From the Peninsula to the Ross Sea and Beyond
34 Days - National Geographic Endurance
Discover the seventh continent as few have or ever will. Venture into the epic landscapes of remote West Antarctica and set foot on ice untouched by humans. See the prolific wildlife and impressive ice shelf of the Ross Sea region. By special permit, explore the subantarctic islands of New Zealand and Australia, World Heritage sites populated by thousands of seals and millions of penguins, including huge colonies of king and royal penguins. Options abound to make the expedition as active as you choose, and each day join a different naturalist for more viewpoints.
from USD $36662pp
Home » 34 Day National Geographic Endurance: Epic Antarctica: From the Peninsula to the Ross Sea and Beyond Westbound
- See the big tabular icebergs of the Antarctic Peninsula, remote West Antarctica, and the spectacular Ross Ice Shelfs
- Watch for endemic royal penguins, gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins, and 100,000 pairs of king penguins on a single beach on remote Macquarie Island
- Paddle a kayak in pristine bays, and Zodiac cruise amid the bergs
Itinerary in Brief
- Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Day 2: Ushuaia, Argentina / Embark Ship
- Day 3: At Sea
- Day 4-8: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula
- Day 9-16: Exploring West Antarctica
- Day 17-23: Exploring the Ross Sea
- Day 24-25: At Sea
- Day 26-27: Macquarie Island, Australia
- Day 28: At Sea
- Day 29-31: Exploring New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
- Day 32-33: Dunedin, New Zealand / Disembark Ship / Auckland, New Zealand
Day 1: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Arrive in Buenos Aires. Settle into the Alvear Icon Hotel (or similar) before setting out on a guided tour of the city’s Beaux-Arts palaces and parks. Visit Recoleta—the final resting place of Argentina's iconic first lady, Eva Perón—and enjoy a private visit to El Zanjon de Granados, one of the city’s premier museums. This evening, gather for an informal reception and a drink at the hotel.
Day 2: Ushuaia, Argentina / Embark Ship
Fly by private charter to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Enjoy lunch on a catamaran cruise of the Beagle Channel before embarking our ship.
Day 3: At Sea
Settle into shipboard life, listening to informal discussions from our naturalist staff to prepare for the wildness ahead. While crossing the legendary Drake Passage, watch for albatrosses and other seabirds that glide alongside the ship.
Day 4-8: Exploring the Antarctic Peninsula
With 24 hours of daylight at this time of year, we have ample opportunities to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and the surrounding islands. Our schedule is flexible, allowing us to take advantage of the unexpected, whether we are watching whales at play off the bow of our ship or enjoying an evening Zodiac cruise amid glittering icebergs. One day–accompanied by our seasoned expedition team–we might set out by kayak to encounter towering icebergs at water level; embark on a Zodiac excursion in search of seals and blue-eyed shags; or walk on a beach amid thousands of Adélie and gentoo penguins. The next, we might experience the thrill of the ship crunching through pack ice. Aboard ship, our undersea specialist may present video from the day's dive or show rare images taken up to 1,000 feet below the surface using our remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
Day 9-16: Exploring West Antarctica
This part of the planet is big and bold and full of adventure and magnificent scenery. The ship will be in full expedition mode, granting thrilling opportunities to crunch through thick ice and explore places few have seen. Rely on the planet’s best ice team as you probe the ice’s edge for wildlife, including numerous seabirds and whales. Activities throughout our journey are always weather and ice dependent. Your Captain and Expedition Leader will look for spots to “park” the ship in the pack ice, allowing you the unique thrill of disembarking onto a frozen sea. There will be time, too, to relax in the library, head up to the Bridge to scan for marine life, unwind in the sauna or Yoga Room, and of course, hear presentations from our staff. Along the way, our undersea specialist captures images from the deep, revealing the hardy marine life beneath the ice. Always interesting, it can also be pioneering in this distant part of the world.
Day 17-23: Exploring the Ross Sea
On these days we navigate some of the most remote regions of the planet, as we explore the Ross Sea, just like Scott, Shackleton, and Ross (the 19th-century explorer for whom this sea is named). Here, we see the impressive Ross Ice Shelf, the world's largest, and the Transantarctic Mountain Chain. Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf is enormous, covering 182,000 square miles–the size of France–and the edge of the ice shelf is a wall of ice towering over the water by as much as 200 feet, with the majority of the ice below the waterline. The Ross Ice Shelf plays an important role in stabilizing the Antarctic ice sheet, buttressing the ice that is constantly moving over the land surface.
Your journey to this unique part of the Antarctic waters is likely to include stops at several small islands, offering opportunities to go ashore and explore via Zodiac and kayak. Keep an eye out for colonies of Adélie penguins, lazy seals, and majestic whales.
Day 24-25: At Sea
During our days at sea, we learn about the fascinating history of Antarctic exploration, as well as the flora, fauna, and geology of the region. Our naturalists help identify the seabirds that follow us.
Day 26-27: Macquarie Island, Australia
Here in the waters of the remote Southern Ocean, we plan to visit Macquarie Island, the exposed crest of an undersea ridge where the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates converge. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a large variety of wildlife, including thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Four penguin species breed here. The endemic royal penguin has a population estimated at 850,000. Gentoo and southern rockhopper penguins also breed here. And imagine landing on a single beach thronged with 150,000 pairs of king penguins–one of the world's largest colonies.
Day 28: At Sea
With whales beneath and birds above, head up to the bridge to watch the calm business of navigation. Or spend the day enjoying the ship's spa, yoga room, and fitness center. Take some time to browse the library or play a board game in the glass-enclosed observation lounge. And listen to a variety of engaging talks from our staff, including photo talks.
Day 29-31: Exploring New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands
Enjoy three incredible days discovering New Zealand's subantarctic islands and their surrounding waters–the entire marine landscape designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. We have special permission to explore these strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government, and considered “bird central” among top ornithologists around the world.
Keeping a flexible weather-dependent schedule, we plan to explore several intriguing islands. Two small rocky islands, North East and Broughton, comprise the Snares, the closest subantarctic islands to New Zealand. The islands are covered with heavy tussock grass and wind-beaten forests of tree daisies. The Snares are home to huge numbers of breeding birds: the 99 recorded species include albatrosses, Antarctic terns and Snares crested penguins. The Auckland Islands are the largest of New Zealand's subantarctic islands, with the richest flora, prolific birdlife, and an interesting human history. Conditions permitting, we cruise in Zodiacs to Enderby Island. If we are fortunate, we may see rare yellow-eyed penguins as they move to and from their nests in the forests beyond the beach. The World Heritage status also includes the marine environment extending twelve nautical miles from each island group. On our final days aboard, enjoy one last chance to view the majestic beauty of these southern waters. Gather to toast our epic voyage at a festive farewell dinner.
Day 32-33: Dunedin, New Zealand / Disembark Ship / Auckland, New Zealand
Today we disembark on New Zealand's South Island in Dunedin, known for its Victorian and Edwardian architecture. Fly to Auckland, where we overnight at the Grand by SkyCity Hotel (or similar). On your final day, enjoy a midday panoramic overview of this beautiful “City of Sails” before transferring to the airport for flights home.
|29 Dec 2023 - 31 Jan 2024||USD $36662pp|
|Category 1||USD $36662pp||Contact us|
|Category 2||USD $57393pp||Contact us|
|Category Solo A||USD $62641pp||Contact us|
|Category 3||USD $66683pp||Contact us|
|Category Solo B||USD $70172pp||Contact us|
|Category 4||USD $74917pp||Contact us|
|Category 5||USD $86048pp||Contact us|
|Category 6||USD $98952pp||Contact us|
|Category 7||USD $107552pp||Contact us|
**Prices are per person based on twin / shared accommodation.
**Single supplements may apply
183 square feet, 1 double bed, two large windows, alcove seating, desk, armchair, fore deck location.
205 square feet, 1 double bed, two large windows, alcove seating, desk, armchair, fore deck location.
205 square feet, 1 double bed, TV, desk, balcony, main deck location.
205 square feet, 1 double bed, TV, desk, balcony, lounge deck location.
205 square feet, 1 double bed, TV, desk, balcony, sofa, bridge deck location.
Category Solo A
140 square feet, solo cabin with balcony and sofa, located on the main deck.
Category Solo B
140 square feet, solo cabin with balcony and sofa, located on the lounge deck.
344 square feet, 1 double bed, TV, desk, balcony, sofa, bridge deck location.
430 square feet, 1 double bed, TV, desk, large balcony, sofa, bathtub, walk-in closet, bridge deck location.
National Geographic Endurance Deckplan
- Guests: 126
- Crew: 112
- Cabins: 69 (53 with balconies)
- Length: 124.4m
- Speed: 16.6 knots
- Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in itinerary
- Kayaks, Zodiac cruises, stand-up paddleboards, full complement of snorkeling gear, glass-bottom boat rides, where relevant
- Guidance and expertise of expedition staff
- All meals as indicated in itinerary
- Beer, wine, non-alcoholic beverages, hors d’oeuvres, and snacks
- Cocktails and spirits on select ships
- Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
- 24-hour access to shared spaces, such as the lounges and fitness centers
What’s not included?
- Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers
- Travel protection plan, passport, visa, and immigration fees
- Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi and phone services (except when indicated as included)