Antarctic tourism centers around twenty or so vessels carrying 45 to 280 passengers each between November and February. The ships primarily embark from Ushuaia, Argentina to the Antarctic Peninsula region and some also include South Georgia and the Falkland Islands in their itineraries. There are several expeditions to remote regions outside the Peninsula each season, including voyages to the Weddell Sea, Ross Sea, and occasionally East Antarctica, including offshore islands. Most trips run 10 days to 3 weeks from port to port. Two weeks is at least a good introduction to the landscape, scenery, and wildlife, but shorter and longer trips are available. Most ships offer shore landings via rubber Zodiac boats and employ shipboard naturalists to enhance your wildlife experience. Adventurous travelers can even choose kayaking, camping, or helicopter tours as an added bonus to your itinerary.
There are several different itinerary options for cruising The White Continent:
Antarctic Adventure-12 Day
Board a research ship to begin your adventure in Ushuaia, Argentina. Travel across the Drake Passage to the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula, and then return back across the Drake to Argentina. Trips run from November to February. Choose activities from ice climbing and sea kayaking to camping and cross-country skiing. Best choice for the active, adventurous traveler.
Emperor Penguins: Snow Hill Island Safari-14 Day
Board a Russian icebreaker departing from Ushuaia, Argentina. You'll first cross the Drake Passage through Iceberg Alley to the Weddell Sea. Walk among Emperor penguins on Snow Hill Island, then sail to the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetlands. End trip at Ushuaia. Enjoy helicopter tours, nature viewing, photography, and whale watching. Trips run in November only. Best choice for the serious wildlife enthusiast.
Explorers' Route via Falklands and South Georgia-20 Day
Board an expedition cruise ship and sail from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina to the Falklands (Malvinas). Travel to South Georgia and Shackleton's Grave, then explore the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula. Finally, cross the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. Trips run December through February. Activities include modern history, nature viewing, photography, and whale watching. Best choice for a history lover with time to spare.
Classic Antarctica-12 Day
Board a luxury expedition at Santiago, Chile bound for Ushuaia, Argentina. Cruise the Drake Passage towards the Antarctic Peninsula and offshore islands, and then back across the Drake before returning to Ushuaia and finally, Santiago. Trips run November through February. Activities include nature viewing, photography, and whale watching. Best choice for a classic all-around trip to Antarctica's best.
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