Immerse yourself in the raw beauty of the Great White Continent.
Welcome to the pinnacle of expedition travel – Antarctica. It’s a place of extremes, where the wildlife and landscape paint a picture like nowhere else in the world. The extraordinary islands around the Antarctic Peninsula are a stunning reward for those who conquer the infamous Drake Passage – which is all of you – and amid the Antarctic’s barren beauty you may well encounter orcas, humpback whales, seals and penguins. Explore the ice-filled waters by Zodiac then set foot on the rock and ice that makes up this mysterious continent, and spend your evenings enjoying the state-of-the-art ship and its health and wellness facilities. You’ll be talking about this journey for years to come.
Why you'll love this trip
This is the extended, 11-day version of our classic Antarctica cruise, perfect for first time explorers or seasoned adventurers. With an extra day on the Antarctic Peninsula, you will experience more of the Great White Continent.
Freezing is great but freedom is better. Customise your trip with a wide range of optional activities on top of regular Zodiac excursions. Explore the water by kayak, sign up for a photography masterclass, rejuvenate with some onboard yoga and a massage, take a refreshing polar plunge or camp overnight like a true polar explorer.
Whereas most polar expeditions of this kind have a crew-to-passenger ratio of ten, fifteen or twenty to one, Intrepid expeditions on the Ocean Endeavour have an expedition crew member for every 8 passengers for a greater personal touch.
Our experienced leaders have made hundreds of polar voyages between them. They’re experts in marine biology, glaciology and Antarctic history, and they’ll share their knowledge throughout the journey during a comprehensive lecture program.
Rest assured that footprints are all you’ll leave behind. Your Antarctica expedition is carbon offset, and we serve only sustainably sourced seafood, avoid single-use plastics and use biodegradable and phosphate-free cleaning products.
Travelling solo? This is your perfect Antarctic adventure, with single cabins at the same price as some twins.
Is this trip right for you?
Although our ice-strengthened ships are big and sturdy, the Antarctic waters can be unpredictable and rough. Some people may experience seasickness, especially through the Drake Passage and other open water crossings, so please be prepared with medications to combat this – we’d hate for you to miss a single minute of this journey. There is also a doctor on board should you need further assistance.
Believe it or not, temperatures in the Antarctic can be freezing. And yet it can get surprisingly warm when the sun comes out, for instance, or with increased physical activity. It’s best to dress in layers when you journey outside and we’ll provide you with waterproof boots that are sturdy, warm and highly fashionable (in Antarctica, at least). Please see the trip notes for information about what to bring.
Depending on the weather, you’ll be zipping around in a Zodiac boat quite regularly to explore the area and search for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you dress appropriately and keep your camera safe and dry. Being cold and miserable is one thing, having no photos to show for it is another. Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings from the boat, as well as on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The Ocean Endeavour has a lift, but you’ll need to take the stairs to get to the gangway and some other parts of the ship that the lift does not provide access to.
The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure, and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area. There are nearly 200 recognised sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands; the places mentioned in the itinerary may need to be changed to others (which are equally as interesting). We may also be confined to the ship during rough weather. The ship’s library and educational lectures are ideal ways to stay entertained, while the wellness spa, saunas, gym and yoga classes will keep you fresh for when the weather clears.
Day 1: Ushuaia
Welcome to Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city. You’ll be briefed at the hotel tonight on the journey and details for tomorrow’s embarkation, but if you happen to arrive early there are a surprising amount of ways to entertain yourself at ‘the End of the World’. Check out the Museo Maritimo to brush up on the region’s history, or take a stroll down Avenida San Martin if you’re after any last-minute essentials before departing. Oh, and did we mention this is Argentina – if all else fails, head to a local restaurant to get your fill of red wine and steak. Muy bueno.
Hotel (1 night)
There are no meals included on this day.
An arrival transfer from the airport on Day 1 is included in your voyage fare. Full details will be sent with your final joining instructions.
Day 2: Ushuaia – Embarkation Day
This afternoon you’ll board the Ocean Endeavour, settle into your cabin and begin cruising down the stunning Beagle Channel, named for Charles Darwin’s ship. The channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America, and as the ship pulls away from port there’s always an air of anticipation. Wave goodbye to Argentina and know that the next time you see land you’ll be staring at Antarctica.
Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Days 3-4: Drake Passage
The time has come to cross the Drake Passage, the legendary body of water named after English explorer Sir Francis Drake. If the conditions are right, enjoy some time out on deck to spot dolphins, orcas or perhaps albatross. If the waters are a little rough, the Ocean Endeavour is equipped with some seriously lush facilities for you to take advantage of. As well as safety briefings, a comprehensive lecture program will run throughout the journey delivered by experts in Antarctica’s history, geology and biology. With any luck we’ll make it to land by early evening on Day 4 – a moment that always brings much excitement.
Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Days 5-8: Antarctic Peninsula
The adventure truly begins once the Antarctic Convergence is left in your wake and exchanged for four incredible days of exploring the Antarctic Peninsula. Stare wide-eyed at glaciers, mountains and an unimaginable array of wildlife as the sheer magnitude and rawness of the area comes to light. Every day is a new adventure, and you’ll explore ice-filled bays and channels as well as Antarctica itself on Zodiac excursions and by foot. While the landscapes will no doubt take your breath away, Antarctica is all about the wildlife. Visit penguin rookeries, spot humpback and minke whales and look out for leopard seals, all while calving glaciers crack through the immense silence. The landing sites visited will depend on the ship's location and weather conditions.
Expedition Cruise Ship (4 nights)
Days 9-10: At Sea
Say goodbye to the Antarctic Peninsula as we begin our return leg to Ushuaia. Take the opportunity to share photographs with fellow travellers, use your now expert skills in wildlife spotting and enjoy the final lectures from your polar experts. It’s also a great opportunity to make use of the Ocean Endeavour’s health and wellness facilities, including its saunas, spa, heated pool, yoga classes and gym.
Expedition Cruise Ship (2 nights)
Day 11: Ushuaia – Disembarkation Day
Your Antarctic adventure draws to a close after breakfast this morning. Farewell your shipmates and transfer to the airport if you’re flying out today, or perhaps spend some more time exploring this incredible part of the world.
A departure transfer to the airport is included in your voyage fare if you are flying out today. Please speak to an Intrepid booking agent to organise this.
If you are flying out today, please do not book your flight to depart Ushuaia before midday in case of any delays caused by unfavourable weather conditions.
Departing 20 November 2021