Aboard the MV Ushuaia
- 10 & 11 day voyages November – April
Depart from Ushuaia
Embark in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.
Crossing the Drake Passage
Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As we sail across the passage, Antarpply Expeditions’ lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake. The M.V. Ushuaia‘s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well. The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams. With favourable conditions in the Drake Passage our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.
Days 4-8 (10 day cruises spend 1 day less on the Peninsula)
Exploring South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula
The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing. King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries. Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island. The Antarctic Peninsula?s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers. You will have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife. Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range. We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. We plan to make at least two landings per day. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper. After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1903. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins. Further exploration may take you to Melchior Island, Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island and if ice conditions permit, to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.
At Sea crossing the Drake Passage, northbound
We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.
Arrival at Ushuaia
We arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark after breakfast.
2017/18 Dates & Cost
…aboard MV Ushuaia
- 10 days 22 Dec – 31 Dec 2017
TRIPLE STD TWIN STD PLUS TWIN SUPERIOR SUITE US$6,540 US$6,990 US$8,470 US$10,680 US$11,220
- 31 Dec 2017 – 10 Jan 2018 11 Days
TRIPLE STD TWIN STD PLUS TWIN SUPERIOR SUITE US$7,270 US$7,770 US$9,410 US$11,870 US$12,470
- 19 Jan – 28 Jan 2016 10 Days
TRIPLE STD TWIN STD PLUS TWIN SUPERIOR SUITE US$6,230 US$6,660 US$8,060 US$10,170 US$10,690
- 24 Feb -4 Mar 2016 10 Days
TRIPLE STD TWIN STD PLUS TWIN SUPERIOR SUITE US$5,800 US$6,210 US$7,620 US$9,610 US$10,100
- 24 Mar – 2 Apr 2016 10 Days
TRIPLE STD TWIN STD PLUS TWIN SUPERIOR SUITE US$4,950 US$5,300 US$6,740 US$8,490 US$8,920
All rates are quoted per person in US dollars, based on twin occupancy. A limited amount of twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third birth in two of the suites maybe occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate.
All rates are subject to change, especially possible fuel surcharges. However, there will be NO fuel surcharge for the 2011-12 season if the price of the barrel of crude oil is US$100 or lower.
All rates are quoted per person in US Dollars, based on twin occupancy. A limited amount of twin cabins (except suites) are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the share rate. Suites may be reserved at 2 times the share rate. A third berth in two of the suites maybe occupied at 50% of the published twin share rate. Shared accommodation can be arranged on request. All rates are subject to change and Antarpply Expeditions reserves the right to modify the published rates without prior notice.
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
- All meals throughout the voyage.
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by zodiac.
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
What’s not included
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as bar and beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages (guidelines will be provided).
How to Book
To initiate your reservations, please contact us as soon as possible to place an option on the cabin of choice. A Booking Form is to be signed, completed and returned to Adventure Associates along with your non-refundable deposit. Reservations are established only when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and booking form.
We recommend you obtain travel insurance.
Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the MV Ushuaia has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 88 passengers in 41 comfortable twin cabins and suites. The ice-strengthened polar vessel MV Ushuaia is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy.
The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline. All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an observation lounge and bar, a conference room with modern multimedia equipment, a well-stocked library, a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. We provide a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. Our chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.
- STANDARD: 10 Twin outside cabins with portholes on deck (E), semi-private facilities, two berths (upper/lower).
- STANDARD PLUS: 11 Twin outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck (E), private facilities, two lower berths; 2 Triple outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck (E), private facilities, three lower berths.
- PREMIER: 6 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck (G), private facilities, two lower berths; 2 Single cabins with portholes on the upper deck (G) private facilities.
- SUPERIORS: 9 Twin outside cabins with windows on the upper deck (G), private facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 301 features one double and one single bed.
- SUITES: 4 Outside cabins with windows on the upper deck (G), private facilities, two lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player and fridge. Suite 201 features two double beds, Suite 202 one double bed and a sofa bed. Suites 204 and 207 three lower single beds.
Note: Semi-private facilities: Two cabins share one bathroom accessible from both cabins (shower and wc). Each cabin is also equipped with its own washbasin.