Crossing the Circle

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Setting foot on the 7th Continent is a polar achievement relatively few people experience in their lifetime. Even more rare is the incomparable milestone that’s achieved when a traveler crosses the iconic Antarctic Circle. Navigating south of 66°33′ S is—for most guests—the highlight of the 14-day itinerary Crossing the Circle: Southern Expedition, which rewards passengers daily with views of dramatic ice formations, humpback whales swimming alongside the ship, leopard seals diving beneath your Zodiac, penguins sliding off icebergs into crystal waters, or giant petrels soaring above the crackling sea. 

Starting in 2021, this itinerary allows you to the opportunity to experience our pioneering new vessel, Ultramarine. This purpose-built vessel is designed to extend the boundaries of polar exploration and offer an unmatched Antarctic experience, including a flightseeing tour you’ll never forget and a range of adventure options more extensive than any other ship in its class.

Map/Itinerary

Day 1Embarkation Day

As the ship sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your Antarctic journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Eventually, the channel opens up to the Southern Ocean, and onwards to Antarctica. 

Day 2 - 3Crossing the Drake Passage

 Your days at sea are filled with presentations led by your Expedition Team who will prepare you for the wildlife, glaciology and history that will greet you upon your arrival. In between presentations spend time on deck looking for wildlife or chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.

Day 4-6South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

 The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is beyond words, since few places are as untouched and enduring as Antarctica. You will begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time we visit Antarctica, we witness something new or unexpected, which means that your expedition will be unlike any other—creating a unique, personal experience.

Each day, you will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore glaciated bays, channels and landing sites. Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are hiking the Antarctic landscape, visiting a research station or consorting with chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins, all of which can be found here. Keep an eye out for Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals as well as curious whales, such as humpbacks, minkes, or perhaps orcas while on a Zodiac cruise. Each excursion will present a new collection of creatures to delight you and keep your camera busy.

Amid the serene silence of Antarctica, noisy interludes become indelible memories, such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles, or the boom and crack of a calving glacier. Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by your Expedition Team to inspire and educate you about this wonderful part of the world

Day 7 - 8Antarctic Circle

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is both a memorable experience and impressive achievement, as few travelers reach so far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed latitude of 66°33´ S, we’ll toast the first explorers who ventured here, and you can raise a glass and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, Weddell seals, and your best chances of encountering sea ice – the foundation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem. 

Day 9 - 10Along the Peninsula

By now, your knowledge of Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, crabeater and Weddell seal. Terms like ‘bergy bits’ and ‘pancake ice’ will become part of your vocabulary, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue looking out for species of seabirds, seals and whales that may have eluded you on your journey south. 

Day 11-12Crossing the Drake Passage

 As you recross the Drake, Antarctica fades away, leaving you with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the crossing fly by, regardless of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up its series of presentations as well, with a slideshow of the adventures you’ve shared and wildlife you’ve witnessed over the course of your voyage. Be sure to take some time to reflect on everything you’ve experienced so far. 

Day 13Disembark in Ushuaia

You will arrive in Ushuaia in the morning, which allows for you to continue your adventure onward or catch your flights home.

Inclusions/Exclusions

Rates above include the following:

  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, 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.)
  • Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official parka to keep
  • 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
  • Group arrival transfer in Ushuaia from airport to pre expedition hotel on Day 1
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia with breakfast (Note: The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel. Triple rooms may not be available.)
  • Group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day
  • Group departure transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from ship to local airport or to luggage storage facility

Rates above do not include the following:

  • 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

Reviews

Ekke & Audrey Kok - Canada

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