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The aim of this voyage is to reach as far south as weather and ice conditions will permit, and cross the Antarctic Circle, a feat that only a few will ever accomplish.

The route takes you further down the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula than a Classic Antarctica trip, and you’ll feel an added sense of excitement as you push south towards the Circle. Navigate some of the white continent’s most scenic waterways through awe-inspiring terrain, littered with giant icebergs.

A typical Polar Circle itinerary is shown below, however we offer a choice of itineraries, expedition vessels and cabin types to suit your requirements. 

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Embark in Ushuaia

    Set sail in the early evening, leaving Ushuaia behind and charting a course through the Beagle Channel.

  2. Days 2-3 : At sea, start your journey towards the Antarctic Circle

    Over the next two days you’ll make your way to the white continent by crossing the Drake Passage.

    The crossing will take you to the Antarctic Convergence where there is a distinct drop in temperature as the vessel enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Along the way, you will start to witness icebergs and an array of seabirds, and possibly several whale species some of which are known on occasion to fully breach from the sea.

  3. Days 4-9 : Sail south towards the Antarctic Circle

    Sailing south, you route takes you towards the fabled Antarctic Circle. The temperature will drop noticeably as you cross the Antarctic Circle and enter the rarely visited waters beyond. You will navigate the waterways and channels, looking for different penguin species and other wildlife. The steep glacial walls of narrow Lemaire Channel tower above the vessel on both sides, leading to a jigsaw of jewel-like islands that are home to penguin rookeries, whales and elephant seals – a paradise for photographers! As you cross the Polar Circle at 66˚ 33’ south and enter the rarely visited waters beyond, the temperature drops. South of the circle, you'll attempt a landing, and may have the chance to visit a research station. This is an exploratory journey taking in wildlife, scenery and history of the region.

  4. Days 10-11 : Sail back across the infamous Drake Passage, with sightings of whales, dolphins and seabirds

  5. Day 12: Arrive in Ushuaia and disembark

You should note: Exact itinerary and duration will depend on your chosen vessel, departure date and local conditions.

Key info

  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 12-14 days from £7,085 pp
  • Group size: Varies according to vessel
  • When to go: Nov-Mar
  • Departures: Please contact us for departure date details.
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Accommodation in twin-share cabin
    • All meals on board ship
    • Guided shore excursions
Featured locations:

Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula is the most accessible part of the great white continent with some of its best wildlife and scenery. Ice-choked waterways, sculpted icebergs, imposing glaciers and rugged mountains provide the back drop to an area with more whales and dolphins than anywhere else on earth.

  • Ideal for viewing: elephant seal, hourglass dolphin, humpback whale, minke whale, orca
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Penguin watching

Lemaire Channel

The Lemaire Channel is an 11 kilometre strait off Antarctica leading to a jigsaw of jewel like islands. Filled with icebergs and hemmed in by steep glacial cliffs, the waters are calm and passing through it makes for an unforgettably scenic journey, upon which orca or humpback whales may be seen.

  • Ideal for viewing: Adélie penguin, hourglass dolphin, humpback whale, macaroni penguin, orca
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching, Penguin watching
This itinerary is available on the following cruise vessels:

Akademik Ioffe

Designed originally for polar research, the Akademik Ioffe is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. Carrying around 100 passengers, facilities include a fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool. Kayaking, camping, hiking, snowshoeing and skiing are available on most voyages.

Ortelius

The ice-strengthened Ortelius is an excellent vessel for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. With the highest ice-class notation, it offers possibilities to travel to remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.

Plancius

The Plancius accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in cabins ranging from triple to superior, all with outside view and private facilities. She offers a range of itineraries in Antarctica and the Arctic, and the large open deck spaces offer excellent opportunities to watch wildlife.

Ushuaia

The Ushuaia is an ice-strengthened vessel specially refurbished for Antarctic expedition voyages. She boasts 46 cabins and suites for a total of 88 passengers, and has a fantastic observation lounge designed to maximise wildlife viewing. A fleet of Zodiac inflatables is used for shore landings.