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Antarctic Basecamp Adventure

The ultimate Antarctic adventure, this trip is specifically for the active traveller. Spend 7 days kayaking, hiking, camping, mountaineering and snowshoeing, all included in the price. A medium-sized expedition ship acts as your floating ‘basecamp’. Great value for money backed up by rave customer reviews.

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Antarctic Basecamp Adventure

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Trip type


Trip length

13 Days


$9,100 -$17,150

Ship Comfort


Antarctic Basecamp Adventure - 13 Days - $9,100

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 7 full days in Antarctica = 14 planned ‘off ship’ excursions
  • The widest selection of activities on any Antarctic voyage available
  • Antarctic operational experience since 1996
  • Expedition staff to guest ratio of 1:10
  • Camping, kayaking, mountaineering and snowshoeing all included
  • A comfortable, homely (not luxury) 108 or 170 passenger ship
  • Bivouac under the stars, instead of camping in a tent

Start from Ushuaia and end at Ushuaia

Landmarks potentially visited on Antarctic Basecamp Adventure

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Departure from Ushuaia

In the afternoon you'll embark from Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world located in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Sail across the waters of the Beagle Channel and beyond throughout the evening.

Days 2 & 3: At sea

You will sail across the Drake Passage during these two days. After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, you'll arrive in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. In this area, you may see wandering, grey-headed, light-mantled and black-browed albatrosses. Also look out for a variety of petrels including the tiny Wilson's storm petrels, along with southern fulmars.

You'll experience the same salty breezes and rolling seas as those encountered by the great polar explorers, spotting the first icebergs as you near the South Shetland Islands.

Days 4 to 10: Exploring Antarctica

Today, you'll begin to explore Antarctica in earnest. You might see greystone peaks sketched with snow, towers of broken blue-white ice, and dramatically different wildlife below and above.

Weather and ice conditions, along with wildlife opportunities, will dictate your exact itinerary. However, places you might visit during your adventure could include some of the following:

Neumayer Channel – The vessel may position itself here, launching its multiple basecamp activities from the protected waters around Wiencke Island. You can enjoy the splendors of this alpine environment at sea with Zodiac and kayaking trips, or if you’re in the mood for a walk, there are possible snowshoe hikes and soft-climb mountaineering options farther inland. Naturally, favorable weather conditions determine the possible activities.

Port Lockroy – After sailing through the Neumayer Channel, you may get a chance to visit the former British research station – now a museum and post office – of Port Lockroy on Goudier Island. Though access can be blocked by icebergs filling the bay. You may also be able to partake in activities around Jougla Point, meeting gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags. At the nearby sites, such as Damoy Point there may be the opportunity for snowshoeing to the old ski-way, this is also one of our favourite camping sites.

Pléneau & Petermann Islands – If the ice allows it, you can sail through the Lemaire Channel in search of Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags. There’s also a possibility that you’ll encounter humpback and minke whales here, as well as leopard seals, so stay out on deck and keep a lookout. Once out of the channel and to your destination, kayaking, glacier walks, and more ambitious mountaineering trips are potential activities at this location.

Neko Harbour – An epic landscape of mammoth glaciers and endless wind-carved snow, Neko Harbour offers opportunities for a zodiac cruise and landing that afford the stunning views of the surrounding alpine peaks. If trail conditions allow, there is an ascent to the ridge, making way for passing penguins on their way to their rookeries.

Paradise Bay – You might have the chance to make camp here like a true polar explorer, enjoying a supreme overnight Antarctic adventure.

Errera Channel – Possible sites in this area include Danco Island and Cuverville Island, but also the lesser known (though equally picturesque) Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island.

On your last day of near-shore activities, you might pass the Melchior Islands toward the open sea. Keep a sharp lookout for humpback whales in Dallmann Bay. You might also shoot for Half Moon Island, in the South Shetlands, with further chances for activities.

Conditions on the Drake Passage determine the exact time of departure.

Days 11 & 12: At sea towards Ushuaia

As you make your way north you'll again be followed by a vast selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage; making for a far-from-lonely return voyage.

Day 13: Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark after breakfast.

NOTES: Activities are offered once during the voyage. Antarctica is a wonderful, wild destination; because of this, it is not guaranteed that every Basecamp departure will offer all activities.

This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.

Why our customers love Swoop

Expert impartial advice at no extra cost

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Choosing the right voyage is complicated, Swoop makes it easy. We offer no-nonsense advice on 1500 voyages across 30 ships to find you the right trip, cabin, price - and we don’t charge a fee.

The Antarctic Experts. No Compromises

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Our team has visited Antarctica over 150 times and has 100 collective years of polar experience, so from which trip is right for you to what shoes to bring - there’s no question we can’t answer.

The only B Corp certified Antarctic specialist

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We want to protect Antarctica for future generations - which is why we became a certified B Corp and set up our own conservation fund. So your adventures can be a force for good.

A full concierge service, unlike booking direct

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We leave nothing to chance in delivering your perfect trip and have over 6500 happy travellers to show for it. With a dedicated Antarctic co-ordinator & support throughout - you’re in safe hands.

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What our customers think of Antarctic Basecamp Adventure

Antarctic Basecamp Adventure trips scored 4.4/5 from 151 reviews

To be up close and personal with the humpback whales dancing with such grace. Camping on the continent.

Travelled: March 2024

Anonymous -

Visiting Deception Island, and the volcano.

Travelled: March 2024

Larry -

An humpback whale encounter.. close to our zodiac!

Travelled: March 2024

George -

Antarctic scenery

Travelled: March 2024

Geoffrey -

The first time I landed on Antarctica and saw penguins waddling along all around me.

Travelled: March 2024

Anonymous -

The otherworldly scenery of Antarctic. Plus the penguins, seals, and chance to mountaineer, kayak and sleep on the continent.

Travelled: March 2024

Monica -

How do I choose just one moment? Was it being close enough to touch a humpback whale and her calf as they fed? Was it kayaking in a bay, watching penguins "dolphining" as they swam, watching seals lolling on icebergs? Was it taking a Zodiac cruise and seeing an old shipwreck? Was it going on a mountaineering trek and getting the most amazing views? If I have to choose just one moment, I will choose the first time I set foot on the continent--such a thrill!!!--but honestly, the whole trip--each and every day--was made of memorable moments.

Travelled: February 2024

Anonymous -

Sleeping outside and the kayaking

Travelled: February 2024

Netta -

All of it! Incredible to experience Antarctica onboard the Ortelius, fantastic crew looking after us all, zodiac cruises, mountaineering, hiking, wildlife close up with penguins, whales, orca’s.

Travelled: February 2024

Thomas -

Canoeing. Had such a great time canoeing with whales, getting so close they swam under us, finding seals lazing on icebers, and tons of penguins swimming and jumping, truly exceptional.

Travelled: January 2024

James -

The most memorable moment for me was being in a zodiac in the middle of a whale feeding frenzy. Absolutely incredible!

Travelled: January 2024

Aaron -

Seeing a pod of around 40 killer whales.

Travelled: January 2024

Margery -

Too many to specify just one

Travelled: January 2024

Eileen -

The whole trip was memorable, really. Like choosing a favorite child, its hard to choose a most memorable moment. I would say the craziest time was during our kayaking adventure when the iceburg we were kayaking by started to crumble and fall (at least 40ft high) so instead of originally turning to the iceburg to head on face the waves, our guide then yells at us to high tail it out of there as quick as we could. Always an adventure.

Travelled: January 2024

Amy -

kayaking with humpback whales

Travelled: January 2024

Amanda -

1) The animal life: seeing Orcas and penguin colonies 2) the breathtaking landscapes

Travelled: January 2024

Rafael -

There were so many, it's hard to pick one. Getting upclose with a leopard seal, seeing the beautiful twin arch iceberg, stepping onto the Antartica continent the first time, so many memorable moments.

Travelled: January 2024

Anonymous -

Seeing the ice for the first time!

Travelled: January 2024

Anonymous -

Seeing my children engage with the curiosity and energy.

Travelled: January 2024

Anonymous -

Following orcas on the zodiacs in the Gerlach for 3 hours and the humpback whale approaching us and getting close enough to touch while we were in the zodiac in the iceberg graveyard

Travelled: January 2024

Cynthia -


I like this ship’s modern, contemporary styling - comfortable without being fussy - and her quiet engine.

Alex Mudd Head of Swoop Antarctica

Antarctica Basecamp Adventure

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.




Additional Notes

All departures in the 2024/25 and 2025/26 seasons are 12 nights/13 days long.

The optional adventure activities are offered once during the voyage. Antarctica is a wonderful, wild destination; because of this, it is not guaranteed that every Basecamp departure will offer all activities.

Single Supplement And Child Policy

For those travelling solo who want their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.7 times the cost of a single berth. Please contact us for details. There is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin. 

Children aged 8 years or over are permitted on this trip. On select departures, children under 16 may receive a 40% discount. Please contact us for details. 

Optional Adventure Activities

Enhance your trip with the following add ons. Limited places per activity.
Get in contact to check availability.

Activity Cost Additional Information
Add on icon Camping Camping Complimentary Equipment provided.
Add on icon Kayaking Kayaking Complimentary Basic competency required.
Add on icon Photography Photography Complimentary Participation with own camera.
Add on icon Snowshoeing Snowshoeing Complimentary Dependent on snow conditions. Snow shoes provided.
Add on icon Mountaineering Mountaineering Complimentary Crampons provided. Mountaineering boots are needed.


  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation and meals during the voyage on full board including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Optional adventure activities such as camping, kayaking, snowshoeing/hiking, mountaineering, photography workshops (all weather dependent)
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of rubber boots and snowshoes for the voyage's duration
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to landing sites
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on embarkation day
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport directly after disembarkation


  • Flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
  • Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
  • Transfers not specified in the itinerary
  • Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature - laundry, beverages, etc
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)

Questions about this Voyage?