Journey to the Circle

About the Experience

Voyage in comfort aboard the Ocean Endeavour on our Journey To The Circle adventure! You’ll explore the areas between Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula and back. Visit the wildlife-rich South Shetland Islands. Join the fortunate few who have travelled below the Antarctic Circle and add the great southern continent to your travel bucket list!

 

To set foot on the continent of Antarctica is a rare privilege only a few can claim. Via Zodiac, you will be able to appreciate the Antarctic ice and landscape up close. Photograph stunning vistas set above still, clear water and explore Antarctica’s fascinating and beautiful terrain on guided landings.

 

Admire breathtaking scenery such as icebergs, glaciated mountains and volcanoes! Geology, glaciology, volcanology: in Antarctica, the mighty forces of the Earth are everywhere in evidence! View the variety and beauty of icebergs, glaciers, and rugged mountains—many formed by volcanic activity.

 

Learn about Antarctic history from expert guides. No moment is wasted aboard the Ocean Endeavour. You’ll be fascinated by the history of exploration in Antarctic waters, delivered by our onboard resource staff. Experience the wildlife of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing towards Antarctica, there is a fall in temperature as we cross the Antarctic Convergence. You’ll see seabirds, whales, and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters. Enjoy opportunities to see albatross, several species of penguins, as well as elephant seals, whales and dolphins.

 

By crossing the Antarctic Circle on our Journey To The Circle adventure, you will venture into a region seldom visited. The wildest place on earth! In fact, some say it feels like a different planet. Don’t miss out on this interactive experience to the end of the world!

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Journey to the Circle

About the Experience

Voyage in comfort aboard the Ocean Endeavour on our Journey To The Circle adventure! You’ll explore the areas between Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula and back. Visit the wildlife-rich South Shetland Islands. Join the fortunate few who have travelled below the Antarctic Circle and add the great southern continent to your travel bucket list!

 

To set foot on the continent of Antarctica is a rare privilege only a few can claim. Via Zodiac, you will be able to appreciate the Antarctic ice and landscape up close. Photograph stunning vistas set above still, clear water and explore Antarctica’s fascinating and beautiful terrain on guided landings.

 

Admire breathtaking scenery such as icebergs, glaciated mountains and volcanoes! Geology, glaciology, volcanology: in Antarctica, the mighty forces of the Earth are everywhere in evidence! View the variety and beauty of icebergs, glaciers, and rugged mountains—many formed by volcanic activity.

 

Learn about Antarctic history from expert guides. No moment is wasted aboard the Ocean Endeavour. You’ll be fascinated by the history of exploration in Antarctic waters, delivered by our onboard resource staff. Experience the wildlife of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Sailing towards Antarctica, there is a fall in temperature as we cross the Antarctic Convergence. You’ll see seabirds, whales, and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters. Enjoy opportunities to see albatross, several species of penguins, as well as elephant seals, whales and dolphins.

 

By crossing the Antarctic Circle on our Journey To The Circle adventure, you will venture into a region seldom visited. The wildest place on earth! In fact, some say it feels like a different planet. Don’t miss out on this interactive experience to the end of the world!

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know we’re a global leader in women’s adventure travel? Check out our destinations around the world!

 

 


DAY ONE: USHUAIA, ARGENTINA 

On arrival at Ushuaia Airport, please make your way through to the Arrivals Hall where our representative will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel. They will be holding a sign with your name on it. Should you not be able to contact them, please refer to the emergency contact details of our representative office.

The first night of your voyage is spent in the quaint town of Ushuaia, the most southerly city in the world and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).

The remainder of the day is at leisure, and you are free to explore, perhaps making a few last-minute purchases from the many shops or artisan markets or relaxing in a café. Visit the excellent museums along the main street, Avenida San Martin, or wander the streets and take in the town’s dramatic setting, with views of the mountains to the north and the Beagle Channel to the south.

 

 

DAY TWO: EMBARKATION IN USHUAIA

This morning is again free for you to explore Ushuaia further, or maybe discover Tierra del Fuego National Park, the most southerly national park of South America. The park offers a range of hiking trails that lead you through the stunningly beautiful and dramatic scenery of snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, rugged coastline, glaciers, waterfalls, and lakes. Look out for guanaco, Andean foxes, muskrats, and the North American beaver. Birds found here include the Andean Condor, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Kelp Goose, Austral Parakeet, and Torrent Duck.

Late this afternoon, we transfer to the port of Ushuaia in time for embarkation on board the Ocean Endeavour. The Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers will be waiting to welcome you aboard.

This evening we sail along the wildlife-rich Beagle Channel towards the White Continent of Antarctica. As we leave the lights of Ushuaia behind, look out for Magellanic Penguins, Rock Cormorants, Petrels, and Black-browed Albatross from the deck, as well as noisy sea lion colonies.

 

 

DAY THREE- FOUR: DRAKE PASSAGE

Drake Passage, named after the famous English explorer, Sir Frances Drake, separates the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula from the southernmost tip of South America. It is unpredictable—often rough and turbulent, but sometimes as calm as a lake—so be prepared!

Enjoy the fabulous onboard facilities: downward dog together in a yoga class or attend a presentation or two given by the Expedition Team to prepare you for what lies ahead—from the geology of Antarctica to its history and wildlife, and even the ice!

Sailing towards Antarctica, there is a fall in temperature as we cross the Antarctic Convergence and enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The Antarctic Convergence is marked by an increased number of seabirds, whales, and other species that are attracted by the nutrient-rich waters pushed to the surface by the colder waters of the polar region flowing north and meeting the warmer equatorial waters flowing south.

Head out on deck to look out for the mighty Albatross that fly overhead, scan the waters for breaching whales and icebergs, or gaze out from the panoramic windows of the observation deck.

We continue our course south and hope to make landfall by the evening of Day 4, depending on the weather conditions. Keep on the lookout for the first sighting of land—that heralds your arrival to the White Continent!

 

 

DAY FIVE-EIGHT: SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS

The next four days are spent exploring the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula, a region that has captivated explorers for centuries and now enthrals travellers. We explore by Zodiac, cruising among the magnificently sculpted icebergs and making shore landings where we mingle with penguins, climb to vantage points to absorb the spectacular panoramic views, and maybe visit a scientific or historic base. There may even be opportunities to kayak and snowshoe and, of course, learn more about photography with one of our experts.

Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs, and ice-strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife—from extensive colonies of Chinstrap, Gentoo and Adelie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur and elephant seals, and a plethora of fascinating seabirds. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the mighty crack of a glacier calving. Maybe you will be one of the brave few to take a polar plunge in the icy waters! Every day brings a new experience and new landing sites.

As we cruise from one landing site to the next, enjoy the continued lecture program and take in the scenery from the outer decks of the Ocean Endeavour. Make the most of the ship’s health and fitness facilities, from the relaxing spa and saunas to the pool and gym.

 

 

DAY NINE- TEN: ANTARCTIC CIRCLE

Depending on the weather conditions, we will continue southwards in an attempt to reach latitude 66°33’S and cross the fabled Antarctic Circle. Our voyage south takes us past colossal, often beautifully sculpted icebergs, to a point on Earth only a few intrepid travellers have ever sailed. If we reach this momentous goal, we will toast the explorers who first ventured this far south and celebrate our own impressive achievement. This land is home to the midnight sun, shifting ice, and incredible ice formations. Weddell seals are found here, as are humpback whales and minke whales that feed on the krill-rich waters.

Weddell seals, in particular are specially adapted to this icy environment, using their canines and incisors to rasp open new ice and maintain breathing holes in the ice. They also have extremely accurate powers of navigation, enabling them to seek out breathing holes when their teeth are worn down, and they are no longer able to maintain or create breathing holes.

 

 

DAY ELEVEN: ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

Having crossed the Antarctic Circle, we set a course north, exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands further by Zodiac and shore landings, scanning the waters for whales and seals and looking out for the seabirds that soar above the ship.

 

 

DAY TWELVE-THIRTEEN: DRAKE PASSAGE

As we leave the Antarctic Peninsula behind, we take with us our memories and photographs. We set a course for the Drake Passage as we enjoy some final lectures and presentations and look out for wildlife from the observation lounge and the outer decks. There will be ample opportunity at this time to make final use of the spa, sauna, and saltwater pool.

Having crossed the Drake Passage once more, we enter the calm and tranquil waters of the Beagle Channel bound for Ushuaia.

 

 

DAY FOURTEEN: DISEMBARKATION IN USHUAIA

We are scheduled to arrive in Ushuaia early this morning and disembark after a final breakfast aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

After saying our farewells to our Expedition Team and the crew of the Ocean Endeavour, we transfer you to the airport for your onward flight. You may also choose to spend an extra day or two in Ushuaia, giving you time to explore this fascinating town and the surrounding areas.

 

 

 

MAP

 

 

 

OCEAN  ENDEAVOUR

The Ocean Endeavour our spacious, ice-strengthened vessel features twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, and stabilizers. A doctor, paramedic, medical clinic, and enhanced health regime offer peace of mind. Roomy facilities offer comfortable travel with plenty of breathing room for all.

 

 

Cabin Category 10, Double Suite, Deck 7

  • Window
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath with full tub
  • Sitting area
  • Refrigerator
  • ¢17,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 9, Double Junior, Deck 5

  • Window
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bathroom, some with bathtub
  • Sitting area
  • Refrigerator
  • $16,695USD/per person

Cabin Category 9, Double Junior, Deck 7

  • Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath with full tub
  • Sitting area
  • Refrigerator
  • $16,695USD/per person

Cabin Category 8, Superior Twin, Deck 5

  • Windows, some with partially obscured views
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Sitting area
  • Refrigerator
  • $15,695USD/per person

Cabin Category 8, Superior Twin, Deck 7 Forward-Facing

  • Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath with full tub
  • Approximately 180 square feet
  • $15,695USD/per person

Cabin Category 8, Superior Twin, Deck 7

  • Windows, some with partially obscured views
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath
  • Sitting area
  • Refrigerator
  • $15,695USD/per person

Cabin Category 7, Select Twin, Deck 5

  • Window
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • $14,645USD/per person

Cabin Category 7, Select Twin, Deck 8

  • Window
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath
  • Refrigerator
  • $14,645USD/per person

Cabin Category 6, Comfort Twin, Deck 4

  • Window
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • $13,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 6, Comfort Twin, Deck 7

  • Window
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • Refrigerator
  • $13,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 6, Comfort Twin, Deck 8

  • Window
  • Matrimonial bed (bigger than US double but smaller than a Queen)
  • Private bath
  • Refrigerator
  • $13,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 5, Main Twin, Deck 5

  • Window
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • $12,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 4, Exterior Twin, Deck 4

  • Porthole window
  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • $14,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 3, Interior Twin, Deck 4

  • Two lower berths
  • Private bath
  • $13,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 2, Triple, Deck 4

  • Three lower berths
  • Two private baths
  • $11,795USD/per person

Cabin Category 1, Single, Deck 5

  • One lower berth
  • Private bath
  • $18,795USD/per person

 

What’s not included in your Antarctic trips?

When booking your voyage, please enquire about international and domestic flights and transfers to and from your destination. We can arrange tour accommodation pre- and post-trip. Optional activities such as sea kayaking, snowshoeing and camping need to be booked prior to your journey. Drinks, souvenirs, laundry services and any communication charges are not included and need to be purchased separately.

What’s included on your Antarctic trips?

Comfortable accommodation and comprehensive pre-departure information ensure the essential details are taken care of. Our onboard chefs pride themselves on all meals provided, with tea and coffee available around the clock. On departure, you will be provided with rubber boots to use for the duration of your trip so you are ready to explore. On all our polar expeditions, you have the option to step off the ship onto our fleet of sturdy Zodiac boats. Opportunities for bird and wildlife watching are the backbone of our expeditions. Groups are hosted by world-renowned naturalists and ornithologists, giving you insights to the Antarctic environment and its wildlife.

How fit do I need to be to participate?

All of our Antarctic trips are accessible to people of all levels of fitness with no major mobility issues and do not require any physical preparation. Activities onshore and excursions involve a bit of walking, but all are optional. You may have to cross uneven ground and take on challenging conditions underfoot. You will have support stepping on and off the Zodiac boats.

Are there vaccinations required for this region?

Vaccinations vary from country to country. We strongly recommend you visit your travel doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure, so allow plenty of time.

What if I get seasick? Is there medical assistance on board?

The waters of the Antarctic can be rough, especially when crossing the Drake Passage. If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before departing.

It's also recommended that passengers come equipped with motion sickness tablets or patches and avoid eating greasy foods or consuming alcohol. There is a doctor on board to assist in severe cases!
A licensed doctor and an emergency doctor are assigned to every ship.

How far in advance should I book an Antarctica trip?

As Antarctic trips are seasonal, they tend to book out quickly! Our advice is to book as soon as you've made the decision to travel – you can look at availability on the trip page.

International flights are available for booking approximately 11 months prior to the tour departure date. Please contact us to discuss booking options.

Are there extra/optional activities?

You'll get plenty of opportunities to step off the ship for an up-close look at wildlife and take part in excursions. There are also other ways to see this amazing place! Hike to remote alcoves with an experienced guide, sea-kayaking, snowshoeing, and camping! These additional activities must be booked before departure and incur additional costs. Spaces are limited, so please enquire at the time of booking.

Can I visit Antarctica any time of year?

Not exactly. Trips to Antarctica depart between November and March. This is during the summer months allowing better access (the ice has melted a little). There is also more light to explore and see wildlife this time of year!

Late spring and early summer (November to early December)
As the winter pack-ice begins to melt, fresh and magnificent ice landscapes emerge and animals come out to play.

  • Witness the courting rituals of colonies of penguins and seabirds
  • Watch seals take to fast ice and shorelines
  • See spring wildflowers bloom on Falkland and South Georgia Islands
  • View elephant and fur seals establishing breeding territories
  • See ice at its sharpest.

Full summer (mid-December to January)
The festive season sees local wildlife activity reach an incredible peak.

  • Watch seal pups play on Falkland and South Georgia Islands
  • Keep an eye out for the increasing number of visiting whales
  • The long days and wondrous midnight light is perfect for photography
  • Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins are sheltering eggs; chicks hatch in January.

Late summer (February to March)
At this spectacular time of year, you can witness:

  • Penguin chicks beginning to fledge
  • Snow algae in bloom
  • Beautiful Antarctic sunrises and sunsets
  • Whale sightings at their best
I am travelling alone. Will you find a roomie for me?

Yes! If you’re travelling alone, you’ll be paired with another wild woman  to bunk with.

If you don’t want to share your space, mention it to our support team when booking and they may be able to organize your own room – we call this a single supplement – depending on availability. You will need to pay a single supplement charge.

Can I pay for a single supplement/upgrade?

If you're travelling solo and would prefer not to be paired up with a fellow wild woman to share a room, ask our support team if a 'single supplement'  is available. This is subject to availability and an additional charge.

If you are travelling with someone, please let us know what room setup you would prefer (twin or double, or in some cases triple rooms may be available).

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is absolutely necessary on all Wild Women tours and a condition of travel. When selecting your policy, it should be comprehensive and cover medical expenses, including emergency repatriation. We strongly suggest the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

Can you help arrange my travel visas?

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a rule of thumb, most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months validity on your passport. On arrival, you may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

If you have more questions about this please reach out to support@wildwomenexpeditions.com

What happens if there is bad weather?

Trip delays and unforeseen disruptions are not uncommon in Antarctica – mainly due to weather and sea conditions – so a travel insurance policy that covers bad weather delays is an absolute must (especially if you are travelling on a fly/cruise voyage).

When travelling in remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, ice and weather to guide the route and itinerary details. Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel and means that every voyage is unique. Please be aware that while we endeavour to make the best arrangements for each trip, no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

General

What’s not included in your Antarctic trips?

When booking your voyage, please enquire about international and domestic flights and transfers to and from your destination. We can arrange tour accommodation pre- and post-trip. Optional activities such as sea kayaking, snowshoeing and camping need to be booked prior to your journey. Drinks, souvenirs, laundry services and any communication charges are not included and need to be purchased separately.

What’s included on your Antarctic trips?

Comfortable accommodation and comprehensive pre-departure information ensure the essential details are taken care of. Our onboard chefs pride themselves on all meals provided, with tea and coffee available around the clock. On departure, you will be provided with rubber boots to use for the duration of your trip so you are ready to explore. On all our polar expeditions, you have the option to step off the ship onto our fleet of sturdy Zodiac boats. Opportunities for bird and wildlife watching are the backbone of our expeditions. Groups are hosted by world-renowned naturalists and ornithologists, giving you insights to the Antarctic environment and its wildlife.

How fit do I need to be to participate?

All of our Antarctic trips are accessible to people of all levels of fitness with no major mobility issues and do not require any physical preparation. Activities onshore and excursions involve a bit of walking, but all are optional. You may have to cross uneven ground and take on challenging conditions underfoot. You will have support stepping on and off the Zodiac boats.

Are there vaccinations required for this region?

Vaccinations vary from country to country. We strongly recommend you visit your travel doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure, so allow plenty of time.

What if I get seasick? Is there medical assistance on board?

The waters of the Antarctic can be rough, especially when crossing the Drake Passage. If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before departing.

It's also recommended that passengers come equipped with motion sickness tablets or patches and avoid eating greasy foods or consuming alcohol. There is a doctor on board to assist in severe cases!
A licensed doctor and an emergency doctor are assigned to every ship.

How far in advance should I book an Antarctica trip?

As Antarctic trips are seasonal, they tend to book out quickly! Our advice is to book as soon as you've made the decision to travel – you can look at availability on the trip page.

International flights are available for booking approximately 11 months prior to the tour departure date. Please contact us to discuss booking options.

Are there extra/optional activities?

You'll get plenty of opportunities to step off the ship for an up-close look at wildlife and take part in excursions. There are also other ways to see this amazing place! Hike to remote alcoves with an experienced guide, sea-kayaking, snowshoeing, and camping! These additional activities must be booked before departure and incur additional costs. Spaces are limited, so please enquire at the time of booking.

Can I visit Antarctica any time of year?

Not exactly. Trips to Antarctica depart between November and March. This is during the summer months allowing better access (the ice has melted a little). There is also more light to explore and see wildlife this time of year!

Late spring and early summer (November to early December)
As the winter pack-ice begins to melt, fresh and magnificent ice landscapes emerge and animals come out to play.

  • Witness the courting rituals of colonies of penguins and seabirds
  • Watch seals take to fast ice and shorelines
  • See spring wildflowers bloom on Falkland and South Georgia Islands
  • View elephant and fur seals establishing breeding territories
  • See ice at its sharpest.

Full summer (mid-December to January)
The festive season sees local wildlife activity reach an incredible peak.

  • Watch seal pups play on Falkland and South Georgia Islands
  • Keep an eye out for the increasing number of visiting whales
  • The long days and wondrous midnight light is perfect for photography
  • Gentoo, Adelie and chinstrap penguins are sheltering eggs; chicks hatch in January.

Late summer (February to March)
At this spectacular time of year, you can witness:

  • Penguin chicks beginning to fledge
  • Snow algae in bloom
  • Beautiful Antarctic sunrises and sunsets
  • Whale sightings at their best
I am travelling alone. Will you find a roomie for me?

Yes! If you’re travelling alone, you’ll be paired with another wild woman  to bunk with.

If you don’t want to share your space, mention it to our support team when booking and they may be able to organize your own room – we call this a single supplement – depending on availability. You will need to pay a single supplement charge.

Can I pay for a single supplement/upgrade?

If you're travelling solo and would prefer not to be paired up with a fellow wild woman to share a room, ask our support team if a 'single supplement'  is available. This is subject to availability and an additional charge.

If you are travelling with someone, please let us know what room setup you would prefer (twin or double, or in some cases triple rooms may be available).

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Travel insurance is absolutely necessary on all Wild Women tours and a condition of travel. When selecting your policy, it should be comprehensive and cover medical expenses, including emergency repatriation. We strongly suggest the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

Can you help arrange my travel visas?

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a rule of thumb, most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months validity on your passport. On arrival, you may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

If you have more questions about this please reach out to support@wildwomenexpeditions.com

What happens if there is bad weather?

Trip delays and unforeseen disruptions are not uncommon in Antarctica – mainly due to weather and sea conditions – so a travel insurance policy that covers bad weather delays is an absolute must (especially if you are travelling on a fly/cruise voyage).

When travelling in remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, ice and weather to guide the route and itinerary details. Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel and means that every voyage is unique. Please be aware that while we endeavour to make the best arrangements for each trip, no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Meals

What type of food will I eat?

The food served on the ship is excellent! Breakfasts and lunches tend to be buffet-style, with dinners generally served to your table and usually featuring three courses. A vegetarian choice is always offered. The range of food is diverse, with professional chefs preparing a wide selection of gourmet dishes.

What if I have dietary requirements/restrictions?

If you have any dietary requirements or food allergies, please let us know before the trip starts. If you have a more restrictive dietary requirement (vegan, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, etc) it is likely you can be catered for. Unfortunately, we are unable to cater to a kosher diet.

Responsible Travel

How does WWE minimize its environmental impact?

Our partners are both members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators operators (IATTO) – dedicated to promoting and practicing safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica.

Members of IATTO are obligated to operate within the parameters of the Antarctic Treaty System along with IMO Conventions and similar international and national laws and agreements.

How can I be environmentally conscious on my trip?

Tourism and cruise activities in the Antarctic operate within a comprehensive framework of international and national laws and regulations to ensure safety and preservation of the environment.

You will be briefed during each trip on the best way to be respectful, environmentally friendly and safe during the expedition.

Top responsible travel tips for The Antarctic:

  • Don’t use aircraft, vessels, small boats or other means of transport in ways that disturb wildlife, either at sea or on land.
  • Don’t feed, touch or handle birds or seals, and don’t approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behaviour. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or moulting.
  • To avoid damaging plants, refrain from walking, driving, or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes.
  • Don’t take ‘souvenirs’ of rocks or flora off the island.
  • Ensure that all backpacks and clothing that will be worn on shore are free of seeds and other foreign matter before going ashore.
  • Know the location of areas that have been afforded special protection and observe any restrictions regarding entry and activities that can be carried out in and near those areas.
  • Be careful not to damage, remove, or destroy historic sites or monuments, or any artifacts associated with them.
  • Don’t interfere with scientific research facilities or equipment.
  • Dispose of rubbish thoughtfully, including cigarette butts. Refrain from smoking in wilderness areas and leave no rubbish behind.
  • For more tips, see the IATTO visitor guidelines.

Geography and Wildlife

Where is Antarctica?

Antarctica is the seventh continent in the world, located on the southernmost part of the globe. Its closest access point is in South America (Ushuaia, Argentina is the major thoroughfare for Antarctic cruises). From here you can visit the Antarctic Peninsula as well as the sub-Antarctic islands such as South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. A cruise will take anywhere from 10 to 23 days when leaving from Ushuaia; if crossing directly to the peninsula you can be there in as soon as one-and-a-half to two days.

Antarctica is governed internationally through the Antarctic Treaty system. The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by the 12 countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica at the time. Among the original signatories of the Antarctic Treaty were Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom. These countries have various territorial claims to parts of Antarctica, some of which overlap. The Antarctic Treaty helps avoid any conflict over sovereignty. It entered into force in 1961 and has since been agreed to by many other nations.

What kind of wildlife will I see?

Each day brings the possibility of new wildlife sightings!
Check out the Adelie and king penguins; leopard and Weddell seals; orcas patrolling the waters; fin and humpback whales breaching nearby, and in some parts you can see albatross.
The opportunities to encounter wildlife on each voyage are endless!

Our Ships

What type of ship do you use in Antarctica?

All expedition vessels have ice-strengthened hulls so they are perfectly suited to travel in this icy environment. As well as being tough expedition vessels, they are built for passenger comfort; all cabins have an ensuite, the majority of cabins are external with either a window or a porthole, and the ships’ restaurants, lecture theatres and lounges are warm and cozy.

What is a Zodiac?

Can you say fun? All ships are accompanied by a sturdy, inflatable fleet of Zodiac boats. These small vessels fit 10–12 people and are used to transfer passengers from the ship to the shore. Essential to all polar voyages, they’re also used to navigate closer to the ice and get up close to marine life!

How much room is there for luggage?

Cabins vary in size, including what storage space is available. There are wardrobes and drawers to allow you to unpack completely and some ships have a mudroom so that you don’t need to store wet gear in your cabin.

It is recommended that you travel with soft luggage so that once emptied, it can go under your bunk or at the bottom of a wardrobe.

What's included in our cabins?
  • Basic toiletries are provided in the ensuite of your room, such as soap, shower gel and shampoo.
  • Yes, hairdryers are available in rooms on all polar trips.

Are ships accessible for people with physical restrictions?

Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access on our ships. Some ships have lifts but these may not access all decks on the ship. There are often stairways, and passengers need to be mobile enough to keep themselves steady and be able to get around reasonably without being assisted. We can help you to further clarify whether this trip is right for you.

Is there smoking on board?

There is a designated outdoor space for smoking on each ship.

Is there internet, Wi-Fi and telephone access on the ships?

Internet access is available on most Antarctic ships, at a cost. Alternatively, there may be a ship-based email system where you will have an email account to stay in touch with family and friends. Because of the remoteness of Antarctica, connections can be slow, so all ships charge for data used rather than time spent online. Please refer to your detailed pre-departure information for more information on Internet facilities on your ship.

The short answer is no, your mobile phone will not work during your tour of Antarctica.

Antarctica is still a remote and wild destination with a telecommunications system to match. We think you’ll enjoy it best if you embrace the adventure and leave uploading all your photos and giving your friends the rundown until you get home.

That being said, you won't be totally cut off from the wider world. All of the  Antarctic expeditions operate on vessels equipped with satellite phones that can be operated at the discretion of the ship manager on a pay-per-minute basis. However, satellite communications from the ship can be disrupted when travelling through mountainous areas or through narrow channels, or until satellites next pass overhead. As such, these phones are generally reserved for emergencies only.

Internet access is possible via wi-fi on your personal laptop or device in certain areas of the ship and is charged via a prepaid card which can be purchased through the ship manager. Be aware that connections can be slow and intermittent, so all ships charge for data used rather than time spent online. Accessing some websites such as Facebook using the ship's wi-fi will be very expensive, as downloading picture-heavy content uses a large amount of data. Text-only emails are therefore the most affordable way to communicate with friends and family at home.

If you are planning a trip to Antarctica, make sure your loved ones have realistic expectations of your (in)ability to communicate with them.

What is the currency on board?

There is no currency in Antarctica. The unit of currency in Argentina is the Argentinean peso, in Chile it is the Chilean peso and in Uruguay it is the Uruguayan peso. If your Antarctic cruise includes the Falkland Islands, the currency of the islands is the Falkland Islands pound, although the GBP is accepted as well. If you visit Port Lockroy Post Office on the Antarctic Peninsula, USD is accepted, as is the GBP and EUR. Most cruise ships accept EUR and USD. Major credit cards, particularly Visa and MasterCard, are widely accepted on board. In general, all onboard purchases made during the cruise are charged to your cabin and settled at the end of the voyage.

Will I be able to change currency on board?
No. You will need to come prepared with local currency for any purchases made off the ship. Refer to your pre-departure information for more detail.

What forms of payment do you accept on board?

Major credit cards are accepted on all ships. Refer to your pre-departure information for information on currencies accepted onboard.

What language is spoken on board?

All announcements made onboard are in English.
At times, there may be large groups of non-English speakers travelling with their own translator. Although the crew will be from various countries and speak multiple languages, the only translation service offered for individual travellers is on Quark ships in Mandarin.

Are life jackets provided?

Yes, all ships are equipped with life jackets. You will wear a life jacket every time you step off the ship and into a Zodiac boat, or if you choose to go kayaking.