The program includes a complete itinerary that crosses the entire west side of the Antarctic Peninsula to reach the Antarctic Circle. The crossing takes 12 days, sailing through the South Shetland Islands, the Gerlache, the Neumayer, the Errera and the Lemaire channels, with landings in beautiful continental places like Paradise Bay and islands such as Goudie or Cuverville where is located the museum of Port Lockroy. The arrival at the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station in the Wilhelm Archipelago marks the proximity to the Arctic Circle. After visiting the Yalour and Peterman islands, the cruise will take the route to the north along the picturesque channels returning to the South Shetland Islands. In this archipelago we will land on Deception Island and Media Luna Island in order to visit its rich natural environment. During the trip we will not only be astonished with spectacular views of glaciers and fjords, but also to observe the abundant wildlife in the region such as: penguins, seals, whales, sea lions and countless birds that will accompany the ship on his fascinating journey.
12 days - 11 nights
Day 1 - Undertaking the journey
This amazing expedition begins in the afternoon in the port of Ushuaia (the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina). After boarding and meet the team who will accompany us during the trip, the boat starts navigating the Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay passage.
Day 2 to 3 - At Sea, crossing the Drake Passage and the Antarctic Convergence
The vast sea between the American Continent and the Antarctic, we will cross it through the Drake Passage. Approximately 800 to 950km, this passage that bears the name of the English corsair Francis Drake, is the shortest route to reach the Antarctic Peninsula and also marks a natural boundary known as the Antarctic Convergence. The convergence is a section delineated by the cold polar waters sink under the warmer currents from the north, thus causing abundant nutrients to sustain the biodiversity of the area. For these characteristics many species of Antarctic birds take this barrier as northern limit of their habitat. The Biologist on board of the M/V Ushuaia will provide the first talks explaining the particularities of the region, its rich ecosystem of flora and fauna and they will also practice with the passengers the birdwatching as cormorants, petrels and albatrosses from the deck. Another unique point of contemplation is the command bridge, thanks to the policy of free access on the M/V Ushuaia, it becomes a strategic place to follow the navigation, whale watching and other animals, or just admire the scenery. The first icebergs and snowy mountains announce the arrival to South Shetland Islands, an archipelago of twenty islands and islets discovered in 1819 by the British Captain William Smith on board a brigantine. In the third day of sailing, if weather conditions accompanying we will do the first landing to observe the colonies of penguins and seals characteristics of the insular region.
Day 4 to 9 - South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, towards the Antarctic Polar Circle
The western Antarctic Peninsula is known for its beauty and biodiversity. Their strange shapes and shades of the floes and icebergs look like monumental sculptures, floating away to decorate the entire Antarctic coast. But not only is the landscape amazing, also the past, the stories about discoveries and early exploration of its hidden corners of the world. The close encounter with the natural life is experienced when crossing the numerous colonies of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins that inhabit the islands, besides the canrejeras seals, Weddell and leopard that together with the minke whales and orcas can be seen at very short distance from the coast. It is also probable to spot other groups of large cetaceans such as humpback whales and northern fin whales or whale Finn. With good sea and ice conditions, the ship will sail the Gerlache, Errera and Neumayer Channel to be astonished by its charming panoramic views until reaching the Lemaire Channel. It’s extremely narrow course with magnificent cliffs separates the peninsula from the island Booth and has one of the most wonderful views of the trip. The columns of ice make the Lemaire on one of the most beautiful pictures of the planet. Paradise Bay is one of the landing sites truly breathtaking for its natural beauty. It is also likely to visit Cuverville Island, the home of the largest colony of chinstrap penguins of the peninsula, and Port Lockroy which has a British museum along with a post office. Going south through the Lemaire Channel getting closer to the Polar Circle, the Ukrainian Vernadsky Station that belongs to the British goverment since 1996.
This station works under the name of Faraday. In this scientific base, located at the tip of the Marina Galindez islands (archipelago Wilhelm), a geophysical magnetic meteorological observatory that registered the first ozone hole. Within the same archipelago, the rugged Yalour, better known as Argentine islands, a group of coastal islands separated from the French Peterman passage. At 66 ° 33 '44' south of the Ecuador, is the Antarctic Circle, one of the top 5 places parallel to the overland map. Anywhere south of the circle, at least one day a year the sun sets on the horizon 24 hours straight, by the same laws of rotation and axis inclination the Earth, at least 1 day is hidden under the horizon 24 hours. Once you reach the goal of the trip, the ship undertakes the way back up north. And in the return, we will land in some of the South Shetland Islands and explore them. It is a group of volcanic islands, shaped by strong winds and many of them are hidden in the fog, they become a quiet moorland habitat for large colonies of penguins besides colorful petrels, cormorants and skuas, among other birds flying over the coast where usually lie marine elephant and seals. One of the landings will take place in the Media Luna Island, densely populated of chinstrap penguins. Another interesting stop will be at Deception Island. To access its wonderful beaches of black sand, flanked by two huge cliffs. Actually, we will be entering through the fissure of a submerged volcano crater, long time ago there was a strong eruption causing the crater explosion and as the result of this explosion part of the crater submerged in the sea. The scenery is fantastic and also has a unique feature in Antarctica: the existence of geothermal waters in which visitors can enjoy a warm thermal bath.
Day 10 to 11 - Crossing the Drake Passage on the return
The M/V Ushuaia leaves behind the Antartica and sails to the Drake Passage. As we slowly move away, it's time to enjoy the last talks with naturalists and discuss the experiences of this memorable trip. As a farewell, is very likely to spot from the deck, the escorting of several subantarctic birds and groups of whales that usually accompany the ship.
Day 12 - Arrival at Ushuaia
Our adventure journey came to an end, one of the most complete and exciting tours to Antarctica. Early in the morning, the cruise will stop the engines at the port of Ushuaia and after sharing breakfast we will proceed to disembark.
Note: The detailed itinerary is for reference only, since the exact route, destinations and programs can be modified in order to get the best climatic advantages, watching wildlife and ice conditions present in the zone. All changes are determined by the captain and the expedition leader to guarantee the maximum benefit and take advantage of the result of the trip. Flexibility is the key; the program will be posted daily and distributed to all passengers on board.
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 rates 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 rates 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.