Ushuaia Cruise Ship

Classic Ushuaia

An exciting expedition cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands.

Classic Ushuaia

On board the Ushuaia
10-day cruise
Antarctic Cruise
100 Reviews
5/5
Medical Service Icon
Medical Services
24h Doctor Station
Landing at penguin colonies and research stations and observing various different species of whales, seals, penguins and seabirds.

Your itinerary

Day 1, AM
Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival at Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia. It's official, you have arrived at the world's most southerly city with the evocative motto "End of the World, Beginning of Everything". Over 50,000 people call Ushuaia home. Its unusual name derives from the language of the Yaghan people, indigenous to the Tierra del Fuego region, and translates as "deep bay". The city was formally founded in 1884 after a small settlement and a prison had been built there in the years before, but by 1893 the population was still less than 150 thanks to a series of epidemics and the remote location. The prison population began to grow as it was used to house dangerous and repeat offenders. In effect, for the first 50 years of the city's existence, the prisoners became forced colonists, helping to build up the town and to secure the Argentine claims to the Tierra del Fuego region. Today, Ushuaia is a busy port and a hub for adventure travel to the Antarctic and South Atlantic. Lying below the lovely snow-capped Martial Mountains, the city has grown in a rather jumbled way, expanding from its sole main street and waterfront thanks to an increase in tourism and travel. If you want to relax before your Antarctic adventure, then a stroll along the waterfront - pausing for a selfie in front of the "end of the world" sign, of course! - is a pleasant way to spend your time. If you're feeling more energetic there are many options for hiking, biking, and boat rides into Beagle Channel. You can even take spectacular helicopter tours! In town, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and a recent boom in craft beers means there are several places now vying for the title of the world's most southerly brewery!
Day 1, PM
Embarking ship
Embark
Boarding usually begins in the afternoon. Everyone will have a safety briefing and demonstration, and then you are free to explore your new floating home and meet your fellow Antarctic explorers! Later, you'll get an expedition overview from your fantastic expedition guides. You'll spend the night on board as your ship begins its journey south.
Day 1, PM
Beagle Channel
Sail the Beagle Channel & Lectures
This 150-mile long channel between Chile and Argentina leads from Ushuaia towards the open Southern Ocean. It's only 3 miles wide at its narrowest point, giving you some spectacular scenery as your ship navigates its way to or from the ocean. You can spot rare local dolphins here, as well as a huge variety of sea and shorebirds.
Day 2, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 3, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 4, AM
South Shetland Islands
Sail to the South Shetland Islands & Lectures
As you sail towards the South Shetland Islands your expert guides will entertain and educate you with a series of lectures and talks. From natural history to human history, geology to marine biology, there's something for everyone. All of the crew are experts in the field chosen not only for their huge depth of knowledge but also for their passion and enthusiasm. They really make this most remote of the world's regions come alive.
Day 4, AM
King George Island
King George Island
King George Island is widely known as the “Gateway to the Antarctic”. More than 10 different nations have permanent scientific bases here, and that’s reflected in the different names the island is known as: “Isla 25 de Mayo” in Argentina, “Isla Rey Jorge” in Chile, and “Ватерло́о Vaterloo” in Russia. King George has the only airport in the South Shetland Islands, and its strategic location just 75 miles from the Antarctic Peninsula makes it the most important staging and connection hub in the region. By maintaining a base here, a nation is granted membership of the Antarctic Treaty, and hence there is a cosmopolitan population of scientists in residence most of the time. This might explain why there’s a Russian Orthodox church here (one of the very few permanent buildings in the whole of Antarctica) with a priest always in residence! All this is even more impressive when you realize that more than 90% of the 59 miles long by 16 miles wide island is permanently covered with ice and snow. This suits the native wildlife just fine, and King George Island is home to many different species including Weddell, leopard, and elephant seals, gentoo, chinstrap, and Adelie penguins, and many seabirds such as skuas and southern giant petrels.
Day 4, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Turret Point
Turret Point
Turret Point is well-named! As you approach this part of King George Island you will see the unmistakable rock “stacks” which made this the obvious name to be chosen when the point was first mapped in 1937 by a British exploration mission. King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands, and Turret Point is on its south coast. Its remarkable landscape is formed by the glacier that is the backdrop to the gently sloping landing beach here. Its impressively gnarled and crevassed front makes a stunning backdrop to the wildlife activity here. The beach is extremely popular with Antarctic bird species. As well as chinstrap penguins, the area is frequented by giant petrels, blue-eyed shags, and kelp gulls. Elephant seals can often be seen wallowing in the shallows here, and fur seals are frequent visitors, too. You will be able to walk up to the face of the glacier, and your expert guides will lead you along the melt stream bed, to avoid trampling the fragile Antarctic flora that grows here at Turret Point.
Day 4, PM
Penguin Island Map
Penguin Island
Penguin Island was first recorded in 1820 during a British expedition. It was so-named because of the vast numbers of penguins that could be seen along its shoreline from the ship as it passed by. Penguin Island lies just off the south coast of the much bigger King George Island. It’s ice-free and is oval-shaped, some 1 mile long. It’s one of the smaller South Shetland Islands and it’s also known as Georges Island, Île Pingouin, Isla Pingüino, and Penguin Isle in various books and charts. Its standout geological feature is the 560ft tall Deacon Peak - a volcanic cone that is thought to have last been active about 300 years ago. Penguin Island is an internationally-recognized important area for birds. As well as colonies of Adelie and Chinstrap penguins, the island is also home to large breeding colonies of southern giant petrels, Antarctic terns, and kelp gulls. You can often see Weddell seals and sometimes southern elephant seals on the beaches here, too. For those feeling fit, there is a marked path that will take you up to the top of Deacon Peak. This offers unparalleled views over the whole island and beyond across King George Bay. Do note, however, that this part of the Antarctic is known for its quickly changing weather, so if the opportunity to take this walk safely presents itself, take it!
Day 5, AM
Northeast Beach map
Northeast beach of Ardley Island
Ardley Island is a small, rocky island about a mile long. It’s in Maxwell Bay, just off the coast of King George Island. It was first charted in 1935 by a British expedition but was mistaken for a headland. It was not until aerial surveys many years later that it was reclassified as an island. Ardley Island is an active summer research station, and you will often see scientists and researchers at work here. The huts that you can see from the beach are part of the research station and not able to be visited. The landing on the beach is just below the lighthouse, a distinctive feature that you will have spotted from out to sea. This gently sloping cobble beach is the only place that visitors can arrive on Ardley. Visitor numbers are restricted due to the importance of the island as a breeding site for antarctic bird species. During your excursion on the island, you will see a large gentoo penguin colony, as well as lesser numbers of Adelie and chinstrap penguins. You can also see southern giant petrels, Wilson's petrels, black-bellied storm petrels, Cape petrels, skuas, and Antarctic terns. The northeast beach of Ardley Island is a “must-visit” site for bird watchers!
Day 5, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Baily Head, Deception Island
Baily Head on Deception Island
Deception Island one of the South Shetland Islands off the Antarctic Peninsula. The island is actually the top of the cone (the caldera) of an active shield volcano that last erupted in 1969. This flooded caldera makes a remarkable natural harbor, although Baily Head itself is on the eastern outer flank of the cone. The geography here makes a natural bowl in the landscape, with the long rocky beach leading up to a curving ridge above. To the north is an impressive glacier. As you approach the beach at Baily Head you will begin to hear the amazing noise that a colony of over 200,000 chinstrap penguins can make! During the summer, the glacial melt stream allows them to create a penguin “highway” that the birds follow to and from the sea, hundreds moving back and forth at any time. Your expert Antarctic guides will take you to the edge of the breeding groups, allow you to experience this remarkable sight without disturbing the birds. Other regular visitors to the Head include Antarctic Fur Seals who regularly haul up on to the beach, with crabeater, elephant, Weddell, and leopard seals also sometimes being seen in the surrounding waters. Overhead you will find skuas, petrels, and sheathbills, all of whom also like to nest in the sheltered rocks of Baily Head.
Day 5, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Telefon Bay
Telefon Bay on Deception Island
Deception Island is the eroded cone of an active volcano, that last erupted in 1967. It sits in the Bransfield Strait and is part of the South Shetland Islands. Telefon Bay is on the northwest coast of the volcano and is overlooked by Telefon Ridge. Despite the name, the bay has nothing to do with communications! It was first mapped in 1908 and was named after a Norwegian ship, the SS Telefon, that had been damaged and was put aground here for repairs later that year before being refloated. The backdrop to the beach is dramatic. In the rising land behind it, you will see a number of volcanic craters, some of which are up to 150ft deep - although gradually being filled in with ice and sediments. To the east and west are cliffs made of ash that were the result of activity in the 1967 eruption that impacted Telefon Bay. You will be allowed to roam freely here, provided you stick to the main paths and give any penguins a wide berth! You will often see scientific equipment placed around the bay that is used for monitoring any seismic disturbances - it will be clearly marked to help you avoid it. The shallow beach here is a favorite place for seals to haul out, and you can often encounter both Weddell and fur seals as you come in for a landing.
Day 6, AM
Antarctic Peninsula
Sail to the Antarctic Peninsula & Lectures
The weather in the Antarctic can be unpredictable and conditions can change quickly. Your highly experienced captain and bridge crew will skilfully navigate these ice-laden waters, bringing you ever closer to your first landing on the Antarctic continent.
Day 6, AM
Astrolabe Island
Astrolabe Island
Astrolabe Island in 3 miles long, and can be found about 14 miles off the Cape Ducorps in the Bransfield Strait on the Trinity Peninsula. It was discovered in 1837 and named after the French expedition ship that found it. There is a wonderful crescent beach on the northern shore which is where you will land. Depending on the time of year you might have to pick your landing spot carefully to avoid the Antarctic fur seals who breed here and can be aggressive if they have very young pups. The main attraction is the chinstrap penguin colony, several thousand strong. On your way in or out of this site, you will no doubt sail close to a group of impressive rocks that stick out of the sea to the northeast, known as the Dragon’s Teeth. Some of our expert Antarctic cruise guides have decided that if your ship sails in between any of the teeth, that means you have “flossed” Astrolabe Island!
Day 6, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Paulet Island
Paulet Island
Paulet Island is a striking sight. This circular rock is only 1 mile in diameter, yet it has a volcanic cone that rises to over 1100 feet at its center. It’s found about 3 miles from Dundee Island at the northern end of the Antarctic Peninsula. First mapped in 1839, Paulet Island is home to a huge penguin colony. Some 100,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins live here, a truly remarkable sight and sound! You will also see other sea birds on your visit, including shags, snow petrels, and kelp gulls. Another fascinating aspect of Paulet Island is the historic shelter that dates back to 1903. A Swedish ship was crushed by the ice pack nearby, and survivors of the wreck built a stone hut to shelter them from the harsh winter conditions. There is also a cairn built on the highest point of the island that they used to attract attention for any rescue. There is also a grave marker for one expedition member who sadly did not survive. Because Paulet Island is so densely packed with wildlife, visitors will be escorted in small groups by experienced Antarctic guides. This ensures that the breeding birds are disturbed as little as possible and that the shelter site is protected. Fur seals are often also seen on the shores here. In the peak breeding season, you may find that some of the walking trails around the island are closed due to the sheer numbers of wonderful creatures that choose to raise their young here.
Day 6, PM
Antarctica- Visitor Site Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff
Brown Bluff is a great example of a “tuya” - a volcano that has been flattened by erupting through a glacier! These are the rarest of all volcano types and only found in areas which have seen large scale glaciation in the past. Brown Bluff with its distinctive “tabletop” look, lies on the Tabarin Peninsula, in the northernmost part of the Antarctic Peninsula. The landing beach here is made of pebbles and volcanic ash, rising quickly towards steep reddish-brown cliffs. The cliffs are embedded with “volcanic bombs” - large pieces of lava that were thrown out during an eruption, cooling in the air to land as solid spherical or oval shapes. As well as the fascinating geology, the other star of the show is the birdlife. Brown Bluff is home to over 20,000 breeding pairs of Adelie penguins, as well as a small colony of gentoo penguins. Other breeding residents include storm petrels, Cape petrels, and kelp gulls. Weddell seals often haul out on the beach here, and it’s also common to see Leopard seals hunting in the waters close to the shore.
Day 7, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Devil Island, Vega Island
Devil Island, Vega Island
Devil Island is well-named! This narrow, rocky island has a low valley in the middle, with two peaks at either end. This gives it an uncanny “devil’s horns” look! It’s found in the James Ross Island group of the Antarctic Peninsula. Its location in a small cove makes it popular with Antarctic wildlife. Devil Island gives an opportunity for you to photograph some breathtaking views. From the landing site, you are greeted by some spectacular volcanic formations. From here, you can hike to the top of one of the peaks, which overlooks an Adelie penguin colony nestling below in a natural bowl formation. But the star of the show here is the remarkable 360-degree viewpoint you get from the top. From the high vantage point, you might spot fur seals, crabeater seals, and a variety of seabirds. It really makes the short, but steep climb worth it. Your expert Antarctic guides will show you the way and point out any wildlife you may have missed. Devil Island offers some stunning antarctic vistas that you don’t want to miss, so ensure your camera batteries are charged and spare memory cards are ready!
Day 7, AM
Antarctica Visitor Site- D’Hainaut Island, Mikkelsen Harbour, Trinity Island
D’Hainaut Island, Mikkelsen Harbour, Trinity Island
D’Hainaut Island is a tiny rock island in Mikkelsen Harbour. It’s less than half a square mile in size, and it’s approached through a small bay that’s lined with dramatic cliffs of ice. It was first mapped by a French expedition in 1910. The island often remains snow-covered until very late in the season, and the captain of your Antarctic cruise vessel will expertly navigate through the shallow reefs that are in the bay. This island was used extensively for whaling, and there are artifacts and bones dotted around the island. D’Hainaut is one of the few Antarctic visitor sites where you can roam freely around the whole island, taking care not to disturb any of the artifacts and watching your step on the rocks, of course. There is a small historic refuge here that was built originally by the Argentine Navy in the 1950s, then again in the 1970s, and most recently in 2017. However, the refuge can’t be entered except in emergencies. There is also plenty of evidence of the whaling industry on the island. You can find the wrecks of several boats as well as many whale bones. There is a lively Gentoo penguin colony here, and you can often find Fur Seals basking in the sun.
Day 7, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Orne Harbour
Orne Harbour
Orne Harbour is a mile-wide cove on the west coast of Graham Land, just southwest of Cape Anna. It was first discovered by a Belgian Antarctic survey of the Danco coast in 1898 and was then in regular use by whaling vessels in the early 1900s. The site is popular for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a beautiful location that provides stunning Antarctic views. The exposed rocky shoreline contrasts with the permanent snow patches dotted on the higher ground above it. To the south, there is deep permanent snow and ice. Glaciers ring the harbor and steep peaks rise above. It’s glorious! The other reason to visit Orne Harbour is to see the nesting colony of chinstrap penguins that have made their homes here. There’s a steep but safe hike up from the beach to the colony that sits on higher ground above the beach. As well as the penguins, you will be rewarded with remarkable views of the bay, and the glacier that regularly calves into the waters here.
Day 7, PM
Antarctica Visitor Site- Orne Islands
Orne Islands
The Orne Islands are a cluster of small, low-lying rocky islands at the entrance to the Errera Channel. The lie just of the northern coast of Ronge Island off Graham Land. The largest Orne island has moderate slopes leading to a rocky central ridge that has permanent snowbanks. There are also three other small islets that make up the group. Your landing will be via a low rock platform on the north-west side of the main island. Once ashore, you can roam freely around the island under the supervision of your expert guides. The Orne Islands are home to Skuas, which nest in the rocky outcrops here, as well as other Antarctic seabirds and penguins. In winter, impressive snow cliffs can form near the landing site. To avoid disturbing the wildlife, numbers on the island are restricted, and during nesting seasons your guides may limit the areas in which you can roam to protect nests.
Day 8, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 9, AM
Drake Passage
Crossing the Drake Passage
An 800 km body of water that connects Cape Horn in Chile to the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, the shortest crossing from Antarctica to any other land mass. The crossing takes about 48 hours. At some point on the first day, cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. During the long voyage across the Drake Passage, Attend lectures hosted throughout the day on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The exceptional crew aboard your Antarctic cruise consists of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.
Day 10, AM
Arrival to Ushuaia
Arrival at Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia. It's official, you have arrived at the world's most southerly city with the evocative motto "End of the World, Beginning of Everything". Over 50,000 people call Ushuaia home. Its unusual name derives from the language of the Yaghan people, indigenous to the Tierra del Fuego region, and translates as "deep bay". The city was formally founded in 1884 after a small settlement and a prison had been built there in the years before, but by 1893 the population was still less than 150 thanks to a series of epidemics and the remote location. The prison population began to grow as it was used to house dangerous and repeat offenders. In effect, for the first 50 years of the city's existence, the prisoners became forced colonists, helping to build up the town and to secure the Argentine claims to the Tierra del Fuego region. Today, Ushuaia is a busy port and a hub for adventure travel to the Antarctic and South Atlantic. Lying below the lovely snow-capped Martial Mountains, the city has grown in a rather jumbled way, expanding from its sole main street and waterfront thanks to an increase in tourism and travel. If you want to relax before your Antarctic adventure, then a stroll along the waterfront - pausing for a selfie in front of the "end of the world" sign, of course! - is a pleasant way to spend your time. If you're feeling more energetic there are many options for hiking, biking, and boat rides into Beagle Channel. You can even take spectacular helicopter tours! In town, there are plenty of restaurants, shops, and a recent boom in craft beers means there are several places now vying for the title of the world's most southerly brewery!
Day 10, PM
Disembark & goodbyes
Disembark in Ushuaia
After a remarkable adventure, it's time to leave your expedition ship and bid a fond farewell to your amazing crew and to the new friends you will have made.

Dates & Prices

Select date and passengers
Number of passengers
2
11 Dec 2020 - 20 Dec 2020
USD0.00
USD7710.00

20 Dec 2020 - 29 Dec 2020
USD0.00
USD7710.00

Your ship: Ushuaia

Welcome aboard the Ushuaia, a charming expedition cruise ship built for an unforgettable adventure in the Antarctic. This intimate cruise ship comfortably accommodates 90 passengers. Originally made for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the Ushuaia is a class 1C polar vessel, constructed with expedition in mind. This cruise ship offers plenty of deck space and a unique open bridge policy, where the Ushuaia officers encourage each passenger to observe the navigational operations of the ship. During your Ushuaia Antarctic cruise, a specialist team of international expedition leaders guide you through each excursion with knowledge, passion, and great care for the environment. Take advantage of the amazing wildlife and spectacular scenery on an Ushuaia Antarctic cruise. The Ushaia cabins are comfortable and roomy, equipped with ample storage space. Your friendly stewardess will make your cabin every morning with your preferences in mind. With the options of suite, premier twin and standard cabins, the Ushuaia is built to suit a range of comfort levels. The public areas abroad the Ushuaia feature a large dining room that seats all 90 passengers, an inviting observation lounge, a lecture theater with modern multimedia equipment, a fully-stocked bar, and a library which features a great selection of international titles, with an emphasis on reference material essential to your Antarctic voyage. A variety of games, including playing cards and board games, are also at your disposal. To guarantee an eventful cruise aboard the Ushuaia, your trip will be directed by a crew of Expedition Leaders, staff assistants, zodiac drivers, and lecturers. These hand-picked knowledgeable crew members will accompany you throughout the duration of your Ushuaia Antarctic expedition. They are responsible for leading safe and exciting shore excursions and giving interesting lectures on the incredible Antarctic flora and fauna. The Ushuaia Expedition Team will brief you daily about the following day’s expedition during an informal cocktail hour. The Ushuaia carries a full fleet of zodiacs, that can accommodate up to 12 passengers, allowing you to explore some of Antarctica’s most unique and otherwise inaccessible regions. Get ready for numerous wildlife sighting opportunities!

Amenities

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Gift Shop
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Observation Lounge
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Library
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Zodiac Fleet

Sustainability

All CO2 emissions of your trip (e.g. local transport, hotel) will be 100% compensated for you by a Gold Standard climate protection project.

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