Map of South Georgia and Antarctica Peninsula Celebrating Shackleton from Buenos Aires including Antarctica and Argentina

The ultimate polar voyage aboard the ultimate expedition ship

Follow in the legendary footsteps of Shackleton and his crew, hear stories from the experts who have delved deeper than most into the great explorer’s life, and toast to the New Year with a celebration like no other. Make your way south from Buenos Aires and spend the days around the Peninsula, Weddell Sea and South Georgia in search of humpback whales, seals and penguins from the bow of a Zodiac, and the evenings making the most of the ship’s onboard luxuries. With land excursions, adventurous optional activities and two special guest polar experts, this adventure is one you don’t want to miss.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore the Weddell Sea, where Shackleton and his crew drifted for months, and Elephant Isle where they finally landed and the next epic journey began, all while hearing stories from polar and Shackleton expert Tim Jarvis.

  • South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula are rich in history and wildlife. Stand upon beaches teeming with thousands of penguins, see abundant species of whales, seabirds, and seals, and make sense of it all with talks from special guest expert Ross MacPhee.

  • Toast to the New Year in the southernmost region in the world and enjoy the included onboard celebrations.

  • 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.

Is this trip right for you?

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

  • As you’d expect, temperatures in the Antarctic are freezing. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.

  • Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if 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 as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The on-board library and educational lectures are ideal ways for keeping entertained.

Itinerary

Welcome to Buenos Aires, where your Antarctic adventure begins. Arrive into the city any time today, and make your way to the hotel. There’s plenty to see and do if you arrive early into Buenos Aires. The city features an eclectic mix of European, Latin and cosmopolitan influences, with a thriving cultural and nightlife scene. Comb the antique markets and cobbled streets of San Telmo, see the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada in the Plaza de Mayo or pay your respects to Eva Peron at the famous Recoleta Cemetery.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note, no arrival transfer is included in Buenos Aires. Please make your own way to the joining hotel. Full joining instructions will be included in your final documentation. 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 where the meeting will take place.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport and board a private charter flight to Ushuaia (approximately 3-4 hours). On arrival, enjoy free time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier. Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon. The ship makes its way into the historic Beagle Channel, which transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. The channel takes its name from the HMS Beagle, which transported Charles Darwin through the region on his around-the-world voyage in 1833. Keep an eye out for various species of bird from the deck.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Begin with a polar rite of passage – crossing the Drake Passage – then spend the next few days diving into the history, geography and wildlife of the Antarctic region with presentations from the expert expedition team members, plus insight into the Shackleton story that you won’t find anywhere else. Enjoy unique talks from two distinguished special guests who have delved deeper than most into the life of Sir Ernest Shackleton. In 2013, environmental scientist, author and explorer Tim Jarvis – with a crew equipped in era-authentic gear – re-enacted Shackleton’s 800-mile (1,300 km) journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia in a replica of the 23- foot whaler James Caird. In fact, the foreword to Jarvis’ book, “Chasing Shackleton: Re-creating the World’s Greatest Journey of Survival,” was written by Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest himself. Also onboard is mammologist, palaeontologist, anthropologist and polar historian Ross MacPhee, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History, which hosted the ground-breaking exhibit “The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition.” MacPhee is the author of “Race to The End: Amundsen, Scott, and the Attainment of the South Pole”, and has participated in more than 50 scientific expeditions (including both Polar Regions), while also researching the extinction of early mammals who roamed Antarctica 45 million years ago. Suffice to say, you’re not going to be short of things to talk about over the next few days.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Welcome to the Antarctic Peninsula, where a vast amount of wildlife can be found with a backdrop of ice, water and mountains. The sheer scale of everything must be seen to be believed. No two days on any expedition are the same and landing sites can’t be guaranteed, but our expert expedition crew will make sure each day is memorable. Zodiac rides allow for closer encounters with marine life including whales and seals, while onshore exploration might take you to penguin rookeries or on an optional activity such as kayaking or a polar plunge. The lecture program will continue throughout your time at the peninsula and the team of experts will be available to answer any questions you may have about the region.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
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. Kayaking 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.
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, and aboard the Ultramarine – with its two twin-engine helicopters and 20 quick launching Zodiacs – you’ll be able to explore by sea and air, an experience never before possible until the launch of this game changing expedition ship.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Throughout this special voyage you’ll get the chance to enjoy one-of-a-kind presentations from the expedition team members – and from our two distinguished special guests, polar experts Tim Jarvis and Ross MacPhee. Your days at sea are also perfect for experiencing the superb luxury amenities of Ultramarine, which include a spa and a sauna with floor-to-ceiling windows – where else can you relax with just a towel on and still look out across the incredible polar environment outside. Ultramarine also has more wildlife viewing stations than any ship of its size, so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to stay on the lookout for birds and other wildlife while at sea.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This land mass sits in the outer reaches of the South Shetland Islands, close to the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The island is where Shackleton and his crew of 28 landed on April 9, 1916, after spending 165 days drifting through the hostile ice of the Weddell Sea after losing their ship – the Endurance – far off the coast. Arriving here 100 years later you’ll see the island exactly as Shackleton and his men first encountered it. It looks harsh and desolate, but to the stranded crew it was a haven, offering vital shelter while they waited for rescue. We hope to visit Point Wild, located on the northern shores of the island, where Shackleton and his men were able to come ashore. From here Shackleton launched his epic boat journey aboard the James Caird, and where his men waited for his return. If conditions allow, we will attempt a landing or Zodiac cruise around Elephant Island, which will give you a real sense of just how impressive Shackleton and co’s survival really was.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Whoever said New Year’s is a disappointment obviously hasn’t celebrated it in Antarctica. The inaugural season of Ultramarine, much like Shackleton’s feats in Antarctica, makes for a memorable moment in polar history. In addition to the New Year’s celebrations aboard Ultramarine, your days at sea are filled with presentations led by our two special guests and your expedition team, who will prepare you for the wildlife and landscapes that await you in South Georgia. Raise your glass with your fellow passengers and toast a New Year’s Eve party that you’ll never forget.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Make sure you’ve got a seat by a porthole or are out on deck when South Georgia comes into view – the snow-capped mountains are vast and rugged. 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, you might find yourself cruising through Drygalski Fjord, watching elephant seals on Gold Harbour or exploring Salisbury Plain.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (4 nights)
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.
After more than two weeks of unique wildlife encounters and remarkable landscapes, your journey home begins. Now is the time to reflect on the amazing journey – and New Year’s Eve – you’ve just experienced. Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and whales, enjoy presentations by your expedition team, rejuvenate in the sauna, or indulge in the luxury amenities of Ultramarine – including its spa-inspired suites and beautifully designed lounges and restaurants, or simply relax and reminisce.
Accommodation
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (4 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
Arrive into Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast. After disembarkation the group will tour Tierra del Fuego National Park for a little taste of Patagonia, before transferring to the airport for your flight back to Buenos Aires. On landing, there are no more activities planned for today and you’re free to leave at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Your trip ends on arrival at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini (EZE) airport. Please do not book onward flights out of Buenos Aires until at least 9 pm.

Meals

19 breakfasts, 17 lunches, 18 dinners

Transport

Plane, Ship, Zodiac

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our South Georgia and Antarctica Peninsula Celebrating Shackleton from Buenos Aires trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

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

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.

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
Kayaking is available to book on all Antarctic voyages. Some voyages also offer other activities such as camping, stand up paddle boarding, cross country skiing and mountaineering. 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 and a good level of fitness is required for cross country skiing and mountaineering. See the itinerary for Adventure options available on this voyage.

Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

Strict luggage limits apply. Please see Trip Notes (What to Take) for more information.

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

Reviews