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Classic Antarctica Tour

Group Tour

14 Days From $11,199

Overview

Accompanied by Jonny Bealby*, Wild Frontiers Founder and Director, this 14-day adventure will introduce us to the majestic beauty and grandeur of one of the world’s last great wildernesses. A dazzling landscape boasting incredibly unique wildlife and sweeping panoramas of ice, Antarctica promises adventure on a scale of unimaginable beauty and scope.

Leaving from the southernmost tip of South America, we embark alongside other fellow explorers on the G Expeditions cruise to the Antarctic ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

13 x Breakfasts
11 x Lunches
11 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

On this tour we will use minibuses and an expedition ship.

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 26

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Eco Act for all bookings

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

2 nights x Superior

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Low / Moderate

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Classic Antarctica Tour
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN USHUAIA

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN USHUAIA

Arrive in Ushuaia today, where we will be met and transferred to our hotel. We will have a free evening to explore the world’s most southerly city and get to know our Wild Frontiers group.

Albatros Hotel or similar

DAY 2: USHUAIA (TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK)

DAY 2: USHUAIA (TIERRA DEL FUEGO NATIONAL PARK)

We will be collected from the hotel by our specialist guide and driven to Tierra del Fuego National Park. We begin with a trek through the forest of this recovered paradise along a stunning coastal path bordering the shore of the Beagle Channel. Discovering rivers and lagoons we will get the chance to also explore the famous Lapataia and Ensenada Bays. This little adventure very much focuses on the stunning variety of geology, ecology and ornithology in the region, taking us away from the busy port of Ushuaia and along some of the most beautiful walks in the area. Enjoying a picnic lunch along the way, today includes about three hours of easy walking, covering around 7km. Returning to our hotel in the afternoon we can enjoy our final evening as the excitement for our Antarctica adventure begins, and meet with fellow explorers who will be joining us on the ship.

Albatros Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 3: USHUAIA - DRAKE PASSAGE

DAY 3: USHUAIA - DRAKE PASSAGE

Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia where you can explore the town or the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia, after which we'll depart the southernmost tip of the South American continent and sail through the Beagle Channel. Running through the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago, the channel forms part of the border between Chile and neighbouring Argentina and this evening's sailing takes us south, towards the open waters of the Drake Passage and vast Southern Ocean. Please note the itinerary is weather dependent so therefore we should be flexible.

The Expedition
Breakfast, Dinner

DAYS 4 - 5: DRAKE PASSAGE

DAYS 4 - 5: DRAKE PASSAGE

Over the next two days we'll negotiate the infamous body of water that lies between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands. Named in honour of the 16th century English sailor, Sir Francis Drake, the crossing is often a good place to spot whales, dolphins and seabirds, including the giant petrels and albatross which follow in the ship's wake. There will be daily lectures on board from resident polar experts and keep an eye out for the first sightings of icebergs.

The Expedition
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAYS 6 - 11: SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS/ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

DAYS 6 - 11: SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS/ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

Over the coming 6 days we'll discover an incredible array of unique wildlife and experience some of the most inspiring scenery on the planet, as we head for the vast white wilderness of Antarctica. Attempting two shore landings a day, there will be opportunities to encounter Gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries, see Weddell and leopard seals and hopefully come across orcas and humpbacks in the cold Antarctic waters. During the voyage we'll also have a chance to learn about the peninsula's remarkable history, as well as potentially kayak or camp (limited availability and must book in advance).

The Expedition
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAYS 12 - 13: ANTARCTIC PENINSULA - DRAKE PASSAGE

DAYS 12 - 13: ANTARCTIC PENINSULA - DRAKE PASSAGE

The journey north takes us back across the open waters of Drake Passage, presenting the perfect time to reflect on the highlights of this incredible voyage with our crew and fellow passengers. Keep an eye out from the observation deck for some last-minute whale sightings as we head back towards the port of Ushuaia and the end of this incredible adventure.

The Expedition
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: DISEMBARK USHUAIA

DAY 14: DISEMBARK USHUAIA

Disembark in Ushuaia early this morning, where our journey ends. Wild Frontiers can arrange further travel in Argentina and other Latin American countries to extend the adventure.

Breakfast

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

Responsible travel and sustainable tourism are fundamental ideas that Wild Frontiers has been committed to since our birth. It is our strong belief that these words should not be simply ‘tagged on’ to itineraries and websites but should be at the very core of each trip, and our adventures are therefore designed with the local people, culture and eco-system in mind. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our clients, but that it also benefits the peoples whose lands we are privileged to visit. For more information, please see our responsible travel page.

Helping to protect Antarctica

The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) was created in 1991 in order to ensure Antarctica tourism is environmentally responsible and safe. As part of the rules set out by IAATO, only 100 people may land at any time. The capacity for the Expedition caps at 134 passengers, meaning that not everyone can disembark on land at the same time. Therefore, half the passengers will go on a zodiac cruise, while the other half spend time on land. The two groups of passengers then swap around. Keeping to the rules set by IAATO is responsible practise and ensures the preservation of Antarctica for its wildlife and future visitors.

The Expedition cruise ship is partnered with Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) to collect data from Antarctica. Passengers can easily get involved in the citizen science project using the CastAway instrument. It is lowered into the water for collection and then simply taken back up. The data collected helps researchers understand the health of the ocean in this remote part of the world.

The ship is also now single-use plastic free and is working towards zero carbon emissions.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for tour flights please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. 

Should you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. Please note that all airport transfers in Ushuaia can be provided on a complimentary basis.

When making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.

Similarly, if you are transiting through different Buenos Aires airports on your way to Ushuaia, please allow a minimum of 7 hours between flights for the transit and check-in process. 


*Please note that many of the flight options require an overnight stop in Buenos Aires either on the outbound or the inbound flight. Luggage allowance with Aerolineas is limited to 15kg per person and additional allowance can only be purchased at the airport desk. 

Visas

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact our recommended visa agency, Travcour www.travcour.com 

For this tour UK passport holders currently do not require a visa for Argentina or Antarctica.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

NB. Please note that as of January 2016 US policy (subject to change) has stated that anyone wishing to travel to or via the USA must have a biometric passport. In addition, anyone who has travelled to several countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen or Somalia since March 2011, is required to apply for a US visa (rather than just an ESTA). If you are affected by this, the process is fairly straightforward and you can read more about it here - www.wildfrontierstravel.com/us-visa .

Further details will be sent out to you on booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Or alternatively you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries.

Below is just a small sample of what you could do. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your individual requirements.

Buenos Aires

As this tour involves flying through Buenos Aires, those with more time should consider extending before or afterwards to enjoy a few extra days of incredible music, food and energy. The city was virtually re-created at the end of the 19th century when the beef boom of the 1880s brought immense wealth and the city's Hispanic colonial buildings were levelled and replaced in the image of Paris, hence the title "the Paris of South America". What was once the cultural Mecca of the Americas soon went into decline and this sense of faded grandeur makes it a fascinating place to wander around.  It is a place to 'lose' oneself and soak up the ambience of a city that seems to exist in a world all of its own.

Allow 2-4 days.

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Key Information

CLIMATE

The Antarctica season runs through the warmer months of November to March. The early season is particularly good for seeing large icebergs and penguin colonies which are more prevalent at this time, although penguins can be seen throughout the season. The most popular time to go is January to February as the days are longest and conditions warmest. The late season is the best time for whale sightings, but again several species can be seen throughout the season, with some more rare than others.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

*Please note that Jonny Bealby joining the trip will be dependent on personal circumstances. 

Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While guides will work hard to ensure that all travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. 

Upon paying the deposit, we will send you a link to the medical form which you are required to complete in order to board the ship. The cruise will include a rental pair of waterproof boots and your own expedition parka to keep as a memory of your incredible trip.

Optional Activities come at an additional cost and need to be confirmed at the time of booking as places are limited and they are on a first come, first served basis:

Antarctica Camping - £299.00 per person for one night
Follow in the footsteps of bold explorers and experience this land’s awe-inspiring splendours first-hand. Our Antarctica camping experience includes time to enjoy the beauty of Antarctica near your campsite with ample photography options. Experience the sounds of heaving ice, the fresh scent of the sea, and the stars at night. Nothing gets you closer to the humbling forces of nature than spending a night ashore! This activity must be booked prior to your trip, and is on a first come first served basis, so please contact us as soon as possible if this interests you. 

Antarctica Kayaking - £1049 per person, to kayak in tandem kayaks on days with suitable weather 
Weather permitting, you will head out in kayaks on days where zodiac landings are also available. Kayaking as part of a group led by experienced and skilled leaders allows an opportunity to experience these remote regions from another vantage point. No other activity gets you as close to the natural environment! This activity must be booked prior to your trip, and is on a first come first served basis, so please contact us as soon as possible if this interests you. 

To participate in the sea kayaking program, you must be physically fit and have previous kayaking experience. This is for the safety and enjoyment of yourself and the group. The inherent risks of paddling in the Polar regions can only be managed if everyone participating can be relied upon to react confidently and competently to sudden adverse conditions, as well as to any instructions given by the kayak guides. Your kayak guides are responsible for ensuring that all participants meet the experience and fitness requirements.

If you are camping or kayaking on your journey, you will also be required to fill in a form and sign a waiver. 

Dietary Requirements: vegetarian options are available for all meals on board but any other dietary requirements please advise upon time of booking.

PLEASE NOTE: Wild Miles discounts cannot be applied to this tour.

NEW TOURS

Never complacent, here at Wild Frontiers we are continually on the look-out for new tour ideas. Each year we aim to put on a selection of new tours in order to continually provide our clients with a fresh and varied choice of some of the best journeys on the planet. Although a lot of fun, these tours will often involve a greater element of unpredictability than our better-established tours, so please come prepared.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip.

On this trip, we offer a single supplement in Ushuaia only, please contact us for an exact quote for this. 

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.
 

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. If you choose to purchase the Wild Frontiers bespoke policy through Travel & General (currently available to UK residents only) then please note for this trip the minimum required level of cover will be the Standard policy. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A £200 deposit is required to confirm your booking. Full payment is then due 130 days prior to departure. 

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 16572 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.

INSPIRATION