We take one of the most traditional voyages of the Antarctic on board the M/V Ushuaia, visiting one of the most beautiful places: the Antarctic Peninsula. It is the part most accessible of the white continent found on the west of Antarctica between the Bellingshausen Sea and the Weddell Sea. We share this voyage with an excellent team of professionals and bilingual (Spanish and English) guides whose responsibility it is to make our voyage a unique and wonderful experience. The Antarctic is one of the oldest and surprising places of the planet and the least explored by man. It was the last continent to be discovered and is the most elevated of them all. In the Antarctica we observe an incredibly wild existence, from the colonies of penguins, the distinctive sea birds, the sea lions, walruses and, of course the whales, accompanied by a mountainous landscape, ice canals, icebergs in the form of tables and shaped by mother nature, together with innumerable glaciers. It is a unique and unrepeatable voyage.
About 80% of the world's fresh water is contained in the Antarctica. From 1960 it has received tourism from all parts of the world. It is effectively a destination chosen for the mystery and charm that envelops the place. It is one of the cruises to the Antarctic most selected by our clients and this is because of the clarity of the program and also the coherence to the stipulated routes depending of course when the prevailing climate permits it.
11 days - 10 nights
Day 1 - Sailing from Ushuaia, the Island of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
We embark in the afternoon and get to know the expedition staff. We commence our expedition cruise to the Antarctic, navigating the Beagle canal after crossing the Mackinlay passage. The canal takes its name from the ship, the SS Beagle, that was commanded by Captain Fitz Roy in the year 1830. On the coasts of this canal are the city of Ushuaia of Argentina and Port Williams of Chile.
Day 2 to 3 - Route to the Antarctic by the Drake Passage
This Passage takes the name from the famous Francis Drake who explored the area at the end of the 16th century. It is the natural division of the frozen waters from the South Pole that submerge below the warm waters originating from the north. For this reason there is the Antarctic Convergence or Frontal region of the South Pole. Thanks to this effect produced by the waters it generates a considerable amount of nutrients that facilitate the biodiversity of the Antarctic.
The Drake Passage is the migration region of different Antarctic birds, such as the albatross that accompanies our crossing. When we see the division between the icebergs and the snow covered mountains we are close to the South Shetland Islands. This is an archipelago formed by 20 islands of different sizes and was discovered by William Smith at the beginning of the 19th century when he was navigating with his brig, Williams. On the third day of navigation we can undertake our first landing to see the penguins and seals, always dependent on the prevailing meteorological conditions.
Day 4 to 8 - Navigating the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
During the first few days we have been navigating in the direction of the South Shetlands Islands. In the expedition route to the Antarctic Peninsula we observe colonies of penguins, Antarctic sea lions that populate the beaches and South Polar sea elephants. The seals, sea lions and elephant seals possess an important lining of fat and the offspring, thanks to the maternal alimentation, have natural protection against the extreme polar weather. We continue by the Straits until we reach the boiling waters of the Deception Island, considered one of the most exotic places in the world, surrounded by its volcanic mountain sides, smoking beaches and glaciers covered in ash. There is no other place in the world where the icebreakers can navigate over an active volcano. We leave the Deception Island heading towards the warmer waters of Caleta Péndulo. The King George Island, the biggest of the South Shetland Islands, has other names such as 25 de Mayo in Argentina or Waterloo Island in Russia. Here there are different scientific bases. This Island has three bays, Fildes, Almirantazgo and George, with different bird colonies such as Adelia and Barbijo penguins, Cocinera seagulls, Imperial cormorants, Antarctic gulls and Southern Giant Petrels. The difference that we see between the King George Island and the Livingston Island is that in the latter we can observe Barbijo penguins, gold fronted penguins, Papúa penguins and sea elephants.
When we arrive at the Antarctica Peninsula you can appreciate the stark landscape of an ice desert backed by a cordon of snow covered mountains and thin stretches of water, all accompanied by a mass of wildlife. We do not only see penguins and marine birds but can see Weddell crab seals, orcas and humpbacked whales. The aim that we propose is to navigate by the canals between the rocks and the glaciers but this is dependent upon the weather: such is the case with the Straits of Gerlache, the Neumayer Canal and the Lemaire Canal. We visit Paradise Bay, the natural and busiest port of arrival to the Antarctic Continent. We leave behind the frozen water full of icebergs in the Straits of Antarctic and go to see the colonies of Adelia penguins, one of the largest in Artarctica with its 100,000 offspring, and to the Paulet Island to see colonies of Imperial cormorants. In 1903 during the expedition of Nordenskjöld they constructed a stone refuge that is now taken over by the penguins. During our expedition we intend to visit other islands such as the Melchior Islands, Cuverville, Punta Portal, Neko Harbour, Pléneau but it is dependent on the amount of ice. Also we may see the Petermann Island with the most southern colony of Papúa penguins.
Day 9 to 10 - Returning from the Antarctica by the Drake Passage
In the last two days of the Antarctic Expedition we make the return to Ushuaia navigating northwards crossing the Drake Passage that divides the waters of the Antarctica and South America. In these days we have leaving conferences. From the decks of the M/V Ushuaia we can see marine birds and whales.
Day 11 - Arrival at the Port of Ushuaia in the Grand Island of Tierra del Fuego
We arrive at Ushuaia with the dawn of the last day of sailing and after breakfast we disembark in the port zone that is in the middle of the city.
Map of Route
The navigational route can vary and depends upon the climate and other factors
The itinerary of the described route is only a reference, there is never an exact repeat of a cruise because it depends on the weather and accessibility of some of the regions in respect of the ice. As a consequence, the program varies, but it serves as a guide for the visitor. The boat captain makes any pertinent change and every day sets out the itinerary for that day. The ship's company reserves the right to cancel any of the cruises before sailing and in this case will return all payments without any indemnification.
The described tariffs are per person, in American dollars, and in separate cabins. The double cabins can be sold as single cabins with an increment of 50% of the single cabin price. For the suites that can be occupied by a single person the increase is 100%. Of the available cabin suites there are two that can occupy a third person and can be reserved for an extra 50% of the per person price for a double cabin. For those people that wish to sail alone but wish to share a cabin please consult the company as regards this possibility.
The tariffs can be subject to increases and the ship's company reserves the right to do so without previous notification.
- The cruise with selected cabin requirement on board the M/V Ushuaia
- Entry into the ObservatioN
- RoomUse of the Conference Room equipped with multimedia facilities, the library and the hospital
- Excursions in the Zodiac boats and all landings and activities that are made during the Antarctic expedition
- Conferences by the ship's on board experts on the Antarctic and the environment
- The port taxes and chargesInformation material that is at the disposition of the clients
- Daily diary that includes all of the day's activities
Services not included:
- Air tickets
- Services before or after the voyage
- Transfers In/Out of the boat
- Costs of visas or passports
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Food outside of the M/V Ushuaia
- Insurance of personal baggageCosts of cancellation. It is advised to take out an insurance for this
- Baggage excess
- Personal consumption in the bar, telephone calls, internet, tips. It is recommended to give the tips at the end of the cruise
Deposit and payment
A deposit of 30% per person for the elected cabin facilities is required at the time of booking with the remainder paid 90 Days before sailing. The payments cannot be made by credit card.
Without exception, all notifications have to be made in writing. Bear in mind that the cancellations more than 90 Days before sailing will be mostly returned apart from a discount of US$600 per person for all of the operative and administrative costs realised. On the other hand there will not be returns for those cancellations made within 89 Days of sailing (without elimination of the day of sailing). In the case that there was not the full payment before the 89 Days then the cancellation penalty will be adjusted to the full payment and it has to be paid immediately. We suggest that a cancellation insurance is taken out to prevent the loss of money. Moreover, an important point is that the company can cancel whichever of its voyages before sailing and that the company will return the client payments without indemnification.
Contracting a cancellation insurance
We recommend to contract an insurance that covers medical evacuation and repatriation and cancellation of the voyage. The ship's company does not accept any responsibility in case of a passenger accident, nor in the loss or damage to personal objects. In the case of required medical attention during the cruise and anything that provokes evacuation costs, the use of airplanes or body repatriation etc. all the costs we be the responsibility of the affected passenger. Even if the company is not responsible it is legally responsible and can be exposed to the justice system.
Every passenger is obliged to sign a cruise contract in which he accepts all of the terms and conditions imposed by the shipping company. When the passenger gives in the cruise voucher he approves all of the terms and conditions. Apart from this contract, the sailing company cannot negate its legal responsibility that it assumes and is vigil in the protection of the passengers during the cruise.
Time of embarkation and disembarkation
The transfer to and from the boat has to be paid for by the passenger and is not covered by the shipping company. The time of embarkation is 16.00 hrs on the day of sailing. It is always recommended to arrive in Ushuaia one day before sailing in order to avoid any possible delays and reprogramming of flights or loss of baggage. It is important to be punctual and the boat begins its voyage at 18.00 hrs and cannot wait under any circumstances for the delays of passengers.
Check-in at the port of Ushuaia
The Port of the City of Ushuaia is situated in the Avenida Maipú but the entry is in the calle Lassere. It is only 15 minutes from the airport assuming normal conditions. The Port entry opens at 15.30 hrs and the embarkation is 30 minutes later at 16.00 hrs. At boarding time you need to have all of the required documentation. Each passenger has to have a passport or DNI together with the voucher containing the cruise details.
In case there is a problem and you have lost your voucher you need to go to the shipping offices in Avenida Gobernador Paz 633 1st Floor or also can call +54(2901)433636/436747. At the port entry all of the baggage is scanned and once the check-in is complete, and you have boarded, it is not possible to disembark except in the case of need for personal reasons. On the last day of the expedition the boat arrives at 7.00 hrs and check-out and disembarkation is between 8 and 8.30 hrs.
How to communicate on board the M/V Ushuaia?
The communications are not of the highest quality and can be unstable because they are subject to satellite coverage and the climate conditions. The ship could be staying outside of the satellite range limit of 70-74 degrees South. In the M/V Ushuaia it is possible to send and receive email messages, fax and telex, there will be a charge for these services.
How to contact the ship?
The M/V Ushuaia has a mailbox: email@example.com If you want to send emails, you should avoid sending attachments to the services, it´s not as expensive and doesn´t delay.
By telephone, FAX or Telex:
- Telephone/FAXInternational Access Code + Appropriate CRO + 335 491 610 or 611
- FAXInternational Access Code + Appropriate CRO + 335 491 612
- TelexInternational Access Code + Appropriate CRO + 354916000
Child Facilities on board the M/V Ushuaia
In reference to the well being of children on the M/V Ushuaia, the parents are responsible for taking care of their children on and off board. To be precise the parents are the persons in charge of the supervision of their children. It is not prohibited to run inside and outside of the cabins if there is a responsible person present. For the younger children they need to be accompanied by their parents and wear a harness when on deck. Depending on the climatic conditions it is the Captain who decides whether the children can disembark for land expeditions. Always the security is to the utmost importance. This type of boat does not cater for children and therefore there are not children's toys or books on board. For this reason our advice to the parents is to bring what they believe necessary to occupy them in their free time. Moreover one must not forget all the children's medicines that may be required for the trip. There is no special tariff discount for children.
Air conditioning and heating
There is climate conditioning and each cabin has its own heating
The boat has a library that can be found in cabin F where there are books on the Antarctic for the use of the passengers.