- 12 Days
- Activity Level
- Group Size
Day 1: En Route from U.S.†
Thursday, January 11, 2024
Day 2: Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina
Friday, January 12, 2024
Welcome to Argentina, where you'll spend one night in the world's southernmost city before embarkation. Unwind in an exceptional location within the Cerro Alarkén Natural Reserve and delight in stunning panoramic views of natural beauty. If time permits today, explore the nearby Tierra Del Fuego National Park, which stretches 60 kms along the Beagle Channel near the Chilean border.
Enjoy a welcome reception tonight.
Overnight: Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa (R)
Day 3: Ushuaia – Embarkation
Saturday, January 13, 2024
Before embarking the Ocean Victory today, guests have leisure time in Ushuaia to relax in the hotel and/or explore the town on foot. Those who are interested in an optional excursion available for purchase to Tierra del Fuego National Park need to sign up in advance. Additional information for this option is available at https://www.bestofba.com/shop/orbridge/orbridge-tierra-del-fuego-national-park/, and updates will be provided through the guest documents.
On this optional excursion pre-embarkation, join a local, English-speaking guide for a tour through Tierra del Fuego National Park for an opportunity to walk short, marked trails. The tour lasts approximately four hours, including the time for transportation there and back. Drive out of town along the coastal road that offers wonderful views of the Beagle Channel towards the stunning and unique landscapes of the national park. With stops at Ensenada Bay, the Acigami Lake, the “Gazebo” viewpoint at Laguna Verde, and the legendary end of the Panamerican Highway at Lapataia Bay, guests have opportunities to see a varied range of local flora and fauna. During this tour, the group will stop briefly at the visitors’ center, which has a cafeteria for refreshments to purchase.
Survey Ushuaia before joining the group transfer this afternoon to board the modern and luxurious vessel, Ocean Victory, for the expedition. Settle into your stateroom, and then get more acquainted with fellow travelers as you cruise through the Beagle Channel. Step onto the viewing decks to embrace the passing scenery, and keep an eye out for marine mammals and birdlife. Albatrosses, petrels, and cormorants frequently speckle the magnificent vista. Gear up for fun and adventure to come by receiving jackets and boots with the group and enjoy sharing a welcome cocktail with the expedition staff.
Overnight: Ocean Victory (B,D)
Days 4-5: Drake Passage
Sunday, January 14, 2024 - Monday, January 15, 2024
Through today and tomorrow, sail south across the Drake Passage—named for 16th-century English privateer, Sir Francis Drake. This waterway marks the convergence of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans and is the latter's biological boundary. The Drake is populated with plankton, which promotes healthy populations of dolphins, whales, and seabirds, so be sure to have a quality pair of binoculars handy on the viewing decks. You'll likely spot many kinds of albatross (wandering, black-browed, and southern royal), along with varieties of petrel, shags, skuas, and gulls. Engage with fellow like-minded travelers while learning about Antarctica with informative lectures and safety briefings.
Overnight: Ocean Victory (B,L,D daily)
Days 6-9: South Shetland Islands / Antarctic Peninsula
Tuesday, January 16, 2024 - Friday, January 19, 2024
Your experienced captain will seek the most opportune locations to spot marine life, dependent on weather and ice conditions. Longer daylight hours offer extended opportunities for wildlife viewing and Zodiac excursions. The water's cold environment is ideal for krill, whales, seals and a plethora of penguin colonies —from gentoo and chinstrap, to Adélie—who nest on land nearby. Glaciers and icebergs thousands of years old dot the landscape and provide an icy timeline of the area's history.
Throughout the voyage, you also may see evidence of past and present polar exploration and scientific expeditions, including modern stations operated by several nations. Some 30 different countries operate research stations around the continent, and these are inhabited more during the summer months than during the long and tough winters. Learn about the explorers, along with the challenges and the victories that make their stories so fascinating.
Deception Island, nestled in the South Shetland Islands archipelago, has an other-worldly landscape of dark volcanic sand and imposing cliffs. Its center is the flooded caldera of an active volcano that severely damaged research stations in 1967 and 1969. Remains of abandoned whaling buildings and tanks still can be seen. The island is also home to thousands of chinstrap penguins.
Daily excursions ashore with the ship's expedition team and scientists provide the opportunity to explore the dramatic polar scenery—millennia-old ice shelves, sheer cliff faces, and permanent snow cover. Experience the adrenaline and awe inspired by the sheer beauty and power of this magical, yet harsh, continent.
Optional sea kayaking choices, plus a variety of other activities, provide opportunities to discover all that this remarkable area has to offer at a pace you choose. For the ultra-adventurous, brave the frigid waters during an optional polar plunge—a true rite of passage and a bucket-list item for any Antarctic expedition.
At each day's end, perhaps enjoy a drink in the lounge with fellow guests before adjourning to the ship's dining room for a hearty and delicious dinner. Take advantage of the long days of Antarctica's summer recapping memorable moments with shipmates, or soaking in the vessel's hot tubs.
Overnight: Ocean Victory (B,L,D daily)
Days 10-11: Drake Passage
Saturday, January 20, 2024 - Sunday, January 21, 2024
The journey returns north-bound back through the Drake Passage. Join your travel companions indoors to enjoy educational presentations and lectures, lively accounts of expedition experiences or the ship's recreational facilities. Take advantage of the last days at sea to capture the panoramic beauty of the Southern Ocean from the Ocean Victory's outdoor viewing areas.
During the final evening on board, enjoy a special farewell cocktail, featuring the ship and crew's End of Voyage ceremonies. Celebrate with a toast to commemorate the accomplishment of touring this last remote frontier both with environmental responsibility and style.
Overnight: Ocean Victory (B,L,D daily)
Day 12: Ushuaia – Disembarkation / Depart for U.S.
Monday, January 22, 2024
After breakfast, guests departing during the suggested times take the complimentary transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition team must allow the sea, the ice, and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a polar expedition.
†Travel time from/to U.S. may take up to two days depending on flight schedules.
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception
This program offers a variety of activities, including shore excursions and open-air, inflatable Zodiac raft cruises. We expect that guests be sure-footed on stairs and ramps, be able to walk or hike at least one mile on uneven and slippery terrain, and be comfortable landing on various terrain and boarding small vessels—both from shore and the deck of the Ocean Victory. Ship staff will assist guests during each landing. On board, guests should be able to manage unexpected and unpredictable motion from the movement of the ship.
This expedition is intended for persons in reasonably good health. Passengers who are not fit for long trips for any reason, including disability, heart or other health conditions, are advised not to join the tour, as it would entail an unreasonable risk to your enjoyment, health and safety of you and others on the expedition. All guests are required to sign a medical information sheet before boarding, to inform the medical personnel on board about any illnesses, allergies or conditions to be kept in mind during the voyage. Some conditions may require your doctor's signature to join this voyage.
Due to the remote location of this tour, you are required to have proof of adequate medical coverage on board the ship. Furthermore, medical evacuation insurance is required with a minimum coverage of $200,000. The cost of this insurance varies by guests' age and state of residence. Orbridge’s Guest Services team can assist with any questions regarding evacuation insurance.
Be sure to maintain a copy of your insurance information onboard the ship should it be necessary to present.