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South Shetland Islands, Antarctica & Crossing The Circle

A jaw-dropping journey crossing the legendary Antarctic Circle at 66°33′ South in the wake of the explorers of yesteryear.
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11 Days
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  • Reach the legendary Antarctic Circle at 66°33′S, a goal that eluded many explorers of the past.
  • Witness the sun circling your vessel at this extreme latitude, creating a mesmerizing phenomenon.
  • Explore the Antarctic Peninsula's pristine icescapes, encounter diverse wildlife, and experience its dramatic beauty.

On this 11-day inspiring cruise, explore the Great White Continent’s magnificent landscapes, glacial mountains, and incredible wildlife before venturing south of the Antarctic Circle—a realm where the normally prohibitively dense pack ice forbids exploration, but your high ice-class rated vessel provides privileged access. Your journey begins in earnest as you enter Drake Passage, known for rollicking conditions and strong westerly winds, called the Roaring Fifties. The most spirited sailors consider Drake Passage a lifetime achievement, and you will complete the crossing twice! The excitement builds as Antarctic wildlife comes into view. These nutrient rich waters lure a wealth of seabirds, albatrosses, and several species of whales. Weather permitting, we catch our first sight of seals and penguins!

With wide eyes, weave through the South Shetland Islands, a pearly necklace of glistering, ice-covered islands and dormant volcanoes where numerous Zodiac excursions and landfalls are likely. We are constantly on the lookout for whales, sea lions, elephant seals and an unbelievable amount of sea birds and penguins. Continuing onward, we enjoy the calming silence and alluring beauty of the Antarctic mainland during hikes and Zodiac excursions. Spread in isolation along the coast, we also see a number of manned and unmanned research stations, which we aim to visit before accomplishing our goal—crossing the Antarctic Circle at 66°33′ South where, the sun is up for 24-hours a day during the austral summer.


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Standard Activities

Bird Watching
Bird Watching
camera 2
Photography Workshops
Zodiac Cruises
Zodiac Cruises

Itinerary Day to Day

Day 1

Arrival in Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina – the world’s southernmost city. Explore this vibrant Patagonian city, or stretch your legs in the surrounding forests. Alternatively, consider a day trip off the beaten path into the raw nature of Tierra del Fuego. The island of Tierra del Fuego is a hiker’s paradise with rugged snow-capped mountains, glaciers, flower-filled meadows and rich boggy wetlands. In the afternoon, we board our vessel, waiting to welcome us in port.

After our mandatory safety drill, our expedition begins as we navigate through the calm waters of the famous Beagle Channel (named for Charles Darwin’s ship). This steep-sided strait divides southern Tierra del Fuego between Chile and Argentina, and has been the jumping-off point for thousands of expeditions into the unknown. Watch out for whales and dolphins as we sail off the edge of the map into the tempestuous Drake Passage.

Embarkation Point
Tierra del Fuego
Beagle Channel
Days 2-3

At Sea. Cross Drake Passage Southbound

Day 4

South Shetland Islands

Days 4-7

Antarctic Peninsula

Day 8

South Shetland Islands

Days 9-10

At Sea - Crossing the Drake Passage Northbound

Day 11

Back to Ushuaia and Disembarkation

Route Map

There are 18 main destinations visited

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