Antarctica Cruise – Crossing the Circle

Trip Length 14 Days
Group Size Varies by ship
Difficulty
2

Starting from

$8,895

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Dates and pricing

Hiking, wildlife viewing and even a polar plunge are just a few of the things to look forward to on this 14-day Antarctic cruise.

Rugged, rare, and absolutely extraordinary, Antarctica is a destination that is high on the adventure lover’s list. Our cruise to the White Continent gives us a chance to take in staggering scenery, amazing and diverse wildlife, and the vastness of the ocean. This trip goes beyond the typical cruise, crossing the Antarctic Circle for a journey that few travelers ever experience.

Enjoy stunning photo opportunities as we sail down the historic Beagle Channel. Pass through Drake Passage on our way to explore South Shetland and the Antarctic Peninsula. When we’re not relaxing in the ship’s comfortable accommodations, we disembark to explore the great continent. Possible landing sites will be Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Bay where we will get a firsthand glimpse of wildlife and natural attractions. Clink champagne glasses as we cross the Antarctic Circle, a far south destination most expeditions do not typically reach. Our naturalist guides accompany us all along the way, providing us with unparalleled expertise and local knowledge.

Also see our Classic Voyage and South Georgia & King Penguins itineraries.

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Trip highlights

  • Visit Antarctica, a rugged, rarely visited, and beautiful continent
  • Spot diverse wildlife, from a chinstrap penguin colony to humpback whales
  • Make landfall on several occasions and hike to a fantastic viewpoint
  • Cross the Antarctic Circle for more exploration and wildlife viewing opportunities
  • Stay aboard a comfortable ship with private cabins and bathrooms

Activities

The trip is rated Easy Active [2]. During most shore landings, trip participants will have the opportunity to walk for short distances (less than 1 mile) while visiting penguin rookeries and exploring the landscape. Dependent on location, walks may involve crossing snowfields or bare, rocky terrain. Individuals prone to motion sickness should carry appropriate remedies as high seas may be encountered while crossing the Drake Passage.

  • Cruising
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping

What's Included

For all ships the trip price includes: shipboard accommodations with daily housekeeping; all meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages while on board; beer and wine during dinner; all shore landings per the daily program (weather permitting); leadership by our experienced Expedition Leader; onboard speakers and presentations as scheduled; downloadable photo journal of the expedition; use of waterproof boots for shore landings; an official Quark parka to keep; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard the ship; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US $500,000 per person.

For the World Explorer, Ocean Adventurer and the Ocean Diamond ships, the trip price also includes one night of pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia; group transfer in Ushuaia from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1; a group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia to the airport.

For Ocean Endeavour guests who have purchased the Buenos Aires Hotel/Flight package, the package includes: on Day 1, one night, hotel accommodation in Buenos Aires with breakfast; Day 2 (embarkation day): group transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires; flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia; transfer to the ship; Disembarkation day: group transfer from the pier to the Ushuaia airport; flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires.

Accommodations

Comfortable cabins with private bathrooms

Your Adventure Itinerary

Note

Ocean Endeavour itineraries begin in Buenos Aires.

The Ocean Endeavour ship itineraries start in Buenos Aires and include a hotel in Buenos Aires on Day 1. Day 2 includes a transfer to the Buenos Aires Airport, a flight to Ushuaia, and a transfer to the ship. The last day includes a flight back to Buenos Aires. Otherwise, the cruising days are the same as the itinerary listed below.

Day 1

Our journey starts in Ushuaia, Argentina.

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small, but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentinean town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy some hand crafted chocolate in town. This evening meet some of your fellow travelers at the orientation briefing.

Day 2

Embarkation Day! Sail down the historic Beagle Channel.

The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the southern ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture sea birds hovering overhead.

Days 3-4

Crossing the Drake Passage, hope for calm waters.

The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You'll have plenty of time to stare out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team.

Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. You'll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

Days 5-7

Explore South Shetland and the Antarctic Peninsula.

With the Drake Passage left in our wake, we make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready, as the continent's coastline will make its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. You'll see plentiful icebergs floating by and be fixated on the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.

As exciting as it can be from onboard the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites we may visit, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites we can visit, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.

Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.

Days 8-9

Cross The Antarctic Circle and toast with champagne.

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33' S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you've made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people.

Days 10-11

Spot wildlife and learn more about this area from our guides.

By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like 'bergy bits' and pancake ice will seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the Expedition Team will help fill in any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.

Days 12-13

Return via the Drake Passage to Ushuaia.

Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you'll be left with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you've visited over the course of your voyage.

Day 14

Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina.

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.

Antarctica Cruise – Crossing the Circle

From: $8,895

Ready to book or looking for more info?
Live Chat 1-800-622-2236 Monday-Friday 7am-5pm PT

Gear list

The key to staying comfortable during this expedition is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Trapped air is a very good insulator and you stand a much better chance of staying warm by wearing several thin layers rather one or two heavy items. You will also be able to add or shed layers more easily as the temperature changes.

What to pack

Packed by REI

  • Equipment for all Adventures Options
  • Expedition Parka
  • Tall Rain Boots

Packed by you (Required)

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Travel Documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (1-800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice, which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Adventure Expert

I know our members are in good company as soon as they step onboard with our Polar cruise partner. Founded in 1991 by two Polar explorers, Quark Expeditions is a leader in Antarctica exploration.