Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Stride climate
This trip visits a destination that is affected by climate change
Antarctica Cruise – Extended Classic Voyage tour

Antarctica Cruise – Crossing the Circle

REI Adventures
4.4 . Great
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
14 days
From: $ 8,895 $ 635 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit Antarctica, a rugged, rarely visited, and beautiful continent
  • Spot diverse wildlife, from a chinstrap penguin colony to humpback whales
  • Make landfall on several occasions and hike to a fantastic viewpoint
  • Cross the Antarctic Circle for more exploration and wildlife viewing opportunities
  • Stay aboard a comfortable ship with private cabins and bathrooms

Short Description

Hiking, wildlife viewing and even a polar plunge are just a few of the things to look forward to on this 14-day Antarctic cruise.

Rugged, rare, and absolutely extraordinary, Antarctica is a destination that is high on the adventure lover’s list. Our cruise to the White Continent gives us a chance to take in staggering scenery, amazing and diverse wildlife, and the vastness of the ocean. This trip goes beyond the typical cruise, crossing the Antarctic Circle for a journey that few travelers ever experience.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Ushuaia
End City Ushuaia

Trip Includes

  • Shipboard accommodations with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages while on board
  • Beer and wine during dinner
  • All shore landings per the daily program (weather permitting)
  • Leadership by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Onboard speakers and presentations as scheduled
  • Downloadable photo journal of the expedition
  • Use of waterproof boots for shore landings
  • An official Quark parka to keep
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US $500,000 per person.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Our journey starts in Ushuaia, Argentina.

You will begin your journey in Ushuaia, a small, but bustling port town at the tip of South America. This Argentinean town is an ideal gateway for you to explore the southern extent of Patagonia while preparing for your adventure ahead. Get active in the mountains or enjoy some hand crafted chocolate in town. This evening meet some of your fellow travelers at the orientation briefing.

Day 2: Embarkation Day! Sail down the historic Beagle Channel.

The Beagle Channel sets you on your way as the ship sails in the late afternoon. The channel opens up to the vastness of the southern ocean, where your next land sighting will be along the Antarctic Peninsula. Named after the famed ship in which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents many great photo opportunities to capture sea birds hovering overhead.

Days 3-4: Crossing the Drake Passage, hope for calm waters.

The waters of the Drake Passage are unpredictable, so hope for clear skies and a calm ocean. You'll have plenty of time to stare out at the sea, get to know your fellow shipmates and chat with your Expedition Team.

Time over these two days will be spent preparing for the exciting days ahead, with numerous educational and informative lectures from your Expedition Team. You'll learn about everything from safety procedures to the history of whaling in Antarctica.

Days 5-7: Explore South Shetland and the Antarctic Peninsula.

With the Drake Passage left in our wake, we make a final approach to Antarctica. Get your cameras ready, as the continent's coastline will make its first appearance, signaling the start of your adventure in the realm of the Antarctic. You'll see plentiful icebergs floating by and be fixated on the surface of the ocean as curious whales spout and breach before your eyes.

As exciting as it can be from onboard the ship, your true exploration occurs when you disembark and set foot on the great continent. There are several potential landing sites we may visit, including Neko Harbor, Orne Harbor or Paradise Bay. While weather dictates which specific landing sites we can visit, each one presents a new collection of wildlife and natural attractions.

Your days will be busy spotting wildlife and being mesmerized by the beauty of Antarctica. Watching penguins waddling on the beach and listening to the crackling and crumbling sounds of icebergs and glaciers will become your daily entertainment, while kayaking with whales and camping in Antarctica are a couple of optional activities available on selected voyages.

Days 8-9: Cross The Antarctic Circle and toast with champagne.

Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not reach this far south, which is officially noted at 66° 33' S. You and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of champagne! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you've made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people.

Days 10-11: Spot wildlife and learn more about this area from our guides.

By now, your knowledge of Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between a leopard, fur or Weddell seal. Terms like 'bergy bits' and pancake ice will seem normal too, yet there are still many tales to be told. As you head back towards the Drake, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, while the Expedition Team will help fill in any blanks that remain in your newly acquired knowledge of the Antarctic.

Days 12-13: Return via the Drake Passage to Ushuaia.

Re-crossing the Drake, Antarctica fades away and you'll be left with a collection of memories to last a lifetime. Excited conversations with your newfound friends will make the time passing the Drake Passage fly by, independent of weather and sea conditions. Your Expedition Team will round up their series of lectures as well, perhaps with a slideshow of some of the great landing sites and wildlife you've visited over the course of your voyage.

Day 14: Disembark in Ushuaia, Argentina.

Today you'll say goodbye to your Expedition Team and your fellow travelers. You'll disembark in the morning so that you may catch your homeward bound flights. Outbound flights should not be scheduled until after noon.

Availability

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Price From $ 8,895
Price Per Day: $ 635 per day
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9 REI Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.4 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 7
Great 1
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.4
Guide
4.4
Activities
4.4
Lodging
4.4
Transportation
4.4
Meals
4.4

Antarctica Cruise – Crossing the Circle

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Horrible!

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
We did not do this trip with REI, but did this trip by ourselves and had the group from REI camp next to use. We were there from 7/19-7/22/2018. My girlfriend and I are experienced backpackers. This is some of the things we noticed WRONG! Most of these have to do with the Leave No Trace policy that are strict rules, especially on the PCT. Some are just common courtesy. Some of these things aren’t bad when it is one person, but when thousands do it, it poses real environmental problems. Guides, especially, should not be teaching future backpackers the wrong mentality about leaving our wildernesses as pristine as possible.
LNT = Leave No Trace policy
They camped 15-25 (some tents were closer than others) feet from the water. LNT states it should be at least 100 feet away from water to minimize pollution of water.
They cooked and washed dishes and brushed their teeth 15 feet from water. LNT states it should be at least 100 feet away from water and camp site to minimize water pollution and critters in/near your campsite.
People were putting on sunscreen and then going swimming very shortly after. This clearly pollutes the water.
At one point around 7pm, the two guides left the entire group, with their packs on, and did not come back until around 9pm. What if someone tripped and fell and hit their head while the guides were gone?
While walking down a really narrow steep section from Mt. Eddy, the group was walking uphill and did not slow down or move over for us at all, forcing us to move to the side. The rule of thumb is that people going downhill have the right away because of momentum. People going up should always yield to those coming down.
The entire group hung and and swam right in front of our campsite, even-though they could have very easily gotten into the water and hung out around the water close to their campsite. People obviously go into the back-country to get away from people. Why would these ‘experienced’ guides let 10 people block the view and disturb other people when there was no need. This seemed very rude and selfish.
At one point we heard one guide talking about our bear hanging method (The Piutte or PCT method using a locking stick method), saying it was “Unnecessary”. We don’t know what they did for bear safety but we also heard the same guide telling the clients that bears and other animals were not a concern because she had “guided this for 4 years now and have never had any issues”. This is the wrong mentality. Maybe she simply got lucky for 4 years.
We heard one of the guides, while talking about glass in the area that “if you feel comfortable, you can just throw it in the fire pit. It’s better than it being on the ground or in the water”. This is the wrong mentality. They should inform the guide, and the guide should make a conscious effort to pack it out, versus simply throwing it into a fire pit where a ranger is simply going to spread the ashes away from the pit, later spreading the glass around.

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Outstanding

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Lightning Will Johnson Just got home from an 11 day expedition around Svalbard aboard the Ocean Nova. Quark Expeditions is a first rate outfit. Outstanding service, food, and exploration. We were able to kayak on 9 different occasions in addition to our shore excursions. The crew was outstanding and did everything they could to make our trip memorable. I rate them 10 out of 10.
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Exceeded our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have been on many REI trips, mainly because of the talented local guides. Our guide on this trip, Mike (a first time REI guide) has to be right at the top of the list. He did a great job of making sure that everyone got what they wanted from the adventure. And Mike's birding and wildlife expertise were unsurpassed! Highlight of the trip: The whole package, although kayaking to the penguins, hiking to the cave paintings, and the whole safari really stand out! Also, the accommodations and food far exceeded our expectations!
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Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I arrived in South Africa expecting good things. I left with a whole new view of the country. It is more than wonderful places. It filled with amazing people, flora and fauna. Thanks for sharing it with me. The highlight (in addition to the great people) were the amazing animals in the wild.
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We loved it!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We loved the entire itinerary, and the accommodations and food were excellent. Our stay in Sabi Sabi and the safaris there were just amazing...we saw every animal we hoped to see and more! And Gavin was just the best guide we could possibly have had....not only leading us up the mountains on the hikes but also supplementing with his considerable expertise on the safaris. We normally plan and execute our own trips so having Gavin's support and organizational skills was a real luxury. 
We appreciate all the thought and effort REI puts into this adventure to make it as enjoyable as it is. It turns out that the hiking--and the biking--were just amazing...we all enjoyed each expedition and the counterpoints they offered to all the great food and wine we consumed in between!! But the really best part of the entire trip was Gavin, our guide. Others have said it but it bears repeating--Gavin makes this adventure what it is. He is kind, patient, knowledgeable, funny, helpful...!
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The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced. I was grinning the whole time. I am already planning my next REI trip. This is a beautiful trip, I will never forget it. I felt so well cared for and treated individually. Gavin will know what to do in any situation or he will find out. This security allowed me to embrace the all the opportunities from the township visit to the safari. You will come home with a new awareness and appreciation for life.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group - 25 + people

Accomodations

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will guarantee double/triple occupancy rates for hotel rooms and ship cabins even if we are unable to match you with a roommate. If you request a single cabin, rates are 1.7 times the double occupancy cabin cost or the listed price for single cabins.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations received up to 180 days prior to departure are refunded less an administrative fee of $1250 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 and 121 days prior to departure, the full deposit is forfeited. For cancellations received within 120 days prior to departure, all deposits and tariffs are forfeited. If cancellation occurs within the 120-day period and full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and unpaid monies are due immediately. A request to transfer reservations is subject to the same fees outlined above for cancellations. Partial refunds are not available for unused services.

Additional Information:

The key to staying comfortable during this expedition is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Trapped air is a very good insulator and you stand a much better chance of staying warm by wearing several thin layers rather one or two heavy items. You will also be able to add or shed layers more easily as the temperature changes.

Trip ID#:

AntCroRei

Trip Excludes

  • Any airfare unless otherwise specified
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals ashore
  • Supplement for single hotel accommodations
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; additional overnight accommodation
  • Optional adventure activities.

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