Antarctica - The Realm of Penguins & Icebergs

Antarctica - The Realm of Penguins & Icebergs

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12 Days From

$11122

$10772

Antarctica - The Realm of Penguins & Icebergs

12 Days Starting and ending in Ushuaia

Visiting: Antarctica

Tour operator:

World Expeditions

Tour code:

PEC

Group size:

1 - 114

Physical rating:

Discovery and Cruising

From: $11122 $10772 Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$350

NB: Prices correct on 24-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

This program aboard the vessel Sea Spirit provides the opportunity to spend New Years in the dreamy Antarctic Peninsula. Crossing the Antarctic Convergence into the Southern Ocean via the fabled Drake Passage, we have ample time to explore the spectacular landscapes and wildlife of this remote continent. This voyage offers participants a chance to kayak through the tranquil waters or even camp out on the ice ,which is a popular experience, that will create memories to last a lifetime. We utilise the ship's fleet of zodiacs to explore the rich diversity of wildlife that flourishes in the sheltered bays, steep glaciers and clustered iceberg castles that characterise the shoreline. There are no shortage of photographic opportunities along the Antarctic Peninsula, and our workshops will help you capture the natural beauty of this incredible ice-bound land. Join in one of the optional activities on offer or simply take in the surreal landscapes of this untouched wilderness.

Highlights

  • The most wildlife-rich part of Antarctica - penguins, whales, seals, sea birds

  • Narrow sheltered waterways and fjords

  • Spectacular mountains rising directly out of the sea

  • Historic sites

  • Great variety of terrain over short distances

  • Icebergs and active glaciers

  • Opportunity to camp on ice (optional charges apply)

  • Kayaking through Antarctic waters (optional charges apply)

  • Photography Workshops (optional)

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1 : Join In Ushuaia

Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our expedition. Upon your arrival at the airport we provide a transfer to your hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore the city. Take advantage of souvenir shopping and a variety of dining options in the city center.

Day 2 : Embark Ushuaia

Meals Included: B, D

In the afternoon we provide a group transfer to the pier and welcome you aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through the Beagle Channel on our first evening is wonderful and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.

Day 3 : Cross The Drake Passage

Meals Included: B, L, D

After transiting the Beagle Channel and passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, we head south across the Drake Passage. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies. On the way we cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Briefings, orientations, and lectures from our expert staff prepare you for our arrival in Antarctica.

Day 5 : Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp

Meals Included: B, L, D

This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Our route and exploration opportunities in Antarctica are heavily dependent on weather and ice conditions. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. We take advantage of long daylight hours to exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery, and excursions via zodiac. The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and some of Antarctica’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Protected bays and narrow channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. The area is also home to Antarctic research stations of various nationalities. Some stations have a gift shop and post office. The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be our first sighting of land. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites with abundant wildlife and historical significance. Among them is Deception Island, where the flooded caldera of an active volcano harbours an abandoned whaling station. Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies. At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs. Our days in Antarctica are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.

Day 10 : Drake Passage

Meals Included: B, L, D

After our amazing time in Antarctica we cross back north through the bountiful waters of the Drake Passage. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent. This is also the time for our End of Voyage ceremonies including slideshow and farewell dinner.

Day 12 : Disembark Ushuaia, Where Trip Concludes

Meals Included: B

After breakfast we say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, where we started. We provide a group transfer to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    10 Nights aboard Sea Spirit

  • 11 breakfasts, 9 lunches and 10 dinners

  • 1 night hotel accommodation in Ushuaia on a triple or twin share basis (depending on ship berth configuration chosen)

  • Group transfer from the airport to the hotel on day 1 of itinerary

  • Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation

  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise

  • Specialist expedition staff

  • All shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs

  • Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services

  • Medical services. There is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board (charges may apply)

  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities

show more

What's Not Included

  • Air transport and transfers before and after the cruises (except for pre-scheduled group transfers listed above)

  • Passport and vaccination charges, reciprocity fees and airport departure taxes

  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary

  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations

  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges, wine and phone calls

  • Customary end of voyage tips

  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 200,000

Accommodation

10 Nights aboard Sea Spirit
There are a variety of cabins available on the ship. Please ask us for more details.

Wildlife

Apart from the deep sea, Antarctica is the oldest and largest self-contained ecosystem in the world. The animal world is very closely linked with the sea and is consequently to be found mainly on the periphery of the continent. With the exception of a few insects, all forms of life capitulate in the face of the increasingly harsh climatic conditions further inland. The coastal regions are populated by sea birds such as petrels, albatrosses, skuas and penguins as well as marine mammals like the crabeater seal, leopard seal, Ross seal, Weddell seal, fin and right whale, and sea lions. The Antarctic sea regions contain the greatest quantities of animal protein on Earth.
Antarctica’s marine food chain
The most common Antarctic shrimp, krill, uses its front legs to catch microscopic unicellular algae known as diatoms. The word krill comes from the Norwegian and means “food of the whale”. All living creatures consume 90% of their food for their everyday activities and thus convert only 10% into body weight, meaning that nutritional value declines exponentially as one progresses through the food chain. The whale jumps these links in the chain by preying directly on krill rather than on fish or sea birds. A fin whale requires about 2-3 tonnes of krill per day to reach an impressive length of 24 metres and a weight of up to 80 tonnes.
Antarctic birds
Penguins represent half of the Antarctic bird population, nine-tenths of its biomass. These birds depend on the sea for their food. They eat about 4.7 million tons of food each month, mainly crustaceans and fish, but also squid. While penguins dominate the bird biomass, tube-nosed petrels constitute the majority of the breeding species. Other groups include cormorants, skuas, gulls, and terns.
It takes a tough bird to overcome Antarctica’s notorious inclemency. One might infer from the enormous concentrations of sea birds that do occur that the populations are invincible. They are not. The long isolation of Antarctic birds has produced an extraordinarily innocent and docile avifauna - a quality attractive to both scientific study and tourism, but one that leaves these highly vulnerable birds open to harm from human presence or mismanagement.
Natural factors such as storms or abnormally extensive sea ice can cause extremely high mortality in nesting areas. But Antarctic bird species have evolved to overcome these adversities. Human activity is another matter. On the evolutionary time scale, people and their machines have just entered the Antarctic scene. The birds have had little time to adjust. Studies have shown that even casual or occasional contacts with Antarctic bird colonies can adversely affect breeding success. After visits are ended or controlled, bird populations have been observed to return to former levels.
Today, much is known about some of these birds at breeding sites, but virtually nothing about the longer time they spend at sea.

Grading

Although there is no commitment to extended walking on this journey we nonetheless want to keep the ‘accent on the active’. We therefore advise that any physical training you complete before undertaking the trip will be to good effect.

Check out our Q&As

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have offices on three continents which means your travelling companions will be just that – international and wonderfully eclectic. Part of small group travel means that although travellers come from various locations and backgrounds, you will be travelling with like-minded companions who, like you, are keen to share the experience and forge lifelong friendships.

  • What about environmental impact?

    We believe that adventure travel revolves around establishing a strong relationship with the people and environments in which we operate. Our responsible travel policies have been carefully developed to ensure that we minimise the impact of our presence and help to protect the regions we visit while contributing positively to the local community.

  • What should I pack?

    Your pre-departure documents include a detailed packing list with items that you need to bring. While most of the equipment for daily activities is included in your tour cost, some items like helmets and hiking boots are best brought from home. The pre-departure documents also include information on layering and recommended brands for various items to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip.

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

    Yes. World Expeditions does not require single travellers to pay a surcharge for travelling alone on the vast majority of our trips. Our holidays are primarily on a twin share basis, so if you are joining the group as a solo traveller, we will match you with someone of your own gender. The choice is yours however; if you prefer not to share, we do offer single supplements for private occupancy.

  • Are tips included in my trip price?

    Tips are not included in the tour cost. Tipping is a personal thing, do not worry about how much, or when, to tip. Tipping guidelines are provided for certain destinations in our pre departure information upon booking, however the best advice will be provided by your tour leader.

  • Am I suited to small-group travel?

    We recognise that many of our travellers have not been on a ‘group trip’ before. Yet what our departures provide is both structure and flexibility, allowing you plenty of freedom within the framework of the itinerary. You’ll find that with our maximum group size at 16, you’ll travel in a minimal impact style with a great group of like-minded travellers.

  • Can you advise which vaccinations are recommended?

    While our pre-departure kit provides information on vaccinations, we suggest that you consult your doctor, local government inoculation centre or a travel medical specialist in order to get the most current advice regarding vaccination requirements.

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Saturday - Wednesday

Feb 07, 2026 - Feb 18, 2026
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$350

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Feb 17, 2026 - Feb 28, 2026
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Mid-Year Mayhem Discount: -$350

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    World Expeditions allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform world expeditions, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    World Expeditions requires a minimum deposit of 250 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of world expeditions charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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