Antarctic Explorer

11 days
from
5 600 €
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4.8 / 5 from 20 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
PSX
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar
Min age:
18
Max group size:
189

This is an astonishing adventure into the heart of the Peninsula.

It is a heady and inspiring cocktail of towering blue icebergs which refract searing blues and greens, whether against piercing clear skies or slate grey ones. It is home to an extraordinary array of wildlife: penguins of almost all descriptions, Leopard and smaller seals and whales, seen from the shore, the Zodiacs and from on board. This is a journey that appeals to many: photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, ornithologists or those who simply want to marvel at the peaks of Deception Island or the striking colours of Iceberg Alley in the most immaculate wilderness anywhere.

Highlights

  • Explore the remarkable Antarctic Peninsula
  • Incredible wildlife viewing including seabirds, penguins, seals and whales
  • Travel on a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 8 to 12 nights on the ship
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Board ship and sail along the Beagle Channel.

    The morning is free to explore Ushuaia and the surrounding area, to do some last minute shopping, stroll around Ushuaia and down to the port or maybe go for a walk in the nearby National Park. The transfer to the ship takes place in the afternoon. Once on board there is a get together for introductions to the expedition team, to learn about the ship and its layout, talk about the itinerary for the next 10 days and participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. Departure from Ushuaia is normally around 6:00 p.m, and we set sail through the Beagle Channel in the early evening. The long days mean plenty of evening light in which to experience the beauty of the channel, and to perhaps enjoy your first wildlife sightings.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Days 2-3

    Cross the Drake Passage.

    Sea conditions in the Drake Passage can vary from dead calm (known as 'Drake Lake'), to rough and stormy (known as 'Drake Shake'). As you cross the Drake Passage our team of experts is out on deck to help you spot whales and identify seabirds. There is also a programme of talks, covering the wildlife, the ice, and polar history to prepare you for your adventure to the 'White Continent'. The excitement intensifies as you cross the Antarctic Convergence, where the cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean meet the warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. You feel the change as the air gets cooler. Huge icebergs loom up against the horizon in increasing numbers, and Wandering albatrosses, petrels and other birds which thrive in this cold, remote ocean are frequently seen.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 4-8

    Explore the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.

    When the Antarctic Convergence is left in our wake, we will truly begin our Antarctic adventure. It is perhaps the first sight of land itself that is embraced as the true beginning of any Antarctic expedition. We can finally begin to appreciate why this region has long captivated the attention of explorers and travellers alike. We will take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore bays, channels and landing sites each day. With wildlife always at the forefront of our minds 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 we scramble up snowy pathways to vantage points offering 360° views of our surroundings. One of these in particular, in Orne Harbour, gives the opportunity to visit a Chinstrap penguin colony high up on a ridge. 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 Harbour.

    As we sail from island to shore to bay during our four days in the Peninsula, the Expedition Team will educate and entertain. We’ll provide opportunities for quiet contemplation, activities for testing endurance and more than enough wildlife interactions to satisfy all curiosity.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 9-10

    Sail back through the Drake Passage.

    Leaving the Antarctic Peninsula behind, our ship heads back across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage. The crossing is completed with the rounding of Cape Horn, weather permitting.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Disembark and end in Ushuaia.

    In the early morning we arrive back in Ushuaia where your voyage ends. You will be transferred either to town on to the airport for your onward flight to Buenos Aires.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The Ocean Adventurer takes a maximum capacity of 132 passengers, the Ocean Diamond takes a maximum capacity of 189 passengers, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov takes a maximum capacity of 92 passengers and the Akademik Ioffe takes a maximum capacity of 96 passengers.

The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our partners, Quark Expedition and One Ocean Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 18 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.

Visas

Argentina

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay.

No visa required for holders of British passport.

If you are crossing the border into Argentina from Chile on your trip, we will need to know your profession in order to provide when entering Argentina.

The Argentine government charges a reciprocity fee which applies to Canadian and Australian citizens. The amounts are as follows: Australians - US$100 (multiple entry) Canadians - US$75 (single entry) This fee must be paid before you enter Argentina. For full details, and to make the payment, please visit: https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes

Antarctica

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Argentina

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers in Argentina, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

Dengue fever is also a known risk in Argentina. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Due to a recent outbreak of Yellow Fever in the Misiones province of Argentina, vaccinations are strongly recommended if you intend to visit the Iguazu Falls.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. For the latest information please visit www.exodus.co.uk/zika‐virus‐q‐a .

Antarctica

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ.

Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Weather

Late Spring and Early Summer - October & November

The start of the season and the most adventurous time to travel. You’ll encounter truly breathtaking, exquisitely sculpted icebergs emerging from their frozen hibernation. Many of these blue bergs house courting, nesting and brooding penguins.

High Summer - December, January & February

Close to the solstice you’ll experience almost perpetual daylight. These are the mildest months when the first Adelie and Gentoo penguin chicks are hatched.  As the water warms the whale sightings also improve.

Late Summer - February & March

This is the time for some incredible encounters with whales, especially Minkes and Humpbacks. The receding ice allows for further exploration and penguin colonies are very active with adults feeding their chicks.

Antarctica

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere onboard is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet / mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are ‘wet’ which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers).

There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Optional activities

On some occasions, space is limited on the optional activities and needs to be booked in advance. Please ask our Polar Sales team for more information if you are interested in one of the options below.

Sea kayaking option

On many of our Antarctic voyages there is the chance for some members of the party to take regular sea kayak excursions in place of the Zodiac excursions. There are a limited number of kayaks on each ship, and you must book and pay for this option in advance. All kayak trips are expertly guided, and are subject to suitable locations and weather conditions. Should the kayaking not be possible, a place on a Zodiac is always available.

Camping on Ice option

Spending a night camping on ice is a unique experience we offer on some of our Antarctic departures. No previous experience is needed to participate in our camping option. We provide the equipment: you contribute a desire for a personal and intimate connection with the continent.

Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Polar Adventure Ship

The Antarctic Explorer is offered on the Ocean Adventurer, the Ocean Diamond, the Akademik Ioffe, and the Akademik Sergey Vavilov which are Polar Adventure Ships. Please visit the Polar Fleet page (www.exodus.co.uk/polar-holidays/polar-fleet) for Ship Information and Deck Plans.

Polar Adventure Ships

These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking, kayaking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are excellent and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.

Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” ~ Ranulph Fiennes

  • Reviewed February 2014
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    Great boat, fantastic experiences, good mix of people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Whales at Wilhelmina Bay.  We set off in our Zodiac boat and went for a cruise.  Within minutes we were encircled by Humpback and Minke Whales!  For around 3 hours we were treated to whales fluting, spyhoping and bubble feeding, within meters of the bow of our boat.  The most amazing wildlife experience of my life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

      Jonathan Chester......well lets start with his redeeming features.  He appeared to be very familiar with Antarctica and had encyclopaedic knowledge of the area, a sound Antarctic pedigree and good working knowledge of maritime travel.  Unfortunately, I did not find him passenger focused, personable, caring, interested or inspiring.  He seemed to be preoccupied with the Jonathan show, constant reminders of the films he's assisted with, 15 books he'd written and who he knows. I expected the tour leader to lead by example and to show an interest in passenger satisfaction.  On one occasion (following a request to submit photos for a slide show) I informed him that one of the ship PCs had a virus.  He corrected me stating that there was only 1 PC.  I advised him that my memory stick had been corrupted and that I had lost photos.  I also advised him that another passenger had lost work and photos.  Our glorious leader's response?  "Go tell Dana" (another member of staff) thereafter turning his back and sauntering off.  No apology, offer of help or solution, he couldn't even be bothered to pass the message on to the relevant person. On the last evening there was a photographic slide show.  Jonathan gave an overview and thereafter introduce the photo slideshow.  Following this me and another passenger created slideshows with video footage.  The other passenger asked if we could show them as they only lasted 3/4 minutes and some of the footage was pretty good.  Yet again, our glorious leader was as much help and a chocolate teapot.  He declined and stated that there wasn't enough time.  Following the show there was happy hour within the bar.  Me and the other passenger then sowed our videos in the bar area, a resounding success, people were asking for copies of our shows and buying us drinks.  Thanks for the encouragement. At one point he told a passenger that was in his 20's, that he was part of "generation X" and wouldn't amount to much.  That's really appropriate.All in all I was underwhelmed by Jonathan Chester and will be avoiding any future trips that he will be leading. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get a Gopro Camera with a pole attachment.  There's so much to see and do and this will help you capture every moment.As much as it looks crazy, bring a ski mask.  An absolute must when out on a cruise in the Zodiac.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I found the expedition staff to be fantastic!  All had their own specific interest and all were incredibly knowledgeable.  I thought the staff covered too many jobs and maybe could have been doing with a little more help as it was the same faces getting up at the crack of dawn getting to bed late.Derek (whale guy) and Katie (historian) were particular stand outs.  Katie managed to give different angles on the traditional history of the great white wilderness and at points had me captivated with her story telling.  She always had smile on her face and her love for Antarctic history beamed through.Derek was outstanding!  He managed to find us the best spots for wildlife, had great knowledge of all Antarctic wildlife, had the best stories and was generally a great person to be around on the trip. The Vavilov is a great ship.  Cabins are well thought out and practice.  Drinks are reasonably priced and food was pretty good.  The BBQ was a particular highlight, having BBQ on a ship in the middle of Antarctica on a sunny day, unbeatable.
  • Reviewed February 2014
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    A magical adventure amongst the whales, penguins and spectacular ice formations. I would have given this 5 stars but I get terminally seasick and loathe boats so 4 was the best possible really!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting watching penguin colonies for hours. They had chicks who were very high maintenance indeed, constantly pestering their parents for food. They are compelling birds and it is impossible not to fall in love with them.Wilhelmina Bay was easily the trip highlight for me. Owing to certain currents, vast quantities of krill are forced into quite a restricted area which creates whale foodie heaven and therefore paradise for mere mortals like me who love watching wildlife. Blue skies and calm seas with deftly carved icebergs, the scene punctuated by whale tails wherever I looked. The humpback whales were bubble net feeding inches from the zodiac - reminded me of a certain overused quote from Jaws.....It really was moving to be so close to these gentle leviathans. I can't understand how any country can justify their scandalous slaughter. Our zodiac guide couldn't contain his whoops of excitement, what a job!As an added treat we got to bivvy camp on a small snowy island in a sheltered cove. This involved digging a shallow hole (grave?) then sleeping in a bivvy bag. I was toastie warm and it was fun trying to sleep listening to nearby glaciers moaning and groaning all night. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The expedition I was part of was on the Akademik Sergey Vavlilov which is operated by One Ocean. The leader was Jonathan Chester. Putting it diplomatically, I have found other trip leaders to be more inspiring and charismatic and he didn't seem especially fussed with customer service.The stand out staff members for me were Derek who was a biologist and Zodiac driver. He was obviously genuinely interested in the wildlife we were interacting with and very sensitive to avoiding wildlife harassment at all costs. Katie the historian was knowledgeable, personable and made everything she talked about interesting with offbeat quirky facts.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Aerolineas Argentinas are a law unto themselves regarding scheduling changes, don't rely on them for time critical connections and make sure to arrive in Ushuaia the day before the trip. I'd recommend the Hotel Albatros which is across the road from the pick up point to get on the boat. Luggage can be collected by boat crew directly from here. Don't book flights prior to 12pm on disembarkation day in case of delays.Antarctica is obviously prone to extreme weather and you should come prepared but remember it is summer there and I've been colder at home in Scotland to be honest!  A balaclava is handy for Zodiac excursions as the wind really nips your cheeks. High factor sunscreen is essential. Get seasickness meds before going as the ship has limited supply. I found promethazine the best ( unfortunately I have had occasion to try lots of others.........) . You can buy this over the counter marketed as Sominex - sold as a sleep aid but the same drug. The Vavilov is a lovely ship. It was quiet and very stable. The lounge/bar area is fantastic. It is on deck 6 and has panoramic views and a viewing deck out the back. For someone like me who gets seasick on a duck pond and especially when shut into windowless rooms, the lounge was a godsend. Bear this in mind when booking as the sister ship the Ioffe does not have this facility apparently.Take up the offer of wet weather gear, penguin crap is stinky and better on hire gear than your own!There were a sizeable party of travellers from China on this trip. I think partly owing to it being Chinese New Year and also owing to increasing interest in travel from the expanding middle class. Unfortunately, I found this group to be probably the worst behaved I have had the misfortune to encounter. Everyone on the ship has to go to a compulsory briefing on how to behave around the wildlife and on the Zodiacs which is provided in different languages if necessary. Despite this, I witnessed members of this group tramping directly through the middle of penguin colonies, disregarding the 5 metre rule, repeatedly failing to follow instructions to safely behave in a Zodiac and generally behaving in a rude, noisy and selfish manner. If I have the good fortune to repeat a trip such as this in the future I will be enquiring as to the make up of the passenger complement and would seek to avoid repeating having to put up with foul behaviour.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very very lucky to win this trip as part of the 'Feel More Alive' promotion from 2013. A thousand thanks to Exodus for giving me the opportunity to visit this magical part of the world, it was much appreciated. Make sure to enter competitions if you see them as someone has to win and it might as well be you!
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    An amazing introduction to a stunning continent. A real once-in-a-lifetime trip to somewhere that has to be experienced to be believed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where to start?! The excitement of jumping in a sea kayak for the first time, paddling through the beautiful clear blue sea marvelling at gigantic icebergs. Sitting on a gorgeously clear day in amongst a colony of gentoo penguins for about 2 hours, just admiring their behaviour and their inquisitiveness. The moment that the whole dining room put down their knives and forks and ran out onto deck to see the family of orcas that had just surfaced in the distance. Or camping overnight on the ice, digging my own bed and setting down for the night as the penguins and snowy sheathbills called nearby.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aaron and his whole team were absolutely fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the One Ocean staff and they seemed to be on duty 24 hours a day to search the horizon for wildlife and excite the passengers with numerous presentations and stories. We had a wealth of knowledge and experience on board, some of the most inspirational people I have met! I was lucky enough to be part of the kayaking group and can't rate the guides highly enough. The crew on board were also brilliant, beautifully clean rooms, delicious food (so much of it!!) and again - nothing too much trouble. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I never really thought that a piece of equipment like an iPad or similar would be too useful until I looked on enviably as others displayed their photos at the end of the day! However the Ioffe has a well stocked multimedia room and many helpful members of staff so those without need not despair! However take plenty of memory card space, and extra batteries for your camera - you will need it!! Obviously lots of layers are very important - the rental kit provided by One Ocean was top notch and the majority of those on board made full use of it.  Take spare gloves and hats - I took more than I needed but was thankful for extra layers when the weather turned. I got a lot of use out of my buff - great for pulling over your face if the wind gets a bit nippy! High sun factor is very important, and a good lip balm!  Sea sickness pills are very useful, we were lucky with the crosings and didn't encounter the dreaded Drake Shake (!) but many of the passengers took advantage of the patches that were available from the on board doctor.  If possible break the journey in Buenos Aires for a couple of days - a fantastic city worth exploring. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it! There is really nothing like this place and it is well worth the long journey to get there - in fact it makes it even more special. The problem is once you've been bitten - that's it!!
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    An unforgetable trip, can't begin to really describe the Antarctic, it has to be seen to be believed. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Minke whale who decided to investigate 3 of the 5 Zodiacs a few times, swimming right underneath them all and then surfacing really close to us on two occasions to inspect what was happening above sea level!  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chellie was incredible.  Funny, knowledgeable, obviously well respected and well loved by her team and the Captain and his crew. She ensured everything ran smoothly and safely. A star!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go - Buenos Aires is probably worth a couple of days at least if you have the time. The trip was seamless: we went on the Sea Spirit which is a really lovely ship. Make sure you stay on deck as long as you can, take loads of photos, take loads of travel sickness pills - you will very probably need them!  We did, and apparently we had a calm crossing on both occasions!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Holiday experience of a lifetime.
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    I cannot remember a time when the Antarctic was not at the top of my wish list. This trip not only met all my expectations, it far exceeded them! It is difficult for any review to do both the location and the expedition team justice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is almost impossible to identify any one moment but I have always longed to see the huge icebergs and the first sighting of these was simply awe inspiring.The whole trip was inspirational - the peninsula has a stunning wild beauty that is like no other region. The penguins are such fun to watch and the variety of birds, especially the albatross, is amazing. Zodiac cruising amongst the sea ice is so peaceful and the beauty and colours of the ice formations takes your breath away. To see abandoned buildings gives a tiny insight into just how difficult life must have been. Life tends to take on a new perspective.The experience, understanding and inspiration provided by the trip was enhanced by some of the best lectures you could hope to attend. The expedition team gave us an amazing selection of background information delivered in an interesting and fun style. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Alex. He was excellent and managed to make all his hard work look effortless! I cannot think of anything that did not go well and his enthusiasm and commitment to providing us with the best possible experience ensured we had just that. He was flexible and always looking for additional landings or cruises for us to experience - when we couldn't land due to the amount of ice, he immediately planned an alternative.Alex is enthusiastic, friendly and highly professional and I am sure this influences all his team. I cannot praise all of the team highly enough, they were all friendly, efficient, informative and professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would advise anyone thinking of doing the trip to go if they can. Everyone with a reasonable level of fitness can enjoy this trip so long as you can negotiate the zodiac landings and smaller slops - not everyone takes part in the more difficult hikes.Even the shortest trip provides an amazing experience. Treat the journey as a part of the experience and take advantage of the lectures as they are superb. Spend some time on deck enjoying the surroundings and the amazing bird life.Waterproof gloves are needed for Zodiacs but not helpful for photography so I bought some thin but good quality lining gloves which were ideal.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was the trip I had always dreamed of but doubted I would do. I am so glad I got the chance to go, I feel both lucky and privileged to have visited this beautiful, amazing place.
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    The whole trip was exceptionally well organised and was up there with my most inspriational trip ever (and I have done a fair bit of travelling!!))  Antarctica is definately a place you should experience a once in a lifetime experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is a hard one to answer as the whole trip was awsome, the most amazing moment was a close encounter (close enough to touch!) with a humpback whale.  We were in two zociacs and the humpback came and played with the boats for over half an hour it brought tears to your eyes that such a huge creature could be so interactive and gentle with boats that it outsized by many times.  Close up and personal.Penguins galore while you can stay the recommended 5 meters away from them dont be surprised that they dont pay the same attention to the rules!!!  If I am to use an analogy in the future for teams it will be to have the determination of a penguin getting to their nesting sites sometimes at the top of mountains.  Sheer resilliance and determination. It was inspirational to see the working and historical scientific/research sites that our guides could inform us of the great work that had been done to inform our future. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader from exodus was very inmative and our leader and the ships tour leaders got as much out of the trip that was possible for the whole group.  Made sure we had the information we needed and were always on hand to give answers to quesitons and ensure our trip was safe and most importantly enjoyable.  As a photographer the opportunities were massive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes go for it ensure you look at the guidelines on what to bring and what is available on ship, I took most of my camera kit and used it all there are sooo many opportunities for great photographs.  Remember to take the time to sit back be quiet and take in the sounds views and experiences of Antarctica put the camera down and experience the place.  Take lots of memory cards and a back up to ensure you have enough space for the images you will get. Plenty of layers and a spare pair of socks.If you get the chance tag an extra day on at Beunos Aires a great experience and if its summer there v. hot remember to take an outfit that will work in this temperature. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dont hesitate to go for it, I had a wonderous time with fabulous like minded people and learnt so much from the guides and fellow travellers.
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    Our trip to the Antarctic Peninsula was simply 'mind-blowing'

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Any description of Antarctica is always full of 'expletives'. Quite honestly where do you start? Its awesome, pristine, 'bigger' than you can imagine. The glaciers and the thickness of the snow cover was simply mind boggling. Listening to the occasional 'calving' glacier making a noise like 'gun fire' sometimes startled you as often it happened some distance away without you actually seeing the event itself. The clearness and crispness of the air was an absolute tonic. The penguin colonies ('rookeries') were simply amazing. You read about how close you can get to the wildlife there but it was quite suprising actually how close you could get to them. They were seemingly oblivious to the presence of man and therefore we were able to study their natural behaviour. It was a very humbling experience indeed and you felt 'at one' with nature, a part of the whole. Someone said to me back home before we left 'Why go there won't a photograph of a particular animal or bird have the same effect? Well you just have to visit a penguin rookery or a seal haul-out to experience the unforgettable sights sounds and oh yes -'odour' like no other and the adventure of course of actually making landfall on the most remote and pristine continent on Earth. You don't get that experience from photographs! It is such an exciting feeling when you actually set foot on the continent itself.Describing a specific inspirational moment is impossible as you have to think about the whole picture. The landscape, the glaciers, the wildlife, the silence, the light, the people. There is no experience quite like it on our planet. It was one 'big adventure' from start to finish!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All the 'One Ocean' guides were good. They were knowlegable, skillful, caring and considerate at all times. The expedition team leader was Chad who was exceptional I have to add. His cool, calm quiet leadership made such a difference to the trip I'm sure. We all felt very safe in his capable hands. We have nothing but praise too for the ship's Captain and crew. They worked efficiently, quietly and discreetly in the background.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most trips to the Antarctic Peninsula start at Ushuaia in Southern Patagonia. They call it 'The end of the World' but don't be put off by that rather deceiving descriptive! Its a city with a population of 70,000 to 80,000 people so its quite substantial. It is very much a 'frontier' town much like Jenneau in Alaska if you have been there. It is quite vibrant and I would suggest spending a few days there before (or even after) your cruise to explore the area such as taking a boat trip into the Beagle Channel or a trip to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park. Maybe the best way to do this might be to hire a car but our trips were organised. What clothing to take with you will probably take up much of your time in planning beforehand! But make sure you take enough base layers with you and warm and 'waterproof' gloves. The expedition ship we went on namely the 'Akademic Ioffe' provided waterproofs and gum boots which you keep for the duration of the voyage and 'wash down' after each shore visit. Do wear good footwear on deck ie- 'hiking boots' as it can get slippy and you don't want to be breaking any limbs when you are out there! Its even more important to wear good footwear if you hit foul weather in the Drake Passage and a unexpected wave can cause a sudden jolt which may cause you to lose your balance. The golden rule then of course is 'keep one hand for the ship'! We took warm quilted coats with us which were not waterproof. They are fine but bulky to pack. If you have taken sufficient base layers with you then the kit the ship supplies may be sufficient for you. We went in January and it wasn't incredibly cold out there in fact it was colder in the UK when we got back! Don't forget the 'sun block' and UV protection sunglasses. Make sure you take 'plenty' of memory cards for your cameras!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You may have thought about a trip to Antarctica for a long time. Of course its expensive getting there and there is no getting away from that but a voyage to this pristine white continent can be simply life changing. Savour every moment. A trip to Antarctica will give you a better understanding of the fragile planet upon which we all live.Remember it when you return home and be an ambassador for this remote and fascinating continent.
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    Wonderful trip.  Well worth the effort despite some stressful moments in the beginning.  Antarctica is a very special place.  Cannot be compared to any other travel experience.  So glad I went.   Would have given 5 stars but for my experiences prior to and at the beginning of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Penguins.  Waking up after a night in the snow to see a Penguin looking at me.  Seeing a Whales head surface near our Zodiac.  The sheer pristine beauty of the place.  The "blue icebergs" and the stillness.  Nature at its purest and most unspoilt.  The wonderful staff.  The professional photographers and the interesting lectures.  The memory stick of the trip, including photos was a great momento.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kim Christie.  I did not know she was on the trip until a few days into the trip despite exchanging emails prior to the trip. Could have done with her help in Ushuaia (see "Anything you want to add"). 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wish I'd taken a hat with ear flaps and an inbetween coat.  Sometimes my triple goose down parka was a bit too warm (it can get quite warm in the sun when worn together with the waterproof outer gear) and my thin jacket (for the BA sun) was not warm enough for Ushuaia.  The thin inner finger gloves are very useful when taking photos.  Thermals are a must.  Layers of thin polo necks best.  Tee shirt OK in ship but need warm coat for deck.  No special shoes/boots required.  Rent wellington boots, waterproof jacket and trousers on ship.  Travel light. Take lots of film and extra batteries.Worst airport (BA to Ushuaia) experience I've ever had (and I've done a lot of travelling).  Long queues.  Very few of the staff speak English.  Chaos.  So nearly missed flight.  Met quite a few other people who had a similar experience.  Get to the airport early.  Coming back was better.  Nice little airport at Ushuaia.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Did not get my final travel documents until a week before my departure date.  I had to call and ask where they were.  Even then, they were not complete.  There was no separate document re "Ushuaia joining instructions".  I sent an email and got an apology and some instructions  Also, why was I not booked in at the Hotel Albatross (the meeting point for departure to the ship) as Kim and her companion were?  I have no complaints about Hotel Las Lengas. They were very helpful but it is a good 10-15 minutes walk to the Albatross Hotel.  Also, I was told by Kim that I could leave my bags at the Albatross Hotel until our departure to the ship in late afternoon.  Check out at the Hotel Las Lengas was 1000.   When I got to the Albatross Hotel (around 1030) they would not let me store my luggage there.  They said they only stored luggage for people staying at the hotel.  They said they had had this problem before and had informed the various companies before.  They gave me the name of a place in the town where I could leave my luggage.     I could not find it and ended up leaving my luggage at the Tourist Office (who were very helpful).  One more thing - I was booked into a triple cabin but there were other single people on the ship who did not book a single cabin but ended up in a cabin on their own.  Kim was aware of this and said she would look into it.   
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    WE had a wonderful experience in the Antarctic and also spending a few days in Ushuaia before our departure on the Clipper Adventurer.      Thanks must go to Kim Christie  for sorting us out with travel and accommodation when the Ship broke down in December, 2011.   Within a few moments of returning  Kim rang to check we were home safely and 24 hours later we we rebooked on the February trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting in a Zodiac watching Killer Whales (about 90) swimming towards us.  Absolutely thrilling.Humpback whales passing under the Zodiak and rolling slightly to look at us.  Unforgetable.Sitting with hundreds of penguins watching them going about their business and watching us with great curiosity.  I have some wonderful photographs of penguins studying the landing of the Zodiacs with a very amusing tilt of the head. Leopard seal with the biggest gape when it threw its head back to yawn.  Barbeque on deck surrounded by wonderful Glaciers and Icebergs in beautiful sunshine.  We were very lucky with the weather.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All the expedition crew were superb.  Nothing was too much trouble for them and all were very knowledgeable.They worked very hard to give us the most memorable experience. The ships crew each and everyone succeeded in making this one of the best experiences of my life.I would like now to go to the Arctic before I am too old.  Having said that the oldest person on our trip was 85.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Warm hat, gloves and something to cover your throat to keep the draught out when move swiftly in the Zodiacs.  The Jackets supplied were absolutely superb.No time to read or anything as the expedition crew give lectures and displays and eating so much excellent  food,  meeting so many new friends and staying in touch when you return. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please just Go for It!  Slide down a wonderful slope on your bottom,  see the most wonderful sunsets, water that is crystal clear, and lots of animals both in and out of the water that are just as curious about us as we are about them. I would love to do it again.  Maybe the North Pole next.
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    An excellent and informative introduction to Antarctica. You could not wish for a better trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Icebergs, stunning beauty and serenity

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very well informed, and a good attention to bio-security

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the pre-trip advice carefully, bring sufficient drink to avoid steep on board prices.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to make new life-long friends

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Polar Ships: For information regarding ship specifications, visit the Polar Fleet page.

 

Call us on +47-22 41 30 30