Zodiac and iceberg

Antarctic Explorer via Buenos Aires

11 days
from
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5 / 5 from 4 reviews
Polar Expeditions
Suitable for:
Age 18+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
PRC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar
Max group size:
199
Min age:
18

Visit the Antarctic Peninsula, the most pristine wilderness on earth

Antarctica is an incredible destination with the power to transform those who are fortunate enough to experience it. Our classic Antarctic Explorer voyage has been designed to give you the very best of the Antarctic Peninsula over 11 remarkable days. Conquer the famed Drake Passage; explore majestic natural environments by Zodiac and on foot; experience penguins, whales and other wildlife; and enjoy talks on history, biology and glaciology by our onboard Polar experts. You can personalize your adventure with options that suit your specific interests, and have the experience of a lifetime, customized to you.

Antarctica has been inspiring explorers for centuries—now it’s your turn. Be among the first guests on our pioneering new vessel, Ultramarine. This purpose-built vessel is designed to extend the boundaries of Polar exploration and offer an unmatched Antarctic experience, including a flightseeing tour you’ll never forget and a range of adventure options more extensive than any other ship in its class. We’re excited to host you on your unforgettable adventure!

Highlights

  • Explore highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula

  • Enjoy helicopter flightseeing from Ultramarine for a unique perspective of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Enjoy talks about the environment and wildlife from our onboard Polar experts
  • Experience abundant wildlife, such as penguins, seals and whales
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 9 nights on the ship, 1 night hotel in Buenos Aires
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions
  • Countries visited: Antarctic Peninsula, Argentina, Antarctica

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • Beer and wine at dinner
  • All gratuities (November 2018-March 2019 only)
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
  • We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Mandatory Charter Flights Buenos Aires to Ushuaia Return - from £850 (or equivalent in booking currency) paid on booking
Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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

    Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina

    You may arrive in Buenos Aires at any time during Day 1 of your itinerary. Upon arriving in this splendid city, known for its architecture and rich European heritage, you will independently transfer to your group hotel.

  • Day 2

    Fly to Ushuaia and embark

    After an early breakfast at the hotel, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. 

    Upon arrival, you will be transferred from the airport to a central downtown location to have some time on your own to explore this quaint port town before making your way to the pier. 

    After a late afternoon embarkation, you will sail along the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next land you see will be the Antarctic! 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    Crossing the Drake Passage

    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 your Expedition Team provides safety briefings and insights into what excitement lies ahead.The unpredictable and exciting Drake Passage is an adventure unto itself. While being well taken care of by our expert onboard staff and leaders, you’ll have plenty of time to gaze out at the ocean, take pictures of seabirds swooping around the ship, and get to know your Expedition Team and fellow travelers. .

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 5-8

    South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

    Once the Drake Passage is left in our wake and the South Shetland Islands come into view, your Antarctic adventure truly begins. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travellers alike. On every visit to Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means your expedition will be unlike any other—a unique, personal experience. 

    Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. 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 southern seal species, including the cunning Leopard seal. 

    The majesty of the Antarctic Peninsula’s mountains will enchant as you hike snowy pathways to vantage points offering panoramic views of your surroundings. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. At one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete isolation and silence, and the next you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into a brilliant blue sea or a penguin waddles by to inspect your footwear. 

    Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes—such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles—become indelible memories. 

    Each day will be different, carefully crafted by your Expedition Team to inspire and educate you about this wonderful part of the world. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 9-10

    Crossing the Drake Passage

    The journey back across the Drake Passage provides a final opportunity to enjoy the invigorating Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy presentations by your Expedition Team, and celebrate the experiences you've shared exploring the remarkable world of Antarctica. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Disembark in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires

    Iou will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark after breakfast. The mandatory transfer package includes a taste of Patagonia with a Tierra del Fuego National Park tour before transferring to the airport for the return group charter flight to Buenos Aires. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The Ultramarine 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.

If you are crossing the border into Argentina from Chile on your trip, we will need to know your profession in order to provide when entering Argentina.

The Argentine government charges a reciprocity fee which applies to Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows: Australians - US$100 (multiple 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.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Argentina with an update to the Health section – an outbreak of Hantavirus has been reported in Epuyén, Province of Chubut in southern Argentina; for more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

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, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

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 also note that not all optional activities are available on every departure. Please ask our Polar Sales team for more information if you are interested in one of the options below.

Sea kayaking option

Imagine gliding across the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers. Our Sea Kayaking program is a great way to intimately explore your surroundings. A small group of kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage as an alternative to shore landings or Zodiac cruises. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will be conducted only during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required, and you must be able to do a wet exit to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the Paddling Excursion.

Paddling Excursion

If you’re interested in kayaking but would like to try something a bit less demanding than Sea Kayaking, you’re the perfect candidate to sign up for a one-time paddle on our stable sit-on-top kayaks—perfect for anyone with minimal or no kayaking experience. Rotating groups of passengers will be taken out on calm days, with our expert guides always present to provide instruction and help connect you with the Polar sea.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Combining surfing with kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding will give you a very personal and unique perspective on Antarctica. Conducted in small groups—in calm bays and harbours, in good weather conditions—and accompanied by a safety Zodiac, onetime stand-up paddleboarding excursions can be pre-booked in two consecutive priority groups. After the first two successful outings, this activity will be offered via sign-up on board the ship on a first-come, first-served basis for any subsequent outings.

Camping on Ice option

Treat yourself to an overnight camping adventure in Antarctica! This is one of the best ways to experience Antarctica in an intimate manner, taking your expedition to the next level. Camping is available on most early-season Antarctic voyages. An onboard safety briefing gets you fully prepped and ready for an unforgettable night of sleeping under the Antarctic summer sky. Dress warm and eat a hearty meal before you head out, as no food is allowed on land. You will be provided with a mat, sleeping bag, and bivvy sack to keep you comfortable and dry while you sleep on top of the snow. Our popular camping options have limited availability, so book early to secure your space.

Exclusive Heli-Landing

Imagine setting foot in an area of the Antarctic that can only be safely accessed by helicopter. With a small group of fellow passengers and expert guides, you’ll board one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters to soar off to an exclusive polar site where no ships can navigate. Expect stunning bird’s-eye views during your flight, and then, upon arrival, simply sit back, relax and take in the splendor of the Antarctic from “the best seat in the house”: glacial amphitheatres, breath-taking summits, and more. Traveling in groups of 12 with no more than 4 groups (48 guests) at a time on each landing, you’ll have time to relax and quietly reflect on the beauty of your Polar surroundings, after which you’ll be picked up by the helicopters in the same location and returned to Ultramarine. Each heli-landing experience is uniquely curated by our expedition team, taking conditions and location capacity into consideration.

Alpine Heli-Trekking

Let us take you on an active adventure high up in the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll be part of an intimate group of adventurers to board one of Ultramarine's two twin-engine helicopters for a trekking excursion in an area only safely accessed by air. The helicopter flight alone rewards guests with unforgettable views of the expansive polar landscape down below. On land, during an invigorating walk, hike or snowshoe trek (depending on conditions), you’ll be rewarded with equally stunning views of remote ridgelines, glaciated terrain, and snow-topped peaks. This once-in-a-lifetime heli-adventure will leave you marvelling at the overwhelming beauty of the Antarctic.

Polar Itineraries

All Polar itineraries should be treated as a guide only - it is possible that, amongst other things, the capricious nature of wind, visibility and ice, intelligence from previous sailings, changes in local landing regulations or the expert opinion of the crew onboard may lead to adjustments to the route published.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Ultramarine

The Antarctic Explorer via Buenos Aires is offered on the Ultramarine 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 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.

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for tailor made trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed February 2019
    Vickie Lush

    Everything and more

    If Antarctica has been on your ‘ to do list’ GO!,, Amazing time had by all, my only negative would be that I did not book to go onto South Georgia and The Falklands due to the time factor. I now have to select photos for my album going to be a long process.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is very hard to pinpoint one part of the expedition but I particularly enjoyed the kayaking you have a chance to get up close and personal with the whales, seals and penguins.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Solan was inspirational as were most of his associates on the ship each having their own personality and knowledge to share.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To prepare well, plenty of layers there is absolutely no need to be cold if you take layers. Crossing The Drake requires medication in my opinion but if yours fails the Doctor is on hand and is extremely supportive.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Food was amazing with plenty of variety and if there was nothing you liked you could order almost anything the kitchen and excellent service too.
  • 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]

 

Please contact our specialist Polar sales team on 020 8003 9957 or at [email protected] for further dates and prices

Polar Ships: For information regarding ship specifications, visit the Polar Fleet page.

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