Antarctica
  • 12 days/11 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $9,650 / person
  • (Varies single supplement)

Discover our Antarctica Cruise!

Pack your warm-weather gear and sense of adventure and get ready for an exclusive, maritime voyage to Antarctica. Join our expert guides aboard the M/V Plancius and experience the best of the Antarctic Peninsula on this 12-day, all-inclusive exploration of our southernmost continent. Discover the “frozen desert” by snowshoe, kayak, and on the deck of the ship. Snap postcard-worthy shots with your camera as you observe the abundant wildlife in their icy home and get up-close-and-personal with an iceberg. This Antarctica vacation package includes visits to research stations and expert guides excited to share the history of explorers of yesteryear and current scientific projects. All the while, enjoy the cozy comforts of your spacious, private suite, delicious wining and dining, and of course Austin’s signature touch of inspired, thoughtful service. Get swept away by one of the world’s most ethereal, harsh landscapes and its captivating wildlife as you capture photos and memories to last forever.

Looking for ways to save on your next vacation? Whether you’re new to Austin Adventures or already part of the family, we’ve got something for everyone. Learn More Here!

  • Adult Only Vacations
  • Hiking
  • Paddling
  • Small Ship
  • Wine / Gourmet

Activity Level: Easy

About
This Tour

Sliding penguins, slumbering seals, 3,000-foot ice walls, and surreal sunsets. The Antarctic Peninsula is home to the most dramatic scenery and the largest variety of wildlife in Antarctica. Enjoy nature at her best, navigating iceberg-laden waters and White Continent wilderness by small ship, zodiac, kayak, and on foot. We've handled every detail of this 12-day, custom journey to the wilds of Antarctica so all you have to do is kick back and soak in the majesty of the southernmost continent on the planet.

  • Board your small ship in Ushuaia, Argentina, making your way south toward the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Convergence; you'll know you're near when you begin sighting wandering albatrosses, blue petrels, and icebergs
  • Kayak the tranquil waters surrounding Jougla Point, coming nose-to-beak with Gentoo Penguins and Imperial Shags
  • Hike a massive glacier on the Antarctic continent and count the fur, elephant, and leopard seals basking on ice floes in Neko Harbor
  • Sail Lemaire Channel beneath Booth Island's towering peaks, keeping an eye out for humpback, minke, and fin whales
  • Get a glimpse into the lives of the people who live there year-round with a stop at a scientific work station
  • Soak up a technicolor sunset before curling up in the comfort of a waterproof bivouac bag during an optional open-air camping excursion

 

Antarctic penguins
Photo: Antarctic penguins

Elephant seals, this far south, what a treat. Elephant seals and penguins existing in harmonious indifference...inspiring! Today was an amazing day of wildlife, man vs. ice, more flying penguins and just plain fun.

Troy G Seattle, WA

Excellent in organization information and quality of experience

Enrico A Billings, MT

Itinerary
& Map

Tour Itinerary

12 days/11 nights

Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 1: Ushuaia
Antarctica Luxury Cruises
Meals Included:  D

In the afternoon, we embark in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening

About the M/v Plancius
M/v "Plancius" was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman."

The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 114-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea).

M/v "Plancius" is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag. The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view.

M/v "Plancius" has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 3), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. Plancius was built for Ice conditions. To reach these ice-conditions she has a strengthened bow and stern.
About the M/v Ortelius

The Ortelius what built in Poland in 1989. This ship which served as a special-purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science, now serves as a floating hotel that serves up to 116 passengers. All passengers can take solace in the crew that is on board. To start it has 22 highly experienced nautical crew members, 19 Hotel staff, 8 expedition specialists and one doctor. This ship couldn't be much safer than this

Day 2 & 3: Drake Passage
Antarctica luxury vacations
Meals Included:  B, L, D

During these two days we sail across the Drake Passage, the body of water connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans • When we cross the Antarctic Convergence, we arrive in the circum-Antarctic up welling zone • In this area we may see Wandering Albatrosses, Grey Headed Albatrosses, Black- browed Albatrosses, Light- mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Cape Pigeons, Southern Fulmars, Wilson’s Storm Petrels, Blue Petrels and Antarctic Petrels • Near the South Shetland Islands, we spot our first icebergs.

Day 4 - 9: Antarctica
Antarctica Vacations
Meals Included:  B, L, D

We will sail directly to “High Antarctica”, passing the Melchior islands and the Schollaert Channel between Brabant and Anvers Island • The basecamp concept enable us to visit places where we hope to stay for longer than normal in order to conduct our activities • Several fantastic localities offer great opportunities for this and may include: Neumayer Channel, where we may position our ship for the multi activity basecamp • The protected waters around Wiencke Island may become our playground for all activities • In this alpine environment, there are great opportunities to scout the region on foot, per zodiac and during kayak trips • Walkers will find opportunities to use snowshoes on hikes near the shoreline, and the mountaineers will find their challenge by climbing hills and viewpoints further inland • All climbs and excursions can only be conducted in good weather conditions •
We hope to visit the old British research station, now working museum and post office at Port Lockroy on Goudier Island • Close to Port Lockroy we may also offer a landing on Jougla Point with Gentoo penguins and Blue-eyed shags • We look out for Leopard seals, Crabeater seals and whales
If the ice conditions and time allows us, we may sail through the spectacular Lemaire Channel to Booth Island, Pléneau and Petermann Island where we can find Adélie penguins and Blue-eyed shags (normally not possible before New Year) • In this area there are good chances to encounter Humpback whales and Minke whales • The opportunities for kayaking, glacier walks or mountaineering that is more ambitious are excellent in this area • Neko Harbour offers the opportunity to set foot on the Antarctic Continent in a magnificent landscape of a huge glacier and enjoy the landscape during zodiac cruises, walks, and kayak excursions • We may spend the night in Paradise Bay with a camp erected ashore in one of several places good for camping • The area in and around Errera Channel is spectacular with possible sites for our activities like Danco Island and Cuverville Island but also lesser known, but equally great sites such as Orne Island and Georges Point on Rongé Island •
On our last day of near shore activities, we pass the Melchior Islands towards the open sea around noon • Keep a keen lookout for Humpback whales in Dallmann Bay • Alternatively, we may aim for Half Moon Island, South Shetlands, which offers a great opportunity for our activities • We depart from Antarctica around noo

Day 10 & 11: Drake Passage
Antarctic Cruise
Meals Included:  B, L, D

On our way north, we are again followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the Drake Passage

Day 12: Ushuaia
Antarctic Cruises
Meals Included:  B

We arrive in the morning in Ushuaia and disembark

* Austin Adventures is proudly offering this trip in conjunction with Oceanwide Expeditions. 

** Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Dates, Rates
& Details

Stop daydreaming and start planning your adventure today. Confirmed departure dates and rates are listed below. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Not finding what you're looking for? Over 33% of our itineraries are tailored to fit your group or family needs. Feel free to call one of our travel specialists for information on custom trips. Let us plan your next adventure of a lifetime!

  • 12 days/11 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $9,650 / person
  • (Varies single supplement)

Recommended Travel Months

CALL (800) 575-1540 for details

Additional Trip Information

Departure

Embarkation is between 4:00 - 5:00 pm on day of departure.

  • We recommend that all passengers arrive the night prior to departure in Ushuaia to avoid any delays from flights or lost luggage.
  • Hotel night is not included.
  • Transfers from airport to hotel and from hotel to the pier are not included.
  • Passengers are asked to make their own way to the port on day of embarkation.
  • It is not allowed to board the ship before 4:00pm as the crew is getting the ship ready for your arrival.

Disembarkation is between 8:30 - 9:00 am on the last day of the voyage.

  • The transfer from the ship to the airport is included in the cruise rate.
  • You can catch a flight out of Ushuaia anytime after 12:00 Noon on that day.
Activities
  • Hiking: The possibilities to hike longer distances in the Antarctic are limited by mountains and glaciers. In general the longest hikes can last up to two hours.
  • Kayaking: Basic kayaking experience is required and physical fitness is essential.
  • Photo Workshop: For beginner and advanced photographers alike under the supervision of a photo expert on board. No previous experience required.
  • Snowshoeing: Easy and does not require any technical skills.
  • Mountaineering (optional): This is a technical and more strenuous activity for mountaineers who wish to walk beyond the shore radius in order to reach higher grounds and viewpoints. Mountaineers walk in rope parties under the leadership of a certified mountain guide mostly across glaciated environment. Mountaineering knowledge is preferable, but not required. Physical fitness is essential.
Meals

All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea are included. Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.

Included in Trip Price
  • Voyage aboard the M/v Plancius or M/v Ortelius vessel & cabin with private facilities.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee, and tea.
  • Fully trained, first-aid certified, knowledgeable expedition leaders.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • Austin Adventures T-shirt and luggage tags.
  • Pre-departure and packing information.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
Not Included in Trip Price
  • Gratuities for stewards and other service personnel aboard the vessel.
  • Transfer to the vessel.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
  • Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
  • All types of personal insurance.
  • Personal expenses (i.e. laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges).
Photos
Testimonials
Testimonials

With over 20-years of experience in the adventure travel industry, we've perfected the recipe for crafting award-winning small group trips and custom itineraries on all seven continents. On every departure, we aim to exceed your expectations with best-in-class service, expert guides and the finest in regional cuisine and accommodations. From first-time travelers to seasoned alumni, our guests agree that on each Austin Adventures journey , the hardest part truly is going home. We're happy to share that 99.26% of these travelers say they'd join us again...and again...and again. But don't take our word for it. Our guests say it best:

First class organization. Everyone was wonderful.

Debbie W, Dublin, CA

It was like having your parents or a whole staff along on the trip-- every time you needed something they already had it ready for you.

Sherry R, Sugarloaf, PA

Once again your company (guides, location, meals, weather, etc.) far exceeded our expectations.

Susan F, San Diego, CA
View More Testimonials

Regions we visit in Antarctica: ...

A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
  • 1. The singular experience: You can't get any farther south than Antarctica!
  • 2. The singular environment: Antarctica is considered a desert, only receiving an average of 8-inches of precipitation each year, and almost the entire continent is covered in ice over one mile thick.
  • 3. The singular community: At any one point in time, there are between 1,000 and 5,000 people living and working at research stations throughout the continent.
  • 4. The singular wildlife: Native to Antarctica, the emperor penguin is the largest penguin species in the world. They mate in the winter, and will travel up to 75 miles to reach their mate.
  • 5. In-the-field expertise: From spinning fascinating regional interpretation to orchestrating seamless group dynamics, our guides keep their eyes on the details, ensuring that the toughest part of your vacation truly is going home.
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