Epic Antarctica - Crossing the Circle via Falklands and South Georgia

Ushuaia to Ushuaia

Antarctica, South Georgia, Falkland Islands
December & January
22 Nights

Choose Your Cruise Date

guest in the falkland islands
Includes Flight Seeing
Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires
Jan 18 2026 - Feb 09 2026
22 Nights

Price from per person

£21,654
Falkland islands elephant seals and penguins
Includes Flight Seeing
Buenos Aires to Buenos Aires
Dec 16 2024 - Jan 7 2025
22 Nights

Price from per person

£23,030
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Cruise Overview

We've named our journey to Antarctica "Epic" for good reason—it's a comprehensive 23-day exploration that covers the most iconic sights the continent and its surrounding islands have to offer. Imagine embarking on an unforgettable adventure that takes you from the wildlife-rich Falkland Islands to the penguin-filled shores of South Georgia and onto the breathtaking landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula. Along the way, you'll cross the Antarctic Circle, a feat that marks a significant achievement for any traveller.

Your adventure starts in the Falkland Islands, where you'll find a unique mix of sandy beaches akin to Cape Cod and the rugged beauty of English moors, all teeming with albatross, dolphins, and five distinct penguin species. Next, you'll be awed by South Georgia, a wildlife haven home to 300,000 breeding king penguins, an astounding 50 million seabirds, and 5 million seals. Then, as you make your way to the stunning Antarctic Peninsula, prepare to be captivated by its icy vistas.

For those seeking an even more extraordinary perspective, our groundbreaking helicopters will enable you to gain otherworldly perspectives of the frozen landscapes. 

For your ease and comfort, this expedition includes a return flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, where you will embark on the ship. 

epic Antarctica cruise map

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Dive into engaging talks given by our onboard experts in wildlife, history, glaciology, and geology, designed to enrich your understanding of the polar regions.
  • Wander through the charming British town of Stanley in the Falkland Islands, where quaint streets and historical landmarks await.
  • Marvel at the diverse array of wildlife; the area is a haven for over 30 species of breeding birds, including an impressive seven different types of penguins.
  • Trace the historic journey of Sir Ernest Shackleton across South Georgia, where you'll have the opportunity to pay your respects at his gravesite.
  • Celebrate an extraordinary moment as we cross the Antarctic Circle, marking the occasion with a commemorative toast.
  • Explore the Antarctic Peninsula by ship, Zodiac and on the shore with our team of expert polar guides.
  • And for those seeking a closer connection with the icy wilderness, opt for a paddling excursion to experience the Antarctic's serene beauty from the water.

Itinerary

Itinerary

An in-depth expedition cruise to discover the Falkland islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula

Buenos Aires city in Argentina
Day 1

Arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Once you land in this vibrant city, celebrated for its stunning architecture and deep European roots, you'll go to the hotel where your group will stay. This pre-expedition hotel night is conveniently included in the mandatory transfer package.

Ushuaia-in-Argentina-Quark
Day 2

Fly to Ushuaia and Embark

Following an early breakfast at the hotel, our group will head to the airport to catch our private charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Once we've landed, you'll be shuttled from the airport to a central spot in downtown Ushuaia. Here, you'll have some leisure time to wander and discover the charms of this picturesque port town on your own before we all meet at the pier.

 

Our late afternoon embarkation sets us off along the Beagle Channel, cutting through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. As we sail away, the excitement builds—the next land we set eyes on will be the untouched wilds of Antarctica!

sunset over the Drake Passage Antarctica
Day 3

At Sea

As you journey across the sea, your days will be enriched with engaging presentations from the Expedition Team, covering topics from photography and wildlife to glaciology and history. When you're not soaking up new knowledge, take the opportunity to scan the horizon for wildlife from the deck or enjoy some camaraderie over drinks at the bar with your fellow travellers.

Gentoo Penguins on a Beach in Bleaker IslandFalkland Islands
Days 4 and 5

Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

As soon as you set foot in the Falklands (Malvinas), you'll find ample opportunities to use your camera to capture the rich wildlife and rugged charm of this sub-Antarctic region. The archipelago, consisting of the two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, will be yours to discover through daily Zodiac excursions and landings.

A visit to Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is always a highlight. This town exudes a distinctive British outpost vibe, peppered with a unique eclectic charm. Feel free to wander, enjoy a pint at a local pub, or explore the various churches and museums at your leisure.

The Falklands are a haven for bird enthusiasts, boasting various species, including Magellanic, Gentoo, and southern rockhopper penguins. With some luck, you might even glimpse the majestic king penguins. The islands are also home to the black-browed albatross and two species found nowhere else: the flightless Falkland steamer duck and, if fortune favours, the rare Cobb's wren.

Throughout your stay, our polar experts will deepen your appreciation and understanding of the Falklands' unique ecosystem, ensuring you fully experience the wonders of this remarkable archipelago.

Albatross in flight over the Drake Passage
Days 6 & 7

At Sea

As we set our course southeast towards South Georgia, our adventure takes a significant turn the moment we cross the Antarctic Convergence. This unseen boundary wraps around the continent, marking where the chilly waters of the Antarctic blend with the warmer currents of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. This natural phenomenon creates a hotspot for krill, drawing whales, seals, and a variety of birdlife to the region. Your Expedition Team will let you know when we've crossed this crucial line and will guide you in spotting the seabirds and marine creatures that thrive in this fertile expanse.

ing-Penguins-South-Georgia-Credit
Days 8 - 11

South Georgia

This far-flung island, with its rugged mountains, was once a bustling hub for early Antarctic explorers and a centre for whaling and seal hunting. Nowadays, while the wildlife is making a remarkable comeback, the island still bears the scars of its past, with the ruins of old whaling stations and deserted outposts dotting the landscape.

One of the most poignant places you'll encounter in South Georgia is the final resting place of the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. His grave is in Grytviken, a settlement featuring the remnants of a whaling station, alongside a museum, gift shop, church, and a modest research station.

While South Georgia's historical significance is undeniable, the island's extraordinary wildlife will truly mesmerise you. Often described as the "Galapagos of the Poles," each visit to South Georgia presents a new spectacle of nature. One day, you might find yourself amidst vast colonies of king penguins stretching as far as the eye can see. Another day could bring you face to face with beaches thronged by scores of fur or elephant seals. The island's vegetation, mountains, and sandy stretches are crucial for the reproduction and survival of these species. Your Expedition Leaders will enrich your experience by shedding light on the intricate and delicate balance that sustains this rich tapestry of life.

sunset over the Drake Passage Antarctica
Days 12 - 13

At Sea

It's time to bid farewell to the king penguins because Antarctica is on the horizon! As you navigate the seas towards your next awe-inspiring destination, your days will be packed with informative presentations, interactive workshops, and plenty of social activities, all hosted by your dedicated Expedition Team.

Antarctica on a small ship expedition cruise
Days 14 - 16

South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Describing the experience of arriving at the Antarctic Continent is a tall order, but awe and deep respect are often the first emotions that come to mind. In Antarctica, you'll find yourself moving between extremes—the profound silence and isolation one moment, and the next, you're chuckling at the sight of a penguin's playful behaviour.

Your days will be filled with adventure, from Zodiac cruises that bring you up close to the icy landscape to visits at historical points of interest and, of course, memorable encounters with seals and penguins. You might even lock eyes with a leopard seal, known as the penguin predator, or find yourself in a face-off with an Antarctic minke whale during a Zodiac journey. Every day offers a new set of wonders, ensuring your camera and sense of wonder are always engaged.

For those seeking even more thrilling experiences, consider an optional kayaking expedition (be sure to book in advance). Or, if you're feeling particularly bold, take part in the Polar Plunge—a refreshing dive into icy waters that's sure to be an unforgettable highlight of your trip!

A guest with a flag on the Antarctic circle
Days 17 and 18

Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is a momentous and extraordinary occasion, given that only a handful of travellers venture this far south. Should the conditions be in our favour to cross this legendary line at 66°33' South, we'll honour the pioneering explorers who braved these icy waters before us. Raise your glass in celebration, taking pride in reaching a destination few have experienced. This is the unfiltered essence of Antarctica, where the midnight sun shines, Weddell seals lounge, and there's a good chance you'll encounter the sea ice that serves as the cornerstone of the Antarctic marine ecosystem.

Guests looking at Icebergs in Antarctica
Days 19 and 20

Northbound Along the Peninsula

Our Zodiac excursions will continue as we journey northward along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Our Expedition Team will remain vigilant, constantly scanning the horizon for any species of seabirds, seals, and whales that you may have missed during the first leg of our journey. Rest assured that you will be entirely captivated by the time we return. Our Zodiac excursions will continue as we journey northward along the western Antarctic Peninsula. Rest assured, your Expedition Team will remain vigilant, constantly scanning the horizon for any species of seabirds, seals, and whales you might not have encountered on the southward leg of our journey.

Albatross in flight over the Drake Passage
Days 21 & 22

Crossing the Drake Passage

After over three weeks of unique wildlife sightings and breathtaking landscapes, it's time to start the journey home. The Drake Passage, known for its unpredictability and exhilaration, is an adventure all its own. As our expert onboard staff ensures your comfort and safety, you'll have ample opportunity to watch the ocean, capture photos of seabirds gliding by the ship, and ponder the unforgettable Antarctic experiences you've had.

Ushuaia harbour in Argentina
Day 23

Disembark in Ushuaia and Fly to Buenos Aires

In the morning, you'll arrive in Ushuaia and leave the ship after enjoying breakfast. Your mandatory transfer package includes a delightful preview of Patagonia, featuring a tour of Tierra del Fuego National Park. After soaking in the natural beauty, you'll be transferred to the airport to catch the group charter flight back to Buenos Aires.

Activities

Activities

Zodiac Cruising and Shore Landings

Zodiac cruising with whale close by

Zodiac inflatable boats are integral to every expedition and perfect for exploring the polar wilderness. Zodiacs are used to ferry you to the shore and mini explorations amidst icebergs, whales, and seabirds. Throughout your expedition, they enable you to reach secluded spots only accessible by these sturdy watercraft.

Driven by our expert team of knowledgeable polar guides, we will explore the Zodiac daily as part of your expedition. 

Flight Seeing

flight seeing on Ultra Marine

The breathtaking beauty of polar landscapes takes on an entirely new dimension when viewed from above, a unique perspective you can embrace aboard one of Ultramarine's twin-engine helicopters. With small groups of 7 to 9 passengers, you're invited to embark on an unforgettable 10- to 15-minute aerial journey over the Antarctic, a highlight included in your voyage's cost. Additional helicopter excursions are available for purchase once onboard for those seeking even more adventure. However, it's important to remember that all helicopter activities are subject to the whims of the weather and logistical considerations.

Hiking

hiking in Antarctica

Immerse yourself in the thrill of hiking across the polar wilderness, led by our seasoned polar guides. Wander the vast tundra, marvel at the majestic glaciers, and breathe in fresh air amongst the natural scenery. It's an adventure that brings you into the heart of the untamed beauty of the polar regions. 

Polar Plunge

polar plunge activity on an expedition cruise

During each voyage, we carve out a special moment for the Polar Plunge, a thrilling dive into the icy waters, scheduled just once for those daring enough to leap. Our Expedition Leader and Captain are always on the lookout, assessing the weather and sea conditions to pick the perfect spot and moment for this exhilarating experience. Whether it's from the shore, off the gangway, or the edge of a Zodiac, participants, clad in tethered harnesses for safety, leap into the chilly embrace of the polar sea amid the cheers and encouragement of their fellow adventurers and the Expedition Team.

Safety is our top priority during the Polar Plunge. The onboard physician is always present to oversee the event, ensuring everyone's well-being. Additionally, our guides, suited in survival gear, patrol the waters in Zodiacs, ready to assist as guests make their splash into the frigid waters, whether it's a bold jump or an adventurous cannonball.

Sea Kayaking*

Sea kayaking Activity in Antarctica

Experience the beauty of the polar regions from the intimacy of a sea kayak. The onboard Sea Kayak Program gathers adventurers with a shared passion to explore the stunning landscapes of fjords, glacial fronts, or intricate sea ice formations together.

This program welcomes both novices and experienced kayakers to discover the polar regions from a distinctive vantage point. Depending on weather and operational conditions, the goal is to get kayaking as frequently as possible. Sea kayaking adventures typically begin with a Zodiac boat transferring participants from the ship to an optimal launch site. After exploring the waters, kayakers are brought back to the ship via Zodiac. 

For safety, a Zodiac operated by a dedicated driver remains close at hand to provide help if needed. These kayak trips usually last from one and a half to three hours, blending adventure with unparalleled natural beauty.

*An extra cost is applicable. Please enquire about costs and availability at the time of reservation. Please note places on sea kayaking do sell out in advance, so forward booking is essential.

Alpine Heli-Trekking*

Alpine Heli Trekking in Antarctica

You'll join a select group of explorers boarding one of Ultramarine's dual-engine helicopters, embarking on an exhilarating trekking expedition to regions accessible only by air. The helicopter ride presents a breathtaking panorama of the vast polar expanse below, setting the stage for what's to come. Once you touch down, whether walking, hiking, or snowshoeing, the adventure continues with magnificent vistas of untouched ridges, icy landscapes, and snow-crowned peaks. This extraordinary heli-trekking experience promises to immerse you in the awe-inspiring beauty of Antarctica, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

*An extra cost is applicable. Please enquire about fees and availability at the time of reservation. Please note places do sell out in advance, so forward booking is essential.

Exclusive Heli-Landing*

heli trekking in Antarctica

Together with a select group of adventurers and guided by seasoned experts, you'll board one of Ultramarine's dual-engine helicopters, setting off toward an untouched polar sanctuary unreachable by traditional maritime routes. The journey there promises panoramic vistas from above, offering a rare, bird’s-eye perspective of the world below. With only 12 guests per group and a maximum of four groups per landing, the experience ensures ample space and time for each participant to peacefully reflect on the stunning landscapes. After savouring the tranquil moments and breathtaking scenery, the helicopter will return to whisk you back to Ultramarine, marking the end of an unforgettable adventure.

Our expedition team thoughtfully curates each heli-landing, carefully considering the day’s conditions and the unique characteristics of each landing site, to create a truly personalised and memorable experience.

*An extra cost is applicable. Please enquire about fees and availability at the time of reservation. Please note places do sell out in advance, so forward booking is essential.

Your Ship

Your Ship

Ultramarine

Ship Highlights

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Premium Expedition Experience

Ultramarine is conceived around the expedition experience and is an ideal choice for guests who put exploring above everything else but also seek high levels of comfort. This ship perfectly blends onboard comfort with a wide range of activities.
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Explore By Helicopter

An exclusive feature of Ultramarine is the two Airbus helicopters, which take guests on exciting additional adventure options such as flightseeing, heli-hiking, and heli-landings, allowing you to see and explore further.
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Large Fleet of Zodiacs

With a fleet of 20 Zodiacs, four embarkation points, and large ready rooms, joining a Zodiac excursion on Ultramarine is fast and efficient with no waiting. All guests can explore off the ship at the same time.
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Guide Team

One of the industry's most experienced polar guide teams with over 20 years of experience delivering expeditions, Ultramarine has an outstanding guide-to-guest ratio, ensuring your best experience when off the ship exploring.
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Modern Cabins

Ultramarine features spacious, light, and airy cabins, many with private balconies and large windows. There is an excellent variety of choices, from the stunning Ultra suite to options for solo travellers.
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Adventurous Activity Options

Ultramarine offers a variety of adventurous activities, from an extensive sea kayaking programme to adventures such as camping and mountain biking in incredibly remote areas utilizing ship helicopters in select destinations.
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Modern Sustainable Explorer Ship with Small Group Size

Ultramarine takes under 200 guests per voyage, ensuring an intimate experience with nature. The ship is built to the highest environmental standards and employs technological advancements to reduce its footprint, including a system that converts waste to energy.

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