• $9,995
  • $850
  • Orbridge
  • High
  • Cruise + Land

Join this truly life-changing adventure to experience the boundless beauty and pristine vastness of Antarctica. This remote continent and its precarious waterways have hosted some of the most courageous explorers in history, and have been the scenes of both triumph and tragedy since Captain Cook first sailed the region in 1773.

Embark from Ushuaia, Argentina, and cruise through the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands amid the Antarctic Peninsula—exploring the dramatic landscapes and remarkable wildlife that call this continent home. Trek through penguin rookeries, observe vast flocks of seabirds, learn about Antarctic ice conditions, and discover the sites of both past and present scientific expeditions.

Your expedition vessel for this amazing journey is the modern, 190-guest Ocean Victory, a nimble craft designed specifically for polar cruising—with large cabins, exceptional amenities, and a knowledgeable and friendly crew. Carefully selected specifically for this program, her small size provides the ability and agility to maneuver narrow channels and access bays that are closed to bigger vessels. The craft also boasts innovative new features including Rolls-Royce zero speed stabilizers and a patented X-Bow that offers a more comfortable and stable voyage.

View details and reserve online here: https://orbridge.com/grp_departures/overview/partner_university_of_texas_texas_exes_antarctica_2023

Program Itinerary:

Day 1: En Route from U.S.†
Day 2: Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina
Day 3: Ushuaia – Embarkation
Days 4-5: Drake Passage
Days 6-9: South Shetland Islands / Antarctic Peninsula
Days 10-11: Drake Passage
Day 12: Ushuaia – Disembarkation / Depart for U.S.

†NOTE: Travel time from/to U.S. may take up to two days depending on flight schedules.

Day 1: En Route from U.S.†
Day 2: Arrive Ushuaia, Argentina
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, explore nearby Arroyo Grande Meadows or the Rio Chico Waterfall.
Overnight: Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa (R)

Day 3: Ushuaia – Embarkation
Explore Ushuaia before joining the group transfer this afternoon to board the modern and luxurious vessel, Ocean Victory, for this expedition. Settle into your stateroom, and then get 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 captain.
Overnight: Ocean Victory (B,D)

Days 4-5: Drake Passage
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
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, soaking in the vessel’s hot tubs, or swimming in the infinity pool.
Overnight: Ocean Victory (B,L,D daily)

Days 10-11: Drake Passage
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 responsibly and with style.
Overnight: Ocean Victory (B,L,D daily)

Day 12: Ushuaia – Disembarkation / Depart for U.S.
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


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