Map of Best of Antarctica in Depth  (Ocean Endeavour) including Antarctica and Argentina

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 the wild eastern 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 in the east of the Antarctic Peninsula. 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 Danger Islands to Paradise Harbour – and the shores of the South Shetland Islands. We aim for two excursions on each expedition day to maximise your time on the Peninsula.

  • 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?

  • The Antarctic waters can be rough and unpredictable, but don’t worry - our ice-strengthened ship is big and sturdy and equipped with stabilizers to ensure you’ll have a safe crossing to the white continent. 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 an Expedition Doctor on board should you need further assistance.

  • It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof muck boots that are sturdy and warm as well as an insulated inner jacket (yours to keep) and a robust outer Expedition Parka. Please see the Antarctic Travellers Guide for more detailed information on what Expedition Gear we provide and what to bring with you.

  • Depending on the weather, you’ll be zipping around in Zodiacs quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. Some spray could occur, 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 Zodiacs, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The Ocean Endeavour has an elevator, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the elevator 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 the South Shetland Islands; 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 Polar library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the Australis spa, saunas, gym and yoga and meditation classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.

Boats

Ocean Endeavour sailing

Ocean Endeavour

The Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable and spacious ship with a gym, library and wide range of cabin types.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Nov 2022 to 31 Mar 2023.
View the 2023 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 Best of Antarctica in Depth (Ocean Endeavour) 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!
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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

This trip was previously called "Uncharted Antarctica: East and West Peninsula "

We love travelling the world with like minded travellers and Antarctica is no different. This sometimes means that our Antarctica vessel, the Ocean Endeavour, and our world renowned expedition team join forces with other adventurers, such as Intrepid’s Polar specialists, Chimu Adventures. Please read the Itinerary Disclaimer in the Essential Trip Information for important details on who you’ll be travelling with and how this will contribute to your expedition experience.

PRICES AND SURCHARGES
Please ensure that you familiarise yourself with our Antarctic Voyage Booking Conditions, specifically "4. - Prices and Surcharges” prior to booking a voyage. Fuel surcharges are subject to market conditions and fluctuations.
Please note as of the 22nd of July we have begun adding a fuel surcharge per ship night to the 22/23 season. All impacted customers will be contacted and advised of the surcharge details.
A fuel surcharge of USD54 per ship night has now been added onto this trip.
For more information, please read the FAQ’s here www.intrepidtravel.com/antarctica-fuel-surcharge

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
Approach a looming glacier in a sea kayak, strap on snowshoes to reach the best icy viewpoints, capture the perfect penguin shot under the guidance of expert Photography guides or camp under an Antarctic night sky – these are just some of the ways you can enrich your exploration of the great White Continent with our additional activities. Our additional adventure options are subject to availability, weather and sea conditions, itinerary and departure date, so please contact your booking agent for more detailed information. Spaces on all adventure options are limited. For pre-booked activities, we recommend booking via your booking agent early to avoid disappointment.

PRE-BOOKED ADVENTURE OPTIONS (extra charge)

KAYAKING:
In small groups of 16 kayakers, under full instruction from our Expedition Kayak Guides, experience true tranquillity as you paddle through clinking ice floes in awe of the enormity of the surrounding scenery. Previous kayaking experience and a good level of fitness is required. Single and double sea kayaks are available. Please refer to our Kayaking Preparation Notes for more information.
PHOTOGRAPHY:
Capture incredible wildlife and landscape shots under the expert guidance of our world-class photographers, whilst utilising the latest photography gear available on loan throughout your voyage. Our small group dedicated Photography Program offers photography enthusiasts of any skill level the opportunity to make photography a focus of their expedition.

CAMPING:
Camp out on the ice and experience the silence that blankets the continent by night. This is your chance to completely connect with this ethereal ice world – wrap up warm and embrace the Antarctic elements. Please refer to our Camping Preparation Notes for more information. Please note: Camping is not available on late-season departures.

BOOK ON BOARD ADVENTURE OPTIONS
We also have a range of adventure options that can be booked and paid on board. These include:

SNOWSHOEING:
Get a spring in your step when you clip on a pair of snowshoes in Antarctica. Enabling you to easily scale gentle slopes, this unique activity allows you to access hard to reach places and seek out the most impressive views. Weather dependent. Please note: Snowshoeing is not available on late-season departures.

DAY PADDLE:
Enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in the breathtaking surroundings of Antarctica, whilst accompanied by Expedition Day Paddle Guides. Our expertly guided, one-off, day paddle excursions in our stable, sit-on-top inflatable kayaks give you the rare chance to see Antarctica from the same perspective as most of the wildlife – at the surface of the sea. No previous kayaking experience is required.

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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