Best of Antarctica In Depth

enquire now 14 Days From NZD $16,210 pp twinshare
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Take the chance to see Antarctica’s wildest side

Experience awe-inspiring scenery and untamed wildlife on a 14-day voyage to East- and West- Antarctica. Like our ‘Best of Antarctica’ voyage, this expedition introduces you to the wonders and highlights of the White Continent, but with three additional days to better explore the Antarctica Peninsula. Encounter Weddell seals lazing on ice floes, whales breaching the frigid waters and several species of penguins shuffling across the frozen shores. You will cruise around the ice-filled waters by Zodiac, landing on the Antarctic Continent itself for onshore excursions that will afford jaw-dropping views. Our ice-strengthened expedition ship, the Ocean Endeavour, is ideally suited to cruising this icy wilderness and onboard expedition guides offer priceless knowledge and insight, bringing the world’s most incredible landscapes to life.

Why you’ll love this trip

  • Cross the Antarctic Sound on your way to the Antarctic Peninsula’s remote and rugged east side, a sweeping landscape full of huge icebergs and legendary islands.
  • 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.
  • You might have the chance to visit Paulet Island, the Danger Islands and the Eagle Group – chains of islands famous for their enormous penguin colonies, exploration history and geological features.
  • 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.


Day 1: Ushuaia, Argentina

Welcome to the port city of Ushuaia for the beginning of your Antarctic adventure. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel to settle in before meeting your fellow travellers this evening at the welcome briefing. If you’re arriving earlier there are plenty of activities to choose from in the area. 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 take a walk around town and enjoy the cafe scene.
Special Information

An arrival transfer from the airport on Day 1 is included in your voyage fare. Full details will be sent with your final joining instructions.

Day 2: Embarkation in Ushuaia

Explore the charming town of Ushuaia in the morning before embarking on your home away from home for your Antarctic expedition, the Ocean Endeavour. In the morning perhaps visit the Museo Maritimo to brush up on local history, or just enjoy a morning strolling this languid town. Board the Ocean Endeavour in the afternoon and meet your expedition team before taking a tour of the amenities and services available on the ship. After you have settled into your cabin, head out onto the outer decks to wave goodbye to Argentina and then find your sea legs as you say hello to the legendary Drake Passage. Next stop: Antarctica.

Days 3-4: At Sea, Drake Passage

The next two days are all about relaxing and getting to know your team of polar experts as they share their in-depth knowledge about all things Antarctica. You will have the opportunity to enjoy presentations about the continent’s geography, environment and wildlife. Spot seabirds flying with the Ocean Endeavour as she heads south 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 Ocean as you cosy up with a drink at the bar while getting to know your fellow shipmates. If our lecture program by our expert guides is not enough to fill your days, the Ocean Endeavour’s gym, polar library and sauna will keep you busy while crossing the Drake Passage. With favourable conditions, you should see your first sighting of land by early evening on day four.

Days 5-7: East Antarctic Peninsula

This is a true exploration, so all going to plan, day five will see the ship’s bow cruising around the eastern end of the Antarctic Sound, leaving you facing 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 Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew began their legendary journey north after their ship ‘Endurance’ was crushed by sea ice and sank. 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 via Zodiac cruises and onshore excursions across a number of potential remote landing sites around the Eagle Island group.

No two days of any expedition are the same, and landing sites are subject to change depending on the elements and potential wildlife spotting opportunities, but our expert team of expedition guides will ensure that each day is memorable, offering you a sense of exploration and adventure unlike anywhere else on earth.

An average day onboard 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 8-11: West Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands

After three days exploring the peninsula’s rarely visited east side, it’s time to cross back through the Antarctic Sound for the better known, but no less spectacular, western shores. As the ship attempts to enter the sound, a collection of tabular icebergs typically serves as a gateway from east to west and locations like the Argentinean research station, Esperanza Station, and the volcanic cliffs of Brown Bluff are viable landing points along the way.

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 the Zodiacs for small group outings and soak up the unforgettable vistas that greet you at every turn. With multiple landing sites available, your expedition team will work out the best places to stop, taking into account the elements, accessibility and wildlife opportunities. 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 sightings. After four memorable days, the Ocean Endeavour will turn north, 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.

Days 12-13: At Sea, Drake Passage

Settle back into the comfortable surroundings of the Ocean Endeavour for the return journey across the Drake Passage as you track north towards Cape Horn to your destination of Ushuaia, Argentina. This is your last chance to soak up the experience and knowledge of your expedition team before the end of your voyage, so make sure you join them on the outer decks 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 before bidding farewell.

Day 14: Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina

This morning, farewell the Ocean Endeavour as you disembark in Ushuaia. Following breakfast, disembark for the short transfer to Ushuaia airport for your onward journey. Your expedition team, ship’s crew and staff who have shared the journey with you will join you on the dock to say farewell.
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.


Images Courtesy of Intrepid Group