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Icebreaker Antarctic Circle Voyage

Retrace the path of famed French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot on a luxurious icebreaker. Heading further south than most expedition vessels can attempt, you'll venture below the Antarctic Circle. Spend an impressive 9 days exploring with the expert expedition team, immersing yourself in the action further during a complimentary paddling session.

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Icebreaker Antarctic Circle Voyage

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Trip type

Cross Polar Circle

Trip length

16 Days



Ship Comfort


Icebreaker Antarctic Circle Voyage - 16 Days - $27,290

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 9 full days exploring Antarctica, including time below the Antarctic Circle = 18 “off-ship” excursions
  • Hassle-free travel package including domestic charter flights, transfers & pre-cruise hotel night in Santiago
  • Sail on a unique emissions-reducing hybrid icebreaker, purpose-built for far-reaching polar expeditions in high comfort
  • Soak in the indoor and outdoor pools or cool off further in the distinctive “Snow Room” before warming up in the sauna with its panoramic view
  • Experience Antarctica from a different perspective with a complimentary paddling session or gain altitude while snowshoeing

Start from Santiago and end at Santiago

Landmarks potentially visited on Icebreaker Antarctic Circle Voyage

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Santiago 

Once you have landed in Chile's capital, the day before your embarkation onto your Antarctic ship, you’ll be met and transferred to a 5* city centre hotel to spend the night.  

Day 2: Embarkation in Ushuaia

This morning, after a complimentary light breakfast, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your included flight from Santiago, flying across the border into Argentina and down to Ushuaia. This bustling small city at the end of the world is where you join the ship and set sail down the Beagle Channel en route to Antarctica. 

Day 3 & 4: Crossing the Drake Passage

Your time at sea will be busy, as your Expedition Team prepare you for arrival in Antarctica, with safety briefings and fascinating presentations on the continent’s wildlife and geology. Your onboard historian will set the scene with some of the continent’s fascinating tales of explorers such as Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Get familiar with your ship’s spacious outer decks as you watch huge albatrosses and giant petrels soar past – a birder’s delight!  

Day 5: Crossing the Antarctic Circle  

Weather permitting, the ship should be making good progress and will aim to carry you across the invisible yet famed line of the Antarctic Circle, located along 66°33’ south of the Equator. With its unparalleled ice capabilities, your vessel will continue to venture south into little-visited territory. 

Day 6: Attempting the Gullet 

Today, the Expedition Leader and the Captain will inspect the latest ice charts to assess whether it’s possible to squeeze through a narrow channel called the “Gullet”. Colossal icebergs often choke this pinch point, making it impassable. The challenging route was navigated for the first time during the 1909 Jean-Baptiste Charcot expedition. 

If the green light is given for gliding through the passageway, head out on deck to witness the prowess of the experienced team on the Bridge team. It almost feels like you need to breathe in as the ship moves forward into the channel.

Days 7 to 8: Navigating around Charcot Island  

This mostly untouched island, first seen by Charcot in 1910, is often shrouded in cloud cover, adding to the ambience. With its jaw-droppingly steep cliffs, it’s the perfect place to watch out for seabirds taking a dive, including petrels, Antarctic terns and skuas.

Day 9: Exploring the Bellingshausen Sea 

Named after Admiral Bellingshausen, who is credited with the first confirmed sighting of the Antarctic mainland in 1820, this sea stretches along the west coast of the Peninsula, reaching towards the Amundsen Sea. Within its vastness lie two of Antarctica's island giants, Thurston and Alexander.

Prepare to be mesmerised by this ice-sculpted landscape. Cruise between towering icebergs and navigate through scattered remnants of sea ice. Keep your binoculars handy as in this area there is a small chance that you might catch a glimpse of one of Antarctica's most elusive yet emblematic residents: the emperor penguin. While you won't find large colonies here, you may be lucky enough to spot a solitary bird out on the ice edge.

Day 10: Sailing around Marguerite Bay 

Your ship will spend some time in the deep and intense blue waters of Marguerite Bay, one of the most beautiful regions in the Antarctic. It’s marked in the north by the mountainous Adelaide Island, in the south by George VI Sound and Alexander Island, and in the east by the Fallières Coast. Charcot named it after his wife during his second expedition to the Antarctic between 1908 and 1910. 

In 1909, in the southern summer when the skies were at their clearest, he led an important scientific mission to map and study this region. The bay is home to a number of cetaceans and you may get the chance to spot leopard seals and Adelie penguins.

Day 11: Visiting Pourquoi Pas Island  

The aim this day is to land on the coast of Pourquoi Pas Island, named in the 1930s by John Riddoch Rymill in honour of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, who discovered it from aboard his ship Le Pourquoi Pas during his second expedition to Antarctica between 1908 and 1910. 

This mountainous island is scattered with narrow fjords and snow-covered mountains. It’s a great location to watch Adelie penguins waddling to and from their rookeries.

Days 12 to 13: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula

Continue your expedition as you explore further locations within the Antarctic Peninsula. 

This icy wonderland is a haven for an exceptional range of wildlife. You might encounter penguins, humpback whales, seals and giant petrels, depending on which sites you visit. Your itinerary, guided by daily ice conditions and the expertise of the Captain and Expedition Leader, will offer unforgettable opportunities to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

The Antarctic Peninsula unveils its many treasures through exciting zodiac outings and landings. Prepare to be awestruck by glaciers, ice floes, colossal table-shaped icebergs and mountain peaks that rise majestically from the sea. 

Days 14 & 15: Crossing the Drake Passage

It’s time to tear yourself away from Antarctica and begin the journey northwards to South America. This is a great time to continue learning through the team’s educational programming and to relax in the ship’s wellness area. 

Day 16: Disembarkation in Ushuaia

This morning, bid the crew of your ship farewell as you disembark back into civilisation in Ushuaia.  Here, you’ll be taken to the airport for your flight back up to Santiago. 

After landing in Chile’s capital, you’re able to make onward arrangements, though we recommend a buffer of at least one extra night before taking an international flight. 

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

Why our customers love Swoop

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.

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 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.

There have been many new expedition ships in recent years but the ingenuity of the Commandant Charcot as a luxurious take on the traditionally very utilitarian icebreaker is quite astounding. 

Cassia Jackson Polar Specialist

Prices, Departures and Inclusions



* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $27290

Additional Notes

Each voyage welcomes a highly skilled Photo Ambassador, who will host workshops and offer personalised advice to help you improve your photography skills.

Single Supplement And Child Policy

If you're a solo traveller please contact us for further details on the best fares available. 

Children aged 8 years old or over are permitted on this trip. Please note that not every cabin category can accommodate three people. 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 Snowshoeing Snowshoeing Complimentary The ship has snowshoes available for guests to use, where snow conditions allow and at the discretion of the expedition team.
Add on icon Paddling Paddling Complimentary One-off paddle session lasting approximately 60-90 minutes using double kayaks. Available on all departures, subject to weather and ice conditions. Previous kayaking experience required. Can’t be reserved in advance, onboard booking only. If heavily subscribed there will be a lottery system.


  • Open bar for duration of voyage
  • 24 hour room service
  • Unlimited WIFI on board (subject to availability) 
  • Pre and post voyage transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • 1-night accommodation in a 5* hotel in Santiago, Chile the night before embarkation.
  • Return charter flights between Santiago and Ushuaia 
  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation and meals onboard on full board basis
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of rubber boots
  • Complimentary waterproof parka jacket to keep 
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
  • Access to fitness room and wellness centre


  • 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 such as laundry 
  • Select premium beverages 
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop, photography & spa services)

Questions about this Voyage?