Transfer to the airport and flt to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Patagonia, at the southernmost tip of the continent. Depending on the number of intermediate stops, your flight takes 3-5 hours.
The city has grown rapidly in recent years, partly as a result of government incentives to settlers, and its establishment as a Free Port, and partly a tourist centre - most Antarctic cruises, like yours, leave from the port here. The setting is spectacular; jagged mountains hem in the town down to the shore of the Beagle Channel. Transfer to the port and embark the ship Ocean Endeavour.
This is a gleaming vessel which resembles a good quality cruise yacht. She is operated by Quark, one of the most long-standing and experienced companies offering expedition voyages in polar waters. Accommodating 199 guests she is also slightly larger than many expedition cruise vessels, and her facilities and ambience are more like those of a floating hotel.
You’ll have a well-informed wildlife experience: each voyage is accompanied by an expert; a practicing scientist, historian, or researcher who conducts fieldwork during the trip. The cabins are very comfortable with a wide range, from good-value Standards to luxurious Suites. All have either porthole or window and private facilities. The ship’s library is well-stocked with polar books and DVDs.
Depart and head towards the Drake Passage through the Beagle Channel, so named after the HMS Beagle which later took Charles Darwin on his explorations around the South American continent.