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Aurora Expedition Antarctica

Wild Antarctica

Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea on this journey aboard the Sylvia Earle

Length

12 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

132 Passengers

Wild Antarctica

Trip highlights

Antarctic Sound

Immense icebergs in the Weddell Sea

Learn about volcanic islands from experts

Spot seals and whales in their natural habitats

The Polartours experience

Adaptable itineraries

Expert guides answer all questions

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Expedition Parka to take home

Famed for its really cool tabular icebergs, year-round sea ice, interesting fossils and the important role it played in Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, the Weddell Sea offers unforgettable opportunities for exploration. Embark on a true Antarctic expedition as we not only explore the west Antarctic Peninsula, but also attempt to venture east towards the icy perimeter of the Weddell Sea, often guarded by impenetrable pack ice and home to awe-inspiring icebergs.

Your ship: Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle Final Exterior
Sylvia Earle deck plan
Sylvia Earle Final Exterior

Welcome aboard the Sylvia Earle, a brand-new cruise ship named after the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National and Atmospheric Administration. Sylvia Earle was also named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. Set to sail in November 2022, this powerful new ship honors Sylvia’s long-standing marine conservation efforts. Built for intense weather conditions, the Sylvia Earle is a pioneer in nautical technology. Sail the Arctic or the Antarctic like never before aboard one of the most modern and elegant cruise ships.

The Sylvia Earle was created for the most rugg … Read more about Sylvia Earle

Cabins

captain's suite sylvia earle
Captain’s Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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Junior suite sylvia earle
Junior Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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balcony stateroom superior sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom Superior

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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balcony stateroom C sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom C

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Aurora stateroom superior sylvia earle
Aurora Stateroom Superior

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

balcony stateroom A sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom A

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Aurora stateroom twin sylvia earle
Aurora Stateroom Triple

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

balcony stateroom B sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom B

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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

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

Polar Snorkeling

0 Days

Polar Snorkeling

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Witness active wildlife and scenery unlike any other place on earth. Through crystal clear waters you’ll awe at the amazing speed and grace of penguins entering and exiting from the ice, marvel at beautiful sculpted icebergs below the water and swim through marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish and nudibranchs! This unique experience will allow passengers to see both destinations in a completely new dimension. This excusrion is led by our expert polar guides, and includes state of the art equipment like drysuits, gloves, hood, fins, mask, and snorkel. Passengers will be provided with all of the training and equipment they need to comfortably experience Antarctica from this truly unique angle. Passengers who take part will enjoy the opportunity to snorkel daily (weather dependent), taking in the delightful sheltered bays, off shore islands and secluded ship wrecks which make for spectacular wildlife viewing. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Arrival at Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, kindly remind hotel check-in staff to provide you with cabin tags. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival to Ushuaia
Laguna Esmeralda

Morning in Ushuaia

Embark in Ushuaia

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Please take your cabin luggage down to hotel reception by 8.00 AM. Please be advised that this voyage includes a chartered flight at the end of the voyage from Antarctica to Punta Arenas. The permitted luggage allowance is 20 kilograms of check-in luggage plus one piece of carry-on luggage weighing no more than seven kilos. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. Once you have checked out of your hotel by 11.00 AM, you have free time before meeting back in the hotel lobby at 2.00 PM to commence a tour of Ushuaia. Alternatively, enjoy time at leisure and make your own way to Prison Museum carpark by 3.45 pm to rejoin the group and transfer to the pier for embarkation.

Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego is located at the shores of the Beagle Channel and surrounded by the Martial Mountains giving you a unique landscape in Argentina, which is the combination of mountains, sea, glaciers and forests. On this introductory tour, you will visit “La Mision” neighborhood, the old Government House, and the upper area of the city, which offers beautiful panoramic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. During the excursion, you will see the antique houses that belonged to the first families settled in Ushuaia. The excursion ends with a visit to the Old Prison Museum before transferring to the pier for embarkation at approximately 4.00 PM.

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

Yankee Harbour

Pleneau Island

Neko Harbour

Port Charcot, Booth Island

Goudier Island

Danco Island, Errera Channel

Damoy Point

Jougla Point

Yalour Islands

Orne Harbour

D’Hainaut & Trinity Island

Orne Islands

Portal Point

Petermann Island

Wordie House, Winter Island

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.

Business Flight to King George Island
King George Island
King George Island

As we approach Frei Base on King George Island, it is time to farewell Antarctica and our amazing adventure before boarding our flight (approximately one-and-a half-hours) to Punta Arenas, Chile. On arrival at the Punta Arenas airport, you will be transferred to our group hotel.

NOTE: King George Island is located at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula in the South Shetland Islands and is one of the most remote place on Earth. A clear sky with perfect visibility is required in order to take off and land safely. We apologize in advance if you experience any delays.

Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas

Arrival at Punta Arenas

After breakfast, say farewell to your fellow travelers as we all continue our onward journeys, hopefully with a newfound sense of the immense power of nature (breakfast included).

NOTE: Please advise your Reservations Consultant or travel agent if you require an airport transfer, so it can be booked in advance. The departure airport transfer is not included in your voyage cost and will be at an additional charge.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

24

Mar

2025

4

Apr

2025

Available

From

GBP 8,659

GBP 10,390

24

Mar

2025

4

Apr

2025

Available

From

GBP 8,659

GBP 10,390

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

Arrival transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1

One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia on Day 1

City tour in Ushuaia on Day 2 (lunch not included)

Luggage transfer from your hotel in Ushuaia to ship on Day 2

Flight from King George Island to Punta Arenas on Day 11. NOTE: Please be advised that the permitted luggage allowance is 20 kilograms of check-in luggage plus one piece of carry-on luggage weighing no more than seven kilos

Transfer to hotel in Punta Arenas on Day 11

One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Punta Arenas on Day 11

On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service

All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage

Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner

Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages

Free Wi-Fi on board

All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises

Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team

Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)

A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket

Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage

Comprehensive pre-departure information

Port surcharges, permits and landing fees

What's not included

International or domestic flights, unless specified

Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary

Airport arrival or departure taxes

Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges

Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges

Hotels and meals not included in itinerary

Optional excursions not included in the itinerary

Optional activity surcharges

All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, additional medical expenses such as medication, gratuities, phone charges

Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’.

Credit Card charges may apply

A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info

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
Wild Antarctica
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From

GBP 8,659



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