Antarctic Whale holiday

“A thrilling Antarctica cruise holiday designed around whale watching with the chance to see many other wildlife species – ideal for photographers.”


Antarctica whale watching cruise | Ushuaia | Beagle Channel | Drake Passage | South Shetlands | Zodiac cruises, kayaking and snowshoeing | Chance to see orcas, fin, humpback, minke, sei and southern right whales | Sail aboard a luxurious expedition vessel | Regular talks on Antarctic geology, biology and history by onboard experts |

Description of Antarctic Whale holiday

The South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula rank among the best destinations in the world for whale watching. Fin, minke, humpback, sei and southern right whales are often seen in these freezing cold but nutrient-rich waters, and you may even see orcas, one of the planet’s most fearsome predators. Sail aboard a luxuriously equipped expedition vessel with a spacious observation deck, the ideal way to explore the great White Continent and its incredible wildlife.

You will embark in Ushuaia and sail to Antarctica via the iconic Drake Passage and the Beagle Channel. As you reach the Antarctic Convergence, where cold polar water meets warmers equatorial water flowing north, the nutrients rush to the surface providing rich feeding ground for seabirds and whales. Giant icebergs float past, and at times the serene atmosphere is broken by the fearsome sound of a glacier calving off.

There are many advantages of taking a small ship cruise: more environmentally friendly in these pristine and delicate ecosystems; less of an impact in small communities such as Ushuaia, and the ability to reach ports and waterways that larger vessels cannot. But one aspect is key: in Antarctica there is a strict limit to how many people can be on land at any one time, so on a large cruise ship a lot of your time is going to be spent just waiting around. On a small ship, you’re might be on land, snowshoeing, or visiting noisy penguin and seal colonies, kayaking, or exploring the coast on a Zodiac boat. No time wasted.

Whales are the focus of this trip, and the sight of one breaching the waves, or an entire pod in the distance, is an amazing thing. Your crew will provide regular talks and discussions on subjects such as whale behaviours, habitat and threats, while you’ll naturally spend a great deal of time on the ship’s observation deck – wildlife photographers in particular will relish this Antarctica cruise. Set sail in search of the giants of the southern ocean.

Travel Team

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Check dates, prices & availability

23 Feb 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 23 Feb 2021 departure
03 Mar 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Mar 2021 departure

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

We work hard to conserve and protect the polar regions and their fragile ecosystems. We are members of IAATO – the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators and are fully compliant with their rules and guidelines. All our trips are run under strict regulations that ensure the environment of Antarctica remains in a pristine state. Being a member means that we actively support and contribute to the environmental and scientific work being carried out there. Encounters with wildlife are also controlled by a responsible code of conduct.

Our expedition vessels are much smaller and less imposing on the polar environment than the bigger cruise ships. Hence, group landings are more easily managed. Plus, due to our low passenger to crew ratio (8:1), we can provide a much more personalised experience. Our expedition staff, who are highly-skilled experts in fields like natural history, glaciology and marine biology (to name but a few), will introduce passengers to the wonders of Antarctica. As well as learning more about the local and global conservation issues facing polar habitats.


The Impacts of this Trip

The places we visit in Antarctica have no permanent residents other than researchers who live there seasonally or overwinter at their research stations. There’s a strong relationship between the researchers at these stations and our expedition staff, meaning our passengers get the opportunity to visit the research stations and find out all about their work. The Ukrainian research station Vernadsky for instance loves to give passengers a tour of their laboratories – the place where the hole in the ozone layer was first discovered. They share their knowledge and stories and passengers can even join them for a beer or vodka at their bar. We also take the research staff with us on board if they need to be transferred back to South America or vice versa.

Travellers are welcome to book pre and post tour accommodation with us. We’ll always do our best to secure rooms at family-run bed and breakfasts or hotels. Our travellers will also be given local restaurant recommendations, so that money is put back into the Argentinian economy. As this trip starts and finishes in Ushuaia, we encourage our clients to buy souvenirs from local vendors and discourage the purchase of endangered animal products or items unduly taken from the environment.

We also support the Mawson’s Huts Foundation which was established in 1997 to conserve the Mawson’s Huts at Cape Denison in East Antarctica. Since then, it has funded over 10 major expeditions to the historic site with further expedition planes.


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