Days 1 - 2Ushuaia, ArgentinaPre-voyage hotel night, board the ship on Day 2
Days 3 - 4At SeaCross the Drake Passage, relax, attend lectures, look for wildlife
Days 5 - 8Antarctic PeninsulaIcebergs, Adelie and gentoo penguins, seals, blue-eyed shags
Day 9King George IslandDisembark, flight to Puerto Natales, spend the night
Day 10Puerto Natales, ChileItinerary ends, transfer to airport for journey home


National Geographic Explorer
National Geographic Explorer at Sea

National Geographic Explorer was completely redesigned and rebuilt prior to being relaunched in 2008. The ship is equipped with an ice-strengthened hull and advanced navigation equipment making it ideal for Antarctic expeditions, and offers a well-appointed interior with vast expanses of glass for an unprecedented connection to the regions explored. The Explorer accommodates guests in 81 spacious outside cabins, most with feature windows and some with balconies. Public areas include a lounge and bar, a spa, fitness centre and sauna, and a choice of dining options that offer regionally inspired cuisine.

Days 1 – 2 Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia, Hayley

Arrive in Ushuaia. Sandwiched between ice-mantled peaks and the frigid waters of the Beagle Channel, this is a fittingly wild place to be known as “El Fin del Mundo” or “The End of the World.” Transfer from the airport to a hotel, before dinner and a briefing on your upcoming adventure.

On day 2, check out of the hotel and begin exploring this amazing region. Visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, clad in dense beech forest just as much of Antarctica was millions of years ago. Savour lunch on board a private catamaran as you cruise the Channel, keeping an eye out for plump South American sea lions and sleek seabirds like the imperial cormorant. By day’s end, you’ll be comfortably on board the ship and ready to sail off to the White Continent.

Days 3 – 4 At Sea

Crossing the Drake

At times ferocious, at others flat calm, this legendary 500-mile-wide strait divides South America from the Antarctic Peninsula. Feel the excitement build as we begin the crossing, often accompanied by seabirds like the wandering albatross and—if luck allows—a pod of killer whales or rare dolphins. Get to know the ship and prepare for the adventures ahead. Visit the Bridge (ideal for wildlife spotting), relax with a massage, attend a talk on the unique biology of penguins, or simply settle into a comfy chair in the observation lounge, looking out over the waves as you contemplate the history of this passage named for English privateer Francis Drake, but first discovered by Spanish navigator Francisco de Hoces.

Days 5 – 8 Antarctic Peninsula

Chinstrap Gentoo Penguins on the Peninsula

With long hours of daylight at this time of year, you will have ample opportunities to explore. The schedule is flexible, allowing you to take advantage of the unexpected, whether you’re watching whales at play off the bow of our ship, hiking alongside penguin highways, or enjoying an evening Zodiac cruise amid porpoising penguins.

While wildlife is magnificent, ice defines the Antarctic. You’ll get to know ice up close and personal—from icebergs the size of islands, bergy bits and near-vertical glaciers, to the fragile, nearly invisible layers that have just begun to freeze. One day, you might set out by kayak to encounter towering icebergs at water level; embark on a Zodiac excursion in search of seals and blue-eyed shags; or walk amid thousands of Adélie and gentoo penguins. The next, you might experience the thrill of the ship crunching through pack ice.

Everywhere you go in Antarctica you will be surrounded by opportunities to capture uniquely beautiful images. Along the way, your expert expedition team will enrich every experience.

Day 9 Fly from King George Island to Puerto Natales

Flight from King George Island

This morning finds you off of King George Island. Home to a diverse assortment of wildlife—Weddell and elephant seals; Adélie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins—this island also has a human presence. Researchers from a wide range of countries, including the US, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, call the various stations home. Disembark and Zodiac ashore to board a 2-hour flight back to Puerto Natales where you will overnight at Hotel Costaustralis or Remota Patagonia Lodge (or similar).

Day 10 Puerto Natales, Chile

After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport to begin your journey homeward.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. 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 above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

To book this voyage call 1300 784 794 or email

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.

Extend your trip to Patagonia

To make the most of your time in South America we can tailor a holiday to Patagonia to suit your voyage dates. If you have a bit more time we can create a tailor-made itinerary to some of the highlights of South America. Take a look at the Patagonia sample itineraries below and contact us to begin creating your perfect holiday.