With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet it has retained an easy going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for an Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early, you can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city, or visit the many boutique shops and cafés before you leave for your expedition to Antarctica.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which our vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. The long days mean plenty of evening light in which to experience the beauty of the channel, and to perhaps enjoy your first wildlife sightings.
Weather permitting, we'll attempt to land on Cape Horn. The Cape Horn National Park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in June 2005. We'll see the monument dedicated to the thousands of sailors lost on more than 800 ships that were wrecked sailing around this iconic landmark.
Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. You'll spend these first days getting to know your shipmates, while we'll provide safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.
Day 5 - 8
When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. Weather permitting we'll be able to make our first landing on the afternoon of day 5. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travellers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica we witness something new or unexpected, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other - creating a unique, personal experience.
We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for Humpback and Minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the cunning Leopard seal.
The majesty of the Peninsula's mountains will enchant you as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360° views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbour, gives the opportunity to visit a Chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here you'll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you're feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets!
Amidst the peaceful silence of Antarctica, noisy interruptions become indelible memories such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbour. You can make a bit of noise yourself too by listening to the echo of voices bounce off a giant glacier. Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate you on this wonderful part of the world.
Day 9 - 10
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
In the early morning you arrive back in Ushuaia where your voyage ends. You are transferred either to town on to the airport for your onward flight to Buenos Aires.