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The Leader in Small Ship and River Cruising Worldwide
Worldwide Discovery at Extraordinary Value Since 1958

2017 Antarctica's White Wilderness

14 Days from only $10,195 including international airfare

ABOARD OUR PRIVATELY OWNED 98-PASSENGER CORINTHIAN DESIGNED FOR AMERICAN TRAVELERS

Argentina: Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego • Antarctic expedition cruise: Drake Passage, Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands

Discover the Corinthian

Explore our 98-passenger small ship—and see how it will enrich your international travel experience.

Trip Experience

Watch travelers embark on land excursions aboard Zodiac raft, and encounter Antarctic wildlife.

Trip Itinerary

Get more information about your detailed itinerary, like included and optional tours, and more.

Program Director

Find out why Maria Copello’s background as a naturalist enhances travelers’ experiences in Antarctica.

Program Director

Meet Argentine Program Director David Hilton, who explains how visiting Antarctica helps him feel connected to his past.

Trip Extension: Iguassu Falls

Watch travelers trek through the rainforest and marvel at thundering Iguassu Falls on their optional extension.

Courtesy Vanessa Stephen and Kirsten Horne
Friendliest Seals Ever?

Discover trusting elephant seal pups lounging by the water and a massive King penguin rookery.

Courtesy Lisa Dupenois and Ian Cross
Bazaar: Buenos Aires

Explore the many sides of Buenos Aires, from its luxurious shops to its bustling, colorful barrios.

Courtesy Kico Santos
A Maquina

Get a glimpse of daily life in Brazil, which you can experience on our post-trip extension.

Courtesy Vanessa Stephen and Kirsten Horne
Soaked Penguins and Mating Seals

A South African film team encounters molting penguins, families of fur seals, and breathtakingly blue icebergs.

Courtesy Vanessa Stephen and Kirsten Horne
Awesome Antarctica!

The South African team finally reaches the Seventh Continent—Antarctica—and marvel at its stark beauty.

Courtesy Vanessa Stephen and Kirsten Horne
Penguins with Punk Looks

Join two South African filmmakers as they brave the extreme Antarctic climate to observe quirky rockhopper penguins.

New Year, New Stories

Take a look at the films that inspire filmmaker David Conover—and preview the stories that await this year.

Climate Change & Travel

Travel with David Conover to see how people—from street protesters to Heads of State—respond to a changing climate and ocean.

Produced for CuriosityStream
Big Picture Earth Trailer

David Conover's newest television series takes us from Stonehenge to Petra, from Iceland to the Oracle at Delphi ... and beyond.

Sharing Travel Moments

Hear why visual storytelling helps to build a conversation about the world from filmmaker David Conover.

Solo Traveler Experience

Hear about one solo traveler’s experiences in Turkey and Greece.

The Grand Circle Cruise Line Experience

Travel aboard Grand Circle Cruise Line’s selection of river and small ships—from the Adriatic Sea to the Danube River.

Travel Protection Plan

Learn about the benefits of Grand Circle's plan—and how you can protect your entire trip investment.

FROM
$10,195
14 DAYS
$729/DAY
including international airfare
13 DAYS FROM $8995 Small Ship Cruise Tour Only
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This trip features long flights and/or multiple connections

 
 

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Itinerary Overview

Journey to the pristine wilds of Antarctica and discover icebergs in a fantastic array of shapes, a pink-hued polar sun that never sets in summer, and a surprising abundance of marine wildlife. Our privately owned, 98-passenger Corinthian will bring you to remote landscapes inhabited by chinstrap, Adélie, and gentoo penguins, along with seals, whales, and seabirds. On this Antarctica cruise, you’ll travel to a realm once known only to explorers like Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton to witness the rugged, glacier-clad shores they saw. Antarctica will change you—with its extraordinary plenitude, profound stillness, and the sure knowledge that you are visiting one of the last pure places on Earth.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 5 nights from only $1695

    Bazaar: Buenos Aires
    Produced by Lisa Dupenois and Ian Cross
    This independent film features destinations you can visit on this pre-trip extension.

    Majestic peaks rise above glittering lakes in Bariloche, a nature-lover’s playground. The rugged landscapes of Patagonia and the influence of German culture combine for an Alpine experience in the foothills of the Andes. From a working ranch to a local brewery, we'll experience the vibrant culture that thrives in Argentina’s “Little Switzerland.” And we'll take in the area's natural beauty from lofty viewpoints.

    View Extension Itinerary
Buenos Aires Drake Passage Expand All
  • Your overnight flight to Buenos Aires departs in the evening.

  • View Plaza San Martin while touring Buenos Aires

    When you arrive in the morning, a Grand Circle representative will meet you at the Buenos Aires airport and escort you to your hotel. Relax until mid-afternoon, and then join a short, optional orientation walk in the neighborhood around the hotel. Then join your Program Director and travel companions for a trip briefing.

    This evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner hosted by your Program Director at a traditional Argentinean steakhouse.

  • After breakfast, set off on a tour of Buenos Aires. Discover its elegant blend of Spanish architecture and several traditional European styles, and see the monument-filled Avenida 9 de Julio and the Plaza de Mayo, where many buildings important to Argentinean history stand. Your exploration continues in La Boca, a colorful bohemian district with streets full of artists selling their work and performers practicing their tango. You'll then visit Recoleta, where you'll see elegant homes, fashionable shops and restaurants, and the famously ornate cemetery where Eva Peron is buried. The afternoon is yours.

    Later, you'll enjoy an exclusive Discovery Series discussion on the economy of Argentina. Enjoy an evening on your own—or join us for an optional tango show, which includes dinner.

  • After a pre-dawn wake up, transfer to the airport for your flight to Ushuaia, the “City at the End of the World.” A former penal colony, Ushuaia's name is a Yamana Indian word for “bay that stretches into the sunset.” Today, it's a small but busy port with a frontier atmosphere. The snowcapped Andes rise on one side of town, while the magnificent Beagle Channel extends from the other.

    Upon arrival, you'll embark on a guided tour of Ushuaia, beginning in the coastal area overlooking Beagle Channel to Main Street in the city center. Then you'll visit the Prison Museum, with exhibits on the area's early penal colonies. Tonight, dinner is on your own. Perhaps you'll try one of the many great restaurants specializing in local king crab.

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    After breakfast, you'll visit Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina's only coastal national park. Remarkable for its remote location, raging winds, and rugged landscape, the park protects unique flora and fauna including Austral parakeets and the Fuegian fox. After visiting the park, you'll enjoy a traditional Argentine asado de cordero (lamb barbecue) lunch.

    In the late afternoon, you embark on your expedition ship, the Corinthian. Your Antarctica cruise begins with a thrilling passage through the scenic Beagle Channel as you head east for the storied Drake Passage. Once onboard, you'll meet our Expedition Team, an enthusiastic group of explorers, researchers, and naturalists, many of whom return to the Antarctic every year. During this briefing, they'll preview your journey, outline the course your ship will follow, and detail the stunning sights that lie ahead. Throughout you cruise, these Expedition Team members will serve as your steady companions, teaching you about all aspects of your voyage.

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    Your first full day at sea takes you across the Drake Passage, which is named after the 16th-century English navigator Sir Francis Drake. As the point where the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet, this passage is notorious among sea captains and voyagers worldwide for having some of the most turbulent waters on the planet. Known as the "Drake Lake" or the "Drake Shake" (depending on the severity of conditions), this famous passage is a travel milestone. If sea conditions are characteristically rough, the Corinthian will roll considerably; depending on the intensity, you'll need to stay in your cabin until calmer waters are reached. Please note: For safety, all portholes will be closed while cruising the Drake Passage. (If you have problems with seasickness, we recommend that you carry—and use—patches and pills for seasickness.)

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    As your journey across the Drake Passage continues, your ship may be accompanied by an impressive variety of seabirds, such as the magnificent wandering albatross. Depending on the time of year, you also have a good chance of spotting whales and dolphins; many different species have been encountered in these rich waters over the years. Take note as you cross the Antarctic Convergence: At this biological barrier, cold polar waters sink beneath the warmer waters of the more temperate zones.

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    The following itinerary for your Antarctic cruise is for guidance only. Due to constantly changing weather, ice conditions, and wildlife-viewing opportunities, no two Antarctic voyages can ever be exactly the same—which is precisely what makes this trip such a unique experience. Flexibility is the key to creating the best possible trip, as all landings are dependent on the current weather. Throughout your journey, your Captain and Expedition Leader assess daily weather conditions and wildlife opportunities to take full advantage of near-continuous daylight and to maximize time ashore. Visits to research stations depend upon receiving final permission. It is impossible to guarantee precisely what you will see—and when you will see it—because sightings and encounters inevitably vary from departure to departure. However, we are confident that your voyage to Antarctica will be an unforgettable experience.

    When you catch sight of land for the first time after crossing the Drake Passage, you have reached the South Shetland Islands. Lying to the north and roughly parallel to the Antarctic Peninsula, this impressive group of islands is a haven for wildlife. You'll visit vast penguin rookeries, land on beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals, and observe wallowing southern elephant seals. We also hope to visit one of the many research bases in the archipelago and look for either of Antarctica's only two flowering plants, Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica) and Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis), which thrive here during the short southern summer. A highlight of your visit to the South Shetlands will be sailing through a narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island.

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    Continue your discoveries today, with plenty of time to experience the special magic of this awe-inspiring wilderness of snow, ice, waterways, and mountains. You can also expect to see a wide variety of Antarctic wildlife: Enormous rookeries of gentoo, chinstrap, and Adélie penguins; blue-eyed shags; kelp gulls; Cape petrels; snowy sheathbills; and Antarctic terns are just some of the many birds found here in abundance. You are also likely to see Weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals. Depending on the season, you may also encounter orcas, humpback, and minke whales at close range.

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    The Antarctic Peninsula has a remarkable history—during your voyage, members of your Expedition Team will regale you with tales of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world. As the Corinthian cruises—and as you make excursions in Zodiac rafts—you will certainly feel the same sense of excitement as many of those early explorers.

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    If they are not choked with pack ice and icebergs, we plan to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways in the world: the Neumayer and Lemaire channels, narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. You may also cruise south of the Lemaire Channel to Petermann Island, where Adélie and gentoo penguins, skuas, and blue-eyed shags nest close to the Corinthian's landing site.

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    Begin your journey back to Ushuaia, crossing the Drake Passage. Known as the “Drake Lake” or the “Drake Shake” (depending on the severity of conditions), this famous passage is a travel milestone. Depending on the degree to which the seas are rolling, you may need to stay in your cabin during the crossing.

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    As you cruise the Drake Passage, you can watch for birds and whales, enjoy some final lectures by your Expedition Team, and relax and reflect upon your discoveries.

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    After breakfast onboard, disembark the ship in Ushuaia to board a return flight for Buenos Aires. If your trip concludes at this point, you will depart for the U.S. in the late evening; if you are continuing on our optional Iguassu Falls, Argentina & Brazil post-trip extension, you transfer to your Buenos Aires hotel for the night.

  • POST-TRIP EXTENSION:
    Iguassu Falls, Argentina & Brazil

    3 nights from only $995

    Add thundering Iguassu Falls—twice as wide and 65 feet higher than Niagara Falls—to your explorations of the Southern Hemisphere’s natural wonders. On this extension, visit both the Argentinean and Brazilian sides of this astonishing array of 275 separate cascades and waterfalls—and let this lush tropical environment serve as a vivid contrast to your Antarctic experience.

    View Extension Itinerary

Click below to read our Travel Planning Guide on Antarctica's White Wilderness

Read Travel Planning Guide