Ushuaia to Antarctica

Cruises to Antarctica from Ushuaia

Ushuaia, situated at the southernmost tip of Argentina, is not only the southernmost city in the world, but it is also the gateway for tourists to visit the magnificent white continent of Antarctica. During the austral summer (October to March), boats set sail from the port of Ushuaia to reach the Antarctic Peninsula. These voyages offer variable itineraries and durations, ranging from a minimum of 10 days to three weeks, and can be done on expedition ships, large cruise ships, or luxury vessels.

Every summer, thousands of tourists flock to Ushuaia to visit the White Continent, making it the busiest port of entry among the five in the world. Argentina’s presence in Antarctica dates back to 1904 when a meteorological observatory and an Argentine post office were established on Laurie Island, South Orcadas, which eventually became the Orcadas Base. As a signatory of the Antarctic Treaty signed in 1959, Argentina is also a consultative member, committed to peaceful use of the territory and the promotion of scientific research and environmental conservation projects.

Given the delicate ecosystem of Antarctica, tourism is regulated internationally under the framework of the Antarctic Treaty. Only small contingents of visitors are permitted to disembark at authorized points to avoid any potential harm to the pristine environment of the continent.


What´s the best time to visit Antarctica

The best time to visit Antarctica is during the austral summer, which runs from October to March. During this time, the weather is more favorable for travel, with longer daylight hours, milder temperatures, and calmer seas, which make for a smoother journey.

In the early part of the season (October-November), visitors can witness the arrival of numerous species of penguins, and many of them can be seen nesting and breeding. This time of year is also ideal for whale watching, as humpback whales, orcas, and other species migrate to the area for feeding.

In mid-season (December-January), the temperature is milder, and the ice has started to break up, which allows for more exploration of the region. This period is also popular for wildlife watching, with opportunities to see seals, seabirds, and marine mammals.

In late season (February-March), the days are longer, and the landscape takes on a beautiful, otherworldly quality. This is a great time for photographers, with the sun setting lower in the sky, casting longer shadows, and creating more dramatic lighting. Wildlife sightings are still plentiful during this period, and visitors can also witness the start of the annual whale migration back to their breeding grounds.

Antarctica from Ushuaia

Cruises to Antarctica from Ushuaia

Antarctica is a unique and remote destination that offers visitors a range of itineraries to explore its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. The itineraries vary depending on the number of days, the places to visit, the type of boat, and the services offered.

The Classic Antarctica trip is a popular choice that usually lasts from 10 to 12 days. After crossing the Drake Passage, ships visit the South Shetland Islands, including Deception Island and May 25 Island, before disembarking on the Peninsula to visit breathtaking sites such as Gerlache Strait, Danco Island, Neko Harbor, Bahia Paradise, Pléneau and Petermann Islands, and Port Lockroy, which houses a museum and a post office.

Antarctica via Malvinas and South Georgia is the second most chosen itinerary after the classic trip. It offers a longer trip lasting around 20 to 22 days, in addition to visiting the Antarctic Peninsula, visitors can explore the landscapes and fauna of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Islands, which are home to the King Penguin.

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an adventurous itinerary that allows travelers to explore the territories beyond the Peninsula. With an average duration of 14 to 15 days, the ships sail along the west coast of Antarctica, crossing the Antarctic Circle at latitude 66° 33′ South. Visitors can marvel at magnificent landscapes of icebergs, whale watching, and penguin colonies, and visit places such as Vernadsky Station, a Ukrainian research station, and the former British bases of Faraday, Yalour Islands, and Detaille Island.

The Weddell Sea Circuit is an exciting adventure that follows a less-explored area of Antarctica. The trip usually lasts around 20 to 22 days and begins with the usual circuit in the Antarctic Peninsula before sailing towards the eastern coast of the Weddell Sea. This area boasts stunning glaciers and icebergs and is home to a variety of wildlife, including sea lions, penguins, traveling albatrosses, and the Weddell seal. The Weddell Sea is famous for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated expedition in 1915, where his ship Endurance was trapped in ice and sank.


The Base Camp Expedition cruise to Antarctica

The BaseCamp expedition is an incredible way to experience Antarctica, providing a wide range of activities for travelers to explore and enjoy the stunning continent. This expedition offers a unique opportunity for adventurers to hike, snowshoe, kayak, mountaineer, and camp under the breathtaking Southern Polar skies.

This expedition is not just about sightseeing but also offers a more immersive experience with the environment. The activities offered on this cruise allow travelers to truly connect with the pristine wilderness of Antarctica. Hiking in the footsteps of explorers or camping out on the ice are just some of the unforgettable experiences offered by this expedition.

The BaseCamp cruise is an excellent option for travelers who are looking for a more active and adventurous experience in Antarctica. It offers a chance to explore the continent in a way that is both respectful to the environment and engaging for visitors. For more information on this expedition, please visit the BaseCamp website or contact a travel specialist.

Picture of Ramiro Rodriguez

Ramiro Rodriguez

25 years working in travel market, as Sales & Marketing Manager in RipioTurismo, Marketing Manager in Nuevas Ideas Travel Consulting Group. Writer and travel lover.

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