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Luxury Weddell Sea Explorer

Sail on a 5* icebreaker to Antarctica’s remote Weddell Sea region. Custom-built with cutting-edge nautical technology, this tough yet elegant vessel is designed to tackle the notoriously icy conditions. Your expert guides and Photo Ambassador will scan the spectacular ice edge for chances to encounter the elusive emperor penguin, along with other iconic Antarctic species.

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Luxury Weddell Sea Explorer

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Trip type

Weddell Sea

Trip length

14 Days

From

$30,850

Ship Comfort

Luxury

Luxury Weddell Sea Explorer - 14 Days - $30,850

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 7 full days exploring Antarctica = 14 planned off-ship excursions 
  • Antarctic operational experience since 2004
  • Expedition staff to guest ratio of 1:12 
  • Onboard visiting scientists undertaking Antarctic research projects
  • Complimentary kayaking session and snowshoeing activities
  • Includes pre-voyage hotel night and return Santiago-Ushuaia charter flights
  • Complimentary parka jacket and inclusive open bar package
  • Bilingual cruise operating in French and English 

Start from Santiago and end at Santiago

Landmarks potentially visited on Luxury Weddell Sea Explorer

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Santiago, Chile

Touch down in the energetic city of Santiago, where you’ll be met at the airport and taken on a complimentary group transfer to your included hotel. 

After checking in, you'll have plenty of time to explore the Chilean capital’s bustling streets and rich culture. Wander through the historic Lastarria neighbourhood, visit the towering Metropolitan Cathedral and stroll up Santa Lucia Hill for scenic city views across to the Andes. 

A complimentary dinner is held in the evening, where you can meet your fellow passengers. 


Day 2: Embarking on your Antarctic ship 

You have an early start this morning with breakfast at the hotel before taking the group transfer to the airport for your charter flight to Ushuaia. Upon landing in the southerly capital of Argentina's Tierra del Fuego province, you’ll be whisked to your waiting ship. 

As you leave port and set sail down the Beagle Channel, soak up the views of Ushuaia’s snow-capped mountains in the distance. 


Days 3 & 4: Crossing the Drake Passage 

As you sail south across the legendary Drake Passage, there’s time to acquaint yourself with your unique vessel. Your expedition guides will brief you on the logistics for your upcoming adventures in the White Continent. They will also deliver captivating lectures on Antarctica’s exploration-rich history and diverse wildlife. 

Take time to experience the exciting views of the open sea from the deck and test out the unusual heated seats. Here, you can join the naturalist guides and spot albatrosses, cape petrels and other majestic seabirds soaring over the Drake Passage. As you approach Antarctica, keep your eyes peeled for your first iceberg.

Days at sea are also the ideal chance to make the most of the facilities on your 5* expedition ship. Whether you're enjoying French cuisine from menus curated by a Michelin-starred chef or pampering yourself in the detox bar, luxury is guaranteed. 


Day 5: Sailing the North Antarctic Peninsula 

Prepare to be awestruck as the ship navigates the northern parts of the Antarctic Peninsula. En route to the Weddell Sea, you'll sail through the Antarctic Sound, named after Scandinavian explorer Otto Nordenskjöld’s ship, trapped by ice in 1902. 

As you approach the Weddell Sea, the seascape is punctuated by colossal tabular icebergs and drifting ice. Journeying southward, keep an eye out for Antarctic wildlife – from beady-eyed Adelie penguins to slinking leopard seals and the blow of humpback whales arriving to feast on krill. 


Days 6 to 11: Exploring the Weddell Sea 

Sailing the Weddell Sea, a notorious and often impenetrable area due to thick sea ice, is both a challenge and a privilege. With its dramatic forms and kaleidoscope of blue hues, the ever-changing landscape is just spectacular. Your experienced Ice Captains will use the ship’s formidable technology to safely navigate through leads in the ice.

With luck – and the help of your eagle-eyed guides – you might even glimpse the elusive emperor penguins shuffling across the frozen surfaces of the region as they head out to sea. Six entire days here mean you can maximise your opportunities to seek out these photogenic creatures, along with Weddell seals, minke whales and orcas, in a pristine habitat. 

Between excursions, take time to unwind and soak in the unique outdoor Blue Lagoon pool under the Antarctic sky. In the evenings, enjoy the entertainment laid on by the ship’s professional musicians with a glass of wine and soak up the views from the window-filled social areas.


Days 12 & 13: Crossing the Drake Passage 

As you navigate north back towards South America, you'll again cross the convergence zone, where cold southern currents clash with warmer equatorial waters. You may also spot mighty albatrosses and cape petrels dancing in the air currents above the ship.


Day 14: Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina

After disembarking, a representative will greet you at the port and transfer you to the airport for your flight to Santiago in Chile, where your trip began. From here, you're at leisure to continue your onward journey home. 


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.

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

2025

Additional Notes

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

Guest speaker Nicolas Vincent, the subsea manager of 2022’s successful mission to locate Ernest Shackleton’s sunken Endurance ship, will be aboard the 11-Nov-20​​25 voyage. 

Single Supplement And Child Policy

If you're a solo traveller please contact us for further details. 

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.

Includes

  • 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

Excludes

  • 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?