Map of Best of Antarctica: Pristine Wilderness (Ocean Endeavour) including Antarctica and Argentina

Witness the icy wilderness of Antarctica at its most impressive

Experience the raw and pure beauty of the Great White Continent on an 11-day expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula.
During this magical time, landscapes are at their most pristine as the thawing of sea ice draws you into an unspoiled polar wilderness. Icebergs are at their greatest mass, penguins are busy courting, nest building and squabbling over pebbles. As the Ocean Endeavour edges its way through the fractured ice, perhaps entering the narrow, sheer-sided Lemaire Channel, you’re invited onto the bow of the Ocean Endeavour. Scan for Leopard seals on ice floes as you follow the continent’s inhabitants further south into the untouched snowscapes of pristine Antarctica.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish
Ushuaia, Argentina
Destinations
Antarctica, Argentina
Style
Comfort
Theme
Polar, Wildlife
Code
GQMDW
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 200

Why you'll love this trip

  • Antarctica awakens after the harsh winter and extensive snow cloaks the continent in a pristine whiteness. Admire breathtaking scenery such as icebergs and glaciated mountains.

  • Penguin populations in the rookeries are thriving and the birds are busy nest-building and courting. Albatross, fulmars and petrels fly the Drake Passage and blue-eyed shags reappear in Antarctica.

  • This is an incredible time for photographers – the lengthening days are concluded with fantastic evening light, noctilucent clouds and beautiful rose-coloured sunsets.

  • Experience daily Zodiac excursions and onshore landings, and take advantage of a range of paid adventure options during your voyage such as kayaking, camping, photography and snowshoeing.

  • Benefit from a variety of onboard activities including educational lectures on history, geology and ecology and participate in our citizen science program, all led by our expert expedition team.

  • Enjoy the Ocean Endeavour's amenities including expedition lounge, sun deck, Polaris restaurant, bar, polar library, saltwater pool, jacuzzi, gym, spa and sauna.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although our ice-strengthened ships are big and sturdy, the Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially through the Drake Passage and other open water crossings, so please be prepared with medications to combat this. There is also a doctor on board should you need further assistance.

  • Believe it or not, temperatures in the Antarctic can be freezing. And yet it can get surprisingly warm when the sun comes out, for instance, or with increased physical activity. It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof boots that are sturdy and warm. Please see the trip notes for information about what to bring.

  • Depending on the weather, you’ll be zipping around in a Zodiac boat quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you dress appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Waterproof protection and camera strap or wristband are highly recommended for your camera or phone whilst on the Zodiacs. A minimum level of mobility is required and sturdy sea legs are preferable for wet and dry landings from the Zodiacs. The expedition team will assist people with mounting or dismounting the zodiacs for landings. Should people wish to remain closer to shore, we will have a range of walking speeds and thus distances explored available for all. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the lift does not provide access to.

  • A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area. The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure, and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are equally as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The ship’s library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the wellness spa, saunas, gym and yoga classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.

Itinerary

Your adventure begins in Ushuaia, Argentina. Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia boasts many shops, museums, restaurants and cafes that you can enjoy before your voyage. This Argentine town is the ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. If you feel adventurous, the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park offers plenty of outdoor activities.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An arrival transfer from the airport on Day 1 is included in your voyage fare. Full details will be sent with your final joining instructions.
Following your embarkation onto the Ocean Endeavour in the late afternoon, begin your Antarctic journey south, passing through the infamous Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Famed for its wild nature, the Drake Passage is unpredictable and always changing. Be sure to spend some time out on one of the Ocean Endeavour's many outer decks soaking up the fresh sea air and feeling the breeze of the roaring forties and furious fifties – waters not yet tamed even by the most intrepid of explorers. Your expedition team will provide insights into your exciting adventure that lies ahead. During these two days on the sea, you will have plenty of time to gaze out at the Southern Ocean, capture photos of the birds circling the Ocean Endeavour and get to know your fellow travellers and expedition team. There is always great excitement on board when the first sighting of land appears, which with favourable sea and weather conditions will be early evening on day four.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Your Antarctic adventure truly begins once you have left the Drake Passage behind and the South Shetland Islands come into view, a region that has long captured the attention of explorers. Every visit to Antarctica reveals something unexpecting or new, meaning your expedition will be unlike any other – a unique and personal experience. During your time aboard the Ocean Endeavour, your expedition team and captain will scout for whales and seabirds and alert you to any new sightings. Enjoy in-depth explanations and lectures from your expedition team on the glaciology, history and wildlife of the region as you explore.

Even more exciting will be your first land excursion – something you will never forget! Daily Zodiac cruises and shore excursions take you to explore local bays, channels and landing sites with wildlife opportunities always at the forefront of your expedition team's mind. Walk on beaches dotted with penguins, visit penguin rookeries and search for southern seal species, including the fearless penguin eater, the leopard seal. Each day and each landing is different, but every day presents new photo opportunities and sightings, so it won't take long until you know the difference between an Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguin.

You might hike to a penguin rookery one day and take a Zodiac cruise among towering icebergs the next. From coming eye to eye with a humpback whale to the sound of a calving glacier, you will wake up excited each day with a desire to explore this icy wilderness.
And if you can't get enough and find yourself wanting more, treat yourself to an overnight ice camping experience on land, a snowshoeing excursion to explore further afield, or a hit the water for a day paddle excursion.

An average day onboard begins with a wake-up call from your expedition leader around 7am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow expeditioners for breakfast in the Polaris restaurant. You will usually have two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a delicious lunch served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (4 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
Your journey back across the Drake Passage provides a final opportunity to enjoy the Antarctic air. Be sure to spend some time on the outer decks scouting for whales, watching seabirds, or enjoying a presentation by your expedition team on a wide range of topics. Celebrate the experiences you have shared with your fellow passengers exploring the remarkable world of Antarctica.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
You arrive in the port of Ushuaia in the morning and your expedition team will gather on the deck to farewell you as you disembark the Ocean Endeavour after breakfast. Your transfer to Ushuaia airport is included for all flights departing today.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
A departure transfer to the airport is included in your voyage fare if you are flying out today. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent to organise this.

If you are flying out today, please do not book your flight to depart Ushuaia before midday in case of any delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions.

Meals

10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners

Transport

Expedition Cruise Ship, Zodiac

Accommodation

1 night comfortable hotel, 9 nights expedition cruise ship

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Best of Antarctica: Pristine Wilderness (Ocean Endeavour) trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

ADVENTURE ADD ON's
Kayaking is available to book on all Antarctic voyages. Some voyages also offer other activities such as camping and snowshoeing. All of these activities must be booked prior to departure and incur an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. For kayaking, previous, recent experience is essential.

PHOTOGRAPHY
Photography workshops are offered as an optional activity on our Ocean Endeavour departures. It is an opportunity for photography enthusiasts of any skill level to fast track their learning on board and make the most of the expert advice that is on offer. Participants will have dedicated Zodiac and photography guided landing where your photography guide will accompany you and give you tips along the way for taking the perfect picture. It is at an additional cost to you and needs to be booked in prior to departure as spaces are limited. If you are interested in taking part, please contact your booking agent for pricing and availability.

Essential trip information

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