Antarctica Circle Cruise: Sail To The Deep South

Antarctica circle cruise

Often termed ‘Crossing the Circle’, the Antarctica Circle cruise takes you on a journey down the Antarctic Peninsula and explores the region in much more depth than any other cruise.

You’ll explore the upper region of the peninsula before heading past the Antarctica Circle into the wilderness of the huge continent. Here you’ll see long forgotten icebergs, rare Weddell seals and pods of whales. The Antarctica Circle Cruise is perfect for people with a real sense of adventure.

Unlike a standard cruise you’ll be landing in less frequented sites where you’ll have ample opportunities to visit penguin rookeries and seabird colonies. Because these colonies are so remote, they’re often much larger than their northern neighbours, some being in their millions!

Not only is the wildlife incredible, but you are venturing into a region that few on earth have ever been. The history of the region is kept alive with on-board lectures and you’ll learn about the fascinating geography of the peninsula as you venture further and further south, finally reaching your goal of 66 degrees 33.7′ south.

If you love adventure, huge icebergs, and remote wilderness and want to be part of a select group of travelers, the Antarctica Circle Cruise is the option for you.

Please you the quicklinks below to navigate to sections on the page, or simply read on.

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Antarctica Circle Cruise

Route Map

Antarctica-circle-cruise-map

Route Itinerary

Please remember here that all cruises have slightly differing itineraries. The itinerary below is the standard for most operators in Antarctica. Also note that weather is often a major factor when it comes to sailing in Antarctica and not all voyages will stick rigidly to a set itinerary.

​DAY 1: ARRIVE IN USHUAIA

​DAY 2: EMBARKATION DAY

​DAY 3-4: CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE

​DAY 5-7: SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS AND ANTARCTICA PENINSULA

​DAY 8-9: CROSSING THE CIRCLE

​DAY 10-11: NORTHBOUND ALONG THE ANTARCTIC PENINSULA

​DAY 12-13: CROSSING THE DRAKE PASSAGE

​DAY 14: DISEMBARKATION AT USHUAIA

Trip Variations

  • ​Variation 1
  • ​Variation 2

Antarctica Express Circle Cruise

This variation is essentially the same cruise, but you fly to the Antarctic Peninsula instead before boarding your ship. You will generally fly from Punta Arenas in Chile and arrive in King George Island. This is an ideal option for people who suffer from severe sea sickness or for people on a tighter schedule.

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Ships that sail the ​Antarctica Circle Cruise Itinerary

Ocean Diamond

One of the most modern ships in the region, the Ocean Diamond is a classy vessel that offers space for 189 passengers. The ship is equipped with a wellness program, several bars, polar library, theater-style auditorium and gym.

Rooms are comfortable and spacious and the deck area is large and perfect for viewing wildlife.

The Ortelius

The Ortelius is an ice-strengthened vessel designed for extreme cruises to the Polar regions. The Ortelius holds 116 passengers and has basic, but comfortable accommodation.

The ship is equipped with two dining rooms, a bar and a lecture theatre room and a good amount of deck space.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

With stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull, this ship is one of the steadiest in Antarctica! Very well equipped and spacious, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov carries 92 passengers and offer a nice modern feel.

The interior spaces are large and the vessel comes with a separate lounge, bar, sauna, plunge pool and library.

Plancius

One of the larger research vessels, the Plancius can take up to 116 passengers and is fully ice-strengthened for those tough Polar regions! The ship has a comfortable feel and there is loads of deck space to wander around. The bar has large, panoramic views and the observation lounge also doubles as a presentation room.  

A basic, but tough and cozy ship with great views.

Ocean Endeavour

One of the larger expedition ships in Antarctica, the Ocean Endeavour can take up to 199 passengers. perfectly equipped for polar sailing and passenger comfort, the Endeavour comes with a full ice-strengthened hull, large sundeck, spacious restaurant and several large lounges!

The sauna, gym, juice bar and many zodiacs make the Endeavour one of our favorites.

Sea Spirit

With 116 passengers, the Sea Spirit is one of the smaller Expedition style vessels. However, the ship has a nice cozy and friendly feel because of this and the lounges are spacious and the library is well stocked.

The outside deck area has a hot tub and area to serve bistro meals in good weather. Perfect and intimate vessel for Antarctica.

Le Boreal

One of the more luxurious vessels in Antarctica, the Le Boreal can house just under 200 passengers and comes with several restaurants, several lounges, salon, steam room, spa and gym.

The decor is modern and stylish and the ship even comes with an elevator! Expect large open deck space and well appointed cabins on this luxury Antarctica vessel.

Le Lyrial

The French Connection! The Le Lyrial is very similar to its sister ship – Le Boreal. Incredibly luxurious for an Antarctica ship, the Le Lyrial is equipped to handle 199 passengers and provides extensive deck space and seating areas throughout the ship.

The vessel has a spa, gym, sauna, several restaurants and lounges, lecture theater and extensive library. Often, there is far more non-English speaking guests on board.

Expedition

This small expedition ship carries a 132 passengers ans was completely refurbished in 2009. Thanks to this, the cabins are large and well appointed, each one being window facing! Deck space is large and ideal for wildlife viewing whilst the interior areas are comfortable and cozy.

Much of the common space has large windows for ideal viewing.

Fram

Named after the ship used by Norwegian Explorer Fridtjof Nansen, the Fram was purpose built in 2009 and is one of the largest vessels in Antarctic waters with space for 269 passengers! Items from the original Fram are positioned around the ship which makes for a nice touch.

As can be expected from a ship this size, the Fram contains several Jacuzzi’s, a gym, several restaurants and lounges and a full spa facility.

Hebridean Sky

In June 2016, the 116 passenger ship underwent a multi-million dollar restoration project to bring the vessel into the modern age – and it worked.

The Hebridean Sky now boasts state of the art stabilization, fuel efficiency and communications system. The ship is ideal for people looking for a feel of camaraderie, similar perhaps to a yacht experience.

The Ushuaia

The Ushuaia is one the most respected vessels in the Polar region and well up to the task of the Weddell Sea! Ice-strengthened and originally built for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the boat has now been refurbished to accommodate 88 passengers and nearly 50 suites!

Large deck space, open bridge policy, open plan lounge and full media lecture room make this one the most popular vessels.

Get a Cruise Quote!

Antarctica Guide do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote with our recommended specialist click Get a Quote.

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