Best of Antarctica: Pristine Wilderness (Ocean Endeavour)

Best of Antarctica: Pristine Wilderness (Ocean Endeavour)

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11 Days
From

$7900

$6530

Best of Antarctica: Pristine Wilderness (Ocean Endeavour)

11 Days Starting and ending in Ushuaia

Visiting: Ushuaia, Argentina, Embarkation in Ushuaia, At Sea, Drake Passage, South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula, Disembarkation in Ushuaia Argentina

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

GQMDW

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 200

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

8-99 years

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Expedition Cruising

From:
$7900
$6530 (USD) Operator discount: -$1185 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$185 -17%
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Tour Overview

Experience the raw and pure beauty of the Great White Continent on an 11-day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula. During this magical time, landscapes are at their most pristine as the thawing of sea ice draws you into an unspoiled polar wilderness. Icebergs are at their greatest mass, penguins are busy courting, nest building and squabbling over pebbles. As the Ocean Endeavour edges its way through the fractured ice, maybe entering the narrow, sheer-sided Lemaire Channel, you’re invited onto the bow of the Ocean Endeavour. Scan for Leopard seals on ice floes as you follow the continent’s inhabitants further south into the untouched snowscapes of pristine Antarctica.

Highlights

  • Antarctica awakens after the harsh winter and extensive snow cloaks the continent in a pristine whiteness. Admire breathtaking scenery such as icebergs and glaciated mountains.

  • Penguin populations in the rookeries are thriving and the birds are busy nest-building and courting. Albatross, fulmars and petrels fly the Drake Passage and blue-eyed shags reappear in Antarctica.

  • This is an incredible time for photographers – the lengthening days are concluded with fantastic evening light, noctilucent clouds and beautiful rose-coloured sunsets.

  • Benefit from a variety of onboard activities including educational lectures on history, geology and ecology and participate in our citizen science program, all led by our expert expedition team.

  • Experience daily Zodiac excursions and onshore landings, and take advantage of a range of paid adventure options during your voyage such as kayaking, camping, photography and snowshoeing.

  • Enjoy the Ocean Endeavour's amenities including expedition lounge, sun deck, Polaris restaurant, bar, polar library, saltwater pool, jacuzzi, gym, spa and sauna.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina
Location: Ushuaia, Argentina
Accommodation: Hotel

Your adventure begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia boasts many shops, museums, restaurants and cafes that you can enjoy before your voyage. This Argentine town is the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. If you feel adventurous, the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park offers plenty of outdoor activities.

Day 2: Embarkation In Ushuaia
Location: Embarkation in Ushuaia
Accommodation: Expedition Cruise Ship
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Following your embarkation onto the Ocean Endeavour in the late afternoon, begin your Antarctic journey south, passing through the infamous Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds.

Included Activities:
-Welcome Briefing

Day 3-4: At Sea, Drake Passage
Location: At Sea, Drake Passage
Accommodation: Expedition Cruise Ship

Famed for its wild nature, the Drake Passage is unpredictable and always changing. Be sure to spend some time out on one of the Ocean Endeavour's many outer decks soaking up the fresh sea air and feeling the breeze of the roaring forties and furious fifties – waters not yet tamed even by the most intrepid of explorers. Your expedition team will provide insights into your exciting adventure that lies ahead. During these two days on the sea, you will have plenty of time to gaze out at the Southern Ocean, capture photos of the birds circling the Ocean Endeavour and get to know your fellow travellers and expedition team. There is always great excitement on board when the first sighting of land appears, which with favourable sea and weather conditions will be early evening on day four.

Included Activities:
-Citizen Science Program
-Daily Briefings and Recap
-Onboard Lecture Program

Optional Activities:
-Yoga and Meditation Classes - Free
-Onboard Spa treatments (various prices apply) starting from
-Photography Program
-Onboard Gym and Sauna - Free

Day 5-8: South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula
Location: South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula
Accommodation: Expedition Cruise Ship

Your Antarctic adventure truly begins once you have left the Drake Passage behind and the South Shetland Islands come into view, a region that has long captured the attention of explorers. Every visit to Antarctica reveals something unexpecting or new, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other – a unique and personal experience. During your time aboard the Ocean Endeavour, your expedition team and captain will scout for whales and seabirds and alert you to any new sightings. Enjoy in-depth explanations and lectures from your expedition team on the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region as you explore.

Even more exciting will be your first land excursion – something you will never forget! Daily Zodiac cruises and shore excursions take you to explore local bays, channels and landing sites with wildlife opportunities always at the forefront of your expedition team's mind. Walk on beaches dotted with penguins, visit penguin rookeries and search for southern seal species, including the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal. Each day and each landing is different, but every day presents new photo opportunities and sightings, so it won't take long until you know the difference between an Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin.

You might hike to a penguin rookery one day and take a Zodiac cruise among towering icebergs the next. From coming eye to eye with a humpback whale to the sound of a calving glacier, you will wake up excited each day with a desire to explore this icy wilderness. If you can't get enough and find yourself wanting more, treat yourself to an overnight ice camping experience on land, a snowshoeing excursion to explore further afield, or a hit the water for a day paddle excursion.

An average day onboard begins with a wake-up call from your expedition leader around 7 am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow expeditioners for breakfast in the Polaris restaurant. You will usually have two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a delicious lunch served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.

Included Activities:
-Guided walking Excursions
-Zodiac Excursion/Cruising
-Citizen Science Program
-Daily Briefings and Recap
-Onboard Lecture Program

Optional Activities:
-Stand Up Paddleboarding
-Kayaking Program
-Polar Plunge - Free
-Day Paddle
-Camping
-Snowshoeing
-Onboard Spa treatments (various prices apply) starting from
-Photography Program
-Onboard Gym and Sauna - Free
-Yoga and Meditation Classes - Free

Day 9-10: At Sea, Drake Passage
Location: At Sea, Drake Passage
Accommodation: Expedition Cruise Ship

Your journey back across the Drake Passage provides a final opportunity to enjoy the Antarctic air. Be sure to spend some time on the outer decks scouting for whales, watching seabirds, or enjoying a presentation by your expedition team on a wide range of topics. Celebrate the experiences you have shared with your fellow passengers exploring the remarkable world of Antarctica.

Included Activities:
-Onboard Lecture Program
-Daily Briefings and Recap
-Citizen Science Program

Optional Activities:
-Onboard Gym and Sauna - Free
-Photography Program
-Onboard Spa treatments (various prices apply) starting from
-Yoga and Meditation Classes - Free

Day 11: Disembarkation In Ushuaia, Argentina
Location: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina
Meals Included: breaksfast

You arrive in the port of Ushuaia in the morning and your expedition team will gather on the deck to farewell you as you disembark the Ocean Endeavour after breakfast. Your morning transfer to Ushuaia airport is included.

What's Included

  • Meals

    10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners

  • Transport

    Expedition Cruise Ship, Zodiac

  • Accommodation

    1 night comfortable hotel, 9 nights expedition cruise ship

  • Welcome Briefing

  • Citizen Science Program

  • Daily Briefings and Recap

  • Onboard Lecture Program

  • Zodiac Excursion/Cruising

  • Guided walking Excursions

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Transport

  • The Ocean Endeavour has a fleet of 20 Zodiacs which means that all passengers can enjoy a landing at the same time.

Accommodation

  • 1 night comfortable hotel, 9 nights expedition cruise ship

Important Information

  • SPECIAL BOOKING CONDITIONS
  • You are required to pay a non-refundable deposit of AUD1500, USD1000, EUR900, NZD1600, GBP800, CAD1300, CHF900 or ZAR17,000 per person per trip for your booking to be confirmed. Full payment is required 95 days prior to departure.
  • Please refer to our “Booking and Conditions” section on our website including the special conditions that apply to Antarctica Voyages (Ocean Endeavour)
  • COVID 19 VACCINATION
  • COVID-19 vaccination is a pre-embarkation requirement for all guests, staff, and crew on all Ocean Endeavour voyages. We will request a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination status on Day 1
  • ADVENTURE OPTIONS
  • Approaching a looming glacier in a sea kayak, strapping on snowshoes to reach the best icy viewpoints, capturing the perfect photo of a seal hunting its prey or camping under an Antarctic perpetual twilight – these are just some of the ways you can enrich your exploration of the great White Continent with our additional activities. A range of Paid Adventure Options is available on the Ocean Endeavour, on selected voyages, subject to availability. Your booking agent can assist with availability and pricing.
  • • Kayaking or Photography Program - Voyage-duration program available on all voyages. Pre-book via your booking agent.
  • • Day Paddle or Stand Up Paddleboarding- One-off excursion available on all voyages. Pre-book via your booking agent. Additional spaces may be available to book on board via the Expedition Team
  • • Camping - One-off excursion available on selected voyages. Pre-book via your booking agent.
  • • Snowshoeing - One-off excursion available on selected voyages. Book on board via the Expedition Team.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    No

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Yes

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Is this trip right for you

    The Ocean Endeavour is an ice-strengthened ship – large, sturdy and suited to the unpredictable Antarctic waters. Some people may experience seasickness in occasional rough seas however, we do have a doctor on board should you need assistance. Over-the-counter seasickness medication is usually an easy fix.

    Temperatures in the Antarctic can get very cold, but it also can get surprisingly warm when the sun comes out. We recommend dressing in layers when you journey outside. We’ll provide you with waterproof boots on loan that are sturdy and warm, as well as an inner jacket that is yours to keep. Please see the Essential Trip Information for notes on what to pack.

    Depending on the weather, you’ll be travelling around in a Zodiac boat quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. It can get cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you dress appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. A fair level of mobility is needed for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the lift does not provide access to.

    The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and, although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area like the Antarctic. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to other locations – which are just as interesting and beautiful! We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather, but there are plenty on onboard resources and activities. The ship’s library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the wellness spa, saunas, gym and yoga classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Dates & Availability

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Instant Booking Available

Monday - Thursday

Nov 18, 2024 - Nov 28, 2024
$7900 $6530 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1185 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$185 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Wednesday - Saturday

Nov 27, 2024 - Dec 07, 2024
$8400 $6944 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1260 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$196 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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