Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent

Orion Cruise Ship
National Geographic Orion
106 Passengers

Exploring Antarctica aboard an authentic expedition ship is an incomparable experience and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with all its wonders. A pioneering polar heritage and 40+ years of experience navigating polar geographies is your assurance of safe passage in one of the wildest sectors of the planet. Our veteran polar expedition team enables you to:
- See more of the legendary landscapes and habitats
- Encounter iconic penguins, leopard seals, and marine mammals
- Kayak among icebergs, Zodiac cruise past resting leopard seals, and hike on the continent with the best ice team on Earth
- Experience the seldom-seen Antarctic undersea, too––through the efforts of our undersea specialist

Have up-close, personal penguin encounters
Penguins are the citizens of the white continent, present in astounding numbers, and endlessly fascinating. We experience up-close, personal encounters—with a fleet of Zodiacs and kayaks to enable you to get closer. And a team of engaging experts that enable you to spend more time enjoying penguin society, and understand more of the adaptations that enable these remarkable animals to survive their environment.  

Take advantage of all the superb photo ops
You’ll have photographic experts as your traveling companions, to inspire you and provide tips in the field, and a certified photo instructor to help you turn your point-and-shoot camera into an “aim and create.” You’ll find no end of subjects and the help you need to return home with your best photos ever.

Every day is active and engaging
You’ll get out on adventures every day we’re in Antarctica, sometimes twice a day—to walk or hike, kayak or Zodiac cruise among the bergs. With both Zodiacs and kayaks available, the entire expedition community can embark at once on forays, no waiting around for returning parties. You’ll have a choice of activities each day, and the option to join the naturalist whose interests mirror yours. Choice also includes opting to enjoy the view from the bridge, the all-glass observation lounge, the library or the chart room. Alternatively, visit the fitness center with its panoramic windows, or ease into the sauna or have a massage in the wellness center.

Please note that although international airline tickets are not included in the trip cost the dates of this trip include your travel dates (based on USA/USA travel).

Day 1U.S./Fly to Santiago, Chile
Day 2Buenos Aires/Overnight Hotel
Day 3Buenos Aires/Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark Ship
Day 4At Sea
Days 5 to 10Antarctica
Days 11 & 12At Sea
Days 13 & 14Ushuaia/Disembark/Santiago/Home

Day 1 — U.S./Fly to Santiago, Chile

Most flights to Santiago are overnight flights. Cost of international airfare is not included in the trip price.

Day 2 — Santiago/Overnight Hotel

We check in to our fine hotel, centrally located in Santiago and have the morning to relax. Santiago is nearly surrounded by the Andes, which form an inspiring backdrop to our afternoon guided overview of this vibrant city. We explore the Plaza de Armas, the main square, and nearby Presidential Palace, enjoying wonderful views from the many hills that dot the city.

Day 3 — Santiago/Ushuaia, Argentina/Embark Ship

The morning's charter flight offers some rare views as we fly over the vividly rugged terrain of Patagonia before landing in Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. We'll have lunch during a catamaran cruise of the scenic Beagle Channel before embarking National Geographic Orion.

Day 4 — At Sea

We awake this morning well into our journey across the Drake Passage. Lying between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula, the Drake holds a unique place in maritime lore. Sometimes misty and gray, other times calm and clear, crossing the legendary Drake Passage is unforgettable - a milestone in any adventurer's personal travel history.

Days 5 to 10 — Antarctica

With nearly 24 hours of daylight, we make the most of our six days, keeping a flexible schedule to take advantage of the unexpected — perhaps watching a 40-ton whale surface off the bow. We are out daily. One day, you may take a Zodiac foray amid towering bergs under a bright sun, walk along the shoreline amid a huge penguin colony, hike to a summit for a breathtaking view, or kayak along a cliff-side rookery in search of blue-eyed shags. And the next, you’ll have the thrill of watching the ship crunch through the pack ice, or step ashore to the cries of thousands of gentoo penguins. You’ll learn from our experts how to identify penguins and get photo tips from a our resident photographer while watching those same penguins. Back aboard, our Undersea Specialist may present video from that day’s dive — rare images taken up to 1,000 feet below the surface using our ROV (remotely operated vehicle). Our expert staff will craft an expedition where you will learn more, see more and experience more.

Days 11 & 12 — At Sea

As we sail back to Ushuaia, an albatross or two may join the avian escort of seabirds that cross our bow, and our spotters will keep an eye out for marine life. There’ll be plenty of time to enjoy a wellness treatment, log some time in the gym, or catch up on the book you haven’t had a minute to read. Talks from our staff will reflect on all you have seen and learned.

Days 13 & 14 — Ushuaia/Disembark/Santiago/Home

After breakfast, we disembark in Ushuaia with some time to explore before proceeding to the airport for our charter flight to Santiago.

Most flights to the US are overnight flights. Cost of international airfare is not included in the trip price.

Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and often the day-by-day itinerary will change as we take advantage of rare wildlife sightings or photographers linger ashore through the golden hour of light. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Dates shown are USA/USA however international airfare is NOT included in trip price.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

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