Best of Antarctica: A White Christmas (Ocean Endeavour)

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Don’t just dream of a white Christmas – experience it in Antarctica

Christmas getaways simply don’t get better than this. Journey to Antarctica on an 11-day expedition and experience the magic of the festive season among ice-capped mountain ranges, iconic wildlife and immense icebergs and glaciers. Set foot on the Antarctic Peninsula, spot seals resting on ice floes and witness seabirds nesting in landscapes that must be seen to be believed. Visit penguin rookeries, spot minke and humpback whales while enjoying regular Zodiac excursions for up-close wildlife encounters. Our expert team will ensure that the spirit on board the Ocean Endeavour is festive and fun, delivering an unforgettable experience and making this a Christmas adventure to remember.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Experience a guaranteed white Christmas as you explore the icy wilderness of the White Continent.
  • The festive season is a wonderful time for wildlife lovers to visit Antarctica, as penguin chicks are hatching and abundant on the peninsula and South Shetland Islands.
  • With over 22 hours of sunlight each day, you’ll have more time for exploration.
  • Enjoy daily zodiac excursions, on-shore landings and take advantage of optional activities during the voyage such as sea kayaking, ice camping and snowshoeing.
  • Benefit from a variety of on-board activities including educational lectures on history, geology and ecology by the expedition team.
  • When you’re not exploring, avail of amenities onboard including expedition lounge, restaurant, bar, pool, jacuzzi, library, gym, sun deck, spa facilities and sauna.


Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Your Christmas adventure begins in Ushuaia – the most southerly city in the world. You’ll be transferred from the airport to your hotel and meet your fellow travellers at our welcome briefing, but if you arrive early, we highly recommend checking out the area. Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) National Park can be visited on a day trip if you have time, otherwise Ushuaia itself has a lot to offer. Visit the Museo Maritimo for a history lesson or take a stroll down Avenida San Martin to pick up some last-minute essentials for your journey. Or you may prefer to wander the streets taking in the town’s dramatic setting, with views of the mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south.

Day 2: Embarkation in Ushuaia

The morning is free for you to explore Ushuaia further. Late this afternoon you’ll be transferred to the city’s port to board the Ocean Endeavour. The expedition team and ship’s captain will be waiting to welcome you on board, and after settling into your cabin, your journey south begins by cruising through the famed Beagle Channel. Enjoy the incredible views as the last glimpse of land fades away and the Ocean Endeavour heads south towards Antarctica.

Days 3-4: At Sea, Drake Passage

The waters of the Drake Passage are legendary. Named after British seafarer Sir Francis Drake, they’re often rough and turbulent, but sometimes as calm as a lake. Your journey to the Antarctic Peninsula will take two days. If conditions allow, you’ll be able to enjoy the outer decks to catch your first glimpse of whales and orcas, as well as a wide range of seabirds that live in the region, including the largest of albatrosses, the iconic wandering albatross. If the weather is misbehaving, our comprehensive lecture program will get underway, with your team of polar experts sharing fascinating insights into Antarctica’s history, geology, biology and everything else in between. Spend this downtime enjoying the fabulous onboard facilities including gym, polar library and yoga classes. You’re scheduled to reach the Antarctic Peninsula by early evening on day four, which will be a moment of great excitement!

Days 5-8: Antarctic Peninsula & Christmas day

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. Scheduled twice daily, Zodiac excursions are tailored to suit the Ocean Endeavour’s location and allow for closer encounters with marine life, including whales and seals, while onshore exploration might take you to penguin rookeries. Choose from a range of paid adventure options to enhance your adventure, including snowshoeing excursions or overnight ice camping, hit the water for a day paddle or kayaking excursion, or learn how to capture that perfect shot by joining our dedicated photography program. Our lecture program will continue throughout your time on the Antarctic Peninsula, and our expedition team will always be available to answer any questions you may have about the region.

If you’ve been dreaming of a white Christmas, this is as white as it gets! Enjoy the festive spirit on board the Ocean Endeavour, where your presents come in the form of yet more landings and wildlife sightings throughout the day. These wildlife encounters are likely to include Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins.
An average day on board begins with a wake-up call from your expedition leader around 7am, giving you time to prepare for the day before joining your fellow expeditioners for breakfast in the Polaris restaurant. You will usually have two excursions per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with a delicious lunch served on the Ocean Endeavour in between excursions.

Days 9-10: At Sea, Drake Passage

Leaving Antarctica behind, cruise north to our home port of Ushuaia. Now is the time to reflect on the amazing journey and a truly unique Christmas. You’re scheduled to reach the waters of the Beagle Channel by the evening to ensure a restful night’s sleep before disembarkation day. Your final meal together is often a highlight, so live it up and enjoy it as you celebrate the journey with your fellow travellers.

Day 11: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

This morning you will disembark the Ocean Endeavour in Ushuaia after breakfast as your Antarctic journey comes to an end. Transfer to Ushuaia airport is included for flights departing today, but if you’re sticking around a little longer there is so much to see in this incredible region.


Ocean Endeavour sailing

Ocean Endeavour

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




Images courtesy of Intrepid Group