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Testimonial:
"Great trip! Can't wait for another!"
-- Erika M., CA
"Would definitely recommend to others!"
-- Jon S., NJ

**See More Testimonials
Print Itinerary
Antarctica: A Ship Based Exploration of the 7th Continent - 11 Days

GEC Trip Type: GROUP TOUR

*Solo Travelers: You're in luck! We provide free roommate matching (if available on the ship) - unless you'd prefer to purchase a single room (if available).

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TRIP DESCRIPTION:

Available Departures:
-- December 8 - 18, 2017
-- January 7 - 17, 2018
-- February 28 - March 10, 2018


Join other like-minded people on this locally guided exploration of Antarctica aboard an excellent ice-rated expedition ship and visit the 7th continent! Cross the Drake Passage and travel down into Antarctica where few expeditions ever go. On this journey you’ll view penguins, watch for whales, view amazing scenery and massive glaciers, take the 'Polar Plunge' in the icy waters, snowshoe on Antarctic*, try the optional sea kayaking*, and even spend an optional night camping on Antarctica* (*subject to availability)!

Arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina and explore the southernmost city in the world. Then board the ship and head to the amazing 7th continent!

This is definitely a 'Trip of a Lifetime'. It’s got the fun, exploration, adventure and the opportunity to make life-long friends! But that is, after all, what the Global Expeditions Club is all about: Make Friends. Travel the World.

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GET THE SCOOP! Want to see what previous travelers are saying about the Global Expeditions Club? Check out the club's Testimonial Page.

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Make Friends. Travel the World. With over 70,000+ members across the US and Canada, the Global Expeditions Club is the largest and fastest growing adventure travel club in the world! GEC is a unique and exciting social travel club open to anyone interested in traveling to exciting destinations around the world with other like-minded adventurers. Membership is free... just sign up for a trip and you are a member!


Places Visited:

Antarctica Group Trip, Ushuaia, Argentina, Drake Passage, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, Penguin Colony of Orne Harbor, Giant Glaciers of Neko Harbor


Trip Itinerary:
B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at hotel in Ushuaia, Argentina. PM Mandatory Orientation in hotel.
Day 2: Board ship. Depart for Antarctica (B, D)
Day 3-4: Crossing the Drake Passage (B, L, D)
Day 5-8: Visiting South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula (B, L, D)
Day 9-10: Crossing the Drake Passage (B, L, D)
Day 11: Arrive Ushuaia approximately 9:00 AM. Trip Ends with Transfer to Airport. (B)


Detailed Itinerary:

B: Breakfast | L: Lunch | D: Dinner

Day 1:
Arrive at hotel in Ushuaia, Argentina. PM Mandatory Orientation in hotel

Arrive at assigned hotel in Ushuaia, Argentina. At about 6:00 pm there will be a mandatory Orientation run by the ship's staff in the hotel lobby (you will be informed on the exact time after arrival at the hotel)..

With a population of more than 63,000 people, Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world. The city has grown over the past few years, yet it has retained an easy going and accessible feel. With the sea to the south and mountains to the north, Ushuaia is a spectacular departure point for our Antarctic cruise. If you arrive early and/or after the orientation, you can spend some time in the city grabbing dinner or visit the many boutique shops and cafes before for your expedition to Antarctica.

Today many people will be strangers to you, but by the end of the trip they will be lifelong friends!

Overnight in Ushuaia hotel

NOTE: It is highly recommended that you come in a day early (and extend your trip by a day). This way you can rest after your flights, allow for any travel/flight delays, and even take a side trip to nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park (contact us for details).

Day 2:
Board ship and depart for Antarctica (B, D)

In the late afternoon you will be picked up at the hotel and transferred to the ship. After boarding, we will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This historic channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of excitement as we depart - the next time you see land we’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!

Overnight on the ship


Day 3-4:
Crossing the Drake Passage (B, L, D)

Prepare yourself for potentially rough water, but hope for a smooth sailing as the Drake is unpredictable and always changing. Either way, during this famous crossing we’ll spend these first days getting to know our fellow group members, while the ship's staff provides safety briefings, talks, and insights into what excitement lies ahead.

Overnight on the ship


Day 5-8:
Visiting South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula (B, L, D)

When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, you will truly begin your Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. You can begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travelers alike. Every time Antarctica is visited, people witness something new or unexpected, meaning our expedition will be unlike any other - creating a unique, personal experience.

We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship with our on-board guides to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of the itinerary, we will visit penguin rookeries, scout for Humpback and Minke whales and search for a number of the southern seal species, including the Cunning Leopard Seal.

The majesty of the Peninsula’s mountains will enchant as you scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering you 360 degree views of your surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbor, gives the opportunity to visit a chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. Here we’ll have the choice between going for a mountain hike or spending time sitting quietly on a pebbled beach to enjoy the antics of curious penguins. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, participating in the Polar Plunge swim is about as crazy as it gets!

Amidst the peaceful silence of Antarctica, noisy interruptions become indelible memories such as penguins squabbling over prized pebbles or the boom and crack of a calving glacier in Neko Harbor. You can make a bit of noise yourself too by listening to the echo of voices bounce off a giant glacier.

Every day will be different, having been carefully crafted by the ship's Expedition Team so as to entertain and educate us on this wonderful part of the world.

Overnight on the ship (optionals (camping on Antarctica, sea kayaking, cross country skiing, Mountaineering) are subject to availability and specific dates, so may not be offered at times!)

OPTIONAL: Camping on Antarctica Treat yourself to an overnight camping adventure in the near 24-hour sunlight! The popular camping option is very limited, subject to availability and on a first booked basis. The ship takes care of all of the equipment (including cold weather tents and sleeping bags) so that you can sit back, relax and enjoy the quietness of Antarctica - away from the ship. For photographers, this is a great opportunity to take time to slow things down and compose some special images. Campers are normally paired up in 2-person tents, however solo travelers may be accommodated for if there is availability. In addition to tents, you may have the option to sleep overnight in a small waterproof shelter known as a bivy sack. Dress warmly and eat a hearty meal before you head out as no meals are allowed on land. You will need to complete a waiver form before being considered for this adventure option.

OPTIONAL: Sea-Kayaking (cost covers kayaking throughout the cruise) Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers! The ships' sea-kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Watch as curious wildlife swim underneath your kayak, coming to see who this strange visitor is. Your sea-kayaking adventure will be led by an expert ship-based guide, who’ll have you navigate your kayak through beautiful, clear polar waters in areas out of the reach of our ship. Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, sea-kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. However, it is imperative that you have some prior sea-kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit. Special headgear, gloves and socks are highly recommended (info will be provided).

OPTIONAL: Cross Country Skiing on Antarctica One of the most efficient ways to travel by ground that is covered in snow and ice, you can travel the same way as pioneering explorers like Amundsen and Shackleton did! Cross-country adventures last a few hours, so it is imperative to be in good physical shape. Ideally, you’ll have cross-country skiing experience to partake in this activity, however exceptions may be made for those deemed physically capable. You will be responsible for certain extras such as extra warm clothing and a pair of good sunglasses for this adventure option.



Day 9-10:
Crossing the Drake Passage (B, L, D)

The journey back across the Drake Passage provides you with some final opportunities to enjoy the crisp Antarctic air. Spend time with your fellow GEC group members, go out on the deck watching for seabirds and scouting for whales, enjoy a few final presentations by the ship's Expedition Team, or simply relax and reminisce about your experiences.

Overnight on the ship


Day 11:
Arrive Ushuaia approximately 9:00 AM. Trip Ends with Transfer to Airport. (B)

The ship is scheduled to arrive back in Ushuaia in the morning around 9:00 AM. Disembarkation can take up to 1 hour or more. The trip ends with disembarkation. You can continue your adventure on land on your own OR the ship will provide a free transfer from the ship to the Ushuaia airport (please advise well ahead of time if you require a transfer from the ship to the airport).


Important Information



This is a locally guided trip that joins other travelers, booked through GECtravel and other companies, on a ship owned by an independent company. This trip is open for anyone to join. You can sign up as a solo traveler* OR join with a spouse, friends or other family members. All are welcome!
*Solo Travelers: You're in luck! No mandatory single supplements. We provide free roommate matching (subject to availability) - unless, of course, you'd prefer a single room (please Contact Us for single room options and prices).


There are less than 200 passengers on this ship, so therefore this tour is subject to VERY limited availability. Therefore, please DO NOT purchase your airfare or any personal travel requirements until you receive a written confirmation from the Global Expeditions Club guaranteeing departure and confirming the booking of your space with the ship.

A high quality water/wind proof winter expedition parka with zip out fleece lining is provided the aboard ship (typically the first evening on the ship) and is yours to keep after the expedition! Rubber boots will be loaned to you for the duration of the cruise. All cold weather camping gear (including sleeping bags and tents) are provided if you choose the optional "1 night camping on Antarctica" option on checkout (subject to availability). Other than that, we will provide you with a full and comprehensive packing list prior to departure (along with a very detailed dossier with all important information).

Prices are based on 2 bed/Twin Share room on the ship with possible porthole or obstructed views. Upgrades and Single cabins/rooms may be available as well (please Contact Us for details, options and prices). If you do not mind being paired up with roommates of the same gender, then we will match you up at no additional charge. The roommate we match you with may be booking through GEC or another company. NOTE: all rooms, room types, and roommate matching subject to availability as dictated by the ship company when we confirm your booking. If no roommate shares are available we will notify you.

All prices are land/ship only unless otherwise mentioned. You are responsible for making your own international flight arrangements between your home city and the start/end locations and for arriving at the designated departure location as per the itinerary. However, your international flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you receive a written guarantee from Global Expeditions Club that the trip is guaranteed to go and that your space is booked and confirmed by the ship company. If you would like to discuss international flight options, please contact the Global Expeditions Club at info@GECtravel.com or 617.645.7689

It is highly recommended that you come in a day early (and extend your trip by a day). This way you can rest after your flights, allow for any travel/flight delays, and even take a side trip to nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park (contact us for details).

Costs are based on current group prices, permit fees and transportation costs and will be revised in case of any enhancements by the Govt, ship company and/or transportation authorities. Once you book your trip and we confirm your space with the ship, specific cancellation policies apply. See terms and conditions for complete details, which can be viewed during checkout or by clicking here.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 month following the last day of the tour.

Visas are not currently required for Argentina for US and Canadian citizens. However, while not required at the time of printing, the Argentinian government has in the past charged a "reciprocity tax" which you must pay in USD cash at the airport upon arrival. The cost is about US$160 for US Citizens and US$75 for Canadian citizens (it is basically the equivalent to an entry Visa cost). It is important you check the status at least a week before departing.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is a huge part of visiting Antarctica. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned may be changed to others equally as interesting.

Trip ID: AN1170
PRICING
Departure Dates:

Optional Add-Ons
 
OPTIONAL: Camp 1 Night on Antarctica (See Day 5-8 in itinerary. VERY limited availability)
$295.00
OPTIONAL: Sea-Kayaking in Antarctica (See Day 5-8 in itinerary.)
$995.00

Price Includes
  • 11 day expedition to Antarctica
  • Ship Based Expedition Leaders
  • Local guide for optional activities
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by the ship's Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
  • A waterproof winter expedition parka with zip out fleece liner - yours to keep after the expedition!
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • 1 pre-night in excellent mid-range hotel in Ushuaia
  • All meals on ship and breakfast at hotel
  • Free coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock on the ship
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • Library with polar books and DVD's.
  • Amazing photography during cruise and excursions at landing sites
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials (including example packing list)
  • Group transfers from hotel to the ship on embarkation day
  • All meals on ship and breakfast at hotel
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard ship
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $100,000 per person
Price Does Not Include
  • International airfare between your home country and the start/end locations as per the itinerary
  • Lunch and dinner at the hotel
  • Airport departure taxes and fees (US$6)
  • Argentina government "reciprocity tax" US Citizens: about US$160 Canadian citizens: US$75 - paid beforehand (i.e. - equivalent to an entry Visa – see Important Info section)
  • Beverages other than water, coffee, tea, coco on ship
  • Travel medical insurance (details)
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Onboard wifi and phone calls
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Optional tours
Group Leader
  • Ship Based Expedition Leaders
  • Local guide for optional activities
Number of Days
  • 11 days, 10 nights
Accomodation Included
  • 9 nights aboard a very comfortable expedition ship and 1 night in hotel in Ushuaia, Argentina
Transportation Included
  • Private transfer bus
  • Expedition Ship
  • Zodiac for shore excursions
Meals Included
  • All meals on ship and breakfast at hotels
Seasonal Info
  • Season is late November through early March. It's Antarctica, therefore pack to dress in layers so you are prepared for rapid weather changes. Waterproof pants (with warm under layers), waterproof gloves, and a wool hat and socks are a necessity (and don't forget, you will receive a free water/wind proof winter parka with a zip out fleece lining from the ship that is yours to keep after!). Average daily temperatures in mid-season are between 20 and 35 Fahrenheit (-4 and +2 Celsius), however wind conditions can make it seem colder. It is common that you will experience daytime temperatures below freezing and definitely at night. That said, the ship is nice and toasty and has great views from inside as well as on deck.


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