Call us: +44(0)1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • Free high performance expedition parka
  • Zodiac excursions with the expert Expedition team
  • Use of onboard library, gym and sauna
  • Presentations and educational programs
  • 12 nights aboard the M/S Expedition in twin-share cabins (all with en suite bathrooms and window). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-size berths and are ocean-facing
  • Prices based on Category 2 cabins
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • All internal flights and hotel/airport transfers in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia
  • 3 nights good standard 4* hotel accommodation, in Buenos Aires
  • Half day city tour of Buenos Aires
  • 2 nights 4* accommodation in Ushuaia
  • Waterproof boots supplied for men's UK sized 7-13 & women's UK sized 3-7
  • All meals included onboard the M/S Expedition. Breakfast included at the hotels
  • One Expedition team member per 10 guests (the highest ratio amongst Polar ships 1:10)
  • Carbon offset for clients taking our flight-inclusive option
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms micro fleece

Quest for the Antarctic Circle

Polar Cruising

Argentina, Argentine Patagonia, Antarctica | Polar Cruising

New for 2017
Quest for the Antarctic Circle

Duration:  19 days from the UK

Flight inclusive from £8,735,
Land only from £7,795

Book now or call 01453 844400

An adventure of a lifetime sailing through the icy waters of Antarctica aboard the superbly equipped M/S Expedition polar cruise ship.

Highlights

  • Explore the South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula
  • Regular Zodiac excursions take you close to the astonishing wildlife
  • Spacious cabins, great food and first rate facilities on the M/S Expedition cruise ship
  • Encounter enormous penguin colonies and keep lookout for whales, dolphins and seals

Reviews          

Nothing quite prepares you for a trip to the Great White Continent. It was the most breath taking, jaw dropping, tears in the eyes, and lump in the throat experience of my life to have had the privilege to visit Antarctica.
Mr S, Wiltshire

Antarctica is beyond words, a calming, incomparable continent which claimed my silence.
K Robins, Mountain Kingdoms Marketing Manager

I loved every minute from start to finish, even the slightly bumpy crossing of the Drake Passage, but especially walking through the penguins. I would have stayed watching their hilarious antics for hours.
Mr T, Gloucestershire

View All

On this awe-inspiring voyage we’ll head to the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands, abounding with wildlife. Here penguins gather in vast colonies with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and numerous seabirds trail in the ship’s wake.

Heading further south than most travellers get to experience, into the Antarctic Circle, there is plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and the breath-taking scenery of blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. And, with regular shore landings, we’ll get to set foot on the ‘Great White Continent’, building memories which will last a lifetime!

Our ‘Land Only’ and ‘Flight Inclusive from’ prices are based on category 2 cabins, twin-share with porthole windows, and include 2 internal flights (Buenos Aires - Ushuaia return), all airport-hotel-airport transfers, 2/3 nights accommodation in Buenos Aires and 2 nights in Ushuaia, all in 4 star hotels.


At a glance

Duration:  19 days from the UK

Max. Altitude: n/a

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 1 clients

Maximum group size: 0

Land only joining city: Buenos Aires

Accommodation types: Hotels, Expedition Ship

Hotels:



The M/S Expedition boasts spacious, en suite, cabins. Our prices are based on Category 2 twin cabins which have a porthole window and ample storage for all your kit.

Upgrades are available to the following cabin types: Category 3 twin cabins which are slightly roomier and have a picture book window; Category 4 twin share which are larger still with a bigger window; and Category 5 cabins that offer a junior double suite with separate living area as well as larger bedroom and bathroom.

Safety Features:
• Designed to Ice Class 1B specifications for service in sea ice.
• Four totally covered lifeboats provide capacity for all passengers and crew, while six life-rafts boast a capacity of 150 persons.
• Full immersion cold weather survival suits for all passengers and crew

Facilities & Amenities:
The M/S Expedition offers stability at sea, comfortable cabins and ample communal areas. With a maximum of 140 guests you will be well catered for by expert guides, staff and crew.
• 360° top observation deck
• All cabins with private, en suite bathrooms and outside views
• Raised forward observation deck
• Large fleet of Zodiacs with four stroke engines
• Complimentary wellington boots for duration of your cruise
• Fine dining – international cuisine in one sitting
• Large aft deck with barbecue facilities
• Polar Bear Pub
• Gift shop
• Medical clinic
• Sauna
• Computer room with internet where available
• Gym
• Expert guides, 55 members of staff & crew

Meal arrangements: Bed & Breakfast in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, full board on M/S Expedition.

Itinerary overview
DayActivity
1-2
Fly London to Buenos Aires.
3
Sightseeing in Buenos Aires.
4-5
Fly Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. Time at leisure in Ushuaia.
6
Embark on the M/S Expedition and sail through the Beagle Channel.
7-8
Cross the Drake Passage.
9-10
South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula.
11-12
Antarctic Peninsula & Antarctic Circle.
13-15
Antarctic Circle & Drake Passage.
16-17
Sail north across Drake Passage to Ushuaia.
18
Disembark M/S Expedition. Fly to Buenos Aires.
19-20
Fly Buenos Aires to London.
Leader: Specialist Leaders, Polar cruises
Specialist Leaders, Polar cruises

On board are expert, English-speaking guides who have an intimate knowledge of the area and an infectious passion for nature. They are very hard-working, attentive and helpful. On your Expedition cruise, shore excursions, and on board, lectures will be provided by knowledgeable, expert members of the crew.


The M/S Expedition has one of the highest ratios of expedition team members to guests – with one expert for every 10 guests there is always someone on hand to answer your questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes. The expedition team is comprised of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. Their goal is to provide an informed and balanced interpretation of the destination, accomplished through stimulating lectures, day-to-day briefings, and informal discussions. Your lecturers and Expedition Leader will cover all aspects of the voyage including ornithology, marine biology, geography, geology, history and the environment, as well as practical things like photography. The expedition staff work conscientiously with you on deck and in the field, improving your observational skills to allow you to experience all that the destination has to offer. Their strong sense of ethics and ecological knowledge make for stimulating and mindful conversation whether onshore or at the dinner table. The Expedition Staff will pilot the Zodiac landing craft used for shore landings and Zodiac cruises; they are experienced drivers who operate the Zodiacs in a responsible manner.


  1. Day 1 - Fly London to Buenos Aires.

    Depart the UK on an overnight flight from London to Buenos Aires.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  2. Day 2 - Arrive in Buenos Aires.

    On arrival in Buenos Aires you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Intersur Recoleta, Buenos Aires
  3. Day 3 - Half-day sightseeing tour of Buenos Aires.
    quest for antarctic circle colourful houses boca buenos aires.

    Buenos Aires is one of the most fascinating cities in both Latin America and the world. Be it for its splendid and varied architecture, with its old Colonial buildings, French palaces and state-of-the-art skyscrapers; for its vibrant nightlife and endless cultural options; or maybe just for the rich identity of the Porteños, who proudly bear the European heritage of their ancestors.

    This half day tour starts at Plaza de Mayo, the city's founding site and the hub of the country's political history. There you'll visit the Pink House, the Presidential Palace, the Cabildo, the ancient town hall, and the Neoclassical-styled Metropolitan Cathedral. You'll then head for San Telmo, and walk the cobbled streets of one of the city's oldest, yet hippest neighbourhoods. From there it's southwards to La Boca, one of the city's most authentic and charming districts. You'll make a special visit to the mythical Caminito Street, which sums up everything that gives La Boca its distinctive spirit: the strong passion for soccer, the heavy presence of art and colour and the Tango-esque atmosphere.

    Heading back north across the river, you'll pay a visit to Puerto Madero, the latest addition to the city's barrios. In 1991 its huge warehouses and silos were remodelled and redesigned to finally integrate the river to the city and to create a new corporate, residential, hotel and gastronomic district. This has now become the playground for the rich Porteños and the international jet-set. After visiting the impressive Plaza San Martín, you'll stroll down Avenida Alvear with its many French style palaces that nowadays house a number of embassies. Finally, you'll admire the celebrated Recoleta Cemetery - a true labyrinth of ornate mausoleums - and make a stop at the grave of Eva Peron, one of the country's most recognizable icons.

    Please note that the order of the places visited may vary, this is a semi-private tour for a maximum of 10 people). The tour starts at 09.00 and finishes around 12.30. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Intersur Recoleta, Buenos Aires
  4. Day 4 - Fly to Ushuaia.

    Transfer to the domestic airport for your flight to Ushuaia.

    On arrival in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Ushuaia has plenty of bars, coffee shops and restaurants catering for all tastes and plenty of shops to get those last minute bits of extra kit you forgot to pack.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Albatros, Ushuaia
  5. Day 5 - Time at leisure in Ushuaia.

    Sitting on the shores of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia actually means 'the bay facing westward' in the language of the original Yamna inhabitants. It was once a penal colony (the presidio was disbanded in the 1940s) for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals. Ushuaia is now a major tourist attraction, particularly catering for people about to embark on a cruise to Antarctica. The town of 40,000 is also a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers and offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina. You have a free day to explore its many attractions.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Albatros, Ushuaia
  6. Day 6 - Free morning. Embark on the M/S Expedition and sail the Beagle Channel
    quest for antarctic circle ms expedition p teolis.

    After two days in Ushuaia, your sense of anticipation grows as your ship, the M/S Expedition, is positioned in the port being readied for your embarkation in the afternoon. Embarkation time is set for 1600hrs. The morning is free to do any last minute shopping, an optional excursion to Tierra Del Fuego National Park or a good hike up to the Marshall Glacier (arranged locally).

    The evening is spent on board the ship watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel which is around 150 miles long and forms part of the border between Argentina and Chile. The Beagle Channel was named after the HMS Beagle from its 1820s voyage around the southern coasts of South America. On board was Captain Robert Fitzroy whose name was later given to the famous Fitzroy and Paine mountains in Chile. On a later voyage to the region he brought along a young naturalist called Charles Darwin!

    Please note, that while it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. On the first day aboard your Expedition Leader will give you an overview of the expedition.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  7. Day 7 - Crossing the Drake Passage.

    The adventure begins with a 800km (497 mi) crossing of the passage named in honour of 16th-century English sea captain and privateer Sir Francis Drake. The M/S Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded never ending fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic.

    Antarctica is a continent of superlatives. It is the coldest, windiest, driest, iciest and highest of all the major landmasses in the world. It is the continent with the longest nights and the longest days. The coastal areas you visit have some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the continent. It is also one of the last true wildernesses, also the largest wilderness area left on earth - largely unchanged since the first sealers, whalers, and early explorers landed on its inhospitable shores less than two centuries ago. The lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth, -89.2°C, was recorded on July 21, 1983, at Vostok Station. Winds have been recorded at 200 mph in the interior of the continent and the average annual water precipitation in the interior is only about 50 mm. No wonder it's such a unique and special place to visit.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  8. Day 8 - Crossing the Drake Passage.
    quest for antarctic circle antarctic landscape paul teolis.

    As the M/S Expedition crosses Drake's passage there will be time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where you will meet your guides, ship's crew and expedition staff.

    The ship also has two observation decks giving superb views of the ever-changing scenery. You will have ample time to lookout for some of the species of whales who visit these fertile waters as well as the many seabirds that may follow the M/S Expedition on the journey to Antarctica.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  9. Day 9 - Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands.

    This is what you've been waiting for - a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next few days the M/S Expedition will navigate southwards making stops at the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait to the Antarctic Peninsula. The goal is to attempt two excursions per day on the Zodiac boats while navigating through the area, but the itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions.

    If you are travelling early in the season you will most likely be walking amongst penguins during your time on Antarctica, as they gather in vast numbers with their fast-growing chicks. 'Penguin' is the common name for all flightless, aquatic birds and they are only found south of the equator. Penguins have been grouped into 18 species and 6 genera, with most making their homes in Antarctica and the sub Antarctic islands, though others are native to the coasts of Australia, South Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands. Penguins are speedy and agile swimmers, but extremely slow on land. The regions you visit aboard M/S Expedition are inhabited by several species including the Adelie penguin named after French explorer Dumont d'Urville's wife, the Chinstrap penguin identified by the distinctive black line connecting the black cap to below the chin, and the Gentoo penguin with its orange bill and white flash above and behind its eyes.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  10. Day 10 - Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands.
    quest for antarctic circle zodiac boat and iceberg.

    During your Zodiac excursions you will encounter some of the region's unique wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery. Alongside the raucous rookeries of gentoo, chinstrap, and Adélie penguin you will see seals on land and in the ocean, together with orca, humpback, and minke whales which patrol the cold Antarctic waters.

    The peninsula also has a remarkable human history and during the voyage you will also learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.

    Some of the bravest and best known explorers have sailed south in search of adventure and recognition. James Cook, the most travelled explorer of his time, was the first to circumnavigate Antarctica and the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. There was Roald Amundsen, who led the first expedition to reach the South Pole and reached the pole on 14th December 1911, followed by Captain Robert Falcon Scott, famous for being 35 days late, who arrived at the South Pole on 17th January 1912 only to find the dark green tent and a note left by Amundsen. All 5 men in the Scott expedition perished on their way back from the pole.

    The best-known adventurer would have to be Sir Ernest Shackleton. On his attempt at the South Pole his ship, Endurance, was captured by pack ice in the Weddell Sea on 19th January 1915. The ship was destroyed by heavy ice, forcing him and his men to travel over the ice and sea to Elephant Island. However, because the island was uninhabited, Shackleton and 5 others made the 1300 km voyage for help to South Georgia, amazingly arriving at Stromness Harbour whaling station on 20th May 1916.


    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  11. Day 11 - Antarctic Peninsula & Antarctic Circle.

    With a close eye on weather conditions, the M/S Expedition turns southward along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula towards the Antarctic Polar Circle; a place where very few travellers have reached.

    Throughout the cruise you can attend lectures hosted during the day as well as in the evening, on everything from local wildlife to geology to history. The M/S Expedition has one of the highest ratios of expedition team members to guests and, with one expert for every ten guests, there is always someone on hand to answer questions and provide greater insight and appreciation of the world at its extremes.

    The expedition team is comprised of professional and highly skilled historians, marine biologists, and naturalists who offer keen insight and a unique personal perspective to each and every adventure. There is also a resident photographer to help you make the most of the wonderfully photogenic landscape and wildlife.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  12. Day 12 - Antarctic Peninsula & Antarctic Circle.
    quest for antarctic circle humpback whale in the antarctic.

    Another day of exploring as the Zodiacs deliver you to shore where you might enjoy a walk up a small peak to get a magnificent vista back across the bay and towards the shore. Your guides will accompany you and assist in picking out the best route that does not interfere with the wildlife.

    However, you don't need to be on land to see the whales and other marine life that make the water south of the Antarctic Convergence their summer home. Thanks to the abundance of the small, shrimp-like krill many species of whale can be found in the frigid southern waters including: the Humpback Whale - which consumes over a ton of krill each day, the Southern right whale - easily identified by the whitish callosities on the jaws and forehead, the Sperm whale - made famous in Moby Dick, the Sei whale - which can achieve speeds up to 55km/h over short distances, the playful Minke whale - which are very common in the peninsula area, and the Fin Whale - which can attain a length of 25 to 27m, making it the second largest of all whales.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  13. Day 13 - Antarctic Circle & the Drake Passage.

    After seven nights on board we turn north for the first time but will continue exploring the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands. Along with wildlife watching and shore landings there might be an opportunity for a more adventurous activity - a swim in the Southern waters!

    You remembered to pack your bathing suit, right? Depending on weather conditions, you can opt to do the polar plunge and jump into the frigid waters of the Antarctic. Convince some of your fellow passengers to join you and you'll be left with an amazing group experience no one will ever forget!

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  14. Day 14 - Antarctic Circle & the Drake Passage.
    quest for antarctic circle penguins in antarctica paul teolis.

    The avian stars of the Antarctic are undoubtedly the penguins but they are far from the only birds you will see on your polar cruise. Spend a little time on deck and you may see various species of albatross including Black-browed, Wandering and Light-mantled. And, along with the impressive albatrosses - gulls, petrels, shearwaters, skuas, ducks and terns will no doubt catch your eye.

    With the help of the ship's ornithologist, see how many you can spot.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  15. Day 15 - Antarctic Circle & the Drake Passage.

    Continue north up The Drake Passage, keeping a close eye on the ice floes, shoreline and ocean waters as you cruise along. You never know what you might see today.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  16. Day 16 - The Drake Passage.
    quest for antarctic circle ms expedition polar cruise boat.

    Leave the Antarctic Circle and head north across The Drake Passage. In between wildlife watching and enjoying some final lectures by the expedition staff, there is time to relax and share the adventures of the past week with your fellow travellers and crew members.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  17. Day 17 - The Drake Passage to Ushuaia.

    Sadly, this is your final day onboard the M/S Expedition before you reach your home port of Ushuaia.

    There's still time for some last-minute whale watching and bird sightings though, so spend as much time as possible on deck keeping a lookout.

    Overnight iconOvernight: M/S Expedition
  18. Day 18 - Disembark the M/S Expedition. Fly from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires.
    quest for antarctic circle ushuaia.

    Today you will disembark the M/S Expedition between 08:00 and 09:00 hours.

    Depending on the time of your flight back to Buenos Aires, you will either be transferred directly to the airport at Ushuaia or to a central location where luggage can be stored. You will then have free time. Additional transfers will be provided at 12:30 or 16:30 hours. Please note that the transfer times are subject to change according to flight schedules.

    Fly to Buenos Aires for your last night.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Hotel Intersur Recoleta, Buenos Aires
  19. Day 19 - Fly Buenos Aires to London.

    Some free time to enjoy the city before your transfer to the airport for your flight from Buenos Aires to London.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  20. Day 20 - Arrive in London.

Map

Map Key

  • AirportAirport
  • General point of interestPoint of interest
  • Mountain RangeMountain Peak
  • TrekDay walk in this area
  • FlightsFlights
  • Internal TransfersInternal Transfers
  • Trek routeTrek

2017

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sun 17 Dec - Fri 5 Jan 2018Limited & Guaranteed£8295 Book£9270 Book

2018

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Sun 4 Feb - Fri 23 Feb 2018Limited & Guaranteed£8295 Book£9260 Book
Fri 16 Feb - Wed 7 Mar 2018Limited & Guaranteed£7795 Book£8735 Book
Tue 18 Dec - Sat 5 Jan 2019AvailableContact usContact us

2019

DatesAvailabilityLand OnlyFlight Inclusive from
Tue 5 Feb - Sat 23 Feb 2019AvailableContact usContact us
Sun 17 Feb - Thu 7 Mar 2019AvailableContact usContact us

Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single Room Supplement - Hotels
    From £595
Insurance
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • Free high performance expedition parka
  • Zodiac excursions with the expert Expedition team
  • Use of onboard library, gym and sauna
  • Presentations and educational programs
  • 12 nights aboard the M/S Expedition in twin-share cabins (all with en suite bathrooms and window). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-size berths and are ocean-facing
  • Prices based on Category 2 cabins
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (flight inclusive only)
  • All internal flights and hotel/airport transfers in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia
  • 3 nights good standard 4* hotel accommodation, in Buenos Aires
  • Half day city tour of Buenos Aires
  • 2 nights 4* accommodation in Ushuaia
  • Waterproof boots supplied for men's UK sized 7-13 & women's UK sized 3-7
  • All meals included onboard the M/S Expedition. Breakfast included at the hotels
  • One Expedition team member per 10 guests (the highest ratio amongst Polar ships 1:10)
  • Carbon offset for clients taking our flight-inclusive option
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms micro fleece

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Lunch and dinner in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia
  • Optional kayaking and camping excursions from the M/S Expedition (must book in advance - contact the office for details)
  • Tips


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 3 reviews)

Loved every minute          

I loved every minute from start to finish, even the slightly bumpy crossing of the Drake Passage, but especially walking through the penguins. I would have stayed watching their hilarious antics for hours.

Breathtaking          

Nothing quite prepares you for a trip to the great white continent. It was the most breathtaking, jaw dropping, tears in the eyes, and lump in the throat experience of my life to have had the privilege to visit Antarctica.

Incomparable          

Antarctica is beyond words, a calming, incomparable continent which claimed my silence.


Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with Mountain Kingdoms: book extra hotel nights, relax at a beautiful beach resort, take a warm-up trek, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as rafting, birdwatching or a safari.

We're happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 or email info@mountainkingdoms.com and we will be pleased to help.

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