9 to 11 Days
A popular introduction to the least traveled continent in the world is the ‘Classic Antarctica’ cruise. This tour offers the scenic highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula
including seeing a diverse range of wildlife set in the breathtaking scenery of snow capped mountains, stunning glaciers, and icy channels.
Note: The itinerary below involves crossing the Drake Passage in both directions by ship. Other options such as flying one way or both ways is also available.
The itinerary is a guide only. The Itinerary and duration of voyage may vary depending on the expedition vessel, departure and weather conditions.
The Gentoo Penguins
The Gentoo penguin is recognised by its conspicuous white eye patches, black and white coat which are accented by their reddish-orange feet. With an average weight of five
kilos the Gentoo is the third largest penguin species found in the Antarctic. The opportunistic hunter can reach swimming speeds of up to 35km/h and is regarded one of the fastest swimming penguins.
Considered one of the highlights of Antarctica is this narrow passageway that lies between the high cliffs of Booth Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. The 11 km long and 1.6 km wide channel was named after Charles Lemaire but first traversed in 1898 by Belgian explorer Adrien de Gerlache. The water between this natural corridor is so calm that the reflecting cliffs and glaciers create a perfect mirrored picture against the crystal blue waters.
The Humpback Whale
The humpback whale is considered the most inquisitive and active of all the whale species due to their frequent breeching and performance of acrobatic twirls. These enormous mammals are quite stout and stocky growing up to 18 metres in length and can weigh up to 40 tonnes. The humpback whale is recognised by its dark gray or black colour on its dorsal side with white patches on their ventral side.
Day 1: Ushuaia (D)
Depart from Ushuaia and sail along the fmaous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay pass.
Day 2-3: Drake Passage (B, L, D)
As you travel through the passage, the guides will help you identify the amazing variety of seabirds including wandering albatross, giant petrels and others.
Day 4-8: South Shetland Islands – Antarctic Peninsula (B, L, D)
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and Southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. On Antarctica Peninsula you will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island to observe Gentoo Penguins.
Day 9-10: Drake Passage (B, L, D)
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage.
Day 11: Ushuaia (B)
This morning you will disembark in Ushuaia.
The Antarctic Peninsula can be explored with the ships below
- Passengers: 100 or 69 on Air Cruise operations
- Staff & Crew: 60
- Ice Class: LR PC6
- Passengers: 72
- Staff & Crew: 46
- Ice Class: 1A
- Passengers: 100
- Staff & Crew: 85
- Ice Class: 1C