Explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the Weddell Sea on this journey aboard the Sylvia Earle
Price: Upon request
A 12-day expedition cruise
The Trip Highlights
Immense icebergs in the Weddell Sea
Learn about volcanic islands from experts
Spot seals and whales in their natural habitats
Your Polartours 'Plus' Experience
Expert guides answer all questions
Your trip is 100% carbon offset
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
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
Citizen Science Laboratory
Food & Drinks
Arguably the most important part of any trip- The food! A Sylvia Earle polar cruise offers hearty delicious cuisine with a variety of options and courses for each meal. Mealtimes are a great way to get to know your fellow travelers in the open seating dining room. Tea, coffee, and various snacks are available 24 hours a day. Enjoy a wide range of house wine, beers, and soft drinks included with dinner, perfect after a long day of exploration.
Every passenger is also invited to join the cruise ship captain and expedition team for Welcome and Farewell drinks, which include complimentary cocktails and appetizers. The bars and lounges aboard the Sylvia Earle are a tasteful, yet inviting place to gather with new friends. Enjoy the sunset through the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer stunning views. The friendly bartenders aboard the ship will quench your thirst and entertain you with tales of previous adventures.
Adventure Options during your cruise
Day 1 • Arrival in Ushuaia, airport transfer, and overnight
Day 2 • Embarkation Day!
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.
Day 3-4 • Day 3-4: Cross the infamous Drake Passage
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.
Day 5-10 • Day 5-10: Antarctic Peninsula & Weddell Sea
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.
Day 11 • Flight to Punta Arenas
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.
Day 12 • Your unforgettable Antarctic cruise comes to an end in 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.