Across the Antarctic Circle - 9/10 days

FROM USD $6,525

This small group adventure cruise follows the Antarctic Peninsula's spectacular west coast down through the Lemaire Channel conveniently timed with both Christmas and New Year departures . We toast our Circle Crossing in glorious Crystal Sound, then wind our way through a maze of intricate waterways. This expedition offers the incredible and unique opportunity to kayak in Antarctic waters, alongside curious seals and penguins, discovering a spectacular world of ice, teeming with wonderful and diverse marine life.

Day 1: Ushuaia
We board Polar Pioneer in Ushuaia, at 4 p.m. Friendly staff show us to our cabins, and excitement mounts as we gather on the flying bridge for departure and the pleasure of an evening sail along the Beagle Channel. Overnight - Aboard ship (D)
Day 2: The Drake Passage
We wake to the thrum of engines and the thrill of being at sea. There’s time to relax between entertaining talks and important briefings from our highly experienced expedition staff. The bridge and outer decks offer marvelous views of black-browed albatross, giant petrels, majestic wandering albatross and many more. This will be the only Drake Passage crossing on this voyage, so we make the most of it. Overnight - Aboard ship (B, L, D)
Across the Antarctic Circle - 9/10 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
A penguin on an iceberg in Antarctica
Day 3: South Shetland Islands
A drop in water temperature signals our entry into Antarctic waters as we cross the Convergence and approach the South Shetland Islands. Excitement builds as icebergs, then penguins and fur seals appear. With fair winds and a following sea, we may make our first landing this evening. Overnight - Aboard ship (B, L, D)
A group on a zodiac taking photos of a whale
Days 4 - 9: The Antarctic Peninsular
Overnight we sail south into Gerlache Strait and awaken to true Antarctica. Surrounded by the mountainous Danco Coast and Anvers Island, the steely waters are smooth, broken only by the blow of whales and splash of penguins.

We make full use of the Antarctic summer’s long daylight hours, sailing during the short twilight and landing or Zodiac cruising by day. We visit penguin rookeries, cruise amongst grounded icebergs and have close encounters with curious leopard and crabeater seals. We aim to pass through Lemaire Channel and, if weather and ice cooperate, enter magical Crystal Sound.

We celebrate Christmas enthusiastically, the atmosphere among fellow expeditioners like that of extended family. It might even snow! Crossing the Antarctic Circle at latitude 66°33’ South is cause for even more celebration. We may land at the abandoned British base on Detaille Island or on the Antarctic mainland

If thick pack ice prevents us from navigating the “inner route”, the Bellingshausen Sea offers an alternative passage. The secret to a successful crossing of the Circle is flexibility, accompanied by a healthy spirit of adventure. Knowing that we’ve reached the heart of Antarctica is our just reward.

Optional Activity - Why not try our optional activity of Antarctic kayaking. Kayaking in the far-flung corners of the world is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul. Led by experienced guides, paddling in small groups allows us the opportunity to paddle between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes as well as easy and intimate access to beautiful coastlines in some of the world's most remote destinations. Viewing wildlife from a kayak has many advantages, with our quiet presence allowing us to get closer to animals while still keeping a comfortable distance from them. Paddling sturdy, maneuverable and reliable craft is an exciting, low impact way to explore Antarctica. Contact us for further details. Overnight - Aboard ship (B:5, L:5, D:5)
A Weddell Seal
Day 10: Ushuaia
From Anvers and Brabant Islands, we head north into Drake Passage and then it's time to head back to Tierra del Fuego, with lectures to complete our Antarctic education. Enjoy the final opportunity to see the seabirds of the Southern Ocean. As we approach the tip of South America, our captain may sail close to the legendary Cape Horn, (weather conditions permitting) before our farewell dinner. (B, L, D)

New Years Voyage

Please Note: Our New Year voyage begins on Day 1 with a flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island, where we board Polar Pioneer. We then spend five days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula before sailing north, spending days 7-8 on the Drake Passage, disembarking in Ushuaia after breakfast on Day 9. Please note that our New year’s Voyage is a day shorter than our Christmas voyage. We still have time to achieve our aim of crossing the Antarctic Circle, ice and weather willing.
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Ushuaia / Ends in: Ushuaia
  • Departs: 19 Dec & 28 Dec 2011
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:8, Lunch: 8, Dinner: 9
  • Hotel Rating: Polar Pioneer Ship - Max. Group Size - 56
  • Tour Guide: Yes
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