Experience Antarctica on an unforgettable mid-summer adventure aboard the brand-new MV Hondius

Embark on one of the most Intrepid experiences out there — a journey to Antarctica via the legendary Drake Passage. Departing from Ushuaia in late January, open your senses to the arrival of mid-summer and the full swing of the Antarctic season. At this time of year, ice and snow melts across the peninsula, giving way to glorious rocky beaches and prime opportunities for explorations by Zodiac. Every day on this continent this brings a new sight, sound and spectacle, as whales, penguin chicks and seabirds abound. With the comfortable and brand-new MV Hondius as a base, enjoy the benefits of an expert leader, full expedition crew, and onboard naturalists whose lectures elevate the experience of this great southern continent to new heights.

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Start
Ushuaia, Argentina
Finish
Ushuaia, Argentina
Destinations
Antarctica, Argentina
Style
Comfort
Theme
Polar, Wildlife
Code
GQMJA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 13
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • The wildlife viewing opportunities are incredible in Antarctica, and the abundance of creatures is astounding for such a harsh, out-there location. Scan the ocean for seals; keep an eye out for minke, humpback and orca whales; clock rare birds soaring over Beagle Channel; and watch gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins out and about

  • Antarctic fauna is only part of the spectacle. The terrain of earth’s extreme south is like nowhere else, and the first sight of an iceberg calving into the ocean is a memorable moment

  • Those game can enjoy the most invigorating swim ever – a polar plunge in the sub-zero Antarctic waters

  • Presentations throughout the journey fill in crucial background information on both natural and human history of the area, from the legendary explorers to geology, flora and fauna

  • Your vessel, the MV Hondius, is state of the art. It’s comfortable, brand new, and ice-strengthened to the highest standard, making it the strongest ship to be navigating Antarctic waters

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although our ice-strengthened ships are large and sturdy, Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially on the Drake Passage and other open water crossings. Be sure to prepare with appropriate medication; there is also a doctor on board for any further assistance needed.

  • Lots of warm clothing, base layers, and a waterproof parka are all absolutely essential. Read the Essential Trip Information for further information on what to bring.

  • Depending on the weather, there will be regular excursions in a Zodiac boat for exploring and wildlife-viewing. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and take care to keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are required for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, and the handrails will come in handy when the seas are rough.

  • 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 to 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 interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The onboard library and educational lectures are ideal ways for keeping entertained.

Boats

M/V Hondius

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the M/V Hondius

View ship information

Itinerary

Welcome to Ushuaia. The day is yours to explore the city. There will be information and welcome meeting at your hotel at 7.30 this evening so please ensure you are there in time to attend.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
On arrival, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. He/she will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to locate them, please refer to the front of your itinerary for emergency contact details of our representative office.
Your adventure kicks off at the 'end of the world': Ushuaia, Argentina. Situated down on South America's far southern tip, this lively town is generally considered the southernmost city in the world. Climb aboard the ship mid-afternoon in the little resort town of Hondius, on Tierra del Fuego. The cruise begins across the beautiful Beagle Channel, flanked by majestic mountain scenery. As you sail away the rest of the evening, sit down to break the ice with your fellow adventurers over some dinner and welcome drinks.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information

As you enter the Drake Passage, following in the footsteps of the early polar explorers, soak up many a new sight and sound: the cool salty breezes, undulating waves, and maybe even a fin whale crashing through the spray. The route then passes across the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary which forms at the point where north-flowing cold waters meet with warmer subantarctic waters. Watch as the marine life and birdlife changes from here; seabirds such as albatrosses and petrels soar above, not to mention the likes of Cape pigeons and southern fulmars. Soon enough, near the South Shetlands Islands, the first icebergs burst into view, a joy to witness. The lecture program starts and will carry on for the length of the cruise. It's a crucial aspect of the journey, as legendary tales, wildlife facts and geological information deepen your experience of the continent.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Welcome to Antarctica. You've now arrived in the world's most pristine wilderness, where snowy grey stone peaks, dazzling towers of ice, and a diverse array of wildlife emerge in all their glory. You'll be passing the snow-capped Melchior Islands and Schollaert Channel, sailing between Brabant and Anvers Islands. Throughout the journey you can enjoy plenty of free time to enjoy the warm hospitality on board.

Over the next few days we may visit any of the following areas:

Cuverville Island, which sits between Rongé Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. This impressive isle plays host to several thousand gentoo penguins, plus pairs of breeding brown skuas.

Danco Island, where nesting gentoo penguins make for quite a cute scene. Weddell and crabeater seals might be found nearby.

Crystal Sound, whose ice-choked waters are an exciting place to land.

Port Lockroy, on Goudier Island, across the Neumayer Channel. The former British Research Station here now serves as a museum and, interestingly, a working post office.

Jougla Point, where gentoo penguins and blue-eyed shags hopefully come out to play. The kayaking and camping opportunities over here are superb.

Paradise Bay, which offers the chance to walk on the great continent again. Zodiac cruises along the bay reveal humpback and minke whales.

Wilhelmina Bay & Guvernøren, another terrific area for humpback whale spotting and exploring by Zodiac.

Guvernøren, a historic location where a whaling vessel caught on fire in 1915.

The Melchior Islands, which boasts beautiful icebergs. Look out for whales, leopard seals and crabeater seals here also.

King George Island (South Shetland Islands). The plan here will be to land at the Chinese Great Wall Station. There are also Russian, Argentine, and Uruguayan research stations in this area.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (5)
  • Lunch (5)
  • Dinner (5)
As your return journey across the Drake Passage begins, set eyes on the same incredible seabirds you saw on the way through. Take the opportunity to look back on the adventure, sharing photos and experiences with your fellow explorers.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
As the adventure wraps up, bid farewell to your crew and fellow travellers, disembarking in Ushuaia.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please be sure not to book flights out of Ushuaia before 12PM (Noon) on the day of disembarkation.

Meals

11 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners

Transport

Expedition cruise ship, zodiac

Accommodation

Expedition cruise ship 10 nights

Dates & availability

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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 120 days before departure.

If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.

If a booking is cancelled between 119 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.

Your voyage is operated in conjunction with our partners, Chimu Travel.

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.