Antarctica, a forbidden place, that's how it seems from afar, which is everywhere else on this mostly green earth. Antarctica allures us with its great mystery - a snow-covered desert and a memory that our world has gone through many unique phases in its rich history. For us humans, Antarctica is of much interest, why? Hard to say, but the quest to see it for our own eyes captivates us, and a few are lucky enough to set foot on the ice-bound continent.
December 6, 2024, SC Expeditions ventures as far south as we can. Sailing aboard the notable antarctic vessel M/V Sea Spirit, we will sail from southern Argentina crossing the Drake Passage then make landfall on the seventh continent. M/V Sea Spirit is one of the smallest passenger vessels (that's a good thing) sailing Antarctica (297') with a maximum capacity of 69 cabins and a crew of 75.
Main Deck Suite Double Occupancy* | $12,055 per traveler [public rate $13,395]
Deluxe Suite Double Occupancy* | $14340 per traveler [public rate $16,295]
* Private cabin w/ one queen been or two twin beds. Price per person.
** Solo travelers can by request be paired with a fellow solo traveler
50% DEPOSIT DUE AT BOOKING
Beyond the reach for some, but not us ...
South: The Endurance Expedition by Earnest Shackleton. The Last Place on Earth by Roland Huntford. Antarctica: A Guide to the Wildlife by Tony Soper. Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica by Sarah Wheeler. Beyond Cape Horn: Travels in Antarctica by Charles Neider
Arrival in Ushuaia, Argentina
Welcome to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city and starting point of our Antarctic expedition! Upon your arrival at the airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the itinerary. For the rest of the day, you are free to explore this vibrant port city and adventure hub.
For an introduction to local history and wildlife, the interesting Museo del Fin del Mundo is worth a visit. If you have time to spare, a variety of nature activities can be arranged to suit all interests and fitness levels, from hiking in nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park to wildlife viewing in the Beagle Channel. For dinner, Ushuaia offers a wide range of restaurants featuring Patagonian lamb and delectable Fuegian seafood.
After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Ushuaia. Explore the delightful waterfront and savor views of the snowcapped Martial Range, the southernmost peaks of the Andes. Take advantage of shopping for souvenirs or some last-minute necessities such as cold-weather gear. Just remember, you will soon receive your very own parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, the many cafés, parrillas and gelato shops on Avenida San Martín will be sure to satisfy any appetite.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier where we will warmly welcome you aboard the luxury expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. After getting underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the scenery and gorgeous evening light as we pass through the Beagle Channel.
Across the Drake Passage
After passing the islands of Tierra del Fuego, we turn south to begin our crossing of the Drake Passage. We watch for humpback and fin whales along the way. The majestic wandering albatross and other graceful subantarctic seabirds are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks and balconies. We also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. The ship’s stabilizing fins provide comfort in the event of rough seas. Briefings, bio-security procedures and presentations by our lecture staff prepare you for our arrival in Antarctica. We hope to arrive in the South Shetland Islands on the evening of our second day at sea.
South Shetland Island & Antarctic Peninsula
During the next four days, we explore the highlights of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. This region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and the best wildlife viewing in Antarctica. Sheltered bays and channels sparkle with ice and reflect towering mountain peaks coated in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to huge numbers of marine mammals and seabirds. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large rookeries at special places on land. Here we also find Antarctic research bases of various nationalities, some with gift shops and post offices.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica and will likely be our first area of exploration. This wildly beautiful island chain contains many landing sites with historical significance and abundant wildlife. We will also explore the supremely picturesque Gerlache Strait area of the Antarctic Peninsula, a pristine wilderness of spectacular white landscapes, colossal icebergs, obliging marine mammals and bustling penguin colonies. We hope to show you the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the narrow channel reflects the image of sheer snowy mountains.
Throughout the islands and on the mainland, we find nesting colonies of gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguins, sometimes side by side. At this time, penguin pairs are taking turns incubating their eggs. This is a good time to observe the importance of pebbles in penguin culture, as prized nesting material to be stolen from rivals and given to mates. Also at this time, a high concentration of sea ice provides opportunities for seals and penguins to congregate on ice floes, a situation that attracts killer whales. Minke whales have started to arrive and leopard seals can be spotted patrolling the coast near penguin colonies. Photographers will appreciate the pristine appearance of undisturbed snow across the landscape in this early summer month.
In this rugged yet accessible environment, superb wildlife viewing is best complemented by active adventure. Our knowledgeable guides will offer hiking and hill climbing for an even greater perspective of this raw polar wilderness. For sea kayakers, the wildlife-rich waters of Antarctica offer many chances to paddle with seals and penguins in some of the world’s most scenic waterways. To make the most of your time on the White Continent, you can also spend a night camping ashore, surrounded by untamed Antarctic nature.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Our precise route and exploration opportunities will be shaped by weather and ice. Our experienced captain and expedition leader will continually adjust plans to take maximum advantage of the conditions in this challenging polar environment. With nearly 20 hours of daylight per day, we seize every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing and amazing scenery on shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
Back Across the Drake Passage
It is now time to head back across the Drake Passage toward South America, but the adventure is not quite over. Seabirds are our constant companions and there is always the possibility of whale encounters in these wild waters. This is also the time for festivities such as the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail and the end-of-voyage slideshow. Finally, as we enter the calm Beagle Channel, we enjoy a night of smooth sailing toward Ushuaia.
Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina
After yet another delicious breakfast on board, we bid you a fond farewell in Ushuaia. We provide a group transfer to the airport or to the city center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next polar adventure!
Airport: Ushuaia International Airport [USH]
Flights to Ushuaia may have a brief layover in Buenos Aires requiring changing airports. Use “Manuel Tienda Leon” and “Transfer Express” right outside customs to schedule your airport transfer. Transfer time 40-50 minutes.
Flight from NYC to Buenos Aires 11 hr
Flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia 3.5 hr
The journey begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. The first night of the voyage is spent ashore at the Arakur Ushuaia Hotel. Check-in is at 3:00 pm. You are welcome to arrive in Ushuaia prior to Day 1 and there are plenty of accommodations and activities in this southernmost Argentine town. Arrive anytime on Day 1 and we will make arrangements for your taxi transfer from the Ushuaia airport to the hotel.
The following morning, we transfer from our hotel to S/V Sea Spirit and embark on our adventure. Upon our return, our estimated disembarkation time from the vessel is 08:00 a.m. on the last day of the trip, but this is subject to weather conditions in your disembarkation city as well as sea conditions en route.
Upon arrival at Ushuaia airport, collect your luggage and look for the Posiden Expedition transfer agent who will direct you to the bus. Transfers must be arranged in advance, please notify us 35 days prior of your arrival time.
Expedition cruising in remote, polar areas is subject to continual changes and adjustments, necessitated by weather and ice conditions or other unforeseen circumstances. Our operations team, ship captain and expedition leader are committed to providing the best expedition cruise experience possible and may need to adjust the intended itinerary to do this. This might be done without any advance announcement to booked passengers. For an update on the most recent itinerary for your cruise, please refer to this link.
ARAKUR USHUAIA Cerro Alarkén 1 (9410) Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina Tel. + 54 (2901) 44 2900 www.arakur.com
Check In Time: 03:00 p.m. (15:00 hrs.)
Check Out Time: 10:00 a.m. (10:00 hrs.)
NOTE: If you booked shared accommodations aboard the ship – on either triple- or double-occupancy basis – you will also similarly share accommodations at the hotel. If you would like to have single accommodations for the pre-cruise night, you should reserve and pay for this directly with the hotel. We issue no credit or refund for unused shared accommodations at the hotel.
Embarkation is between 02:00 and 05:00 p.m. (14:00 and 17:00 hrs.) on the day of ship departure. Please note that the vessel will sail at 06:00 p.m. (18:00 hrs.) (weather depending). Times are subject to change. There is only one pier in Ushuaia located in the main port on Maipu Avenue. The entrance to the pier is opposite of Lasserre Street, near the government building and the Hotel Albatros. Poseidon passengers may not arrive at the pier independently from the group.
The disembarkation will take place on the last day of the voyage between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. Buses will proceed to the airport with a stop in downtown Ushuaia. ** Please book your return flight as late as possible. If you intend to fly out of your disembarkation city on the day of disembarkation, we strongly recommend booking your return flight as late in the day as possible. Try to avoid any flights departing before noon (12:00 hrs.). Sailing Collective & Poseidon Expeditions cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred due to delayed disembarkation. Please be sure to advise with Sailing Collective of your flight arrangements; if you’ve arranged your own flights, please forward a copy of your confirmed air itinerary to your booking agent.
Sailing Collective is offering a 3-day Buenos Aires TRAVEL GUIDE. The recommendations will list select hotel recommendations, preferred restaurants, neighborhood guides, and museum lists. By request, Dayyan Armstrong & the SC Team can make your accommodation arrangements & create a bespoke Buenos Aires itinerary. SC travelers are encouraged to coordinate together and Dayyan Armstrong will be in Buenos Aires during the 3-day itinerary to assist. [travel itinerary tiered pricing, inquire for details]
Our partners at Poseidon have provided a detailed packing list, which is available at this link: PACKING LIST.
You can also read more tips on packing here: poseidonexpeditions.com/info-for-travelers/how2pack/
1 pre-voyage night on Day 1 in Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa Hotel
Group transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to embarkation
Group transfer to the ship for embarkation on Day 2
All meals on board throughout the voyage;
Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions)
Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka
Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise;
Welcome and Farewell cocktails
All port fees
Group transfer to airport or central location right after disembarkation;
Digital Voyage Log
Wi-Fi on board.
Transfers from the airport to the hotel if arriving prior to Day 1 of the program
Visa and passport fees (if applicable)
Luggage and trip cancellation insurance
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations
Personal expenses such as laundry and telephone calls
Fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of US$ 200,000 per person
The cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or Poseidon Expeditions before, during or after the cruise;
Pre- or post-cruise travel expenses.
Price Upon Request
Full Price: $14,395| SC Price: $12,235
Full Price: $14,695 | SC Price: $12,19
Full Price: $16,295| SC Price: $13,525
The Deluxe Suites with balconies are located on the Sports Deck. Averaging 24 square metres/ 258 square feet means plenty of room. Choose from either two twin beds or a King Size bed. A sliding glass door leads to a private balcony. These suites feature a walk-in closet or wardrobe. Amenities include en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and a hair dryer. 258 sf w/ private balcony
Full Price: $17,595 SC Price: $14,605
The Premium Suites are located on the Sun Deck. Averaging a generous 30 square metres/ 323 square feet, with two twin beds or a King Size bed. Access the private balcony by a sliding glass door. Amenities include en suite facilities, lounge area, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and hair dryer. 323 sf w/ private balcony
Price Upon Request
Super-spacious (63 square metres/ 678 square feet) elegant suite on the Sun Deck. Designed for entertaining, the Owner's Suite has a separate living room with game and meeting area. A BOSE stereo system provides background music, or watch videos on the HD plasma TV. Sliding glass doors lead to a private deck. Refresh in the jetted bathtub in en suite facilities. Slumber in the King Size bed. 678 sf w/ private deck
M/V Sea Spirit
Like some of the birds we see in the Arctic and Antarctica, our m/v Sea Spirit is migratory and follows the sun, northbound in the summer and southbound in the winter, always ready for spontaneous discoveries — a pod of whales, a family of polar bears or a glaciated mountain vista. She is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords of East Greenland and entering the small bays of Spitsbergen. In 2017, she was renovated to offer a unique mixture of adventure and comfort for our sophisticated travelers. Onboard, we create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests. They are united by one goal — to have a memorable wilderness experience and to become real polar adventurers. We believe that first-hand travel to such places makes one an ambassador for conservation, and helps strengthen our resolve to protect these natural environments for future generations.
Speed: 15 knots | Max passenger: 114 | Crew: 72
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