Explore the wildlife-rich waters of the Drake Passage and the majestic Antarctic Peninsula on this 12-day expedition from Ushuaia. Venture to the strikingly beautiful South Shetland Islands and cruise through the stunning Lemaire Channel while coming face-to-face with Magellanic penguins, elephant seals and myriad birdlife. 

Daily zodiac excursions offer an immersive experience with the local wildlife, as well as accessing the international scientific stations where vital research is being conducted. This expedition is complemented by an engaging series of onboard lectures by polar experts that will delve into the natural and human history of this southern continent. 

Antarctica Kayaking Details

The most unique way to experience Antarctica is from the cockpit of your own kayak as it glides across the water, among ice formations born tens of thousands of years in the past. Along the way, your small group may encounter a group of penguins or seals, eager to share their glacial home. 

How does it work?

In advance of your first paddling excursion, your expert guides will spend plenty of time going over the basics of operating your kayak and using any associated gear. In the mornings before setting off, your group will gather and discuss what conditions to expect and to map out the day’s paddling strategy. 

The plan is to kayak each day; however, this is dependent on Antarctica’s occasionally erratic weather patterns. You’re not required to join the group on every excursion. Even the most seasoned paddler knows that some days, relaxation is key. At those times, you can opt to take a Zodiac tour, catch up on reading, or even take a hearty nap. 

Basic Details 

We welcome guests at least 16 years of age, of reasonable health and fitness, who have at least beginner-level kayaking experience. This popular trip allows only a limited number of guests, so we recommend that you secure your spaces as early as possible. 

We Provide 

  • Kayaks (tandems and singles)
  • Paddles
  • Dry Suits
  • Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs)
  • Pogies (neoprene gloves)

Please consult your pre-trip information and packing list to ensure that you’re prepared with all clothing and personal items needed for the trip. At least 90 days from departure, we require a signed liability waiver and completed dry suit form. 

As noted, we will plan to kayak every day if possible. Your guides and expedition leader are trained to determine if weather, ice and sea conditions will prohibit any scheduled paddling excursions. 

Itinerary

Collapse all days

Day 1

Ushuaia

Begin your expedition in the world’s southernmost town, Ushuaia, where you’ll stay at the five-star Arakur Hotel & Resort. Enjoy a stroll along the resort’s walking trails or be pampered during a spa treatment, then head into the city to explore Ushuaia’s award-winning museum and fine Argentinian leather stores. If time allows, venture into Tierra del Fuego National Park along the famous “Train at the End of the World” to discover its spellbinding landscapes. 

In the evening, connect with your Expedition Team and fellow travelers during an optional briefing session at the hotel. 

ACCOMMODATION : Arakur Hotel & Resort

Day 2

Embarkation

You’ll have another full morning to spend exploring Ushuaia before being transferred to your ship in the mid-afternoon. Settle into your cabin and meet the ship’s officers, then relax on deck as we sail through the Beagle Channel. Keep an eye out for colonies of Magellanic penguins along the way, as well as rock cormorants and playful sea lions that are frequently spotted here.

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky or MS Island Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3-4

Drake Passage

We’ll spend the next couple of days sailing across the Drake Passage, with a diversity of wildlife accompanying you along the way. Your crew will be on the lookout for whales and dolphins playing in the surrounding waters, as well as albatross and petrels that have a habit of following the ship. 

As we cross the Antarctic Convergence, you’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature and will have the opportunity to collect weather data along the way. Your onboard polar experts will be presenting a series of informative lectures over the course of the two days, offering a deeper insight into the wildlife, history and geology of the Antarctic Peninsula. 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky or MS Island Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5-6

South Shetland Islands

Over the next two days, you’ll get your first glimpse of Antarctica’s spectacular landscapes as we explore the wildlife-rich bays and channels of the Peninsula. The South Shetland Islands will most likely be the first landmasses we see, with this volcanic archipelago home to an abundance of sub-Antarctic species. Sightings of chinstrap penguins and southern elephant seals are not uncommon, with the opportunity to visit Half Moon Island and historic Deception Island (conditions permitting). 

Note: The 11-day tour only spends one day in the South Shetland Islands.

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky or MS Island Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7-9

Antarctica

Continuing south, we’ll cruise across the Bransfield Strait to the Trinity Coast and Gerlache Strait, with destinations depending on weather, ice and sea conditions. Highlights may include Neko Harbor, Paradise Harbor and Wilhelmina Bay, as well as the wildlife-filled waters of the Penola, Lemaire and Neumayer channels. 

When possible, we’ll launch the zodiacs to get up close to penguin rookeries (Adelie, Gentoo and chinstrap) and bird colonies, as well as see Weddell, crabeater and elephant seals. You may also have the opportunity to visit one of the working scientific bases, such as Poland’s Arctowksi or the United Kingdom’s Port Lockroy. 

Note: The 15-day itinerary spend four days in the Antarctic Sound and on the Antarctic Peninsula.

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky or MS Island Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10-11

Drake Passage

It’s time to depart the Antarctic Peninsula and make the return trip across the Drake Passage back to Ushuaia. Our onboard presentation series will continue, as will the wildlife encounters as we cruise back through the Beagle Channel. To celebrate the expedition, a slideshow presentation will also take place where you can relive the most memorable moments with your crew. 

ACCOMMODATION : MS Hebridean Sky or MS Island Sky
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12

Ushuaia

Your journey comes to an end as you disembark the vessel this morning and make your own way to the airport or continue your adventures in Argentina. 

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Dec 18, 2019 to Dec 28, 2019
Island Sky -11 Day Tour
$8,995£0€0$0$0$8,995£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Dec 27, 2019 to Jan 06, 2020
Island Sky -11 Day Tour
$8,995£0€0$0$0$8,995£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 07, 2020 to Jan 18, 2020
Hebridean Sky 12 Day Tour
$12,995£0€0$0$0$12,995£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 17, 2020 to Jan 27, 2020
Hebridean Sky 11 Day Tour
$8,995£0€0$0$0$8,995£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jan 26, 2020 to Feb 05, 2020
Hebridean Sky 11 Day Tour
$8,995£0€0$0$0$8,995£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 04, 2020 to Feb 15, 2020
Hebridean Sky 12 Day Tour
$12,995£0€0$0$0$12,995£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Feb 14, 2020 to Feb 28, 2020
Hebridean Sky 15 Day Tour
$15,495£0€0$0$0$15,495£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

Contact us for cabin availability.

Included: 

  • One night Hotel accommodations in embarkation city. 
  • Transfer from Airport in embarkation city
  • Transfer from group hotel to ship for embarkation
  • Group transfer from ship to airport or central location on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodations
  • All scheduled landings and excursions
  • All meals on board
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa available 24 hours a day
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktail
  • House wine, berr and soft drink with dinner
  • Expediton Jacket (yours to keep)
  • Insulated rubber boots for use durring the voyage
  • Wifi on Library computers
  • 100 minute Wifi Card (for use on personal devices)
  • All port fees
  • All landing fees
  • Digital voyage log
  • In Owner's Suite, Penthouse, Veranda, Deluxe, Single and Promenade categories: champagne and chocolates on arrival, complimentary mini-bar, and $100 gift shop credit

Excluded: 

  • Airfare
  • Transfers from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary
  • Pre or post voyage expenses in Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn
  • Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board
  • Alcohol and soft drniks on board (except as listed in inclusions)
  • On board communication charges such as outgoing phone calls, wifi from personal devices in excess of 100 minutes provided
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Images & Videos

sea kayaking in Antarctica
group kayaking antarctica
whale watching in antarctica

Ship Details

Hebridean Sky Technical Specifications

Passengers: 118*
Crew: 75 (includes Staff)
Manager: Salén Ship Management AB, Sweden
Registered in: Nassau, Bahamas
Built by: Nuovi Cantieri Apuania, Italy
Built in: 1991
Refurbished: May, 2016
Length: 90,6 m
Width: 15,3 m
Tonnage: 4 200 GRT
Class: B.V. Ice Class 1C
Stabilization: Blohm & Voss Stabilization System with wave-anticipation roll technology

*To enhance our guest experience, we carry a maximum of 114 passengers

 

Island Sky Technical Specifications

Passengers: 118*
Crew: 75 (includes Staff)
Manager: Salén Ship Management AB, Sweden
Registered in: Nassau, Bahamas
Built by: Nuovi Cantieri Apuania, Italy
Built in: 1992
Refurbished: Sept, 2015
Length: 90,6 m
Width: 15,3 m
Tonnage: 4 200 GRT
Class: B.V. Ice Class 1D

Stabilization: Blohm & Voss Stabilization System with wave-anticipation roll technology

*To enhance our guest experience, we carry a maximum of 112 passengers 
 

 

Staterooms

All Suites

  • Exterior views
  • Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds
  • Sitting area with sofa and side chair
  • Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player
  • Telephone
  • Independent temperature controls
  • Mini-Bar
  • Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries
  • Hair dryer
  • 220 square feet or more
  • Sofa can be converted to bed for third person

Promenade, Deluxe, Single, Veranda & Penthouse Accommodations Include all of the features above plus: 

  • En suite Champagne & Chocolates on Arrival
  • Complimentary mini-bar (beer, wine & soft drinks)
  • En suite Nespresso machine

*Please see the deck plans for additional information regarding cabin options. 

Ship Photos

Deck Plans

Hebridean Sky
Island Sky

FAQ & More

Are flights included?

No flights are included in the cost of your trip.  While we are not licensed to purchase international air we can recommend an excellent flight broker to assist you with your travel to Ushuaia, Trelew or Puerto Madryn (depending on your itinerary).

Are pre or post trip hotels included?

Day 1 of every departure is your arrival day at your embarkation city and a hotel stay is included.  You can arrive any time this day and you will be guaranteed your room will be ready.  If you arrive on the scheduled day of departure there will be an airport transfer provided.

Do I need a passport or visa for this trip?

Currently all you require as a US citizen is a valid passport – we recommend having at least 6 months validity remaining beyond your planned return date – while Argentina is not currently enforcing this it is a requirement for many other South American countries and we cannot be held responsible if you are denied entry because your passport is close to expiration. 

Currently citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter Argentina (please double check however if you require to pay an entry fee). Please be sure your passport has sufficient blank pages for entry and exit stamps.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance?

Yes. Travel insurance in mandatory.  You must be covered for personal injury, medical expenses, evacuation and repatriation expenses.  This must include coverage for pre- existing medical conditions.

Can I kayak or camp on this trip?

Sea Kayaking is available on all of our trips and camping is available on the Antarctic Peninsula voyage.  These options have limited availability and are an additional cost.  Please inquire about these options early as they sell out quickly.

What clothing do I need to bring?

Please refer to our packing list for specific packing suggestions.  In general pack for dressing in layers with an outer waterproof layer on top (We will provide you with a Helly Hansen waterproof jacket that is yours to keep as part of your trip cost).

Do I need rubber boots?

Most landings will involve stepping into water so we provide these for you. We recommend a thick pair of thermal socks for wearing under these to keep your feet warm.

What is the on-board dress code?

Dress on board is casual and always informal and again we suggest dressing in layers for moving between different parts of the ship.  A pair of sneakers or trails shoes with a sturdy, non-slip sole are all that you will need.

What is the weather like?

Typical day time temperatures are 28 to 39 degrees Fahrenheit but it can change in an instant.  Winds can also make the temperatures feel considerably colder so it is best to be dressed for wet and windy conditions all the time.

What amenities are in the cabins?

All cabins will have a personal bathrobe and slippers, a hairdryer, toiletries (shampoo, conditioner and shower gel).  Refrigerator / minibar.  There is a laundry service on board and the pricelist will be in your cabin.

Is there a fitness room on board?

There is no fitness room but we do have some fitness equipment available for guests.  These are available on a first come first served basis from reception.

Electricity?

Ship voltage is 110V with US style 2 flat pin sockets.

Should I be concerned about motion sickness?

Once in the Antarctic motion sickness should not be a problem however crossing the Drake Passage can be particularly rough and you should be prepared.  Please make sure you start taking motion sickness medication before the ship departs.

What currency should I bring?

The US Dollar is the on board currency.  On board expenses will be charged to your account and you can settle these using Visa or Mastercard at the end of your voyage.

What Gratuities are recommended?

All gratuities are entirely at your discretion.  Should you wish to tip the suggested amount is $12 per person per day.  This can be added to your onboard account and paid by credit card.

Is Wi-Fi available?

Wi-Fi is available from anywhere on board.  Each passenger will receive a 100 minute card for access from personal devices. Additional cards will be available for sale.

What language is spoken on the ship?

English is the official language of the voyage. All briefings and presentations will be in English.

Is there an available Doctor?

There will be an English speaking physician on board however be aware that full medical facilities may be days away.

Can I travel with my Children?

While these trips are not aimed at children we are happy to welcome families on board.  If you intend to travel with children younger than 16 please talk to us to discuss what trip would be appropriate.

How often do guests explore off the ship?

While we are in Antarctica we typically manage two landings/excursions per day. This is always weather dependent but we make every effort to maximize our time outside exploring on land and/or cruising via zodiac. Given our guest capacity we are able to get all guests off for every activity. The experienced crew and staff make for a seamless and efficient operation.

What if I have special dietary requirements?

We can accommodate most dietary specialties as long as we have advanced notice.  Every meal will have 3 key options: Meat, Fish and Vegetarian. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style.

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