Follow the path of Shackleton to the Great White Continent

An epic, 21-day adventure across the depths of the Drake Passage awaits. The destination? The awe-inspiring Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Discover just how impressive Shackleton’s journey was and become immersed in wildlife encounters along the way. Visit penguin rookeries, watch whales breach and scout for seals along the shoreline, with a team of onboard polar experts leading Zodiac excursions through the ice-filled bays and on land. Days at sea offer comfortable living quarters and services catering for health and wellness, as well as a program of lectures and screenings to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of the area, adding to what really is a once-in-a-lifetime trip to discover the last frontier.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • This expedition hits three major Antarctic hotspots – the Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands – maximising chances of spotting wildlife and exploring diverse polar landscapes.

  • We carbon-offset all our trips, serve only sustainable seafood, avoid single-use plastics and more to help preserve Antarctica (and the world) for future generations.

  • Retrace the route of the legendary Sir Ernest Shackleton, who led three expeditions to the Antarctic region, and uncover the historical events of his journey.

  • Freezing is great but freedom is better. Customise your trip with a wide range of optional activities on top of regular Zodiac excursions. Explore the water by kayak, sign up for a photography masterclass, rejuvenate with some onboard yoga and a massage, take a refreshing polar plunge or camp overnight like a true polar explorer.

  • Whereas most polar expeditions of this kind have a crew-to-passenger ratio of ten, fifteen or twenty to one, Intrepid expeditions on the Ocean Endeavour have an expedition crew member for every 8 passengers for a greater personal touch.

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.

  • Of course, temperatures in the Antarctic can be freezing, but 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 Essential Trip Information for notes on 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. Enduring the elements 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 just 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 2020/21 boat on a tour

Ocean Endeavour 2020/21

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 2020 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, or perhaps take a walk around town, visiting the waterfront overlooking the Beagle Channel. The Museo Maritimo (Maritime Museum), housed in an old prison, will give you a sense of the city’s history, or enjoy a delectable combination of Argentinean wine and steak at a local restaurant.
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.

An airport transfer is included in your voyage fare if you are flying in today. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent to organise this.
You will have some time this morning to shop for any last-minute items and take a final look around town before departing in the afternoon. This afternoon, take an included transfer from your hotel to the port and board the Ocean Endeavour. Meet your expert crew and take a tour of the amenities and services available on the ship. In the evening, set off through the Beagle Channel and towards the legendary Drake Passage. Join your shipmates and meet the polar crew this evening for drinks and a Captain’s Welcome.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (3)
Set your eyes on the incredible terrain of the world’s most southern land. Get ready for onshore exploration over the next four days, stepping off the ship and into a Zodiac and taking your first steps on the Antarctic Peninsula. There are a number of potential landing sites and the crew will make a decision on which will be visited based on conditions. Enjoy Zodiac rides to get closer to marine life such as whales and seals, onshore exploration at penguin rookeries and optional activities such as snowshoeing, kayaking and camping overnight (these must be booked before departure). Wildlife encounters on the Antarctic Peninsula are likely to include Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals; gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins; and elephant seals. If the weather conditions make an excursion unsafe, the crew will arrange for alternative activities on the ship – such as wildlife presentations, documentary screenings or you can make the most of the wellness spa, heated pool and sauna, library and gym on board.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
Special Information
Potential excursions and landing sites are determined by weather and ice conditions and cannot be guaranteed in advance. For a list of possible landing sites in Antarctica, go to intrepidtravel.com/antarctica-landing-sites.
Kayaking, snowshoeing and other optional extra excursions must be booked in advance. Additional costs apply and space is limited. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent for more information.
Beginners interested in kayaking should take an introductory course prior to the voyage, including how to complete a wet exit. Regardless of your experience, we recommend you take part in some kayaking practice prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in icy conditions. Kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather.
Retracing explorer Ernest Shackleton’s path to South Georgia, look out for seabirds, whales and other wildlife. Listen to sessions from our onboard Antarctic experts and take in the shapes of the seascape from the comfort of your ship. You’ll head towards Elephant Island where, weather permitting, we will make a landing. Elephant Island is where Sir Ernest Shackleton left 24 of his men after being shipwrecked in 1917, then embarked on one of the greatest survival stories of all time on a mission to South Georgia.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Continue following Shackleton’s route across the ocean to South Georgia. Life on board the Ocean Endeavour is a very different experience to that of the explorers at the start of the 20th century. Perhaps take this time to study in the library, take a yoga class or simply watch the ocean go by.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Over the next few days, explore the island of South Georgia, once the homestead of whalers and isolated explorers but now a protected area with dedicated Antarctic research teams. Over the next few days, you’ll explore a variety of landing sites and areas around South Georgia. While exact excursions can’t be guaranteed due to weather and other conditions, potential visits include the largest king penguin rookery on South Georgia, the old whaling settlement of Grytviken and Drygalski Fjord.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
Special Information
Potential excursions and landing sites are determined by weather and ice conditions and cannot be guaranteed in advance. For a list of possible landing sites in Antarctica, go to intrepidtravel.com/antarctica-landing-sites.
Leave South Georgia and chart a course for the Falkland Islands. From the deck, scan the horizon for seabirds and other wildlife. Prepare for the Falklands by attending the onboard presentation highlighting the dramatic history and wildlife encounters that await.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
The two main islands (East Falkland and West Falkland) have much to offer and provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity, extraordinary scenery and history of the southern islands. The Falklands have the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world and five species of penguin breed on the islands (gentoo, king, macaroni, magellanic and rockhopper). Potential landing sites on the Falkland Islands include the capital of Port Stanley – located on East Falkland Island, penguin breeding grounds and West Point Island.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Special Information
Potential excursions and landing sites are determined by weather and ice conditions and cannot be guaranteed in advance. For a list of possible landing sites in Antarctica, go to intrepidtravel.com/antarctica-landing-sites.
Cruise towards Ushuaia with time to reflect on the spectacular scenery and the multitude of wildlife you've encountered during the voyage, as well as on the endeavours of legendary explorers like Shackleton.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembark in Ushuaia after breakfast and enjoy an airport transfer included in your ticket price.
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.

Meals

20 breakfasts, 18 lunches, 19 dinners

Transport

Expedition Cruise Ship, Zodiac

Dates & availability

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20 per cent 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 ONs
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 and 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.

View Essential Trip Information

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