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Crossing the Antarctic Circle

Spend 6 full days exploring Antarctica with the Polar Circle at 66 degrees south as your most southerly objective, on board one of the most exciting new vessels. With an average of just 132 passengers with spacious cabins, state-of-the-art technology and optional kayaking, polar snorkelling or diving available.

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Crossing the Antarctic Circle

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Trip type

Cross Polar Circle

Trip length

12-15 Days

From

$16,195 -$42,495

Ship Comfort

Comfort & Adventure

Crossing the Antarctic Circle - 12-15 Days - $16,195

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 6-9 full days exploring Antarctica (depending on your voyage length)
  • Join the exclusive club of Antarctic Circle visitors
  • Travelling on a small ship with an average of just 132 guests means faster logistics for getting off the ship
  • Antarctic operational experience since 1992
  • A low expedition staff to guest ratio of 1:8 to ensure a high level of personalisation
  • Explore the polar sea kayaking, snorkelling diving or snowshoeing (additional cost)
  • Complimentary parka jacket, post-voyage digital photo book and drinks with dinner

Start from Ushuaia and end at Ushuaia

Landmarks potentially visited on Crossing the Antarctic Circle

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met and transferred to your included downtown hotel (if you have taken preferred flights only).


Day 2: Exploring Ushuaia and Embarkation

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, your luggage will be collected for loading onto the ship and you have free time to explore the city. Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego, is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests.

There is an optional included afternoon catamaran cruise this afternoon.  Meet back at the hotel lobby at 12.45 pm ready to transfer to the port at 1.00 pm. Here you will board a comfortable catamaran and sail the Beagle Channel, towards the city’s iconic Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse. Crossing the Bridges Archipelago look out for colonies of sea lions and imperial cormorants on the rocky outcrops. Gulls, rock cormorants, skuas, petrels, albatrosses and cauquenes are also often sighted. Alternatively, enjoy your day at leisure and meet at the hotel lobby at 3.45 pm to be transferred to the pier for embarkation. 

As the ship pulls away from port, gather on the deck to commence your adventure with spectacular views over Ushuaia and Tierra del Fuego. You'll have time to settle into your cabin before the briefings. Over the first evening, get to know your fellow passengers, crew and expedition team at a welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure to Antarctica.


Day 3: Drake Passage Crossing

As you sail across the Drake Passage, make the most of your time getting comfortable with the motions of the sea. The expedition team prepare you for the first landing with important wildlife guidelines and biosecurity procedures, and start their educational lecture program to help you learn more about Antarctica's history, wildlife and environment.

Your wildlife experiences begin immediately as you enjoy watching and photographing the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels following in the wake of the ship. They rise and fall effortlessly, using air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.


Day 4: Drake Passage & South Shetland Islands

Nearing the South Shetland Islands and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula on day four , the excitement is palpable with everyone converging on one of the observation decks, watching for the first iceberg. The ocean takes on a whole new perspective once you are below the Antarctic Convergence and are surrounded by the surreal presence of floating ice sculptures. The memory of your first big iceberg sighting is likely to remain with you for a lifetime. Weather permitting, the team may attempt your first landing in Antarctica by late afternoon. 


Days 5-10: Antarctic Peninsula & Antarctic Circle

The experienced expedition team and Captain will use their expertise to design the voyage from day to day. This allows them to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.

Because you are so far south, you will experience approximately 18-20 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. You will generally make landings or Zodiac excursions two, and occasionally three, times a day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, watching whales that are feeding near the surface, and landing on the continent and its off-shore islands to visit penguin rookeries, seal haul outs, historic huts, and other favourite spots along the Peninsula. There will be plenty of time for sleep when you get home!

During this voyage, the ship will attempt to cross the invisible line of the Antarctic Circle at latitude 66 degrees South - this is certainly a special highlight for everyone and there may even be the opportunity to celebrate with a toast on the deck. In order to reach the Antarctic Circle, the ship will motor south every night and during meal times or when we are not ashore exploring.

As you reach and cross the circle, you may notice subtle changes in the Antarctic land and icescapes, and also in the distribution of wildlife. The waters at this time of year are rich with krill and so keep a look out for whales, particularly humpbacks and minkes. 


Days 11-12: Drake Passage Crossing

Today you enter the Drake Passage for the return journey to South America. With lectures and videos to complete your Antarctic experience, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the magic of Southern Ocean and the life that calls it home. There is time for reflection and discussion about what you have seen and experienced.


Day 13: Disembark in Ushuaia

During the early morning, you will cruise up the Beagle Channel, before quietly slipping into dock in Ushuaia, where we will be free to disembark around 0800, weather permitting.  A transfer to downtown Ushuaia before continuing to the airport is included in the cost of the voyage.

At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Ushuaia prior to 1200 on the day of disembarkation in case there are any delays.


PLEASE NOTE: 

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. Furthermore, it's important to understand that the charter flight(s) to/from Antarctica where applicable are particularly prone to weather, which requires a flexible flight schedule.

Why Swoop

Expert Impartial Advice At No Extra Cost

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Antarctic travel options are complicated. We help you choose the right ship, the right cabin, and at the right point in the season.

A Depth Of Knowledge On Board

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As a team of ex-guides, tour leaders, & polar adventurers our Antarctic knowledge is leagues ahead of the rest.

For The Ends Of The Earth

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Swoop is proud to be B Corp Certified as we know sustainability is more than our carbon footprint (but we’re reducing that too).

We’re With You At Every Step

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We’ll make sure you have the adventure of a lifetime.

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What our customers think of Crossing the Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle trips scored 4.2/5 from 30 reviews

There were so many. One really incredible one was when a minke whale played near the zodiacs for over an hour, coming up to look at us and even breathing on us

Travelled: January 2024

Patti -

A perfect day on Stonington Island. The temperature was about 45*F, no wind, and bright sun. We were off ship to go visit the earliest remaining US Antarctic Camp (circa 1940). The magic started as we headed back. The Greg Mortimer was in this small bay waiting for all the zodiacs to get back to ship. We were in no hurry... but heading back, the floating sheet ice was continually moving with the current and making a "jigsaw puzzle" effect in the entire bay. None of the 5 zodiacs could follow the same path back. It was such a surreal feeling zig-zagging back and forth through the sheet ice... each zodiac finding its own path in the quiet and still bay. No one spoke... no one wanted to break the magic.

Travelled: January 2024

Wendy -

all of it

Travelled: January 2024

Mark -

Spotting a very rare white humpback whale

Travelled: January 2024

Niall -

Unfortunately, it was in the plane, on the runway, ready to fly to King George Island and being sent back to the gate as flight cancelled again.

Travelled: March 2023

Laurie -

Waking up the first morning on the ship to see icebergs out to w window and the sound of whales over the ship’s loudspeaker. It was clear that we had arrived in another world.

Travelled: February 2023

Polly -

When my kayak capsized

Travelled: February 2023

Elizabeth -

The awesome beauty of Antarctica is difficult, if not impossible, to put into words. My wife, Laura, and I read several books prior to the expedition, but nothing matched the experience. The most memorable moment was probably standing on the land for the first time. Everything there seemed larger than at home . . . and a great deal colder! A thought that struck me several times was that the Earth was its own and not necessarily meant for man. I was strictly a visitor to this creation.

Travelled: February 2023

Thomas -

Seeing the sapphire blue of the incredible icebergs!!

Travelled: February 2023

Betsy -

Seeing icebergs close up in the zodiac.

Travelled: February 2023

Tom -

Crossing the Antarctic Circile and standing on the Antarctic continent.

Travelled: February 2023

Mary H -

Pass through narrow canyon between ice walls

Travelled: January 2023

Pavel -

Anchoring in Borgen Bay - such a beautiful place Polar Plunge!

Travelled: January 2023

Suzanne -

The icebergs amd scenery.

Travelled: January 2023

Kathy -

There is no one most memorable moment. Every day had memorable moments. But if I had to choose one, it would be seeing the icebergs and absorbing the incredible landscape.

Travelled: January 2023

Rebecca -

On our second day in Antarctica, we celebrated crossing the Antarctic circle. All guests and expedition guides gathered on deck 8 as we joined in an Antarctic circle ritual: stamping a circle on our foreheads! Afterwards, we enjoyed the most fantastic views of The Gullet - a narrow passageway surrounded by towering mountains covered in thick layers of ice. It was the most beautiful place I have ever seen!

Travelled: January 2023

Maricela -

so many memories it’s hard to break it down to just one

Travelled: January 2023

Timothy -

I don't know if I can pick a single moment. The entire trip was wonderful and the staff was great and very knowledgeable in their respective fields. We were able to get farther south of the circle than was anticipated from the beginning and we were able to accomplish all that was expected. There were of course changes in the schedule as Antarctic weather is always changing, but no real negative changes during our trip.

Travelled: January 2023

John -

Traveling where few have gone and sleeping out in Antarctica

Travelled: December 2022

Francis -

Kayaking at Spert Island. Whales in Paradise

Travelled: April 2022

Tama -

Review:

With her slick lines, small number of guests, well-priced balcony suites and onboard hot tub, this is one of the hottest ships in Antarctica right now.

Alex Mudd Head of Swoop Antarctica

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.

2024

2025

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $16195

Additional Notes

Please note:

2023/24 departures

  • The 25-Feb-2024 departure is a 14 day fly-sail voyage cutting out the Drake Passage crossing in one direction. Your trip begins with a pre-cruise night in Punta Arenas, Chile. From here you will fly down to Antarctica (a 2 hour flight) and meet the ship at King George Island. You then have 9 days exploring in Antarctica before sailing across the Drake Passage  and ending in Ushuaia (no post-cruise hotel night included).
  • The 08-Mar-2024 is an 18 day sailing voyage, starting and ending in Ushuaia. This extended length trip has an additional 5 days to allow for time exploring the little-visited Weddell Sea area, in addition to heading below the Antarctic Circle. This gives you a hugely varied and extensive experience of the Peninsula.

2024/25 departures:

  • The 21-Dec-2024 departure is a special Christmas voyage lasting 14 days, with the additional day spent exploring the Antarctic Peninsula.
  • The 16-Jan-2025 departure is a 13 day sail-fly voyage cutting out the Drake Passage crossing in one direction. Your trip begins in Ushuaia with a pre-cruise night included. You will sail across the Drake Passage and spend 7 days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. On Day 12 you will disembark the ship at King George Island and fly back to Punta Arenas, Chile (a 2 hour flight) where you have a post-cruise hotel night included.
  • The 23rd-Feb-2025 is a 13 day sailing voyage, starting and ending in Ushuaia.

Single Supplement And Child Policy

For those travelling solo who would like their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.5 times the cost of a single berth, please contact us for details. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin. 

Children aged 8 years old or over are welcome. There isn't any concession on pricing. 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 Kayaking Kayaking $1,295 An immersive full sea kayaking program for those who want to kayak multiple times (as often as weather and ice conditions allow). Prior kayaking experience to at least intermediate level is required and you must be able to do a wet exit to participate. Subject to weather and ice conditions. Booking in advance is essential. Available on select departures. Cost varies from USD $1295-1330.
Add on icon Polar diving Polar diving $1,260 Available on select departures. Prior cold water diving experience is mandatory.
Add on icon Polar snorkelling Polar snorkelling $640 Available on select departures. Cost varies from USD $640-800. No experience required. Dry suit provided.
Add on icon Photography Photography Complimentary All departures.
Add on icon Snowshoeing Snowshoeing $320 Available on select departures. Cost varies from USD $320-370.
Add on icon Paddling Paddling $640 Available on select departures. A gentler option staying closer to shore and using inflatable kayaks, in a group of maximum 6 participants. Includes multiple outings, subject to suitable weather and ice conditions. Suitable for novices and only offered in calm conditions. Booking in advance is essential.

Includes

  • Overnight hotel accommodation in Ushuaia on Day 1
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • An experienced team of destination specialists and activity leaders
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks reception
  • Complimentary use of fitness centre
  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
  • A digital photo book produced with photos and ship logs from your voyage

Excludes

  • Flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
  • Any additional services before and after your voyage
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Optional adventure activities
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, etc
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)
  • Gratuities for ship crew 

Questions about this Voyage?