Crossing the Circle via Buenos Aires

14 days
from
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5 / 5 from 1 review
Polar Expeditions
Suitable for:
Age 18+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
PRE
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar
Max group size:
199
Min age:
18

One of the most exciting voyages in the South Seas, going south of the Antarctic Circle and beyond, into waters untouched by all but the lucky few

The aim on this voyage is to head as far south as ice and weather permit. After a few days exploring the 'deep south', there are further shore excursions on the northerly route along the Antarctic Peninsula. The ship is small enough to navigate through the narrow Lemaire Channel, with glacial walls towering high on both sides, leading to a jigsaw of jewel-like islands that are home to huge penguin rookeries, Elephant seals and countless seabirds. There are also whales: imagine a pair of Humpbacks, at least 30 tonnes of mammal, rising imperiously against a turquoise ice-wall viewed from a Zodiac only metres away, and you have the essence of the Antarctic.

Highlights

  • Be one of the few travellers to venture to 66°33'S

  • Visit research stations along the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Witness abundant Antarctic wildlife, including penguins, seals and whales
  • Experience western Antarctic Peninsula highlights and visit iconic landing sites
  • Learn about Antarctica’s history, glaciology and wildlife from onboard specialists
  • Enjoy helicopter flightseeing from Ultramarine for a unique perspective of the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 12 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 during dinner
  • 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 and vaccinations
  • Mandatory Charter Flights Buenos Aires to Ushuaia Return - from £850 (or equivalent in booking currency) paid on booking
Call for general departures:
074 340 4587
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 Buenos Aires

    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.

    As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Eventually the channel opens up to the Southern Ocean, and onwards to Antarctica.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Days 3-4

    Crossing The Drake Passage

    Your days at sea are filled with presentations and lectures led by your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar, or enjoy the fresh air and views on the outer decks.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 5-7

    South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

    The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travellers alike. Every visit to Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other - creating 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.

    Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are exploring the Antarctic terrain, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and Gentoo penguins are found here, along with four different species of seals. Zodiac cruising can offer opportunities to view some of the larger local marine mammals more intimately, such as Antarctic Minke and Humpback whales. Each day and each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

    Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the astounding beauty of Antarctica. Listening to the crackling and crumbling of icebergs and glaciers and watching penguins waddling on the beach will become your daily entertainment.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 8-9

    Antarctic Circle

    Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south — 66°33´S. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line at 66°33´ S, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of sparkling wine!

    Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Adélie penguins and some of the most awe-inspiring ice formations you’ll see anywhere on the planet.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 10-11

    Northbound Along the Peninsula

    By now, your knowledge of Adélie, Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a Leopard, Fur and Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and ‘pancake ice’ will become part of your vocabulary, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue looking out for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 12-13

    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 14

    Disembarkation in Ushuaia and fly to Buenos Aires

    In the early morning we arrive back in Ushuaia where your voyage ends. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward 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:
074 340 4587
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 Circle Quest via Buenos Aires voyage 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:
074 340 4587
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 March 2017
    Robert Atkinson

    The most stunning trip of my life

    Its been a long held dream of mine to go to the Antarctic and the trip I booked via Exodus far exceeded my expectations. Amazing scenery, captivating and exciting wildlife, a plethora of facts, figures and general education from the on board experts and I can claim a world first to boot from my holiday to the Antarctic and below the polar circle.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The landscapes and wildlife. The scenery is breathtaking, from the continent itself to the many islands and icebergs floating away from the land mass and glaciers. I have never seen anywhere quite so remote and in many ways barren, yet at the same time rich in life and activity. And you will never get over the amazing shapes of the ice along with the vivid blues you see in the glaciers and icebergs. Quite sensational. The penguins are of course the stars, but the frequency of whale sightings and fluking along with seals and many type of birds including the mighty albatross just make the experience even more rewarding.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The tour leader is in effect an Expedition Leader fronting a large team of professional from a range of countries. Ours was wonderful. An enormous personality and with the best sense of humour coupled with safety and huge amounts of professional integrity. The people in the expedition team were sensational. They come from a mix of backgrounds, however all have skills in subjects ranging from glaciology to water sports instructor, polar researcher to the armed forces, historian to nature and much more. Not only do you get the chance to attend lectures and learn from them on a really diverse range of topics, but they also accompany the trips off the ship and interact with you during meals and drinks as well as on time when you are cruising. They have both professionally and also personally empowering stories to tell and they really enhanced my trip in a way I did not think possible.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you want to do any of the activities then book them up as soon as you make your reservation. Spaces are limited and I was unable to camp on the ice or take part in kayaking. Don't worry about being cold. Its not actually as cold as you imagine and the ship is fantastically warm and homely. The jacket and boots they supply you with are excellent. Concentrate on buying good quality thermals in layers along wit6h waterproof trousers and gloves and a warm fleece or wool hat. Edit your photos as you go along and always be ready to shoot stuff. The onboard team will help you with this as they have photographers ready to help with your trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was in the first group of paddleboarders believed to have ever paddleboarded south of the Antractic Circle. Not only had I never done it before, but we got to claim a world first. Finally don't delay going any longer. It may not be a cheap trip, however it is so amazing and experience that you will not regret the time and expense in going.

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]

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

 

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Suitable for:
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Activity level:
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