Take a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the "last continent", an unspoiled landscape of glaciers and icy pristine waters. Cross the Drake Passage by ship and prep for the adventure with engaging talks and presentations. Once there, sea conditions determine the itinerary, but our ships call on remarkable places such as Deception Island-a volcanic caldera that we can sail into-and Paradise Bay, a favorite spot for Zodiac cruising to see fantastical iceberg sculptures. Opportunities abound to see penguins, seals, seabirds, and whales, who raise their young in this frozen paradise. See below for a sample itinerary of your 2021 day-to-day activities.
Venture to the last frontier of raw wilderness, the world's most remote destination
Journey by ice-strengthened expedition ship through a spectacular wonderland of ice and mountains
Discover abundant wildlife and epic landscapes by ship, foot, Zodiac, and optional kayak
Welcome to windswept Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, located at the southernmost tip of South America! Upon arrival, make your way to the hotel for an included pre-voyage stay and check in with the welcome desk to collect your luggage tags for the voyage ahead. This evening is at your leisure.
Begin the day with a transfer to the pier, where your expedition ship awaits. After settling into your cabin and exploring the vessel, meet the expedition team and fellow passengers. Feel the excitement in the air as you indulge in a welcome cocktail and dinner, and cast off — bound for Antarctica and the adventure of a lifetime.
Continue your sailing adventure across the 620-mile Drake Passage. Experience the wonders of the Antarctic Convergence, where cold waters of the Antarctic meet the warmer seas of the Atlantic — attracting seabirds and whales to feast on surfacing nutrients. Please note that Drake Passage crossings can be rough, but are usually tolerable (seasickness medication helps).
During the voyage, prep for upcoming adventures with interesting presentations by onboard experts about the environment, wildlife, and history of Antarctica. Drawing closer to the Peninsula, feel the first signs of Antarctic magic. Breathe in the refreshing air, glimpse huge, tabular icebergs, and see the first signs of local wildlife.
Be dazzled by the first glimpse of the continent at Paradise Bay. Enjoy panoramic views from the top of a hill and keep an eye out for whales and seabirds. Take a Zodiac ride around fantastic turquoise and blue ice sculptures, which have been shaped by wind and water.
Spend Days 4 to 8 cruising the Peninsula, venturing ashore for walks whenever possible. Many factors play a role in shaping the itinerary based on ever-changing Antarctic conditions, but the experienced expedition leaders craft the best possible experience based on weather conditions.
Visit the peninsula's largest gentoo penguin colony of approximately 5,000 nesting pairs on Cuverville Island's rocky beach. Southern giant petrels, kelp gulls, and Antarctic terns also gather here. Cruise by Zodiac or paddle by kayak (optional program) among the bergs while keeping an eye out for curious leopard seals and humpback whales feeding offshore. Small coveys of gentoos sometimes swim by, their soft calls producing background music.
Climb to the summit of Orne Island on the Gerlache Strait for 360-degree panoramic views of the area. Some chinstrap penguins nest at the very top; these are the "mountain climbers" of the penguin world, preferring the view from the top of the cliffs.
Over the course of the spring and summer, the sun lingers longer, melting snow and ice. Wildlife grows in abundance: chicks hatch and pods of whales breach in a deep bay. The natural cycle of life ensures that every expedition is different and full of surprises!
Visit Paulet Island, where hundreds of thousands of penguin pairs nest with their chicks. Find the remains of the Swedish Antarctic Expedition's Captain's hut. Twenty men wintered here, surviving on penguins and seals.
Cruise through the breathtakingly narrow Lemaire Channel, with mountain walls rising thousands of feet straight out of the water. Keep an eye out for humpbacks, orcas, and leopard seals among the ice floes. This is one of the most scenic locations in Antarctica. However, the passage may sometimes become impassable.
Begin to travel back north to the South Shetland Islands, where the crescent-shaped Half Moon Island lies nestled within a passage. Spectacular mountains tower all around the fur seals and many species of birds, such as kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills.
Sail into Deception Island, one of the few volcanic calderas in the world that large ships may sail into. Explore abandoned whaling station ruins and take an active hike to "Neptune's Window" - high up onto the rim of the crater. If the conditions are right, partake in the "polar plunge" in the thermal waters along the shore.
Sail across the same passage back to Ushuaia, having walked the path of the great Antarctic adventurers. Muse upon the skies and vast landscapes of the continent, just as explorers Cook, Ross, Scott and Shackleton did. Take time to review your photographs with the onboard photography expert.
Rest and reflect as the ship continues its journey towards home and opt to take advantage of the onboard spa services. Cap off the trip with a sail past Cape Horn on the way to Ushuaia, weather permitting.
Arrive back in Ushuaia early this morning and bid farewell to your crew and fellow travelers. Transfer to the airport for onward or homeward-bound flights. Otherwise enjoy a night in town or venture further afield to explore the highlights of Patagonia.
MT Sobek's Polar Value Promise means that we offer in-house services to help plan and execute you polar adventure for no added cost.
Over 30 years offering polar voyages we have built strong relationships with polar outfitters and ships that cruise the 7th continent.
We choose ships and operators that maintain a high level of commitment to safety, people, value, quality, environment, well-being, and customer service.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Expert polar interpretation and presentations, professional navigation through Antarctic waters, and up-close wildlife experiences on shore and by Zodiac. Optional kayaking.
Ice-strengthened and well-appointed polar expedition ships offer a comfortable and safe way to explore Antarctica. Enjoy healthy cuisine and wellness services onboard.
Antarctica is unpredictable. There may be days of warm sunshine, but be prepared for wind, rain, and possible snow. Daytime temperatures are usually 20°-32°F.
If you are joining for the 2019/2020 season, you need to arrive the day before the start of the trip to either Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile. Please check with us on the arrival city before booking flights. The accommodation is not included that night, but we can help reserve it for you.
If you are joining for the 2020/2021 season, you need to arrive on Day 1 in Ushuaia and the accommodation is included that night.
The Drake Passage can have some treacherous ocean conditions at times. Crossings can be rough, but are usually tolerable. We recommend that you consult your doctor or bring seasickness medication.
There will be presentations & talks provided by the staff including a historian, wildlife experts and a photography expert. There is an onboard spa, library, gym, sauna, and pool.
Large variety of options at buffet breakfasts and lunches. Dinners include plated entrée choices (including vegetarian,) appetizers, and desserts. Full-bar onboard payable with onboard account.
Yes, each guest will have use of a complimentary rental package including a quality waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, and insulated rubber boots. Includes a pair of binoculars and a waterproof backpack.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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MT Sobek Guest
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