Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 5 full days in Antarctica = 10 planned ‘off ship’ excursions
- A very comfortable and elegant ship, but with an adventurous heart – a class act at a very fair price
- We like this ship’s state-of-the-art stabilisers and amazing guides
- Camping and kayaking excursions
- Complimentary 2 night stay in a 5* hotel in Ushuaia, with parka jacket, wine with dinner and 200Mb Free Wi-Fi
Day 1: Pre-arrival day in Ushuaia
Arrive in Ushuaia a day before the adventure begins and check into the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort. This day is designed to ensure that any flight delights or missed connections won't affect the plans, and that you can enter the trip fully rested. Explore the trails, visit the spa, head into town, or simply relax in the surroundings.
Day 2: Free day in Ushuaia
Go with the flow exploring Ushuaia today: see some of the sights, from museums to Argentinean leather markets, and continue enjoying the lovely Arakur. The optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travellers.
Day 3: Embarkation
Transfer to the ship mid-afternoon and once on board, meet the Expedition Team and the ship's officers. A safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain's Captain's welcome dinner.
After dinner, take in the mountainous scenery on the early evening sail down the Beagle Channel, passing Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies.
Days 4-5: Drake Passage
Among the wildlife spotting opportunities as you sail south are the Albatrosses, Prions, and Petrels that frequently follow the ship. The Expedition Team will be out on deck with you, looking out for the whales and dolphins as well. In the lounge there will be a range of informative and entertaining presentations on the wildlife, history, and geology of Antarctica, as well as helpful briefings on environmental regulations and expedition safety.
Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in SeaBird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. You're likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species. If you're lucky, you may see some of them fully breach from the sea.
The length of our journey depends on sea conditions but you should approach the South Shetland Islands of the Antarctic Peninsula in the evening of day 5.
Days 6-10: Antarctica
The land of superlatives, Antarctica! The Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The route will stress the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.
The first sight of land will likely be that of the South Shetland Islands. These highly volcanic islands offer amazing abundance and beauty. You may visit Half Moon Island nestled inside Livingston's eastern shore or, conditions permitting, visit historic Deception Island. Being further north, sub-Antarctic species are more commonly found here, including Chinstrap penguins and Southern Elephant seals.
As you head south across the Bransfield Strait, you enter the Trinity Coast and Gerlache Strait. Here you may explore picturesque Neko Harbour, sheltered Paradise Harbour, the Humpback Whale favoured Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. You may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland's Arctowksi or Ukraine's Vernadskiy, as well as a historic base such as the UK's Port Lockroy or Wordie House.
Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the aggressive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors in the late season and Orca sightings are also common.
Days 11-12: Drake Passage
The presentation series and wildlife spotting will continue as you sail back to Ushuaia and reflect on beautiful Antarctica and its fragile future. You'll arrive at Ushuaia in the early hours of day 13.
Day 13: Ushuaia disembarkation
A morning disembarkation in Ushuaia allows you to catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure.
- An express voyage is available, which is 12 days in total with 4 days in Antarctica. Departure dates are 18-Dec-2019, 27-Dec-2019, 17-Jan-2020, 21-Nov-20 and 30-Nov-20.
- The 27-Feb-20 and 27-Feb-21 departures are 14 day trips, spending 7 days in Antarctica with a particular focus on marine mammals.
- The 14-Feb-2020 and 7-Jan-2021 departures are unique 15 day trips, spending 8 days in Antarctica, exploring the Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea.
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.
What our customers think
We are very fortunate to have found Swoop. Another travel agent tried to talk us out of an Antarctic cruise and when we persisted pawned us off to an agent pushing only National Geographic ships. John at Swoop took the time to learn our goals and expectations via email and telephone.
Terrie Mandina United States Of America December 2018
The landscapes and wildlife were amazing. The crew and guides were top-notch. Swoop made the best possible recommendations. They were responsive to all requests, and our polar specialist, John Newby, was extremely knowledgeable as well as personable.
Patricia & Richard Florida January 2018
Everything about the trip was first-rate! Of course, geography and wildlife were spectacular, even more than we expected. But we were blown away by the expedition staff, by their amazing knowledge and ability to share it, their friendliness and ability to adjust to situations at a moment's notice - like the time the captain slowed and turned and they launched zodiacs so we could see unexpected whales more closely.
Austine & Cathleen Stitt/Noland United States Of America November 2017
After the first landing, I said, "The trip has now paid for itself; anything else is a bonus." And the bonuses were many. The fellow-travellers were very pleasant, mostly highly accomplished, and very interesting.
Marc Renzema United States Of America November 2017
There was a fleeting moment of anxiety on the first landing when the Zodiac had to push its way through floating ice, but I quickly developed confidence in the boat and the drivers. Expedition staff were all extremely well prepared and safety conscious.
Marc Florida December 2017
Went beyond expectations. Too many highlights to just pick one. The landscape and wildlife was breathtaking. Wonderful crew and passengers. Could not have been any better.
Susan & Andy Florida January 2018
A truly remarkable place. The highlight of the trip was actually setting foot on the "seventh" continent. The wildlife was awesome.
James Riner United States Of America December 2018
The staff leaders who drove the zodiacs were exceptional. All of them knew well their various subject matters. The fact that in a zodiac we were virtually upon the surface of the water enhanced our perception of how large, indeed, the great white continent is.
Bob Clements United States Of America November 2018
The number and quality of our landings on the continent and the Shetland Islands were superior in every way. The staff was excellent and the weather permitted us to land twice a day for most days we were there.
Melissa Wurthmann United States Of America January 2019
Everything about the trip was first-rate! Of course, the geography and wildlife were spectacular, even more than we expected. But we were blown away by the expedition staff - by their amazing knowledge and ability to share it, their friendliness and the ability to adjust to situations at a moment's notice.
Austine & Cathleen Colorado November 2017
The shapes of the icebergs - and the colours! The way the penguins porpoise in groups. The way I didn't realize for a long time that the sun hadn't set. The long walks up and around. Definitely the polar plunge. And yes, the people.
Mykkah Herner United States of America December 2018
The trip we took was perfect. Service on the ship was amazing, selection and quality of food was impeccable, expedition staff were friendly and informative.
Vincent Micelotta United States Of America November 2018
About The Ship
- Highest ice-class rating available (1A Super)
- Cruising speed of 14.5 knots means less time at sea and more time exploring
- Capped at only 139 guests - plenty of space
- State-of-the-art stabilising system ensures comfort in open water
- Sauna, fitness centre and heated pool
- Dedicated laboratory for Citizen Science
- All-inclusive drinks and 2 hotel nights in Ushuaia included
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.
Twin Window Suite
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $8995
- An express voyage is available, which is 12 days in total with 4 days in Antarctica - departs 21-Nov-20.
- The 7-Jan-2021 departure is a unique 15 day trip, spending 8 days in Antarctica, exploring the Antarctic Sound and Weddell Sea.
- The 20-Dec-2021 departure is a special Christmas voyage.
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo who would like 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 solo passengers willing to share a cabin.
Children aged 12 years old or over are welcome. There isn't any concession on pricing.
Optional Adventure Activities
Enhance your trip with the following add ons. Limited places per activity.
Get in contact to check availability.
- All airport/ hotel/ ship transfers on Day 1
- A choice of a beverage with dinner
- Complimentary parka jacket
- Daily international news service
- Post voyage digital log
- Two pre-voyage 5* hotel nights in Ushuaia
- Free public internet and 200Mb of Wi-Fi
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation and meals during the voyage on full board
- 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 for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
- Promenade cabins and higher cabins include complimentary minibar, welcome chocolates, champagne and Nespresso machine on request
- Any flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Optional non-complimentary adventure activities (e.g. kayaking)
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature, e.g. laundry, beverages and communication
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)