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Set sail towards Antarctica where whales gather in their largest numbers on the Antarctic Peninsula on this 11-day journey designed for wildlife lovers. As you enter the frozen wilderness of the White Continent, sculptured icebergs, thunderous calving glaciers, imposing mountain ranges and ice-strewn waters all lie in wait. While sailing on the Ocean Endeavour and exploring by Zodiac, scan the icy waters for silhouettes of these mighty marine mammals, as they glide through ice floes or break the Antarctic silence with spectacular acrobatics. Add in encounters with curious penguins, basking seals and many fascinating seabirds and you're on track for a journey you'll never forget.
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Arrive in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. The city has 40,000 inhabitants and is a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers.
You can arrive at any time and an arrival transfer is included if arriving in on day one of the itinerary. Upon arrival into Ushuaia City Airport (USH) please collect your luggage and look for a representative in the Arrivals Hall, holding a sign with your name on it. If you have booked your flights independently, please make sure that you have advised us of your arrival flight details into Ushuaia, so that a transfer is booked for you. Be sure to keep all of your important documents - i.e. passport and travel insurance, and also your medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the hotel.
From our experience we have found that there are significant delays, especially in high season on flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. We highly recommend booking your travel arrangements to arrive into Ushuaia earlier in the day.
There will be an expedition briefing in the early evening at your hotel. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to explore the city, visit the Maritime Museum or join a tour to Tierra del Fuego National Park, which offers magnificent hiking opportunities.
This afternoon you'll board the Ocean Endeavour, settle into your cabin and begin cruising down the stunning Beagle Channel. Spend time out on deck watching the sunset as you head South to Antarctica.
Our adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. If the conditions are right, enjoy some time out on deck to spot dolphin, orca or albatross, following in the ship's wake.
As well as safety briefings, a comprehensive lecture program will run throughout our sea days, delivered by experts in Antarctica's history, geology and biology.
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 life.
Every day is a new adventure, and you'll explore ice-filled bays and channels as well as the continent itself, on Zodiac excursions and by foot. While the landscapes will no doubt take your breath away, Antarctica is also rich in wildlife. Visit penguin rookeries, spot humpback and minke whale and look out for leopard seal, all while calving glaciers can be heard in the distance.
The landing sites visited will depend on the ship's location and weather conditions. Some of the sites that you may visit are :
Brown Bluff: A possible exposed volcano, Brown Bluff towers 678 metres (2225 feet) over the rookeries of Adélie and gentoo penguins, which number in the thousands. These penguins will create a symphony of background noise while you explore the bluff.
Paradise Bay: A wide bay and natural harbour on the West Antarctic Peninsula, Paradise Bay is also known as Paradise Harbor. Mountains, glaciers and ice cliffs offer spectacular views. Icebergs regularly calve from the glaciers, providing a place for seals, penguins and seabirds to rest and play. The Almirante Brown Antarctic Base - named after Admiral Guillermo Brown, father of the Argentine Navy - opened in Paradise Bay in 1951 but was destroyed by fire in 1984. It has since been partially rebuilt and is used during summer months for scientific research. Also located in the bay is Waterboat Point, where two scientists studying penguin behaviour lived in a water boat from 1921 to 1922. The remains of their camp have been designated an Antarctic historic site.
Hope Bay: Three members of the Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1901-04) spent the winter in a hut on the shores of the bay. The hut is located close to the jetty of Esperanza Station, an Argentine research station.
Danco Island: Home to gentoo penguins, this small isle is easy to explore, at only 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) long. You can visit the marker of a former British Antarctic Survey hut, where you can enjoy the stunning view of the Errera Channel.
The Peninsula also has a remarkable history and during the voyage, we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world. Every trip is different and uniquely designed around the prevailing ice and weather conditions. Wherever your final landing sites end up, you will leave Antarctica having visited one the last true wilderness areas on earth; a pristine landscape adorned with elegant iceshapes and penguin rookeries that reach as far as the eye can see.
Today we leave Antarctica and head across the Drake Passage, towards 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 sauna, yoga classes and gym.
The trip ends after breakfast on board the ship and includes a transfer to the airport for onward travel.
Polar Temperatures during Antarctic season: Min.: -15°C; Max. 12°C; Average 0°C.
2 Pin Round
Argentina has a climate that ranges from subtropical in the north to cold in the temperate south. The Andes has erratic rainfall and flash floods from December to May. From June to September spring like sunny days temper the cold nights.
3 Pin Flat
Predominantly Roman Catholic.
Spanish is the main language throughout this region, along with a number of indigenous dialects, of
Kayaking is available to book on all Antarctic voyages. Some voyages also offer other activities such as camping, yoga, snowshoeing, explorer boat excusrions. All of these activities must be booked prior to departure and incur an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. For kayaking, previous, recent experience is essential. PHOTOGRAPHY Photography workshops are offered as an optional activity on our Ocean Endeavour departures. It is an opportunity for photography enthusiasts of any skill level to fast track their learning on board and make the most of the expert advice that is on offer. Participants will have dedicated Zodiac and photography guided landing where your photography guide will accompany you and give you tips along the way for taking the perfect picture. It is at an additional cost to you and needs to be booked in prior to departure as spaces are limited. If you are interested in taking part, please contact the polar sales team for pricing and availability.
Dress on board is informal. Pack comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Wind and waterproof outer layers are essential, and themost important piece of clothing you will bring is a parka. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton. Wet weather jacket and boots are available to loan on board the ship. Please register your size with us before travel and we will arrange for your parka to be available in your cabin on arrival. Gloves Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost). Hat/Cap Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava. Trousers Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc are also good. Socks Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet. Outer Clothing Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship. Underclothing Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.
Complimentary, used waterproof boots will be supplied onboard. However, guests might want to bring their own if they are the following sizes due to the limited quantities onboard: - men's UK size 12 & 13 1/2 - women's UK size below three & seven and above Guests must bring their own if they are: - men's UK size six 1/2 or smaller - men's UK size 13 1/2 or larger - women's UK size two or smaller - women's UK size nine 1/2 or larger These are rubber, waterproof boots that are just below your knees with a strong, ridged non-skid sole. You usually have to step from the Zodiac into icy water up to 30 cm high on most landings. Do not bring heavy, cumbersome boots that make it difficult to walk or boots with metal cleats as they cannot be used for landings. For maximum warmth, wear loose-fitting boots and two pairs of socks. Try out your boots before the voyage.
One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself. Please note that a 15kgs luggage weight limit is sporadically enforced on the internal flight to Ushuaia, occasionally charges may be levied against passengers taking luggage in excess of 15kgs.
Sunglasses and sun cream Personal toiletries A refilllable water bottle Books/reading material Camera and memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements) Seasickness remedy Walking poles Personal First Aid
The MS Ocean Endeavour allows you to explore Antarctica in complete comfort. The ship has plenty of space as numbers are capped at 200 on a vessel that can carry three times more. Featuring one expedition team member for every eight travellers, ensures that you can truly maximise your time with the on-board experts. Complete with contemporary interiors, lounges for informative talks from the expedition crew, and breath-taking 360 degree views from the fly deck, the Ocean Endeavour is ideally suited for polar exploration.
The lead-in prices on our website are based on triple share. They are comfortable with a private toilet and shower, and are inside cabins. The Ocean Endeavour has a number of different cabin categories, ranging from singles, triples, twins, doubles and suites - all with two beds. Some cabins have larger windows, depending on your cabin grade. We can also offer single cabins as well as single occupancy at a supplement which will be subject to availability at the time of booking. A full layout of the deck plan can be found under the Polar Ships section on our website. Your confirmed cabin type will appear on your Booking Confirmation which will be sent on receipt of your deposit payment.
Onboard our expedition ship you'll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice; please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included and can be purchased in the dining room or at the bar.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure. USA (If flights transit): you will need to apply for an ESTA if you are transiting the USA as you will have to disembark and clear immigration before re-boarding for the onward flight. Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel. Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. When completing an application for transit you should enter the words 'In Transit' with your final destination location in the address line You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover. If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel. For further information please check out the US embassy website. Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.
Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended. Yellow fever is only recommended for those travelling to Iguazu falls. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.