With a population of over 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet it has retained an easy going, accessible feel, with dramatic mountain surroundings it is a spectacular departure point for your Antarctic cruise. You can spend some time in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, enjoy some Argentinean wines and barbeques in the city or visit the many boutique shops and cafes while preparing for your upcoming adventure. This evening meet some of your fellow travelers at the orientation briefing.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as we depart - the next time you see land we'll be in the world's most southern continent!
Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, geology and history that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience. Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds, you will visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales, and search for a number of southern seal species, including the cunning leopard seal.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for curious whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy. Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier. Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team to inspire and educate you about this wonderful part of the world.
The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by your Expedition Team or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.
Today you'll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and your fellow travelers. You'll disembark in the morning so that you may catch your homeward bound flights. Outbound flights should not be scheduled until after noon.
Note: The 12-day itinerary will have one more day exploring the peninsula.