Christmas in Antarctica

Vavilov Cruise Ship
92 Passengers
Adventure Options

Sailing in considerable comfort aboard the well-appointed Akademik Sergey Vavilov, we begin this 8-night expedition from Ushuaia at the southern tip of South America. We chart a course down the historic Beagle Channel then across the Drake Passage and make our way southwards towards the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands that lie off its western shores. Seeing your first iceberg and arriving in Antarctica are always special events and even experienced staff and crew (many of whom have visited the southern region a hundred times or more) are intrigued anew by the pristine beauty. The abundance of wildlife is truly extraordinary including five species of seals, massive rookeries of Gentoo, and Chinstrap penguins and a profusion of seabirds from giant albatrosses to delicate terns and storm petrels. This is nature seen up close and personal on our many excursions off the ship. 

Our journey may take us to Cuverville Island, Wilhelmina Bay or Paradise Harbor where we may encounter colossal icebergs and, of course, ice landscapes that stretch to infinity.

Hardy adventurers or those with a yen for history have the chance to camp out on the ice overnight and share the same unique experience as those intrepid explorers of the past who first attempted to conquer this untamed continent. Of course our goal will be to take you to the greatest diversity of landscapes, experiences and wildlife and the opportunity to set foot on the continent of Antarctica. 

We’ll celebrate the festive season in the world’s most wondrous setting. Our very stable ship is a perfect viewing and photographic platform and it doesn’t get truly dark in an Antarctic summer so, even after excursions you may enjoy special times on the ship’s outer decks sipping eggnog as snow gently falls or enjoying a Christmas barbecue while admiring the wild crystal landscape. Antarctica is a special place for adventurous souls to revel in the ultimate “White Christmas”!


Dec 20 - Dec 28, 2013 A Family Christmas in Antarctica
After spending eight nights on our Christmas voyage exploring the Antarctic Peninsula guests will feel recharged and invigorated for the start of the new- year.
This specially designed and succinct cruise captures the highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula region in a condensed eight-night journey.  It’s the perfect answer for anyone interested in exploring Antarctica who might be limited by time.
This specialty departure also features a tailor made family adventure for those parents or grandparents traveling with children/young people. With our One Ocean Expeditions staff leading the way the Young Explorers will have their own interactive presentations, workshops and activities, as well as on shore guided excursions and a unique approach with child led photography.
This voyage promises to be a great adventure for all on board and will create the most majestic of memories of the holiday season to last a lifetime.

Day 1 - Ushuaia

Today is the beginning of our southern adventure. Ushuaia in Argentinean Patagonia, the world’s southernmost city, is where we board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, your home for the next 9 days. Even as we sail down the Beagle Channel in the early evening we may see our first wildlife and start to become familiar with shipboard life. As you meet the impressive team of naturalists who will provide you with a greater understanding of our exotic destination and the creatures that inhabit it you share a bond with Charles Darwin, Captain Fitz Roy and the crew of the Beagle who explored and named this waterway.

Days 2 to 3 - Drake Passage

Crossing the Drake Passage, there’s considerable excitement in the air as we make our way towards to the white continent. You’ll readily fall into the relaxed and friendly atmosphere onboard as our time is divided between watching albatross follow in our wake and presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife and history to Zodiac protocols and the environment. Then we cross 60°S, the geopolitical boundary of Antarctica and pass through the Antarctic Convergence where there’s a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the much colder waters of the Southern Ocean. During these sea days there’s the element of the unexpected as we may see giant icebergs and the seabirds unique to this part of the world and perhaps the world’s largest whales that live in this boundless ocean.

Days 4 to 6 - Antarctica Peninsula

In the bays and coves of the Antarctic Peninsula, we intend to utilize every moment to explore by inflatable Zodiac craft that serve both as stable photographic platforms and let us easily land on wild beaches. Our sail plan will be selected from the wealth of sites in this most-accessible part of Antarctica and may include beautiful, continental Neko or Paradise harbors, the large Gentoo penguin colonies of Cuverville or Danco Islands, and iceberg-strewn Wilhelmina Bay and Cierva Cove.

At any of these locations Humpback, Minke or even Orca whales may make a surprise appearance and we’ll also be looking for Crabeater, Weddell and Leopard seals in the water or basking on the ice. We intend to spend a day in the South Shetland Islands, perhaps at Half Moon Island where a colony of chinstrap penguins share the island with a variety of seals and some blue-eyed shags.

Our aim is to give you the best opportunity to maximize your Antarctic experience as you like. So it’s possible that on a single excursion some of us may walk up onto a glacier for a high vantage point while others stay down with the penguins near the beach and a third group go cruising the ice in Zodiacs seeking seals and whales. And there’s normally time for everyone to do whatever combination of these activities you like. Whether it’s the endlessly entertaining antics of penguins and their chicks, the photographic opportunities of seals on ice or the infinite sculptural shapes and rich hues of icebergs you’ll experience it all. We intend to spend a light-filled night camping on shore and to land on the continent itself. Whether your vantage point is onboard or onshore, expect to feel enriched by spending Christmas in the strange, wondrous and ethereal domain at the bottom of the planet.

Days 7 to 8 - Drake Passage

Heading north, back across the Drake Passage towards the Antarctic Convergence, the albatross return and there’s time to reflect on your Antarctic experience. We’ll be aiming for Cape Horn and, if conditions allow, we’ll round this ultimate mariner’s landmark as we sail briefly into the Pacific Ocean and back into the Atlantic on our way past the islands that form the tip of South America. On our last night onboard we sail westwards along the Beagle Channel while we celebrate the conclusion of our Antarctic Christmas voyage at a special Captain’s dinner.

Day 9 - Ushuaia

In the early morning, we will arrive back in Ushuaia. After breakfast it is time to say farewell to new friends among the crew and staff and fellow passengers. You will be transported directly from the ship to hotels or to the airport for your flight home. It certainly will have been a Christmas to remember.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates 2015-2016
Twin Semi Private
Twin Private
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe

$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Camp, Photography, Kayak, Snowshoe
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
- Limited Availability -
Camp, Photography, Kayak
- Full -
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Camp, Photography, Kayak

$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Camp, Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
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Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single supplement is 1.5 times the cabin rate except for Suites which are 2 times the cabin rate. Single supplement is not available in Triple Share Category.

Costs for adventure options: Photography - Free of charge, Snowshoeing - Free of charge, Camping - Free of charge, Kayaking (must be pre-booked, maximum 16 participants) – $795
Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.