Small Ship

Crossing the Antarctic Circle Southern Expedition

Ushuaia - Ushuaia

Antarctica
Mar 4 - Mar 17 2025
13 Nights
134 Guests

Starting from per person

£9,709

Select cruise date

Stepping onto the 7th Continent represents a remarkable feat that few can experience. Even more extraordinary is the achievement of crossing the iconic Antarctic Circle. For many adventurers, journeying south of 66°33' S is the pinnacle of the 14-day "Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition," a journey filled with daily marvels like breathtaking ice landscapes, humpback whales gliding alongside the vessel, leopard seals navigating under your Zodiac, penguins diving from icebergs into the pristine waters, and giant petrels flying over the vibrant sea.

Explore with a team of expert polar guides by ship, Zodiac, on the shore and through optional activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding. 

Ocean Explorer offers guests the ultimate small ship experience with just 134 guests per voyage with outstanding levels of comfort in an intimate group size.

crossing the Antarctica circle cruise map

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Join the exclusive group of adventurers who have journeyed to 66°33'S and crossed the Antarctic Circle, stepping into a world few have experienced.
  • Explore Antarctic research stations, looking at the cutting-edge science happening at the bottom of the world.
  • Marvel at the abundant Antarctic wildlife, from colonies of penguins to seals lounging on ice floes and whales breaching the ocean's surface.
  • Explore the western Antarctic Peninsula highlights, visiting iconic sites with daily landings by Zodiac.
  • Engage with our onboard polar experts as they share fascinating insights about the region's wildlife, history, glaciology, and geology.
  • Dive into the Antarctic experience with an optional paddling excursion, getting up close and personal with the ice-filled waters and stunning landscapes.
  • Enjoy a unique flightseeing experience in one of the ship's helicopters, with additional options, including Alpine Heli trekking or Heli Landings.

Itinerary

Itinerary

An immersive expedition cruise to discover the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and cross the Antarctic Circle

Ushuaia harbour in Argentina
Day 1

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina

Your adventure begins in Ushuaia, a lively port town situated in South America's southernmost point. This charming Argentine town serves as the perfect launching pad for your voyage and offers a gateway to the wonders of southern Patagonia. Before embarking on your journey, take the opportunity to soak in the breathtaking mountain views or indulge in handcrafted chocolates at a local café.

Beagle Channel in Chile
Day 2

Embark

Your late afternoon embarkation marks the beginning of your voyage. Your ship sets course down the storied Beagle Channel, cutting through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. As you sail away, a sense of excitement fills the air—the next landfall you make will be on the southernmost continent on Earth!

sunset over the Drake Passage Antarctica
Days 3-4

Crossing the Drake Passage

During your days at sea, immerse yourself in engaging presentations delivered by your Expedition Team, covering topics like photography, wildlife, glaciology, and historical explorations. Between these informative sessions, enjoy moments on deck spotting wildlife or share stories and drinks with fellow travellers at the bar.

Days 5 - 7

South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Arriving on the 7th Continent often evokes a profound sense of wonder and respect. Antarctica's sheer pristine beauty is ineffable, a testament to its status as one of the last unspoiled places on Earth. You'll quickly understand the allure that has drawn explorers and adventurers to its icy shores for centuries. Antarctica reveals new surprises with each visit, guaranteeing that your journey will be a one-of-a-kind, deeply personal exploration.

 

Daily Zodiac outings will transport you from your ship into the heart of glaciated inlets, through narrow channels, and onto remote landing spots. Under the watchful guidance of your Expedition Team, you'll traverse the stark Antarctic terrain, pay visits to scientific stations, or mingle with the local inhabitants—chinstrap, Adélie, and gentoo penguins. Keep your eyes peeled for various seals, including Weddell, fur, crabeater, the elusive leopard seal, and whales that might include humpbacks, minkes, and possibly orcas during your Zodiac adventures. Each trip ashore or cruise promises new wildlife encounters that will captivate and demand your lens's attention.

In the tranquil silence of the Antarctic wilderness, the occasional sounds of nature, from penguins quarrelling over stones to the thunderous spectacle of glaciers calving, leave a lasting impression.

Your days will unfold in a tapestry of unique experiences meticulously curated by your Expedition Team to enrich and enlighten your understanding of this magnificent corner of the globe.

A guest with a flag on the Antarctic circle
Days 8 - 9

Antarctic Circle

Making it past the Antarctic Circle is an unforgettable and notable milestone, as it's a journey not many get to make. If the weather and sea conditions are in our favour and we manage to navigate beyond the renowned 66°33' S line, we'll celebrate the bravery of the earliest adventurers who dared to explore these parts. It's a moment for you to toast, filled with pride, for arriving at a corner of the globe only a select few have ever witnessed. You're now in the heart of untouched Antarctica, where the midnight sun shines, Weddell seals roam, and you're likely to come across sea ice, the vital component of the Antarctic's rich marine life.

Days 10 - 11

Northbound Along the Peninsula

At this stage, you'll be as familiar with Adélie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins as you are with distinguishing between leopard, crabeater, and Weddell seals. You'll find yourself using terms like 'bergy bits' and 'pancake ice' as if they've always been part of your lexicon, yet there's still so much more to discover. As we navigate northward, your days will be packed with Zodiac outings, and our Expedition Team will keep an eye out for any seabirds, seals, and whales you might not have encountered on our voyage south.

Albatross in flight over the Drake Passage
Days 12 - 13

Crossing the Drake Passage

The return voyage through the Drake Passage offers one last chance to relish the brisk Antarctic breeze. Take advantage of this time on deck to spot seabirds and look out for whales, immerse yourself in captivating presentations from your Expedition Team, and toast to the unforgettable moments you've experienced while exploring the wonders of Antarctica.

Ushuaia harbour in Argentina
Day 14

Disembark in Ushuaia

Upon reaching Ushuaia in the morning, you can extend your travels or board your return flights home.

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.

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 Arctic's untamed beauty.

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.

Camping*

Embarking on an Antarctic Camping adventure is magical. Following dinner onboard, you'll glide ashore via Zodiac, where you'll bed on the snow in a snug bivy sack, ready for the night (though tents are available if preferred). After choosing your perfect spot, you'll set up camp and sink into the tranquillity of an unfolding Antarctic night.

*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.

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.

Stand Up Paddleboarding*

Stand up paddle boarding in Antarctica

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUPing) offers a unique way to connect with the outstanding nature in Antarctica.  Every guest embarking on this adventure benefits from certified SUP instructors' onboard and in-water guidance, which ensures you're well-prepared to navigate the waters. For added peace of mind, a safety driver remains on standby in a Zodiac, ready to provide assistance whenever needed. This unique experience not only connects you with the untouched beauty of the Antarctic but does so in a way that's both serene and exhilarating.

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

Your Ship

Your Ship

Ocean Explorer

Ship Highlights

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Small Ship That Delivers Epic Adventures

Embark on an authentic expedition with the Ocean Explorer, a small expedition ship accommodating 138 guests per voyage. Designed for an exclusive experience, this ship is ideal for guests eager to maximize their time off the ship, exploring remote areas through Zodiac excursions and shore landings.
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A Great Choice For Activities

Due to its small size, Ocean Explorer is an excellent option for those seeking additional polar activities. Led by a team of polar experts, guests can partake in thrilling adventures such as kayaking, camping and trekking, enhancing the overall expedition experience
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Excellent Zodiac to Guest Ratio

Enjoy the freedom of Zodiac excursions in the raw nature that can accommodate all guests simultaneously. Thanks to the Ocean Explorer's large fleet of Zodiacs and speedy boarding platforms, guests have more time for exploration, creating unforgettable moments in the vast wilderness.
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State of The Art Design

Immerse yourself in the Ocean Explorer's cutting-edge X Bow design, presenting a breathtaking viewing lounge at the ship's bow. This modern design enhances stability and ensures fuel efficiency, enabling swift and comfortable sailing through challenging seas during sea passages.
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Pinnacle of Sustainability and Safety

Pioneering sustainability, the Ocean Explorer features a fuel-efficient design. Employing GPS anchoring instead of traditional anchors in sensitive areas, the ship also converts waste to energy fur, thus helping to reduce its impact on the polar regions.
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Outstanding Onboard Living Spaces

Indulge in a realm of comfort with well-appointed cabins featuring private balconies, an observation lounge with stunning views, and rejuvenating amenities like on-deck jacuzzis, a sauna, and a gym. The Ocean Explorer ensures high comfort levels, complemented by the intimacy of travelling in a small, exclusive group.
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Industry Leading Guides

With a stellar reputation for hosting an exceptional team of guides and polar specialists, the Ocean Explorer is recognized as a trailblazer in small ship expeditions. Whether for activities, wildlife observation, or exploration, the ship's industry-leading guides guarantee an unparalleled and unforgettable experience. (Reasons To Choose This Ship)

Starting from per person

£9,709

Select cruise date

Why Reserve With Us?

Choose Your Cabin

Choose Your Cabin

Studio Double

Deck 3

175-186 sq. ft. 1-2

One double bed made up of two twin berths

Price per person
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Studio Single

Deck 3

177 sq. ft. 1

One double bed made up of two twin berths

Price per person
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Deluxe Veranda Forward Stateroom

Deck 4

168-195 sq. ft. 1-2

One double bed made up of two twin berths

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Deluxe Veranda Middle Stateroom

Deck 4

203-272 sq. ft. 1-2

One double bed made up of two twin berths plus some with fold out sofa bed

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Deluxe Veranda Stateroom

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Deck 4

200-205 sq. ft. 1-2

One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

Price per person
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Studio Veranda Stateroom

Deck 6

173 sq. ft. 1-2

One double bed made up of two twin berths

Price per person
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Grand Veranda Stateroom

Deck 6

195-205 sq. ft. 1-2

One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

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Junior Suite

Deck 6

296-299 sq. ft. 1-2

Two rooms

One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

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Royal Veranda Stateroom

Deck 4

Deck 6

189-272 sq. ft. 1-2

One double bed made up of two twin berths plus fold out sofa bed

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Studio Veranda Single

Deck 7

238 sq. ft.

1 One twin single

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Explorer Suite

Deck 7

269 sq. ft. 1-2

Two rooms

One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

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Owners Suite

Deck 7

443 sq. ft. 1-2

Two rooms

One double bed made up of two twin berths fold out sofa bed

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Deck Plan

Ocean Explorer Deck Plan Deck 3

What's Included

Included

  • An official Expedition parka to keep
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Team, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
  • All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage. Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals
  • Free beer, standard wines, spirits, and cocktails during bar service hours and dinner
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • A photographic journal documenting your expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi service on one device permitting basic Internet browsing, email, posting on social media and voice applications. (Premium packages are available for more data intensive applications.)
  • One 10-to 15-minute helicopter flightseeing excursion (weather and logistics permitting)

Optional Extras

  • International airfare
  • Passport and applicable visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
  • Meals unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international and domestic flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac landing and cruising excursions, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, spa services and other personal charges, unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and shipboard crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where explicitly stated
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

Important Information

  • This expedition involves travelling to lovely remote places with limited medical facilities. We ask you to be healthy and fit to participate. If you have a severe medical condition or have recently undergone surgery, please get in touch with us before making a reservation. Our Travel Experience Team will be happy to assist you with any questions.
  • Whilst our expeditions do not require exceptional fitness, you must be mobile enough to climb in and out of a Zodiac and undertake short walks.
  • Expedition programmes include zodiac outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks, and more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
  • Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, ice position, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may cancel or stop any activity or modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will consider the touristic quality of the sites and, above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
  • You must take out comprehensive travel insurance, which includes medical evacuation and cancellation at the time of booking. To learn more, please see our guide to Travel Insurance For Expedition Cruises.
  • You must hold a passport with a minimum of 6 months validity beyond completing your trip. Please check to see if you require a visa to enter the countries of embarkation and disembarkation. If you have any questions, our Travel Experience Team is always on hand to answer them.If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask our Travel Experience Team.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask our Travel Experience Team.

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