Swap the tango and Torrontés for incredible icescapes and wildlife encounters on an Antarctica cruise from Argentina.

Argentina is not only one of the starting points for an Antarctica cruise, but it’s also home to one of South America’s most vibrant cultures, stunning national parks, and epic waterfalls – not to mention all the steak you can eat! After living it up in Buenos Aires or exploring Tierra del Fuego National Park, head to Ushuaia – the world’s southernmost city – to board the majestic Ocean Endeavour. From crossing the infamous Drake Passage and kayaking around the Peninsula's towering icebergs and ice-dotted bays, to exploring remote islands and meeting some of the incredible wildlife that call the White Continent home, an Antarctica cruise from Argentina is an adventure like no other.

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Highlights of an Antarctica cruise from Argentina

Enjoy Argentinean hospitality

If all you do in Argentina is drink wine, eat steak and maybe try your luck at tango after a couple of glasses of said vino, you’ll have an amazing time. From the bustling Buenos Aires with its colourful neighbourhoods and trendy bars to remote cities like Ushuaia with its warm, cosy pubs, you won’t struggle to find delicious food in Argentina. Tuck into melt-in-the-mouth asado (the famous Argentinian barbeque), crispy empanadas, and gooey dulce de leche (a caramelised condensed milk sauce).

See incredible wildlife

From penguins and seals to seabirds and whales – and the 200+ species in between – the animals that live in this unforgiving environment are living proof of the resilience and adaptivity of life on earth. Whether you spot a pod of humpbacks breaching aboard the Ocean Endeavour, visit a noisy penguin rookery while you're exploring on land or watch seals sliding into the water on their bellies from your Zodiac, encountering the animals of Antarctica is something you'll never forget. 

Explore Tierra del Fuego National Park

Tierra del Fuego, or “Land of Fire”, National Park boasts some of Patagonia's most stunning landscapes. Think snow-topped peaks, lush forests, glacial lakes and rocky coastlines brimming with wildlife. Whether you want to strap on a pair of hiking boots and tackle iconic trails like Esmerelda Lagoon or cruise down the Beagle Channel to come face to face with sea lions and penguins, it’s well worth spending a couple of days in Ushuaia before or after our cruise to experience the beauty of this national park.

Cross the infamous Drake Passage

Antarctica is one of the most extreme places on the planet, so it's no surprise the journey there involves a challenging voyage – AKA: the Drake Passage. This unhindered, sometimes-calm, sometimes-volatile ocean is one of the roughest sea passages in the world with waves that reach up to 26 feet high. It’s also home to some amazing wildlife from soaring albatross to breaching whales. Whether it's rough or plain sailing, crossing this legendary body of water will be an unforgettable part of your trip.

Argentina to Antarctica cruise reviews

Antarctica cruise FAQs

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce:  

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.

  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

The climate in Ushuaia is considered to be cold oceanic with cold winters and cool summers due to its proximity to the South Pole. The coldest month is June with an average temperature of 36°F (2°C), but the average annual temperature hovers around 44°F (7°C). Rainfall is consistent throughout the year, though it's rarely heavy and tends to be a constant drizzle instead. Moderate snow usually starts falling from April to November, with June and July seeing the highest annual snowfall.

Antarctica is one of the most remote and coldest places in the world so it's really important to pack all the essentials. Here are some of the items you’ll need to pack for your cruise:

  • warm base layers – and lots of them
  • pair of waterproof and windproof pants
  • waterproof and windproof jacket (you might be provided with this on your cruise)
  • snug-fitting beanie
  • two sets of gloves –  waterproof and woolly
  • bathers – for your Antarctic dip (optional, but totally worth it!), and swimming in the pool aboard the Ocean Endeavour
  • sun protection – yup, it’s sunny enough to get burnt in Antarctica!
  • moisturiser
  • camera

Check out our ultimate Antarctica packing guide

Ushuaia might be a remote outpost city, but it's also the gateway to some of Patagonia's most stunning landscapes including Tierra del Fuego National Park. There are plenty of things to see and do in Ushuaia whether you want to see wildlife, go hiking or enjoy Argentinean food. Here are some of our favourite things to do:

  • Visit the Maritime and Presidio Museums 
  • Cruise the Beagle Channel in search of wildlife
  • Trek to the Laguna Esmeralda 
  • Peruse the local shops 
  • Go hiking in Tierra del Fuego National Park
  • Enjoy craft beers and steak 
  • Explore Martial Glacier

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance please go to our Travel Insurance hub

The best time to do an Antarctica cruise from Argentina is from late spring to early autumn. This is when the temperatures rise above freezing and the sea ice melts enough to allow access for polar ships. Generally, you can’t travel to Antarctica during winter as the weather conditions are too treacherous to travel to the region safely. There are also long periods of constant darkness on the high interior plateau.

If you're doing a cruise to see the incredible polar wildlife, then the best time to go really depends on the animals you’d like to see. February to March offers the best whale sightings of the year, December is prime time to see seal pups (particularly on the Falkland and South Georgia islands), and November to early December is when you can watch the impressive courting rituals of penguins and seabirds.

Learn more about the best time to visit Antarctica

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have.

Unfortunately there is no wheelchair access on our polar vessels. Some ships have lifts but these may not access all decks on the ship. There are often stairways, and passengers need to be mobile enough to keep themselves steady and be able to get around reasonably without being assisted. We can help you to further clarify whether the trip you’re interest in is right for you. 

However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

Argentina has some of the most progressive rights in the world for the LGBTQIA+ community and is generally a welcoming destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers. In 2010, the country became the first Latin American nation to legalise same-sex marriage and Buenos Aires hosts one of the largest annual Pride parades in South America. The capital city of Buenos Aires has a thriving queer scene with many LGBTQIA+ friendly hotels, B&Bs, bars and nightclubs. That said, some places are less tolerant, particularly smaller towns in more remote parts of the country, so it's best to use discretion when in doubt.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel.

See Antarctica from the sky

Not a big fan of boats? Or maybe your idea of an unforgettable Antarctica adventure involves gazing at icebergs and ancient glaciers from the sky? If so, why not take a sightseeing flight over the region's majestic land, sea and icescapes. Departing from several locations in Australia, this once-in-a-lifetime experience is definitely one to cross off the bucket list.

Read more about Antarctica