Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland

Antarctic Peninsula



10 Days / 9 Nights











Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland



Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland Itinerary

Day 1: Departure from Ushuaia

This Classic Antarctica itinerary begins on the embarkation day when you board the Ushuaia ship at the dock in Ushuaia city, located in Patagonia, southern Argentina. At this point, during the afternoon you will be introduced to your expedition, and lecture staff. Thereafter, once everyone has settled into their cabins the ship will set sail, navigating the historically famous Beagle Channel. Moreover, the navigation will take in the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Days 2 & 3: Crossing the Drake Passage

Particularly, the Drake Passage was named after the renowned English explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578. Moreover, this stretch of water is also the point where the Antarctic Convergence occurs. That is to say, that this is a natural biological barrier where the cold, polar water from the Antarctic, meets the warmer, northern Atlantic waters. Consequently, the colder water drops down under the warmer water resulting in a great upwelling of nutrients. Significantly, it is this phenomenon that sustains the biodiversity of this region. In addition, the Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.


During the navigation, the on-board lecturers will be out and about on deck to help with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds. This will include many albatrosses, which follow in the wake of the ship. Another key point is that The Ushuaia runs an “open bridge” policy, which permits passengers to join the crew on the bridge.  As a result, guests can learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view.  In addition, a full program of lectures will be offered as well.

In particular, when the first sightings of icebergs, and snow-capped mountains appear we will be close to the South Shetland Islands. Another point worthy of mention is this that this is a group of twenty islands and islets, first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith.

Then, on day 3, as long as the weather permits the lecturers and naturalists will accompany passengers ashore whereupon you can experience your first encounter with penguins and seals.

Days 4 to 7: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands

Above all, the South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. For example, there are large penguin rookeries, beaches that are dominated by Antarctic fur seals, and Southern elephant seals. Above all, these sights make for an unforgettable day, for each day spent on this amazing island group. Moreover, sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is breathtaking.

Among the South Shetland Islands archipelago, King George Island is the largest. Here the you will be able to see colonies of nesting Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels. In addition, this island is where various countries have their Antarctic, scientific bases.

Furthermore, on Livingston Island there are Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins, as well as elephant seals.

Another key point is to mention one of the added benefits of joining an Antarctica expedition trip. For example, you will be able to enjoy an experience closely associated with what the early explorer’s to the region also felt. They, too, will have seen pretty much the exact, same sights.

Without a doubt, you will have plenty of time to explore Antarctica’s amazing scenery. As can be seen in some of the pictures on this page, it is a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, filled with an incredibly wide variety of wildlife. Furthermore, 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.

Beautiful Waterways

For the most part, our aim will be 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.

Notwithstanding bad weather, we plan to make at least two landings per day, and possible landing sites may include:

Paradise Bay. This is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world, and is where we attempt a landing on the actual Antarctica continent.

We also aim to navigate through 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. In 1903, the Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

In addition, if conditions permit, further exploration may take us to the Melchior Island group. This archipelago comprises: Cuverville Island, Portal Point, Neko Harbour, Pléneau Island. Another key point, is that if ice conditions permit, we will go to Petermann Island for a visit to the southernmost colony of Gentoo Penguins.

Days 8 & 9: Crossing the Drake Passage, Northbound

Unfortunately the ship has to head back to Ushuaia and therefore it will navigate north across the Drake Passage. Above all, this is the moment when passengers can join with lecturers and naturalists on deck. Together, you will be able to search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures. To conclude, this is the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 10: Arrival to Ushuaia

Given that the ship has to return to port, we will arrive back to Ushuaia. Whereupon, after breakfast, passengers will be able to disembark.

It is Important to Note

The above itinerary is a guide only. That is to say that the exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions. In addition, to also take advantage of the best opportunities to view wildlife. Therefore, changes are often made by the Captain and / or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. For this reason, a daily program sheet will be issued and published on board.

In the final analysis, flexibility is the key to success.

Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland Clothes to Bring

Antarctica is generally a cold place. It can be windy, raining and snowing. Therefore you will need to pack clothes that can protect you from the elements as well as keep you warm. However, we will supply you with advice about what clothes to pack during the reservation confirmation process.

Please click on any image below to enlarge.

Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland


In addition to the sensible reasons why you should book this Classic Antarctica itinerary, if you ask us to handle the reservation, we will add to it one of these services, FREE of charge (min 2 people):

1 – Hotel night at one of our partners hotels in Chile or Argentina.

2 – Private transfer, if required, between the airport and hotel, or between the hotel and El Calafate.

3 – Return flights to Ushuaia from Buenos Aires.

Moreover, conditions of the above: ExperienceChile.Org will decide which one of the above offers is most suitable.

If you’d like us to suggest or create an itinerary for you, please EMAIL US.


Direct Classic Antarctica Request Email:

Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland

Ushuaia Ship Summary

Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland

The Ushuaia Ship

The Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland Expedition on board The Ushuaia Ship. One of the great advantages to visiting Antarctica on the Ushuaia ship is that it is a mid-sized, comfortable expedition vessel with only 46 cabins. This restricts the maximum passenger capacity to be only 90 passengers. Therefore, this keeps things “personal” and cozy on board. Another key point is that The Ushuaia, is an ice-strengthened polar vessel, was originally built for the United States agency National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Consequently, the ship well appointed, providing spacious deck areas as well as an “open bridge” policy.

Antarctica Peninsula and South Shetland Storage on Board

In addition, there is also a good amount of storage space in the cabins.

Moreover, the public sectors include a large dining room, which is used for a “one sitting” meal service. Furthermore, there is an open-plan observation lounge, which also serves as a lecture room, with modern multimedia equipment. Plus there is a well-stocked bar with selected wines and spirits, as well as a library. In addition, there is a sick bay room and a changing room.  In addition to all the previously-mentioned attributes, the ship has a full complement of inflatable landing craft to provide shore landings, and wildlife viewing opportunities, on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.


 How to Book Your Classic Antarctica Expedition Voyage

In order to experience all that this itinerary has to offer, you can book the 9 – night, all-inclusive stay through ExperienceChile.Org . Remember, you can also benefit from our offer mentioned on this page.

If you’d like us to suggest or create an itinerary for you, please EMAIL US.


Direct Classic Antarctica Request Email:

The Ushuaia Ship Deck Plan

Bridge Deck H


Upper Deck G



Main Deck F


Deck E



Classic Antarctica Navigation Route Map



Please Send Us Your Enquiry

For the best service please supply us with as much information as you can. For example, where you want to go, what you want to do, what you want to experience and how much money you want to spend (or do not want to spend!).  How many people, what type of beds (matrimonial, twin, single etc.)


In the event that you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention”. For example, privacy and/or security for your trip please use an alias in the enquiry but mention that you are VIP and one of the directors will handle your request and keep your real name and details confidential.


Ask us to handle ALL of your South America, or Chile trip and we WILL include some items for free or at special lower-than-public rates. How much we can offer you depends on how much we can arrange and book for you. REQUEST@EXPERIENCECHILE.ORG

Remember, our specialty is to create a travel itinerary custom-built to your needs.

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