Antarctica expedition cruises


The Ushuaia is a well-run small polar expedition ship, accommodating up to 88 passengers. She has a very experienced crew, an enviable track record, and is well liked by those who sail with her.

Class: Antarctic Category 1
Style: Polar expedition
Passengers: 88 maximum
Length: 278 ft
Cruising speed: 12 knots

Cabin prices:

Introducing 'Ushuaia'

Originally built for the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the ice-strengthened polar vessel Ushuaia is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.

All cabins include ample storage space. Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a changing room and a small infirmary. Our expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature.

On board 'Ushuaia'


Ushuaia cabin Suite


Number of cabins of this type: 4

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

Ushuaia cabin Superior twin private cabin

Superior twin private cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 6

Bed configuration: twin beds only

Ushuaia cabin Premier single cabin

Premier single cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 2

Bed configuration: single bed

Ushuaia cabin Premier twin private cabin

Premier twin private cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 9

Bed configuration: twin beds, or a double bed

Ushuaia cabin Standard plus twin private cabin

Standard plus twin private cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 11

Bed configuration: twin beds only

Ushuaia cabin Standard plus triple private cabin

Standard plus triple private cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 2

Bed configuration:

Ushuaia cabin Standard twin semi-private cabin

Standard twin semi-private cabin

Number of cabins of this type: 12

Bed configuration: Single bunk beds


Ushuaia deck Deck E

Deck E

(Deck level: 4)

Ushuaia deck Main Deck F

Main Deck F

(Deck level: 3)

Ushuaia deck Upper Deck G

Upper Deck G

(Deck level: 2)

Ushuaia deck Bridge Deck H

Bridge Deck H

(Deck level: 1)

Voyages in detail


Everyone visiting Antarctica and the South Atlantic must recognise the obvious: that conditions can intervene at short notice and a voyage's planned itinerary must be altered. Make sure you read 'A very important note on published itineraries' in 'How to choose an Antarctic cruise'.

Select a voyage

Some of the sites that may be visited

Deception Island

(planned for Day 4)

Deception Island is one of the most incredible islands on the planet. It is an active volcano in the South Shetland Islands, off the Antarctic Peninsula. Its unique landscape comprises barren volcanic slopes, steaming beaches and ash-layered glaciers. It has a distinctive horse-shoe shape with a large flooded caldera. This opens to the sea through a narrow channel at Neptune's Bellows, forming a natural sheltered harbour. It is one of the only places in the world where vessels can sail directly into the centre of a restless volcano.

It earned the name of 'Deception' from the concealed horsehoe-shaped harbour. The volcano beneath it was formed 10,000 years ago but erupts still in modern times, with fissures and cones in the late 60s and in 1970 that destroyed UK and Chilean scientific bases. Seismic activity was also detected in 1992 but no eruption occurred. This volcanic activity probably accounts for fewer glaciers on the island than on other islands in the area.

Telefon Bay is a small bay on the north-west coast of Port Foster, Deception Island, in the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. It is surmounted by Telefon Ridge. The name appears on the chart of the French Antarctic Expedition under Charcot, 1908–10, and derives from the ship SS Telefon, which sat here awaiting repairs.

Points of interest include volcanic caldera, geothermal hot springs, scientific bases, extensive moss beds with the additional wildlife: Chinstrap penguin, Cape petrel, Antarctic fur seal, and Weddell seal, which is the most southerly of the Antarctic seals and lives mostly on fast ice.

King George Island

(planned for Day 4)

In 1773 even though he crossed the Antarctic Circle and correctly surmised this was the route to the South Pole, in 1775, Captain Cook was quite dismissive of land beyond South Georgia, writing "… we may reasonably suppose that we have seen the best, as lying most to the North." King George Island is the largest and most "civilised" of the South Shetland Islands and is also home to many of the Antarctic research stations on its southern side at Maxwell Bay and Admiralty Bay, due to the milder environment. Historically, exploration and sealing brought people to this island. Nowadays, there is an Antarctic 26 mile marathon held here that attracts runners from all over the world. Scientific bases apart, the wildlife and dramatic scenery are the Island's major attractions e.g. Gentoo, Adelie, Chinstrap penguins, Antarctic tern, Snowy sheathbill, Southern giant petrel, Southern elephant seal.

Livingston Island

(planned for Day 4)

Livingstone Island is the second largest of the South Shetland Islands and is rich in wildlife. The island also featured on the sealers' route but due to its tricky shape including 6 important peninsulas it was only finally mapped and surveyed in 2005. Tourists mainly visit the southern safer side of the island. Southern elephant seals - the largest seals in the world- reside/visit here, huddling together against the cold as do Antarctic fur seals. Gentoo, Chinstrap and Macaroni penguins nest here. Birds include Snowy sheathbill, Skua, Kelp gull, Cape Petrel, Southern giant petrel, Antarctic shag and Antarctic tern.

Paulet Island

(planned for Day 5)

This volcanic island in the northern Weddell Sea is home to a huge Adelie penguin rookery and the pink guano stains feature widely in the landscape. You will also find an Antarctic shag colony and skuas also nest here. Leopard seal also visit as there are plenty of penguins for dinner! This island is also home to another dramatic escape, this time for a Norwegian crew from the vessel supporting Swedish geologist Otto Nordenskjold’s 1901-03 expedition. The Antarctic was crushed in the pack ice while trying to pick up various members in different places. Fortunately, they managed to make their way across the ice floes to Paulet Island, where they wintered in a stone hut and fed off seals. Sadly, one young sailor, Ole Wennersgaard, did not survive and is buried here.

Cuverville Island

(planned for Day 6)

One of the more popular islands to visit and named after a French Admiral, Cuverville Island's northern shore hosts large colonies of gentoo penguins. The eastern coast hosts breeding kelp gulls and Antarctic shags. Look out for mosses and lichens growing in the cliffs and from a Zodiac you may well see leopard or crabeater seals in the water or on the icebergs. Look out also for Skua and Antarctic tern.

Gentoo penguins on Cuverville Island

      courtesy Quark Expeditions

Neko Harbour

(planned for Day 6)

Along the eastern side of Andvord Bay, the sheer ice cliffs lining the coast are interrupted by a tiny rocky point called Neko Harbour. This is an excellent place for ice-cliff viewing. Ground space is hard to find here but it does not stop a small colony of Gentoo penguins nesting a good distance up the cliff. If you follow them please don’t step in their short legged “websteps” as this will make their icy climb more difficult. Perhaps a last stop on mainland Antarctica but beware straying too far. Extreme care should be taken due not only to hidden glacier crevasses but also huge waves created by falling ice. Other wildlife includes Snowy sheathbill, Skuas and Kelp gull.

Paradise Bay

(planned for Day 6)

This harbour lives up to its name and even looks fantastic on a cloudy day! Named by 20th century whalers it is still the place to spot Minke, Humpback and Killer whales. The scenery is spectacular and most boats stop here if they are passing. Zodiac cruises through the recently calved iceberg bits are also popular. A beautiful and memorable place.

Lemaire Channel

(planned for Day 7)

Lemaire Channel, illogically named after an African Belgian Explorer, is a dramatic deep fjord guarded by looming volcanic cliffs. Sufficiently narrow to be blocked by icebergs, take every advantage you can to enjoy the magnificent scenery. Leopard and crabeater seals enjoy chilling out on the ice floes. See if you can spot Gentoo penguins and Antarctic shags, humpback and Minke whales.

Pleneau Island

(planned for Day 7)

Pleneau Island is situated at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel off the Atlantic Peninsula. The island’s cobbled beach (1.2km long) blends into smooth rock terraces inclining gently towards an ice cap that dominates the western part of the island. Tense moments for the crew… Large icebergs are blown here by the winds and become trapped so manoeuvering between them is quite a skill. You can take a zodiac cruise and hopefully see humpback whales cruising around doing shallow dives. Wildlife here includes Gentoo penguin, kelp gulls, south polar skua, Blue-eyed shag and Antarctic tern. Southern elephant seals visit plus the occasional grounded iceberg!

Petermann Island

(planned for Day 7)

Petermann Island is the southernmost visitor site on the Antarctic Peninsula.

It was named after a German cartographer and discovered by the German Antarctic Expedition led by Eduard Dallmann (1873-4), which sailed on the first steam ship, Cape Gronland, to reach Antarctica.

In 1909 French explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot and his men sheltered here in Circumcision Bay (so named as 01 January celebrates the feast of Christ's circumcision).

Wildlife includes Gentoo and Adelie penguin colonies, Snowy sheathbill, Skua, Kelp gull, Wilson's storm petrel, Antarctic shag, red and green snow algae.

There is a memorial cross to 3 members of British Antarctic Survey who died on the sea ice nearby in 1982.

  • Bar
  • Communication - Telephone - the INMARSAT system
  • 4 Decks
  • Dining room -The Dining Room on the Main Deck F comfortably accommodates all guests at a single seating.
  • Electrical Appliances and Outlets - Some outlets in public areas are 220v-240v and are clearly marked.
  • Electric current on board is 110 V/ 60 Hz
  • Gift shop
  • Internet(no Wi-Fi
  • Library
  • Medical room
  • Observation lounge/Lecture room
  • Panorama Deck
  • Zodiacs

Daily Program

Each evening Recap and presentation of next day programme.

All announcements made via our Public Announcement (PA) system on board. The bridge announces interesting events and wildlife attractions.

Please note: expeditionary nature of this voyage may result in changes to the daily program due to sea, weather, ice and local conditions. Also, your Captain and Expedition Team may deviate from the program to take advantage of unexpected opportunities such as wildlife sightings, advantageous sea conditions, or other local events.

Any changes to the daily program will be announced over the PA system so understanding and flexibility are required.

Maximum number of passengers


Naturalist guides

Crew members


Overall length (ft)


Cruising speed


Gross tonnage




Other technical information

  • Length 84.73m / 278.3 feet
  • Breath 15.41m / 51 feet
  • Draught 5.48m / 18.08 feet
  • Gross Tonnage 2,923 tonnes
  • Speed (Max) 14 knots
  • Cruise Speed 12 knots
  • Passengers 88
  • Crew & staff 38
  • Zodiacs & RIBs 7
  • Electrical Outlets 110 V, 60 Hz
  • Yard American Shipbuilding, Toledo, Ohio
  • Year of build 1970
  • Classification INSB Ice class C
  • Flag Union of Comoros
  • Engine 2 ALCO 1600 HP each
  • Bow thrust 1x 500Kw

This information has been provided by the boat operator and is subject to alteration

Customer reviews for Ushuaia

Sailings for 'Ushuaia'

Our prices

Prices are per person. The prices shown here are the current prices charged locally by each boat in their chosen currency. We charge our UK customers the equivalent price converted to British pounds at the current exchange rate. This helps keep prices low and protects you from currency fluctuations.

Our price promise

Our prices should be the best available anywhere. If you find a better price elsewhere please let us know: we will certainly try to match or beat it.

Complete trips

An expedition cruise is only part of your complete trip. Discuss your ideas with us. Our well-travelled experts can arrange your international flights from the UK, and design all the other parts of your trip in Argentina, Chile or elsewhere to fit the exact dates of your cruise and the things you want to do, and to make the best use of your time and budget. There is no obligation until you are ready to go ahead.

Your financial protection

By booking your trip with us you also benefit from our 100% financial protection and the knowledge that if anything goes wrong, or your plans change, our friendly experienced and resourceful travel specialists are here to help you.

Special offers

Special offers are often available (some are very generous) but they may only be open for short periods. Contact us to find out which offers are available now.

Cruise Starts Ends Nights Suite Superior twin private cabin Premier single cabin Premier twin private cabin Standard plus twin private cabin Standard twin semi-private cabin Standard plus triple private cabin