Most expedition cruises that visit Antarctica schedule their itineraries around the Antarctic Peninsula, which lies only 1000 km away from the southernmost tip of South America across the Drake Passage. Ninety percent of the ships depart from Ushuaia, Argentina – making this city, the southernmost in the world, the gateway to the white continent.
On a classic tourist cruise, itineraries are met with great precision, and part of the essence of the trip is the cruise itself. However, travel to the polar regions are considered ‘expeditions’, and the development of the voyage depends entirely on the climatic conditions – the wind, ice, sea currents, and fog. It is very likely that the itinerary will change frequently, so it’s a good idea to embrace this flexibility as unexpected plans bring great rewards.
Since landing sites, especially in the Antarctic, do not have docks, it is necessary to use a Zodiac. These are extremely stable and comfortable and are ideal for landings and sighting wildlife. Certain cruise expeditions also offer a range of adventure activities such as hiking, camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, mountaineering, and cross-country skiing.