Located at the southernmost tip of Argentina, the port city of Ushuaia is a hugely popular jumping-off point for excursions to the world’s last great wilderness – Antarctica.
There are a wide number of companies that offer cruises to the virtually uninhabited, ice-covered landmass, many of which start in Ushuaia. Most trips to the continent visit the Antarctic Peninsula, whose isolated terrain and iceberg-flanked passageways shelter an abundance of wildlife, including many penguins. If you’d like to embark on an Antarctic adventure, we’ve picked out 5 of the best tours from Ushuaia currently available.
Classic Antarctica (10 days)
This week-and-a-half long tour package takes you on an expedition through the Beagle Channel and across the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. During the trip, you’ll have the chance to set foot on the continent proper and get up close with the region’s diverse array of wildlife, while learning all about the area’s unique history and geology from the expedition crew and lecturers. On the tenth day, the tour ends back in the port of Ushuaia early morning after breakfast. From $4,952 per person.
WWF Journey to the Circle and Giants of Antarctica (14 days)
Get the chance to learn about state-of-the-art whale research techniques and marine conservation from a team of researchers during peak humpback whale season on this two-week adventure. During the tour, you’ll take daily excursions with experts in Antarctic biology, glaciology and history – with extra days for landings on this extended expedition – then unwind at night with onboard lectures and presentations. You can also customise your trip with optional activities like kayaking, a photography masterclass, yoga classes, massage or even a polar plunge. From $11,164 per person.
Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent (11 days)
This magical 11-day cruise trip navigates the icy waters of Antarctica, passing by Ushuaia, Drake Passage and Buenos Aires along the way. Aboard your choice of four stabilised, polar-class vessels, you’ll get to conquer the famed Drake Passage, explore majestic natural environments by zodiac and on foot, get up close and personal with penguins, whales and other regional wildlife, and enjoy talks on history, biology and glaciology by onboard polar experts. This tour can also be customised with options to suit your specific interests. From $8,969 per person.
Realm of Penguins & Icebergs (11 days)
A full eleven days of action-packed exploration awaits you on this tour. The first couple of days will offer free time to explore the vibrant port city of Ushuaia, including options to visit local museums or embark on a hike. Then on the morning of your third day you’ll begin your crossing of the Drake Passage while watching for humpback and fin whales. Over the next four days you’ll explore the highlights of the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, containing some of the world’s most impressive scenery and wildlife. Heading back across the Drake Passage, a Captain’s Farewell Cocktail and the end-of-voyage slideshow as you sail towards Ushuaia brings your tour to a close. From $9,473 per person.
Epic Antarctica: Falklands, South Georgia & Antarctic Circle Crossing (23 days)
For those without time constraints but blessed with a hefty budget, this epic 23-day adventure aboard a small expedition vessel will leave you with lasting memories. Over the course of more than three weeks, you’ll get to marvel at the spectacular flora and fauna of the Falkland Islands before immersing yourself in the unique history and exquisite, rare wildlife of South Georgia. Whether you’re visiting Antarctic research stations, witnessing a sudden Minke whale breach from your Zodiac, sharing a magical moment with King penguins, or celebrating crossing the Antarctic Circle with like-minded travellers and crew, you’ll be captivated by what you experience. From $19,996 per person.