Join Vantage Travel on an extraordinary polar expedition cruise that will deliver you to the doorstep of the Seventh Continent. This shorter-length journey is filled with incredible experiences that few will ever claim.
Throughout your journey you’ll be guided by our highly-credentialed 17-person Expedition Team. These experts in fields including biology, ornithology, geology, and more, will share their knowledge and familiarity of Antarctica with you, enhancing your discoveries. You can look forward to daily educational lectures and opportunities to come face-to-face with polar wildlife like gentoo, Adélie, and chinstrap penguins; humpback whales; and other indigenous wildlife. You’ll embark Zodiac boats and make landfall with the Expedition Team, who will ensure total immersion in the history, wilderness, and unspoiled landscape of Antarctica. Because Antarctica is a special place, and there’s no better way to preserve its untouched majesty than in intimate, small groups, this expedition cruise is limited to no more than 134 guests.
You’ll also explore off the beaten path, thanks to the small size of our state-of-the-art, 5-star Ocean Explorer. Our ship and its amenities will keep you pampered and relaxed throughout your journey. This ice-class vessel offers gourmet dining, deluxe spa, gym, and spacious staterooms — most with private balconies — and a landmark 15 solo cabins for independent explorers.
If you’re interested in extending your discoveries, you can make the most of your expedition by adding optional pre- and post-extensions to Iguassu Falls and Easter Island.
Please note: We are privileged guests in this extreme land where weather and ice dictate everything. As such, our daily explorations will be dictated by local conditions. Vantage Travel will endeavor to make every effort to ensure that your Antarctica cruise is as educational and fulfilling as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions set forth by the IAATO.
Before your Antarctica exploration, why not cross another incredible natural wonder off your bucket list, and add another country (Brazil) to your passport? Travel to spectacular Iguassu Falls National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of 275 thundering falls on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Second in size only to Victoria Falls, this series of cataracts once prompted Eleanor Roosevelt to take pity on her country’s most famous falls, saying “Poor Niagara!” as she gazed upon mighty Iguassu. The falls are all impressive, but the most spectacular is the Devil’s Throat, the 2,300-foot-long spectacle that separates Argentina and Brazil.
Depart home and fly overnight to Buenos Aires
Your Antarctica expedition begins! Today you’ll fly overnight from the U.S. to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Or, depart earlier for your pre-trip extension to Iguassu Falls.
Welcome to Buenos Aires
Welcome to Argentina! If you purchased your airfare from Vantage, upon arrival a Vantage representative will meet you and arrange transfer to your hotel. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner and a UNESCO- listed tango performance.
Fly to Ushuaia and embark the Ocean Explorer
Following breakfast at your hotel this morning, you’ll depart Buenos Aires and board a flight to Ushuaia, where you will embark the Ocean Explorer and settle into your sumptuous stateroom. Tonight, join your fellow guests for your first dinner on board.
Relax on board on your way to Antarctica
You’ll have two days at sea to acquaint yourself with your luxurious vessel and all its amenities. Treat yourself to a pampering massage at the spa, get in a workout at the onboard gym, visit the well-stocked library, or pop up to the sundeck and take in the spectacular, panoramic views.
While on board, the Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventure to come by hosting presentations on history, geology, ornithology, marine biology, and more topics relevant to your expedition. Our team members have been traveling to polar regions for years, and their expertise and advice will undoubtedly enhance your journey. Not to mention, they’re sure to have some epic travel stories to tell you all about!
Discovery awaits with two days in Antarctica
Welcome to Antarctica — the 7th Continent! In the history of humankind, only a tiny handful of people have ever set foot on Antarctica and now you’re one of them. Prepare to witness the most unspoiled, sublime terrain on earth, with its vast glacial expanses and massive electric blue icebergs the size of cities.
Each day, you’ll have one landing in which you venture ashore on versatile Zodiac boats, and one scenic cruising in which you’ll likely head to the deck for the most optimal views.
During landings, you’ll break into small groups and enter Zodiac boats alongside your Expedition Team. Once on shore, they’ll scope out conditions and offer guided hikes, walks, talks, and offer anecdotes and helpful information, depending on the wildlife and nature you encounter.
There’s no doubt that we’ll happen upon some penguin rookeries — most likely Adélie, gentoo, and chinstrap penguin varieties. These curious and flightless birds will charm you immediately! From the shore, you may also spot killer and humpback whales, as well as crabeater, leopard, and Weddell seals, which are prosperous in these cold waters. We’ll explore a diversity of landscapes, including active volcanoes, mossy cliffs, and rocky beaches, too.
You’ll also have free time to explore on your own and take lots of photographs, using the knowledge you’ve gained from the Expedition Team’s lectures and your conversations with them to enhance your explorations.
While going ashore may seem more exciting and rewarding than cruising, you’ll be surprised. There’s so much to see in Antarctica, and cruising is oftentimes the best way to accomplish that, as the Ocean Explorer’s small size grants us more flexibility in where we navigate compared to other cruise lines. Look forward to getting up-close to icebergs, spotting whales, and other spontaneous and bucket-list experiences. If we’re lucky, we may witness humpback whales during a “bubble-net” feeding, in which a group of whales circles a school of fish and engages in a team effort to disorient and corral the fish into a “net” of bubbles.
You can also further enhance your expedition by joining the Expedition Team for optional polar kayaking. This is a popular option, so we encourage you to reserve your spot as early as possible.
Please note: Remember, daily life in Antarctica is determined by the elements, and we’ll adjust our landings as our adventure progresses in accordance with IAATO regulations.
This small group excursion is one you will remember for a lifetime! Explore the soul-stirring polar environment of the Arctic on a world-class kayaking adventure! Led by knowledgeable and experienced Expedition Leaders, you will go to places that Zodiac boats can’t reach. These unique excursions let you experience the jaw-dropping landscapes and encounter wildlife up-close, in a responsible way. Tours take place in calm and protected waters, with only two individuals per kayak. This optional tour is available on all expedition cruises and perfect for adventurous adults. Participants must possess the appropriate fitness level and previous kayaking experience is a plus. You must read the Kayaking Preparation Notes and the Kayaking Terms and Conditions, and complete the Kayaking Participation Statement in order to confirm your spot on the tour. Download the Kayaking Participation Statement form here.
A medical declaration for this journey must be completed and submitted to the ship’s doctor upon embarkation. Download the Medical Form here.
*Optional kayak excursions are offered in place of regular excursions. The number of available excursions will depend on itinerary and weather conditions.
Please note: This optional tour is available for pre-booking only. All guests must complete a medical declaration and submit it to the ship's doctor upon embarkation. Reservations will close 30 days prior to departure. All prices are per person and subject to change. All optional tours are offered by Vantage Deluxe World Travel. Descriptions and scheduling are subject to change. Minimum tour participation is required to operate optional tours. Optional tours cancelled by passengers within 48 hours of the excursion are non-refundable.
Enjoy your ship’s amenities with two days at sea
Heading back to Argentina, you’ll enjoy more opportunities to take advantage of your ship’s amenities, perhaps visiting the spa for a facial or soothing massage.
You might also take in a movie, join a fitness class, or simply curling up with a book from the library. As we get closer to South America, you might join your Expedition Team on deck for birdwatching, perhaps spotting fulmar, petrel, or even a wandering albatross, with its eleven-foot wingspan.
Arrive in Ushuaia and say goodbye to your ship
Today you’ll arrive in Ushuaia, bringing an end to your exciting expedition journey. Following breakfast, you’ll debark the Ocean Explorer and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires.
Check out of your Buenos Aires hotel today and transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight home. Or, continue your discoveries with an optional post-trip extension Easter Island.
Enhance your understanding of Polynesian culture — and treat yourself to an exotic island experience in the “navel of the world” — on a post-trip extension to Easter Island, a Chilean territory and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rapa Nui, as it’s locally known, is distinguished worldwide as the one and only home of the mystifying moai statues. This extension is your opportunity to encounter these mystical talismans up close and disentangle history from legend. Who created these statues? How? Why? And what happened to them?
Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. This itinerary is representative of the discoveries planned for the Antarctic region. Flexibility is a hallmark of our explorations, and your day-by-day cruise itinerary may change based on the weather and local conditions; as well as opportunities to take full advantage of rare wildlife sightings. Our captain and crew will ascertain the ideal locations for actual shore landings.