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Polar Circle Quest

Antarctic Peninsula


On Board the Ushuaia Ship

12 Days / 11 Nights











​Polar Circle Quest

Antarctic Peninsula



Polar Circle Quest

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia

Embark the USHUAIA 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.

Day 2 & 3: At Sea. 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 with the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.

The 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 favorable 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 to 9: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, the South Shetland Islands, and endeavor to cross the Polar Circle

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will also 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 and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.

As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.
On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.

Days 10 & 11: 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.

Day 12: Arrival in Ushuaia

We arrive at the port of Ushuaia in the early morning and disembark the USHUAIA after breakfast.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions and they will try their best to reach the Polar Circle. However if ice conditions do not allow access the route might be changed. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

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.

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.


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:

Ushuaia Ship Summary

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.

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 Polar Quest 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



Send Us Your Enquiry

Please supply us with as much information as you can about 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.)

VIP – if you are a VIP in any of the fields such as celebrity and/or political and/or business, and you need “special attention” such as 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.

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


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