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The Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea - M/V Ushuaia
Antarctica, Argentina - Trip code USWS Polar
Days 11
Deposit From £582
Price from £5824
Flights not included
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Why book this trip?

Journey deep into Antarctica into the lesser-visited Weddell Sea. This is a pristine area of Antarctica, where only a fortunate few have visited. It boasts huge tabular icebergs and an uncompromising environment reserved for rare and unique wildlife. It was here that polar explorer Ernest Shackleton travelled on his quest to conquer this inhospitable environment. During your cruise, you'll have time to explore these eastern flanks of the peninsula and to observe penguins, seals, whales and sea-birds at close quarters.

    • Included meals

      Breakfast: 10

      Lunch: 9

      Dinner: 10

    • Trip staff

      Expedition Crew

      Naturalist(s)

    • Transport

      M/V Ushuaia

      Zodiac

    • i

      Accommodation

      10 nights premium boat

    • i

      Trip pace:

      Relaxed

    Itinerary

    Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

    Day 1 - Ushuaia

    Embark the MV Ushuaia in the afternoon and meet your expedition crew and lecture staff. After you have settled into your cabins, sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinlay Pass.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Dinner

    Day 2 - The Drake Passage

    Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Francis Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence - a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. The Drake Passage also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds. As you sail across the passage, join lecturers out on deck to help you spot a variety of Seabirds, including many albatrosses, following in our wake.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 3 - The Drake Passage

    The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that you have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets, and what will be your first encounter with penguins and seals.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 4 - Weddell Sea

    This is where huge tabular icebergs roam. The Weddell Sea is chock-a-block full with ice, making for exciting ice navigation. Why not get up early and go out on deck; the sunrises will be unlike anything you've ever seen. Huge tabular icebergs break from the Larsen, Ronne and Filchner ice shelves and combine with one-year-old and multi-year sea ice to produce a floating, undulating panorama of rugged ice scenery. All-white snow petrels are likely to be coursing over the floes, often joined by pintado petrels.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 5 - Weddell Sea

    Hope Bay and the Argentinian Station, Esperanza, are located on the western side of the Antarctic Sound. Brown Bluff, a promontory on the Tabarin Peninsula, is located south of Hope Bay. Both of them might be possible landing sites.This region also teems with vibrant exploration history.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 6 - Weddell Sea

    The Weddell Sea represents the centre of the Peninsula's Adélie penguin population. The numbers of penguins are breathtaking. Sometimes juvenile emperor penguins have been sighted, but are not regulars in the area.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 7 - Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

    You will have plenty of time to explore the Antarctic Peninsula's amazing scenery, pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways and a wide variety of wildlife. Apart from gentoo and chinstrap Penguins and seabirds, you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, as well as minke and orca whales at close range.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 8 - Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands

    We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel and Neumayer Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home to the biggest gentoo penguin colony in the peninsula, surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs and the British Museum and Post office at Port Lockroy. Further exploration will lead us to the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a wildlife haven, with vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines and icefloes.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 9 - The Drake Passage

    Today, we head back across the Drake Passage, in the direction of Ushuaia.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 10 - The Drake Passage

    The last lectures help polish our Antarctic education before making a ceremonial rounding of Cape Horn, time and weather permitting.

    Accommodation:

    Grade: Premium Boat

    Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 11 - Ushuaia

    A pre-dawn sail along the Beagle Channel and an early breakfast prepare you to dock in Ushuaia. There's time for final photos and to say our farewells before disembarking.

    Meals Provided: Breakfast

    Trip information

    Country information

    Antarctica

    Climate

    Polar Temperatures during Antarctic season: Min.: -15°C; Max. 12°C; Average 0°C.

    Time difference to GMT

    -3

    Plugs

    2 Pin Round

    Argentina

    Climate

    Argentina has a climate that ranges from subtropical in the north to cold in the temperate south. The Andes has erratic rainfall and flash floods from December to May. From June to September spring like sunny days temper the cold nights.

    Time difference to GMT

    -3

    Plugs

    3 Pin Flat

    Religion

    Predominantly Roman Catholic.

    Language

    Spanish is the main language throughout this region, along with a number of indigenous dialects, of

    Budgeting and packing

    Clothing


    Dress on board is informal. Pack comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Wind and waterproof outer layers are essential, and the most important piece of clothing you will bring is a parka. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton.
    Parkas
    You should look for a lightweight, roomy, wind and water-resistant parka with some insulation. Bright colours are more visible - and thus safer - in polar environments.
    Gloves
    Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outer gloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost).
    Hat/Cap
    Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava.
    Trousers
    Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc. are also good.
    Socks
    Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet.
    Outer Clothing
    Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship.
    Underclothing
    Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk.

    Footwear

    Complimentary waterproof boots will be supplied on-board. However, if you have extra small or large feet, you are advised to bring your own.
    Also ensure you take good walking boots and trainers for relaxing.

    Luggage

    15Kg

    Luggage: On tour

    One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so
    don't overload yourself.

    Please note that a 15kgs luggage weight limit is sporadically enforced on the internal flight to Ushuaia, occasionally charges may be levied against passengers taking luggage in excess of 15kgs.

    Equipment

    Equipment

    Sunglasses and sun cream
    Personal toiletries
    A refillable water bottle
    Books/reading material
    Camera and memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements)
    Seasickness remedy
    Walking poles
    Personal First Aid

    Some cabins are equipped with a hairdryer. Hairdryers can also be borrowed from the Hotel Manager on the ship.

    The electrical supply on board the Ushuaia is 110 volts, 60 hertz. Cabins are fitted with multi-type sockets suitable for several international plugs (not British. It's advisable to take a multi-way international adaptor.
    with you; only limited can be borrowed onboard.

    Tipping

    Local crew
    Tipping is collected at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion, but as a generally guideline, we suggest US$15 per person per day.

    Antarctica

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Foreign Exchange
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. It is advisable to take a minimum of US$200-500 of your total spending money in cash, in mixed denominations (notes should be in good condition).
    Where To Exchange
    Banks or Forex offices in major cities.
    ATM Availability
    Cash can be drawn on credit or debit cards from ATMs in major cities
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Credit cards are useful and can be used in many places, but may be subject to a service charge. The ship accepts Visa and Mastercard.
    Travellers Cheques
    Travellers Cheques can be difficult to exchange and are not accepted aboard.

    Argentina

    Food and drink

    The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


    Lunch price
    £11
    Dinner price
    £20
    Beer price
    £3-4
    Water price
    £2
    Foreign Exchange
    Local currency
    Peso
    Recommended Currency For Exchange
    Carry all your funds in US cash NOT Sterling or Travellers Cheques which are more difficult to exchange. We recommend to take a minimum of US$400-$500 of your total spending money in cash, in mixed denominations. Notes should be in good condition otherwise they might be difficult to exchange. You may wish to take extra cash as most optional excursions need to be paid in USD cash (not dispensed by ATMs in Argentina or Chile).
    Where To Exchange
    Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
    ATM Availability
    Available in Buenos Aires. In Patagonia some cards with Chip and Pin do not work in the ATM machines. Always have some cash as back-up as they are not always reliable
    Credit Card Acceptance
    Credit cards are useful and can be used in some places, but may be subject to a 10% service charge
    Travellers Cheques
    Travellers Cheques can be awkward or expensive to change
    Transport, Accommodation & Meals

    Transport Information

    M/V Ushuaia, Zodiac

    Ship description

    Built for the US agency NOAA (National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration), the Ushuaia has been constantly modernised and refurbished whilst operating in Antarctica. The Ushuaia is an ice-strengthened small ship, accommodating just 88 passengers; making it a comfortable and steadfast choice. Knowledgeable staff will ensure you get the most out of your visit and there's an open bridge policy plus ample deck space for wildlife-viewing.

    Cabins

    Prices are based on outside facing, triple cabins on the lower deck. Triple cabins have three lower berths, with private facilities and have either a window or portholes. The MV Ushuaia has a number of different cabin categories, all with en-suite facilities, with two beds and a porthole (some suites have double beds.) Cabins are all outside facing and will either have portholes or windows. Most cabins are twin share, although there are two dedicated single cabins on board. We can also offer single occupancy on most cabin types, at a supplement cost. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.

    Ship dining

    On-board the expedition ship all meals are included in the price of your expedition; an American-style and continental breakfast, buffet lunch and three-course dinner. The dining room accommodates all guests in one sitting and it's free seating. Vegetarians and some special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee and tea are provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included and can be purchased in the bar.

    Essential Information

    FCO Advice

    We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

    For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
     

    Under 18 immigration guidance

    Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

    Price Guarantee

    Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

    Visa and Passport Information

    All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.

    USA (If flights transit): you will need to apply for an ESTA if you are transiting the USA as you will have to disembark and clear immigration before re-boarding for the onward flight.

    Citizens of the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and passport holders from several EU countries can enter the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - where you apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation), which applies if you enter the country by sea or by air. This must be done on line - https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov no later than 72 hours prior to travel.
    Travellers who have not registered before their trip are likely be refused boarding. When completing an application for transit you should enter the words 'In Transit' with your final destination location in the address line

    You must have an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner. UK passports which are biometric feature a small gold symbol (camera) at the bottom of the front cover.

    If you have visited Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan in the past five years or are dual nationals of these countries, you cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Programme. Instead you will need to apply for a visa from the nearest US Embassy or Consulate. If you are unable to provide a valid visa before boarding flights to the US, or entering via another method, you may not be permitted to travel.

    For further information please check out the US embassy website.
    Visa applications - http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html


    If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
     

    Booking conditions

    Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

    Transfers

    Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

    Booking a land only package with Explore

    Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

    You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


    Joining Tour Abroad

    Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

    Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

    If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


    For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

    Insurance

    It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
    Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

    Flight information

    Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


    Flight Information

    You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

      

    Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

    We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

    On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

    Antarctica

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Argentina

    Vaccinations

    Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, polio and hepatitis A. Please consult your travel clinic for the latest advice on Malaria, Dengue and Zika Virus. Please take preventative measures to avoid mosquito bites - these include mosquito repellent as well as long trousers and long sleeve shirts to cover up when necessary. Please note many countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean require a yellow fever vaccination certificates if travelling from infected areas. A detailed list of these countries can be found on the NaTHNaC website - http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries. Also on the NaTHNaC site there is a list of Countries (and specific areas within a country) which are at risk of infection and a vaccination is therefore recommended. Yellow fever is only recommended for those travelling to Iguazu falls. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

    Polar information
    Ship information
    Built for the US agency NOAA (National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration), the Ushuaia has been constantly modernised and refurbished whilst operating in Antarctica. The Ushuaia is an ice-strengthened small ship, accommodating just 88 passengers; making it a comfortable and steadfast choice. Knowledgeable staff will ensure you get the most out of your visit and there's an open bridge policy plus ample deck space for wildlife-viewing.
    Additional Information

    Dates, prices and booking

    All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change
    Wed 6 Feb 2019 - Sat 16 Feb 2019
    USWS_2019
    Price from £5961
    Save was
    Single room option Call us
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time and place
    00:00 at
    Ending Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time
    00:00
    Information The ship will aim to arrive at 7 a.m. on the date of arrival and disembarkation normally commences between 8.00-8.30 am. We recommend that you book an afternoon flight out of Ushuaia to allow for any delays.
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
    Tue 28 Jan 2020 - Fri 7 Feb 2020
    USWS_2020
    Price from £5824
    Save was
    Single room option Call us
    All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

    These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
    For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
    Joining Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time and place
    00:00 at
    Ending Point
    Town
    Ushuaia
    Time
    00:00
    If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
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