Take the chance to see Antarctica’s wildest side

Discover what it means to be a true Antarctic explorer on a 14-day expedition to wild western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. This voyage gives you the best of both sides of the Peninsula – the wildlife-filled, ice-packed channels and explorer-history of the west, and the rugged remoteness of a vast wilderness found through an expedition through the Antarctic Sound. It’s here that huge tabular icebergs dominate the view and a true sense of isolation and the landscape’s purity can be found on Paulet Island, the Danger Islands and the Eagle Group. It’s here that Shackleton and his crew fought for survival, but you’ll be in the much more comfortable surrounds of the state-of-the-art Ocean Endeavour. Sail through sweeping landscapes and channels navigated only a few times per year in search of a feeling for exploration found few other places on earth, before returning to the more familiar but no less thrilling shore of the western coastline. For the more adventurous traveller this is a rare opportunity to see Antarctica’s wildest side.

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Terms & Conditions

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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Cross Antarctic Sound on your way to the Antarctic Peninsula’s remote and rugged east side, a sweeping landscape full of huge icebergs, and islands famous for their enormous penguin colonies, exploration history and geological features.

  • Towering icebergs, blue glaciers, rugged islands, white mountains, abundant and curious wildlife – the western side of Antarctica is a lifechanging destination in itself.

  • Encounter Antarctica’s incredible wildlife – Adelie and gentoo penguins, leopard seals, sea birds, whales – your expedition crew will curate your adventure to ensure you’ve got the best chance of multiple sightings.

  • Zodiac excursions open up exploration opportunities on both sides of the Peninsula – from the Dangers Isles to Paradise Harbour – and the shores of the South Shetland Islands. Get on board with a number of trips scheduled during your Antarctic expedition.

  • You won’t spend sea days between Ushuaia and Antarctica in your cabin. Get insider info with a series of presentations from expert guides, as well as an expedition vessel decked out with all the mod cons.

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 – we’d hate for you to miss a single minute of this journey. 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, warm and highly fashionable (in Antarctica, at least). 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. Being cold and miserable is one thing, having no photos to show for it is another. Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. 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.

  • 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. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands; 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.

Boats

Ocean Endeavour boat on a tour

Ocean Endeavour

The Ocean Endeavour is a far cry from the expedition vessels of old and, just quietly, we're tipping it’s the place be in the 2021 Antarctic season.

Itinerary

Welcome to the port city of Ushuaia for the start of your Antarctic adventure. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the hotel and settle in before meeting your fellow travellers. If you’re arriving earlier there are plenty of activities to choose from. Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park on a full day’s adventure, tackle part of the Martial Mountains for a memorable view over the Beagle Channel, or perhaps just a walk around town and enjoy the cafe scene. Tonight’s all about introductions, and what better place to do it than to try a traditional asado – an Argentinean-style barbecue.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on exactly where and when the meeting will take place.
You’ll jump aboard the Ocean Endeavour for your Antarctic expedition later in the day, so this morning continue to explore Ushuaia. Perhaps check out the Museo Maritimo to brush up on local history, or just enjoy a morning strolling this languid town. Once you’ve boarded the ship, meet your expert crew and take a tour of the amenities and services available on the ship. Wave goodbye to Argentina and say hello to the legendary Drake Passage. Next stop: the Antarctic.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
The next two days are all about relaxing and getting to know your team of polar experts as they share their in-depth knowledge. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy presentations about the continent’s geography, environment and wildlife to get you up to speed on all things Antarctica. Spot seabirds flying with your ship to the Great White Continent, keeping an eye out for albatross on their migration route. Keep your eyes peeled for breaching whales and other marine mammals in the southern oceans, and cosy up with a drink, getting to know your shipmates at the bar. There are things on at different times of the day, so do as little or as much learning (and chatting) as you like. The Ocean Endeavour is equipped with a gym, library, heated saltwater pool, jacuzzi, sauna and more, so there’s always something to keep you busy while crossing the Drake Passage.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
This is a true exploration so, all going to plan, day five will see the ship’s bow round the eastern end of Antarctic Sound and face you south to the wild coastlines of the Peninsula’s eastern side. The vast Weddell Sea is edged by a seemingly endless coastline of basaltic beaches, islands that tower from the sea, and collections of islands that few humans have laid eyes on. This is where British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew began their legendary journey north after their ship was crushed and sunk. There are so many potential landing sites from this location, like Paulet Island with its large Adelie penguin rookery and Swedish Antarctic Expedition history; the sweeping Prince Gustav Channel to the south; and the protected and glacier-lined coves of Duse Bay. Spend the next few days exploring on Zodiac boat rides and onshore excursions across a number of potential remote landing sites around the Eagle Island group. Keep an eye out for minke whales and don’t forget about the chance to take an unforgettable polar plunge, to step onto your very own piece of sea ice or any other optional extras. No two days on any expedition are the same, and landing sites are subject to change depending on the elements and potential wildlife-spotting opportunities, but our expert expedition crew will make sure each day is memorable with a sense of exploration unlike anywhere else on earth.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (3 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
After three days exploring the Peninsula’s lesser visited east side, it’s time to cross back through the Antarctic Sound for the better known, but no less spectacular, western shores. Huge icebergs that have broken off from an ice shelf often greet you as the ship makes its way from east to west, and there may be opportunities to land at locations like Esperanza Station (the Argentine research hut) and Brown Bluff – a mass of volcanic rock that towers 678 metres high above the homes of the thousands of Adelie and gentoo penguins. For the next four days, explore well-known sites like Orne Harbour, Paradise Bay or Port Lockroy as you head on wildlife sightings, take to Zodiacs for small-group outings and soak up the unforgettable vistas that greet you at every turn. With multiple landing sites available, your Ocean Endeavour crew will work out the best places to stop, taking into account the elements, accessibility and the possibility for wildlife sightings. You’ll soon notice the contrast with the sense of isolation on the east side, as you won’t find an excursion on the western side lasts long without a parade of penguins or marine mammal sighting. After four memorable days the ship will turn north again and cross the Bransfield Strait and head through the South Shetland Islands. Now’s the perfect time to join your crew and fellow explorers on the aft deck for a final toast to the Antarctic.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (4 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
Settle back into your comfortable surroundings for the return journey across the Drake Passage. The Ocean Endeavour will track north towards Cape Horn and your destination in Ushuaia, Argentina. This is your last chance to soak up the experience and knowledge of your expert expedition crew before the end of the trip, so make sure you join them on deck with binoculars in hand to spot the surrounding wildlife. Now is also the chance to catch up with your shipmates and share stories about your voyage over a meal or a drink at the bar.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
This morning, farewell the Ocean Endeavour as you disembark in Ushuaia. With no further activities planned for today, you’re free to depart at any time, with short drives to the airport for any afternoon flight departures. Your guides will join you on the dock to say farewell and to wave goodbye to the ship’s team and crew who have shared the journey with you.
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

13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners

Transport

Expedition Cruise Ship, Zodiac

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (1 night), Expedition Cruis Ship (12 nights)

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Uncharted Antarctica: East and West Peninsula trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 95 days before departure.

If a booking is cancelled 95 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.

If a booking is cancelled between 95 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.

Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.

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.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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