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Oceanwide Zodiac

Antarctica - Discovery and learning voyage

Take part in this incredible polarcruise to Antarctica aboard the Plancius

Length

11 Days

Ship category

Classic

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

108 Passengers

Antarctica - Discovery and learning voyage

10 Reviews

Trip highlights

Witness iconic Arctic wildlife

Observe breathtaking icebergs and glaciers

Cross the infamous Drake Passage

Photograph Minke whales

The Polartours experience

Discover the peninsula from a sea kayak (optional)

Step a foot on the 7th continent

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Learn from Polar experts

This Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety of wildlife. Come say hello to whales, seals, and thousands of penguins. Make the most of your cruise experience with a wide range of activities available on your Zodiac.

Your ship: Plancius

Plancius deck plan

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 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 and flies the Dutch flag.

M/v “Plancius” accommodates 108 passengers with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 25 … Read more about Plancius

Cabins

Twin Deluxe Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Twin Porthole Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Superior Cabin

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Triple Porthole Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Twin Window Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Quadruple Porthole Cabin

Type:

Quadrupel

Max. occupancy:

4

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

polar diving

0 Days

Polar Diving

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Join an Arctic or Antarctic diving cruises which will give you access to some of the most scenic dive sites in the polar regions. Explore the underbellies of icebergs, exotic marine life and more! The details of these diving cruises are based on the ample experience of your expedition diving guides, all of whom have worked in the underwater polar regions for many years. General information on our diving activity: Divers must be experienced with cold-water, dry-suit diving. We aim for one to two dives per day (one in the morning, one in the afternoon, weather permitting). All dive guides are certified and experienced experts in their field. We offer basic equipment on board (e.g., tanks, compressors, and weights), but divers must bring their own personal gear. We make dives from our Zodiac boats. Our maximum dive depth is around 20 meters / 65 feet. In both Antarctica and the Arctic, we may observe sea squirts, squat lobsters, spider crabs, soft corals, anemones, peacock worms, dogfish, sea snails, crabs, sea butterflies, shrubby horsetails, jellyfish, sea hedgehogs, kelp walls, and several species of starfish. Our polar dive voyages are not for beginners. They are meant only for experienced divers who are familiar with cold-water, dry-suit diving. You must have at least 30 logged dives to participate. The first dive of the program will be a “check dive” to try out your gear and assure our dive leader that you have enough experience to participate. This is for your safety and that of our guides. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Camping in Antarctica

1 Day

5.0

(1)

Camping in Antarctica

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Take your expedition voyage to the next level with a once-in-a-lifetime overnight camping adventure in Antarctica! This is one of the very best ways to experience Antarctica, hopefully under a sky full of stars. Camping is available on many early-season Antarctic voyages. Your ship operator will provide your gear. All you are left to do is enjoy. This is one of the most popular activities, and we recommend you book early. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

5.0

(1)

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Arrival at Ushuaia

Ushuaia, located in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, serves as the southernmost city in the world and the starting point for many Antarctic expedition cruises.

The city offers a range of options, from small-ship expeditions to larger vessel tours, providing travelers with an unforgettable experience in the remote and beautiful Antarctic. Many cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands, allowing visitors to see diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes.

In addition to the natural beauty, Ushuaia also boasts a rich history and a stunning national park, making it a unique destination worth exploring. Overall, Ushuaia is the perfect base for those seeking adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Antarctic.

Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
Beagle Channel

The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.

Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.

Antarctic Peninsula
Before and After Antarctic Peninsula
South Georgia

Cuverville Island

Georges Point, Rongé Island

Neko Harbour

Port Charcot, Booth Island

Goudier Island

Danco Island, Errera Channel

Damoy Point

Jougla Point

Astrolabe Island

Orne Harbour

D’Hainaut & Trinity Island

Orne Islands

Portal Point

The North-West portion of the Antarctic Peninsula is the most frequently visited by expedition cruises and is home to many of the most popular landing sites. The Gerlache Strait is renowned for the stunning scenery with the snow covered mountains, as if covered in icing sugar, with numerous glaciers tumbling down to the sea.

Being the most northerly part of the whole continent, the Peninsula enjoys the mildest Antarctic condition, with temperatures in winter averaging a balmy -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F)! In the summer, things warm up to an average of just above freezing. Large areas of this part of the peninsula are ice-free in the early season, being important breeding and feeding grounds for many iconic Antarctic species.

It's here that many of the historic Antarctic expeditions began, and where early military and scientific bases were first established, some of which you will be able to visit if conditions allow. These remarkable artefacts have been left as time capsules, their contents showing remarkable levels of preservation thanks to the dry and cold climate.

South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands
South Shetland Islands

Yankee Harbour

Baily Head on Deception Island

Northeast beach Ardley Island

Penguin Island

Telefon Bay

Hannah Point

Pendulum Cove

Turret Point

Point Wild

Whalers Bay

Barrientos Island

Sometimes overlooked as a destination by people keen to set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands are a must-see destination in their own right.

Often the first and last landfall on an Antarctic cruise, many people are taken aback by the stunning beauty of these islands. What better way to make contact with the Antarctic than by making your first beach landing here surrounded by gentoo penguins?

Apart from some of the most southerly species of penguin, the South Shetlands are home to a huge range of Antarctic wildlife, and they make a superb introduction to the wildlife of the whole region, including key species like elephant seals, humpback whales, and more.

With active volcanoes, the relics and remains of its history as a centre for whaling, and some of the most beautiful Antarctic mountain scenery, the South Shetland Islands are a fitting first destination for any Antarctic cruise.

Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
Beagle Channel

The Drake Passage is the name given to the infamous stretch of open ocean between the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

It usually takes 2 or 3 days to cross the Drake Passage, and this is a great time to learn from your expert Antarctic naturalist guides. Through a series of fascinating talks and lectures, you'll begin to learn more about the remarkable wildlife and awe-inspiring geology of the Antarctic continent.

Your guides are always on hand to help you identify the sea bird species that always follow the ships, as well as spotting whales and other cetaceans that can be seen en route to the Antarctic Peninsula or the South Shetland Islands.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Ushuaia, located in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, serves as the southernmost city in the world and the starting point for many Antarctic expedition cruises.

The city offers a range of options, from small-ship expeditions to larger vessel tours, providing travelers with an unforgettable experience in the remote and beautiful Antarctic. Many cruises visit the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands, allowing visitors to see diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes.

In addition to the natural beauty, Ushuaia also boasts a rich history and a stunning national park, making it a unique destination worth exploring. Overall, Ushuaia is the perfect base for those seeking adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Antarctic.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

6

Jan

2025

16

Jan

2025

Available

From

EUR 7,944

6

Jan

2025

16

Jan

2025

Available

From

EUR 7,944

3

Feb

2025

13

Feb

2025

Available

From

EUR 7,944

3

Feb

2025

13

Feb

2025

Available

From

EUR 7,944

9

Jan

2026

19

Jan

2026

Available

From

EUR 8,341

9

Jan

2026

19

Jan

2026

Available

From

EUR 8,341

6

Feb

2026

16

Feb

2026

Available

From

EUR 8,341

6

Feb

2026

16

Feb

2026

Available

From

EUR 8,341

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary

All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.

All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.

Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.

Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.

Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.

Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.

Comprehensive pre-departure material.

What's not included

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights

Pre- and post- land arrangements.

Passport and visa expenses.

Government arrival and departure taxes.

Meals ashore.

Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).

Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.

The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Reviews

Meghal Lotia

Plancius Antarctic and Arctic Cruises

Classic

To talk about the cruise, it was an amazing experience! The services by Oceanwide were managed very efficiently despite the covid outbreak during the tour. I am a vegetarian so I was surprised that they had plenty of meal options for me and the kitchen staff made great efforts. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. We would often sit down in the evening after our dinner and chat about our personal lives and passions. It felt more like being friends with them than the conventional tourist-guide relation. I am glad that I made it to this trip. It has been a very memorable experience with the activities that we did and friends I made. I would rate Oceanwide very highly for all their efforts! I would love to go on another trip with Oceanwide, maybe to the Arctic this time.

Isabel Good

Plancius Antarctic and Arctic Cruises

Classic

I have wanted to go to Antarctica for some time, especially after going to Churchill, Canada. It is truly amazing to see such color variation in a mostly monochromatic environment.! The food on board was excellent. All of the staff were friendly and helpful. Penguins were just too cute! Probably the highlight was the Orcas that followed our ship and put on quite a display for us. Lectures were entertaining and surprisingly, it wasn't as cold as I had feared. I brought way too much stuff ! A very nice touch to have a log sent out from the ship and crew. (Copied from Oceanwide Expeditions)

Susie Storey

Plancius Antarctic and Arctic Cruises

Classic

A truly unique and memorable Artic experience on M/V Plancius with a group from Heatherlea and BBC Wildlife. We enjoyed the company and expertise of Nick Baker from BBC Wildlife and were accompanied by the knowledgable guides from Heatherlee. The excellent crew who took great care of us both in the cabin and the restaurant, superb food and nothing was too much trouble!. The Expedition team worked tirelessly 24/7 to find us those all important sightings of polar bear, walrus, seals, reindeer and whales!.bird life was in abundance and some exceptional sightings included ivory gull, great skuas, snow bunting and ptarmigan together with the numerous auks and the inevitable fulmars around the ship. The trips ashore in the zodiaks were well planned and executed, giving us outstanding views of the landscape together with polar bear and arctic fox footprints seen frequently. Every evening we gathered to review the days events and hear interesting talks from our experienced guides. Also I met some very interesting and highly amusing friends so sincere thanks to everyone at Oceanwide, Heatherlea and BBC Wildlife for making this Artic trip such a memorable, once in a lifetime experience. (Copied from Oceanwide Expeditions)

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Antarctica - Discovery and learning voyage

5.0

(10)

Classic

From

EUR 7,944



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