Crossing the Antarctic Circle | Polar Unbound | Journey into the Heart of Antarctica

Travel south from Ushuaia to the Antarctic Peninsula and across the Antarctica Circle to explore where few other travelers have visited on this 15-day itinerary. Get up close to colonies of Adelie, Chinstrap and Magellanic penguins, cruise through the breathtaking Lemaire Channel and learn about the vital scientific research that is being conducted in this icy continent. 

The expedition includes zodiac excursions to get up close to wildlife and is accompanied by a fascinating series of lectures about the natural and human history of Antarctica.

Itinerary

Ushuaia

Your expedition begins in the southernmost town in the world, Ushuaia, with a night at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort. Take the time to explore its walking trails and indulge in a spa treatment or head into Ushuaia to browse its Argentinean leather markets and award-winning museum. Ushuaia is also on the doorstep of Tierra del Fuego National Park which can be accessed along the famous “Train at the End of the World”. 

In the evening there will be an optional briefing where you can meet some of your Expedition Team and fellow travelers.

ACCOMMODATION : Arakur Hotel & Resort

Embarkation

After breakfast at the hotel and a leisurely morning exploring Ushuaia, you will be transferred to the Hebridean Sky in the mid-afternoon. Get acquainted with your home for the next 13 days, meet your Expedition Team and the ship’s Officers, then relax on deck as we sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic penguins, rock cormorants and sea lions. 

In the evening, your Captain will host a welcome dinner to celebrate your first night on board. 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drake Passage

The next couple of days will be spent sailing across the vast Drake Passage, keeping an eye out for seabirds which may follow the ship, together with whales and dolphins. A series of informative lectures will be presented by your polar experts on the wildlife, history and geology of Antarctica and you will have the opportunity to help record bird sightings or collect weather data and salinity samples. 

After crossing the Antarctic Convergence, you’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we approach the icy Peninsula. 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Southern Shetland Islands

Once we reach the Antarctic Peninsula we will spend as much time as possible exploring our surroundings by inflatable Zodiac boats and get up close and personal with nature’s glory. Our crew will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. Our aim will be to visit themost scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest.

The South Shetland Islands will be our first land sighting since leaving the mainland. These islands, still rife with volcanic activity, offer amazing abundance and beauty. We may visit Half Moon Island nestled inside Livingston’s eastern shore, or conditions permitting visit historic Deception Island. As we are still in the northern parts of Antarctica, sub-Antarctic species are more commonly found here, including Chinstrap penguins and Southern Elephant seals.

 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Antarctic Circle

As we continue south across the Bransfield Strait, we sail towards the Antarctic Circle. Once we get to the most southerly point of our journey (south of the Antarctic Circle), we reset our course for the north, taking in the narrow waterways and channels of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Spectacular waterways such as Crystal Sound, or the living museums of Detaille or Horseshoe Island aredefinitely some of the most remote and less visited places of the Antarctic Peninsula. These waters are significantly further south making sea ice more common, this ice will dictate what adventures we will have in these lesser traveled waterways

 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Antarctic Peninsula

Spend the next few days exploring the breathtaking landscapes and spectacular wildlife of the Antarctic Peninsula. Our aim is to sail south of the Antarctic Circle and into Matha Strait or Marguerite Bay, with the itinerary dependent on weather and ice conditions. 

We’ll launch the zodiacs to visit a breeding colony of chinstrap penguins and resident fur seals at Half Moon Island, witness humpback whales breaching alongside orcas and minke whales, and get up close to Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals at Petermann Island. Other destinations may include the magnificent Lemaire Channel, the Gerlache Strait and Crystal Sound, together with Neko Harbour and Wilhelmina Bay. 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drake Passage

Continuing north, back across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Navigating to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we conclude our expedition with an extra special slideshow. 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ushuaia

Time to leave the ship and return to Ushuaia to continue traveling or head to the airport.

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Feb 26, 2019 to Mar 12, 2019
Hebridean Sky
$14,795£0€0$0$0$14,795£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 10, 2020 to Feb 24, 2020
Island Sky
$15,495£0€0$0$0$15,495£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

 
Please ask for specific cabin availability.

    
Included: 

  • One night Hotel accommodations in embarkation city. 
  • Transfer from Airport in embarkation city
  • Transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation
  • Group transfer from ship to airport or central location on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodations
  • All scheduled landings and excursions
  • All meals on board
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa available 24 hours a day
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktail
  • House wine, berr and soft drink with dinner
  • Expediton Jacket (yours to keep)
  • Insulated rubber boots for use durring the voyage
  • Wifi on Library computers
  • 100 minute Wifi Card (for use on personal devices)
  • All port fees
  • All landing fees
  • Digital voyage log
  • In Owner's Suite, Penthouse, Veranda, Deluxe, Single and Promenade categories: champagne and chocolates on arrival, complimentary mini-bar, and $100 gift shop credit

Excluded: 

  • Airfare
  • Transfers from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary
  • Pre or post voyage expenses in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn
  • Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board
  • Alcohol and soft drniks on board (except as listed in inclusions)
  • On board communication charges such as outgoing phone calls, wifi from personal devices in excess of 100 minutes provided
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Images & Videos

Ship Details

Hebridean Sky Technical Specifications

Passengers: 118*
Crew: 75 (includes Staff)
Manager: Salén Ship Management AB, Sweden
Registered in: Nassau, Bahamas
Built by: Nuovi Cantieri Apuania, Italy
Built in: 1991
Refurbished: May, 2016
Length: 90,6 m
Width: 15,3 m
Tonnage: 4 200 GRT
Class: B.V. Ice Class 1C
Stabilization: Blohm & Voss Stabilization System with wave-anticipation roll technology

*To enhance our guest experience, we carry a maximum of 114 passengers

Staterooms

All Suites

  • Exterior views
  • Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds
  • Sitting area with sofa and side chair
  • Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player
  • Telephone
  • Independent temperature controls
  • Mini-Bar
  • Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries
  • Hair dryer
  • 220 square feet or more
  • Sofa can be converted to bed for third person

Promenade, Deluxe, Single, Veranda & Penthouse Accommodations Include all of the features above plus: 

  • En suite Champagne & Chocolates on Arrival
  • Complimentary mini-bar (beer, wine & soft drinks)
  • En suite Nespresso machine

*Please see the deck plans for additional information regarding cabin options. 

Ship Photos

Deck Plans

FAQ & More

Are flights included?

No flights are included in the cost of your trip.  While we are not licensed to purchase international air we can recommend an excellent flight broker to assist you with your travel to Ushuaia, Trelew or Puerto Madryn (depending on your itinerary).

Are pre or post trip hotels included?

Day 1 of every departure is your arrival day at your embarkation city and a hotel stay is included.  You can arrive any time this day and you will be guaranteed your room will be ready.  If you arrive on the scheduled day of departure there will be an airport transfer provided.

Do I need a passport or visa for this trip?

Currently all you require as a US citizen is a valid passport – we recommend having at least 6 months validity remaining beyond your planned return date – while Argentina is not currently enforcing this it is a requirement for many other South American countries and we cannot be held responsible if you are denied entry because your passport is close to expiration. 

Currently citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Argentina (please double check however if you require to pay and entry fee). Please be sure your passport has sufficient blank pages for entry and exit stamps.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?

Yes. Travel insurance in mandatory.  You must be covered for personal injury, medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation expenses.  This must include coverage for pre- existing medical conditions.

Can I kayak or camp on this trip?

Sea Kayaking is available on all of our trips and camping is available on the Antarctic Peninsula voyage.  These options have limited availability and are an additional cost.  Please inquire about these options early as they sell out quickly.

What clothing do I need to bring?

Please refer to our packing list for specific packing suggestions.  In general pack for dressing in layers with an outer waterproof layer on top (We will provide you with a Helly Hansen waterproof jacket that is yours to keep as part of your trip cost).

Do I need rubber boots?

Most landings will involve stepping into water so we provide these for you. We recommend a thick pair of thermal socks for wearing under these to keep your feet warm.

What is the on-board dress code?

ress on board is casual and always informal and again we suggest dressing in layers for moving between different parts of the ship.  A pair of sneakers or trails shoes with a sturdy, non-slip sole are all that you will need.

What is the weather like?

Typical day time temperatures are 28 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit but it can change in an instant.  Winds can also make the temperatures feel considerably colder so it is best to be dressed for wet and windy conditions all the time.

What amenities are in the cabins?

All cabins will have a personal bathrobe and slippers, a hairdryer, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner and shower gel).  Refrigerator / minibar.  There is a laundry service on board and the pricelist will be in your cabin.

Is there a fitness room on board?

There is no fitness room but we do have some fitness equipment available for guests.  These are available on a first come first served basis from reception.

Electricity?

Ship voltage is 110V with US style 2 flat pin sockets.

Should I be concerned about motion sickness?

Once in the Antarctic motion sickness should not be a problem however crossing the Drake Passage can be particularly rough and you should be prepared.  Please make sure you start taking motion sickness medication before the ship departs.

What currency should I bring?

The US Dollar is the on board currency.  On board expenses will be charged to your account and you can settle these using Visa or Mastercard at the end of your voyage.

What Gratuities are recommended?

All gratuities are entirely at your discretion.  Should you wish to tip the suggested amount is $12 per person per day.  This can be added to your onboard account and paid by credit card.

Is Wi-Fi available?

Wi-Fi is available from anywhere on board.  Each passenger will receive a 100 minute card for access from personal devices. Additional cards will be available for sale.

What language is spoken on the ship?

English is the official language of the voyage. All briefings and presentations will be in English.

Is there an available Doctor?

There will be an English speaking physician on board however be aware that full medical facilities may be days away.

Can I travel with my Children?

While these trips are not aimed at children we are happy to welcome families on board.  If you intend to travel with children younger than 16 please talk to us to discuss what trip would be appropriate.

How often do guests explore off the ship?

While we are in Antarctica we typically manage two landings/excursions per day. This is always weather dependent but we make every effort to maximize our time outside exploring on land and/or cruising via zodiac. Given our guest capacity we are able to get all guests off for every activity. The experienced crew and staff make for a seamless and efficient operation.

What if I have special dietary requirements?

We can accommodate most dietary specialties as long as we have advanced notice.  Every meal will have 3 key options: Meat, Fish and Vegetarian. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style.

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