Zodiac and iceberg

Antarctic Explorer via Buenos Aires

10 days
from
£4,500
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Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 3 reviews >
Leisurely
Learn more
Trip code: 
PRC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar Holidays
Min age:
18
Max group size:
199

Visit the Antarctic Peninsula, the most pristine wilderness on earth

Antarctica has been inspiring explorers for centuries, and this expedition offers the chance to discover why, with an unforgettable journey through the spectacular wilderness of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Encounter a world where nature creates the rules, her unpredictable temperament making each trip unique, exciting and personal. Imagine cruising in a Zodiac through crackling sea ice like shattered glass, witnessing penguins building their nests, or navigating through a maze of icebergs, each one uniquely shaped by its journey through the sea. Enjoy iconic Antarctic highlights, exhilarating adventures and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.

Highlights

  • Explore the remarkable Antarctic Peninsula
  • Incredible wildlife viewing including seabirds, penguins, seals and whales
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 8 or 9 nights on the ship, 1 night hotel in Buenos Aires
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Mandatory Charter Flights Buenos Aires to Ushuaia Return - £760 (or equivalent in booking currency) paid on booking

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Buenos Aires, Argentina; overnight in hotel.

    Our journey begins in Buenos Aires where we will overnight in a hotel.

  • Day 2

    Charter flight to Ushuaia; board ship and sail along the Beagle Channel.

    We will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, we’ll take a short city tour before heading to the pier.The transfer to the ship takes place in the afternoon. Once on board there is a get together for introductions to the expedition team, to learn about the ship and its layout, talk about the itinerary for the next 9 days and participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. Departure from Ushuaia is normally around 6:00 p.m, and we set sail through the Beagle Channel in the early evening. 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    Cross the Drake Passage.

    Sea conditions in the Drake Passage can vary from dead calm (known as 'Drake Lake'), to rough and stormy (known as 'Drake Shake'). As you cross the Drake Passage our team of experts is out on deck to help you spot whales and identify seabirds. There is also a programme of talks, covering the wildlife, the ice, and polar history to prepare you for your adventure to the 'White Continent'. The excitement intensifies as you cross the Antarctic Convergence, where the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean meet the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. You feel the change as the air gets cooler. Huge icebergs loom up against the horizon in increasing numbers, and Wandering albatrosses, petrels and other birds which thrive in this cold, remote ocean are frequently seen.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 5-7

    Explore the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.

    When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, we will truly begin our Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. We can finally begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travellers alike. 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 we 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 as we scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering 360° views of our surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbour, gives the opportunity to visit a Chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. 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.

    As we sail from island to shore to bay during our four days in the Peninsula, the Expedition Team will educate and entertain. We’ll provide opportunities for quiet contemplation, activities for testing endurance and more than enough wildlife interactions to satisfy all curiosity.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 8-9

    Sail back through the Drake Passage.

    Leaving the Antarctic Peninsula behind, our ship heads back across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage. The crossing is completed with the rounding of Cape Horn, weather permitting.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Disembark in Ushuaia; charter flight back to Buenos Aires and end.

    In the early morning you arrive back in Ushuaia where your voyage ends. You are transferred to the airport for our charter flight to Buenos Aires.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Group Information

The Ocean Endeavour takes a maximum capacity of 199 passengers. Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff. The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our partner, Quark Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 18 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.

Visas

Argentina

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

No visa required for holders of British passport.

The Argentine government charges a reciprocity fee which applies to Canadian and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows: Australians - US$100 (multiple entry) Canadians - US$75 (single entry) This fee must be paid before you enter Argentina. For full details, and to make the payment, please visit: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes

Antarctica

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Argentina

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers in Argentina, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Dengue fever is also a known risk in Argentina. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Due to a recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in the Misiones province of Argentina, vaccinations are strongly recommended if you intend to visit the Iguazu Falls.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. For the latest information please visit www.exodus.co.uk/zika‐virus‐q‐a .

Antarctica

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ.

Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Weather

Late Spring and Early Summer - October & November

The start of the season and the most adventurous time to travel. You’ll encounter truly breathtaking, exquisitely sculpted icebergs emerging from their frozen hibernation. Many of these blue bergs house courting, nesting and brooding penguins.

High Summer - December, January & February

Close to the solstice you’ll experience almost perpetual daylight. These are the mildest months when the first Adelie and Gentoo penguin chicks are hatched.  As the water warms the whale sightings also improve.

Late Summer - February & March

This is the time for some incredible encounters with whales, especially Minkes and Humpbacks. The receding ice allows for further exploration and penguin colonies are very active with adults feeding their chicks.

Antarctica

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere onboard is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet / mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are ‘wet’ which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers).

There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Optional activities

On some occasions, space is limited on the optional activities and needs to be booked in advance. Please ask our Polar Sales team for more information if you are interested in one of the options below.

Sea kayaking option

On many of our Antarctic voyages there is the chance for some members of the party to take regular sea kayak excursions in place of the Zodiac excursions. There are a limited number of kayaks on each ship, and you must book and pay for this option in advance. All kayak trips are expertly guided, and are subject to suitable locations and weather conditions. Should the kayaking not be possible, a place on a Zodiac is always available.

Camping on Ice option

Spending a night camping on ice is a unique experience we offer on some of our Antarctic departures. No previous experience is needed to participate in our camping option. We provide the equipment: you contribute a desire for a personal and intimate connection with the continent.

Mountaineering option

On some of our Antarctic voyages there is the chance for some members of the party to participate in a mountaineering option. This is an awe-inspiring experience from the first step to the final glissade – the last slide on your descent. You can expect to summit 2 or 3 small Antarctic peaks. All equipment is provided, and although no previous experience is required, you will be using crampons, harness, and an ice axe; some technical climbing is involved.

Cross-country skiing option

On some of our Antarctic voyages there is the chance for some members of the party to participate in a cross-country skiing option. It is impossible to imagine a continent better suited to cross-country skiing, the earliest method of transport used by Antarctic explorers.

Snowshoeing

Especially on early departures at the beginning of the season there are still snow covered hills and mountains further inland. During voyages to the Antarctic we are planning on offering hiking excursions with snowshoes. Snowshoe walking is easy and does not require any technical skills. With the use of snowshoes it is easier and safer to walk on snow surfaces. Snowshoes will be provided to everyone on board. Those will fit all boot sizes and can be used in combination with the provided rubber boots.

Stand-up Paddleboarding

Combining surfing with kayaking or canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding will give you a very personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Guided by experienced staff in small groups in good weather conditions on calm bays and harbours, reservations for 10 paddleboarders will be taken at time of booking. Other paddleboarding opportunities will be offered via sign-up, onboard ship, on a first-come, first-served basis. Available for select Antarctica Voyages only.

Accommodation

Ocean Endeavour

The Antarctic Explorer via Buenos Aires is offered on the Ocean Endeavour which is a Polar Adventure Ship. Please visit the Polar Fleet page (www.exodus.co.uk/polar-holidays/polar-fleet) for Ship Information and Deck Plans.

Polar Adventure Ships

These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking, kayaking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are excellent and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.

Expert Blog Entries

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” ~ Ranulph Fiennes To get the most enjoyment out of a

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Jane Taylor

    Antarctica via Buenos Aires

    An amazing and unique experience would highly recommend it's worth every penny

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many highlights but getting to see penguins, seals and whales at close quarters was unforgettable

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The expedition leader and all the staff in the team were really helpful, knowledgeable and friendly

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Spend time in Argentina before or after your trip. I wish I had tagged a few extra days on to do hhis
  • Reviewed February 2017
    Line Bisgaard

    Above all expectations!

    from start till end this trip was amazing! Everything went smoothly, from the pre-tour info, to information at the hotel and the logistics of the domestic flights and checking in on the boat. It felt very safe, especially for a woman travelling alone. The crew on board was excellent! I loved the way every guide had his own ‘field of expertise’ which covered everything you wanted to know (and things you didn’t know you wanted to know ;-)). The Staff was extremely helpful, happy, smiling and overall serviceminded. It was a pleasure! Overall the program on board made sure that you almost didn’t have an idle moment, which for me was amazing! And the logistics of getting nearly 200 passengers into zodiacs 10 at the time, went so incredible easy, they crew are really professional and know how to make your experience the best possible. I can highly recommend this trip to anyone who wants to explore the magic of Antarctica.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Antarctica itself surprised in more ways than one – I was expecting rough weather through the Drake passage, but instead we had calm seas and smooth sailing, so we reached Antarctica half a day early, and had our first zodiac trip before sceduled! The amazing weather stayed with us for the rest of the trip, so amazing blue skies and sun every day was really a treat! The wildlife was every were! Once we reached the continent, every time we looked out, we had penguins on almost every iceberg floating by the ship or a whale showing off in the water close by. And the landings on Antarctica itself, with seals lying around and thousands of penguins all around you, just doing what penguins do was so serene and magical. We even had an afternoon where around 50 Orcas were gathering and swimming around the boat for almost 3 hours, so we could just observe. In the zodiacs we got to experience icebergs calving, get close up with leopard seals floating by on an iceflake, and even had some curious humpback whales, so close to the zodiac that we could almost touch them. Not to mention the beautifull icebergs and surroundings that would take your breath away for sure!
  • Reviewed December 2016
    Shirley Dinnell

    Absolutely awesome trip

    This was one of the most amazing trips we have ever done. The scenery was breathtaking. The crew and expedition team were cheerful, helpful and knowledgeable. The kayaking with penguins and whales popping up feet away was fabulous.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    When a humpback whale popped up 10 feet away from our kayaks and just meandered around us for a while.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Solan was wonderful. He has the most calm, funny and inclusive way about him. His voice for the early morning wake up calls is like velvet.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go! Sign up for the kayaking or some other adventure options. Be flexible. Take loads of camera memory cards and batteries.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is probably the most expensive trip we have ever undertaken and we have travelled a lot. It was worth every penny. We are now looking at doing one of the Arctic adventure trips.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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