Antarctic Emperor Penguin Cruise

Antarctic Emperor Penguin Cruise


Ushuaia - Drake Channel - Antarctic Sound - Deception Island

from 27600 USD

Ushuaia - Drake Channel - Antarctic Sound - Deception Island

days 10
  • Navigate from Ushuaia to Antarctica through the Beagle Channel. 
  • Cross the Drake Passage and reach the Antarctic Continent.
  • Spot Emperor penguins from a helicopter or Zodiac ride.
  • See historic sites and currently habited bases.
  • Best time to travel: From November to March.
  Depart from Ushuaia in Patagonia Argentina and navigate 10 days on an Antarctic cruise. Discover the land of Emperor penguins and other species of Antarctic animals. Ride on a helicopter to impossible access sites, and jump on a Zodiac to visit different islands.
Day 1

Antarctic Cruise begins! - Ushuaia

Lighthouse in Ushuaia


  • Embark in the evening & sail the Beagle Channel

Depart from Ushuaia, the capital of Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost province of Argentine Patagonia. Many transatlantic vessels set sail in Ushuaia’s port, and today is your turn. Embark on your Antarctic cruise and head toward Antarctica and the Emperor Penguin’s favorite nesting place. Before crossing the Drake Passage, you will sail the legendary Beagle Channel. Enjoy the first close-up views of the Andes Mountain Range from the deck.


Say Hueque Tips

Beagle Channel is known for its surrounding mountains and the wildlife living on its islands. Spot cormorants, fur seals, and the Martial Glacier backdropping the city. Pay attention and discover the Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, a symbol of Ushuaia and the Beagle Chanel.

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Lighthouse in Ushuaia
Day 2

Sailing to Antarctica - Drake Passage

Antarctica expedition ship


  • Navigation through the Drake Passage

Feel the thrill first explorers to Antarctica felt navigating these uncommon waters. The Drake Passage is called to the miles of ocean separating the continent from the Antarctica Península. In these waters, different from any other in the world, prepare to spot marine wildlife in its plein habitat. You may see whales!

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Antarctica expedition ship
Day 3

Sailing Drake Passage - Antarctic Waters



  • Enter the Antarctic Waters

Navigation continues through the Drake Passage but the landscape starts changing. From marine wildlife to birds (a wide variety of Albatros) begin to show as an unmistakable sign you are about to reach the Iced Continent.

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Day 4

Arrive in Antarctica - Antarctic Sound

Passengers on a zodiac boat spoting a seal on the white beach.


  • Navigation through the Antarctic Sound

Finally, there is Antarctica! You will see the first white peaks and the big ice of the Antarctic Península. Navigate to the Eastern side of the península and spot the first groups of packed ice near Hope Bay and Paulete Island. These will be your exploring yard for the next four days. From here, explorations will depart to find and spot Emperor penguins. You can venture on Zodiac excursions or helicopter scenic flights.

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Passengers on a zodiac boat spoting a seal on the white beach.
Day 5

Emperor Penguins, Helicopter scenic flights - Antarctic Sound

Photographer taking photos of emperor penguins


  • Snow Hill – Emperor Penguins, or Birds-eye views of the Antarctic Sound

The landing on Snow Hill where Emperor penguins have their colonies is 100% subject to weather conditions, either reach by helicopter or on foot. A helicopter ride takes the entire day and you will fly with 4 or 5 other people. You will finally land on a specific spot not to disturb penguins which is paramount. From there, you may have to walk around 45 minutes on a not-always-even path to get closer.

If Snow Hill is not available for the day you can choose to make another expedition.  Helicopters enable you to discover places of difficult access like the west slope of the Antarctic Sound, Seymour Island, and Douse Bay. If you choose to overflight the west slope of the sound, prepare to see icebergs, lava flows, jagged peaks, and a lot of packed ice. Although the west slope is an area difficult to see even from the air, the surrounding landscape is worth the ride.

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Photographer taking photos of emperor penguins
Day 6

Emperor Penguins, Helicopter scenic flights - Antarctic Sound



  • Snow Hill – Emperor Penguins, or Flight to Duse Bay & Marambio Island

If weather conditions are good, we will try to visit Snow Hill for a second time, or for the first time in case yesterday you didn’t make it.  

As an alternative to Snow Hill, you can also choose to explore the archeological remains and sedimentary rocks left by the 1901 Swedish Antarctic Expedition whose crew had to endure the worst winter of their lives on Marambio Island (also called Seymour Island). The Swedish expedition, led by Otto Nordenskjöld and Carl Anton Larsen, captain of the Antarctic, a 3-mast steamship, was one of the first to walk and make scientific observations in Antarctica. Today, the island has a resident population living in Base Marambio, which is also the first to build an airstrip in Antarctica.  

Another helicopter experience you can choose from is to visit Duse Bay (around 15 miles wide) discovered by the Swedish explorers in 1901. In Duse Bay, you will touch land near a refuge and start walking the area. Landscapes here featured a combination of endless white meadows and dark rock slopes. On the west side, there is the Christ the Redeemer Refuge, belonging to the Argentine administration.

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Day 7

Zodiac navigations - Weddell Sea



  • Enjoy Zodiac navigation to different highlights in the area.

There is a chance you can dive deeper into the Weddel Sea but only if weather conditions are optime. One of the Zodiac trips you can choose is the Brown Bluff and its great Adélie penguin rookery, some penguins from the Gentoo species, and snow petrels. Discover the diverse landscape of the area, between volcanic figures and remarkable canyons.

Another choice for the day is to disembark in Gourdin Island a favorite of Adélie, chinstrap, and gentoo penguins to see wildlife from close, or approach Esperanza Base, the second settlement with a permanent population in Antarctica.

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Day 8

Last landing & Return trip - Deception Island



  • Land on Deception Island & head back to Drake Passage

You will leave the Antarctic Sound and start your way back to Ushuaia. Cross the Bransfield Strait and reach Deception Island, the last stop in this Antarctica journey. Touch land either on Pendulum Cove or Whalers Bay, and discover the particular volcanic ashe beaches, and what is left of Presidente Pedro Aguirre Cerda Base. 

This Chilean station was used for vulcanology and meteorological research until volcanic eruptions destroyed the place. Finally, its remains were declared a Historic Site and Monument of Antarctica in 2001.  

Enjoy your time on the island and get ready for the journey back. The Weather conditions on Drake Passage will determine how long you will be able to stay on Deception Island.

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Day 9

Heading Back to Ushuaia - Drake Passage

whale jumping out of water in the Drake's Passage


  • Navigation through Drake Passage to Ushuaia

You already know the road. However, don’t lose the chance to see whales jumping gracefully above the gelid waters. Enjoy the two-day ride to reminisce about the adventure you just gritten yourself with and recover at the Antarctica cruise’s facilities.

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whale jumping out of water in the Drake's Passage
Day 10

End of the Antarctic Emperor Penguin Cruise - Ushuaia

Ushuaia port view in Tierra del Fuego


  • Desembark in Ushuaia and end of expedition

Today you will disembark in Ushuaia where your Antarctic expedition and search of the Emperor penguin ends. We specialize in tailor-made travel experiences and other incredible Antarctic cruises. If this trip doesn’t meet your expectations, talk to one of our knowledgeable travel agents and tailor this trip to your budget and timetable.

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Ushuaia port view in Tierra del Fuego
  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until April 2025 (ask for prices at Christmas and New Year).
  • Prices are per person, based on 2 people in double occupancy. Single rates are available on request.
  • Flights are not included in the price but can be arranged on request.
  • Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per IAATO regulations.


Prices from 13800 USD

  • Twin Porthole – 13800 USD per person.
  • Twin Window – 14350 USD per person
  • 9 -night accommodation in an Antarctic vessel.
  • All meals on the vessel.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac navigation.
  • Ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (no specific flying time guaranteed)
  • Free use of special gear (rubber shoes and snowshoes) 
  • Tour guide (English)
  • Transfers from your accommodation to the vessel (day 1).
  • Transfer from the vessel to Ushuaia airport (day 10).
  • All taxes and port charges.
  • Pre-departure informative material.
not included
  • Meals ashore.
  • Any airfare (scheduled or charter flights).
  • Pre- and post-land arrangements.
  • Baggage cancellation.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature (laundry, bar, beverage charges, and telecommunication charges).
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Gratuities
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – Follow this link to get a free quote (only available for U.S. Travelers)
Flights needed for this itinerary

plane-icon No local flights are needed for this itinerary. This trip begins and ends in Ushuaia.

ESTIMATED COST FOR THE FLIGHTS ON THIS TRIP: Local flights cost from $150 per person per segment. We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.

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This is a Carbon Neutral Trip

We deeply care about our planet, just like you do. When you book with us, you’re not only fulfilling your travel dreams but also leaving a positive impact on the destination you’re about to discover. We are proud to plant 10 trees in damaged zones of Patagonia for every traveler. It feels good to do it right. Let’s move beyond sustainable!

Antarctic Emperor Penguin Cruise
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