Dark waters & bright blue icebergs float under a bight sun during the Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise.
An emperor penguin lays on its belly while another stands behind on a sunny day during the Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise.
The brilliant blue Ross Ice Shelf with fading warm light, seen during the Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise.
A helicopter sits on land while a guest walks around the snowfield at Taylor Valley, Dry Valleys, McMurdo Sound, during the Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise.
A sleek Ross Seal calls out in Taylor Valley, Dry Valleys, McMurdo Sound, during the Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise.
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Polar Regions Antarctica Cruise

Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise

On the 33-day Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise, sail along Antarctica’s west coast between Argentina and New Zealand, stopping at places very few humans have seen. A true polar expedition, this small ship cruise explores islands, straits and entire seas named after the courageous polar explorers from centuries past. With the added excitement of using helicopters to make some landings, this Antarctica cruise is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

As pack ice allows, sail from the Antarctic Circle through the Pendleton Strait and attempt to land on the rarely visited southern tip of Renaud Island. Across the Bellingshausen Sea, set course for Peter I Island, an uninhabited and exposed volcanic island that is one of the most remote islands in the world. Along the outer fringes of the pack ice, sail the Amundsen Sea while keeping a lookout for emperor penguins, seals, orca and minke whales, finally reaching a truly famous Antarctica landmark: The Ross Ice Shelf.

The Ross Ice Shelf is the largest ice shelf in the world, with constantly changing ice masses and great wildlife viewing opportunities. It is also the access point for many historic and present-day South Pole expeditions. Along with natural monuments like Mount Erebus, Mount Terror and Mount Byrd, markers of human history like Sir Ernest Shackleton’s cabin and Robert Falcon Scott’s cabin can be seen here, as well as large adelie rookeries. Unlike past explorers who relied on wooden dinghies to get from ship to shore, the 108-guest Ortelius is equipped with Zodiacs and two helicopters to assist with shore landings.

In the Southern Ocean between Antarctica and New Zealand, explore remote windswept islands, skies with prolific seabirds and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Campbell Island and Macquarie Island. With blooming vegetation Campbell Island is home to a colony of southern royal albatrosses and dozens of species of seabirds. Making homes on smaller satellite islands are wandering, Campbell, grey-headed, black-browed, and light-mantled albatrosses, as well as three breeding penguin species: eastern rockhopper, erect-crested, and yellow-eyed penguins. On Macquarie Island, the fauna is fantastic, and there are colonies of king, gentoo, and southern rockhopper penguins, as well as almost one million breeding pairs of the endemic royal penguins, plus elephant seals and various fur seal species.

While more travelers are visiting the Antarctic Peninsula, few Antarctica hopefuls are adventurous enough to tour the spectacular Ross Sea. Realize how vast and otherworldly Antarctica is by going beyond the common corridor and reaching the Ross Ice Shelf, the one place where conditions are closer to Mars than anywhere else on Earth.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Antarctica cruises.



Itinerary

Ross Sea Including Helicopters Itinerary

The main 33-day Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise begins in Ushuaia, Argentina, and ends in Bluff, New Zealand.

Route map for the Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Ushuaia, Argentina

Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. In the afternoon, embark from the small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

dinner

Read More
Days 2 - 3
Drake Passage

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence–Antarctica’s natural boundary formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas–the ship sails in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds possibly flying overhead.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Pendleton Strait

Arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula near the Antarctic Circle in the afternoon. If sea ice allows it, continue through Pendleton Strait and attempt a landing at the rarely visited southern tip of Renaud Island, to see Adélie penguins and spectacular views of the icebergs in this surreal, snow-swept environment.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 5 - 6
Bellingshausen Sea

Head toward the open sea, course set for Peter I Island.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Peter I Island

Known as Peter I Øy in Norwegian, this uninhabited volcanic island in the Bellingshausen Sea was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and named after Peter the Great of Russia. The island is claimed by Norway and considered its own territory, though it is rarely visited by passenger vessels due to its exposed nature. If weather and ice conditions allow, perhaps make a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island for a unique chance to land on one of the most remote islands in the world.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 8 - 14
Amundsen Sea

Sail through the Amundsen Sea, moving along and through the outer fringes of the pack ice. Ice conditions are never the same from year to year, though captain and crew aim to take advantage of the opportunities that do arise if sea ice is present. Emperor penguins, groups of seals lounging on the ice floes, orca and minke whales along the ice edge, and different species of fulmarine petrels are possible sights in this area.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 15 - 17
Ross Ice Shelf

The next goal is to enter the Ross Sea from the east, venturing south toward the Bay of Whales and close to Roosevelt Island (named in 1934 by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd for President Franklin D. Roosevelt). The Bay of Whales is part of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in the world, and is constantly changing with the receding ice masses. Large icebergs are present, along with great wildlife viewing opportunities. Roald Amundsen gained access to the shelf en route to the South Pole, which he reached on December 14, 1911. Also, the Japanese explorer Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area in 1912, at Kainan Bay. It’s possible to make a helicopter landing on the ice shelf if conditions allow. During this part of the voyage, the ship also crosses the International Date Line.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 18 - 20
Highlights of the Ross Sea

Keeping to the Ross Sea, the aim is now to visit Ross Island to see Mount Erebus, Mount Terror, and Mount Byrd, as well as many other famous spots that played an important role in the British expeditions of the last century: Cape Royds, where Ernest Shackleton’s cabin still stands; Cape Evans, where the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott can still be seen; and Hut Point, from which Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. If ice is blocking the way but weather conditions are favorable, helicopters may be used to land in one or more spots in this area. The American scientific base of McMurdo Station and New Zealand’s Scott Base are other possible locations to visit.

To truly feel like a polar explorer, take a 6-mile hike from McMurdo Station to Castle Rock, where there are great views across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. Additionally, make a helicopter landing in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, where conditions are closer to Mars than anywhere else on Earth.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 21 - 22
Inexpressible Island or Cape Hallett

Sailing north along the west coast of the Ross Sea, pass the Drygalski Ice Tongue and Terra Nova Bay. If ice conditions allow, land at Inexpressible Island, which has a fascinating history in connection to the less-known Northern Party of Captain Scott’s expedition. It is also home to a large Adélie penguin rookery. Should sea ice prevent entry into Terra Nova Bay, head farther north to the protected area of Cape Hallett and its own Adélie rookery.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 23
Cape Adare

Next, attempt a landing at Cape Adare, where for the first time humans wintered on the Antarctic Continent: The Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed here in 1899, taking shelter in a hut that to this day is surrounded by the largest colony of Adélie penguins in the world.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 24
Ross Sea to the Southern Ocean

Sailing through the sea ice at the entrance of the Ross Sea, journey north through the Southern Ocean. The goal is to set a course for the Balleny Islands, depending on weather conditions

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 25
Balleny Islands

Today’s intended route is past Sturge Island in the afternoon, getting an impression of these windswept and remote islands before crossing the Antarctic Circle.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 26 - 28
At Sea

Once again enter the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean. Seabirds are prolific on this leg of the journey, especially when there is good weather conditions.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 29
Macquarie Island

Macca, also known as Macquarie Island, is a Tasmanian State Reserve that in 1997 became a World Heritage Site. The Australian Antarctic Division has its permanent base on this island, which Australian sealer Frederick Hasselborough discovered while searching for new sealing grounds. The fauna on Macquarie is fantastic, and there are colonies of king, gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins, as well as almost one million breeding pairs of the endemic royal penguin. Elephant seals and various fur seal species, such as the New Zealand fur seal, are also present.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 30
At Sea

Heading northwest to Campbell Island, the ship is once again followed by numerous seabirds.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 31
Campbell Island

Visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, enjoying its luxuriantly blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is also a highlight, with a large and easily accessible colony of southern royal albatrosses on the main island. Breeding on the satellite islands are wandering, Campbell, grey-headed, black-browed, and lightmantled albatrosses. There are also three breeding penguin species present: eastern rockhopper, erect-crested and yellow-eyed penguins. In the 18th century, seals in the area were hunted to extinction, but the elephant seals, fur seals, and sea lions have since recovered.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 32
Sail to New Zealand

Take in the vast horizons of this final sea day before reaching New Zealand.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 33
Disembark Bluff, New Zealand

Every adventure, no matter how sublime, must eventually come to an end. Disembark in Bluff, the southernmost town in New Zealand, and return home with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snowshoes; luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation; pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport (directly after disembarkation); ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed); all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel in Ushuaia; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (mandatory); optional activities; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The main Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise begins in Ushuaia, Argentina (USH), and ends in Invercargill, New Zealand (IVC). Embarkation time is between 4:00 and 5:00pm on day of departure. We strongly advise all passengers to arrive the night prior to departure and get a hotel in Ushuaia to avoid baggage and flight delays. The ship sails around 6:00pm on day of departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day between 8:30 and 9:00am. Plan flights to depart Invercargill any time after noon on the final day. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Special note: This cruise crosses the International Date Line. Depending on which direction your cruise travels across the International Date Line, a day is either lost or gained. (Crossing westward, a day is gained; crossing eastward, a day is lost.) Please take note of this when calculating your actual time traveled. The days listed in the itinerary duration reflect the actual time traveled.

Activities

Activities available on your Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise include shore excursions, Zodiac outings and helicopter rides.

Note on Helicopters: Most excursions use Zodiacs to transfer passengers to shore. The plan is to make five helicopter-based landings, though a specific amount of helicopter time cannot be guaranteed in advance. Helicopters provide a great advantage in reaching certain landing sites that are otherwise almost inaccessible, but this is a true expedition in the world’s most remote area: weather, ice, and other forces of nature dictate the final itinerary. Conditions may change rapidly, impacting helicopter operations. Please understand and accept this. Safety is of the greatest concern and no compromises can be made. Two helicopters are aboard ship to transfer passengers to sites where Zodiacs cannot be used. If one helicopter is unable to fly for whatever reason, all helicopter operations will cease or be cancelled. One helicopter always needs to be supported by a second functioning helicopter. No guarantees can be given, and in no event will claims be accepted.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request, children under 16 years old traveling with parents may receive 40% discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents/adults). Some voyages may be excluded.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Reverse Ross Sea Including Helicopters Itinerary

The reverse 32-day Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise begins in Bluff, New Zealand, and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina.

Route map for the Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise.
Read More
Day 1
Embark Bluff, New Zealand

The voyage begins in Bluff, commonly held to be New Zealand’s most southerly town. Sailing beyond the boundaries of the civilized world, venture into the untamed regions of the far south.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
At Sea

Seabirds trail the vessel across limitless horizons toward Campbell Island.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Enderby Island

Another jewel in the crown of the New Zealand sub-Antarctic islands is Enderby Island. Part of the Auckland Islands, Enderby offers a vast variety of birdlife, including potential sea sightings of white-capped albatrosses, Buller’s albatrosses, and a number of other tubenoses. On Enderby Island, look for yellow-eyed penguins, Auckland teals and perhaps even rare and endemic Auckland shags.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Campbell Island

Visit the sub-Antarctic New Zealand Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Campbell Island, enjoying its luxuriantly blooming vegetation. The fauna on Campbell Island is also a highlight, with a large and easily accessible colony of southern royal albatrosses on the main island. Breeding on the satellite islands are wandering, Campbell, grey-headed, black-browed, and lightmantled albatrosses. There are also three breeding penguin species present: eastern rockhopper, erect-crested and yellow-eyed penguins. In the 18th century, seals in the area were hunted to extinction, but the elephant seals, fur seals, and sea lions have since recovered.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 5 - 8
Sailing the Southern Ocean

Once again enter the vast expanse of the Southern Ocean. Sea birds are also prolific on this leg, especially when it’s good weather conditions

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Balleny Islands

The intended route is past Sturge Island in the afternoon, getting an impression of these windswept and remote islands before crossing the Antarctic Circle.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
At Sea

By now, you’ve become a veteran of the high seas, if you weren’t when you started the voyage. Spend today sailing toward the Antarctic Continent.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Cape Adare

Attempt a landing at Cape Adare where, for the first time, humans wintered on the Antarctic Continent: The Norwegian Borchgrevink stayed in here 1899, taking shelter in a hut that to this day is surrounded by the largest colony of Adélie penguins in the world.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Cape Hallett

Sailing south along the west coast of the Ross Sea, attempt a landing at the protected area of Cape Hallett and its large Adélie penguin rookery.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
Inexpressible Island or Cape Hallett

Sailing north along the west coast of the Ross Sea, pass the Drygalski Ice Tongue and Terra Nova Bay. If ice conditions allow, you then land at Inexpressible Island, which has a fascinating history in connection to the less-known Northern Party of Captain Scott’s expedition. It is also home to a large Adélie penguin rookery. Should sea ice prevent entry into Terra Nova Bay, head farther north to the protected area of Cape Hallett and its own Adélie rookery.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 14 - 16
Highlights of the Ross Sea

Keeping to the Ross Sea, the aim is now to visit Ross Island to see Mount Erebus, Mount Terror, and Mount Byrd, as well as many other famous spots that played an important role in the British expeditions of the last century: Cape Royds, where Ernest Shackleton’s cabin still stands; Cape Evans, where the cabin of Robert Falcon Scott can still be seen; and Hut Point, from which Scott and his men set out for the South Pole. If ice is blocking the way but weather conditions are favorable, helicopters may be used to land in one or more spots in this area. The American scientific base of McMurdo Station and New Zealand’s Scott Base are other possible locations to visit.

To truly feel like a polar explorer, take a 6-mile hike from McMurdo Station to Castle Rock, where there are great views across the Ross Ice Shelf toward the South Pole. Additionally, make a helicopter landing in Taylor Valley, one of the Dry Valleys, where conditions are closer to Mars than anywhere else on Earth.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 17 - 18
Ross Ice Shelf

The next goal is to enter the Ross Sea from the east, venturing south toward the Bay of Whales and close to Roosevelt Island (named in 1934 by the American aviator Richard E. Byrd for President Franklin D. Roosevelt). The Bay of Whales is part of the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in the world, and is constantly changing with the receding ice masses. Large icebergs are present, along with great wildlife viewing opportunities. Roald Amundsen gained access to the shelf en route to the South Pole, which he reached on December 14, 1911. Also, the Japanese explore Nobu Shirase had his camp in this area in 1912, at Kainan Bay. It’s possible to make a helicopter landing on the ice shelf if conditions allow. During this part of the voyage, the ship also crosses the International Date Line.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 19 - 25
Amundsen Sea

Sail through the Amundsen Sea, moving along and through the outer fringes of the pack ice. Ice conditions are never the same from year to year, though captain and crew aim to take advantage of the opportunities that do arise if sea ice is present. Emperor penguins, groups of seals lounging on the ice floes, orca and minke whales along the ice edge, and different species of fulmarine petrels are possible sights in this area.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 26
Peter I Island

Known as Peter I Øy in Norwegian, this uninhabited volcanic island in the Bellingshausen Sea was discovered by Fabian von Bellingshausen in 1821 and named after Peter the Great of Russia. The island is claimed by Norway and considered its own territory, though it is rarely visited by passenger vessels due to its exposed nature. If weather and ice conditions allow, perhaps make a helicopter landing on the glaciated northern part of the island for a unique chance to land on one of the most remote islands in the world.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 27 - 28
Bellingshausen Sea

Head toward the open sea, course set for Peter I Island.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 29
Pendleton Strait

Arrive at the Antarctic Peninsula near the Antarctic Circle in the afternoon. If sea ice allows it, continue through Pendleton Strait and attempt a landing at the rarely visited southern tip of Renaud Island, to see Adélie penguins and spectacular views of the icebergs in this surreal, snow-swept environment.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 30 - 31
Drake Passage

Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence–Antarctica’s natural boundary formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas–the ship sails in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds possibly flying overhead.

Accommodations

Ortelius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 32
Disembark Ushuaia, Argentina

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, reputed to be the southernmost town in the world, and return home with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snowshoes; luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation; pre-scheduled group transfer from the Kelvin Hotel in Invercargill to the vessel in Bluff; pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); ship-to-shore helicopter transfers (with no specific amount of helicopter time guaranteed); all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-land arrangements; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (mandatory); optional activities; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The reverse Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise begins in Invercargill, New Zealand (IVC), and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina (USH). Embarkation time is between 4:00 and 5:00pm on day of departure. We strongly advise all passengers to arrive the night prior to departure and get a hotel in Invercargill to avoid baggage and flight delays. The ship sails around 6:00pm on day of departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day between 8:30 and 9:00am. Plan flights to depart Ushuaia any time after noon on the final day. Arrival and departure times vary for alternative itineraries; inquire with your Adventure Specialist upon booking for details. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Special note: This cruise crosses the International Date Line. Depending on which direction your cruise travels across the International Date Line, a day is either lost or gained. (Crossing westward, a day is gained; crossing eastward, a day is lost.) Please take note of this when calculating your actual time traveled. The days listed in the itinerary duration reflect the actual time traveled.

Activities

Activities available on your Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise include shore excursions, Zodiac outings and helicopter rides.

Note on Helicopters: Most excursions use Zodiacs to transfer passengers to shore. The plan is to make five helicopter-based landings, though a specific amount of helicopter time cannot be guaranteed in advance. Helicopters provide a great advantage in reaching certain landing sites that are otherwise almost inaccessible, but this is a true expedition in the world’s most remote area: weather, ice, and other forces of nature dictate the final itinerary. Conditions may change rapidly, impacting helicopter operations. Please understand and accept this. Safety is of the greatest concern and no compromises can be made. Two helicopters are aboard ship to transfer passengers to sites where Zodiacs cannot be used. If one helicopter is unable to fly for whatever reason, all helicopter operations will cease or be cancelled. One helicopter always needs to be supported by a second functioning helicopter. No guarantees can be given, and in no event will claims be accepted.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request, children under 16 years old traveling with parents may receive 40% discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents/adults). Some voyages may be excluded.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Jan 13 - Feb 15, 2022
Ortelius • 34 days
From $27400USD
Per Person
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Feb 16 - Mar 19, 2022
Ortelius • 32 days
arrows going opposite directions
From $27400USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn More About the Small Ship on Your Antarctica Cruise

Expedition Ship
Ortelius

The 108-guest M/V Ortelius is an ice-strengthened small ship designed for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica. She offers passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program to spend as much time ashore as possible.

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100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Additional Travel Options Before of After Your Cruise

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4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Patagonia Wildlife Safari

Discover the magic at the end of the world on a 4- to 7-day Patagonia Wildlife Safari! No matter the length of your stay, you will be blown away by the unlimited beauty of the world heritage site Torres del Paine National Park.

From $1890USD
Jan Feb Mar Apr Sep Oct Nov Dec
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4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Explora Patagonia

This 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-day lodge-based trip in the center of Torres del Paine National Park offers over 40 unique explorations to choose from, including Base Torres and Grey Glacier. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Paine Massif and Salto Chico waterfall from home base.

Special Offer
From $1766USD
Year Round
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4 - 7 Day Land Tour
Explora Atacama

The 4-, 5-, 6- or 7-day Explora Atacama adventure offers over 40 explorations in the Atacama Desert, on foot, bicycle or horseback. Explora Atacama Lodge offers the best base from which to experience the many wonders of the driest desert on Earth.

Special Offer
From $1817USD
Year Round
More to Explore

Trips You Might Also Like

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35 - 36 Day Cruise
National Geographic Epic Antarctica

The 35-day National Geographic Epic Antarctica aboard 126-guest Nat Geo Endurance is an extraordinary voyage along West Antarctic, across the Ross Sea and to Macquarie Island and New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic islands, a truly rare polar expedition.

Special Offer
From $48800USD
Jan Feb Mar Dec
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11 Day Cruise
Weddell Sea—Emperor Penguin Voyage

The 11-day Weddell Sea—Emperor Penguin Voyage offers the unique experience of close emperor penguin encounters at secluded rookeries via helicopter rides. Cruise aboard the 108-passenger M/V Ortelius on one of the most spectacular Antarctic adventures.

From $11300USD
Nov
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11 - 13 Day Cruise
Antarctic Peninsula Including South Shetland Islands

Cruise the Antarctic Peninsula & South Shetland Islands aboard a small research vessel, with opportunities to camp, kayak and snowshoe amongst penguins, icebergs, seals, seabirds and more!

From $7250USD
Jan Feb Mar Nov Dec
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Spectacular Ross Sea: West Antarctica Cruise

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