Ocean Endeavour’s crew is experienced, and friendly. Her shallow draft and maneuverability allow her to access isolated fiords, bays and secluded communities. The stylish vessel is at home among the glorious settings we seek. Enjoy the class and comfort of a boutique hotel, while venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers aboard the Ocean Endeavour!

Learn More