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Gentoo Gentoo Penguins, Antarcticaaon the coastline

Antarctica’s Floating Basecamp

  • TAILOR-MADE

Duration

12 Days

Prices Start from

£7,550 ex. flights

Designed to appeal to those who want to do it all, from whale-watching and snowshoeing to camping and kayaking, this is arguably the most active way to discover the peninsula. Utilising the vessel as an expeditionary basecamp, linger for multiple days in pristine locations to maximise on opportunities for in-depth explorations while minimising sailing time.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Camping 1

Camp on the Continent

Layer up for a once in a lifetime snowy slumber in a bivouac, waking to chattering penguins.

Trekking, Antarctica 2

Antarctic Adrenaline

Try your hand at kayaking, snow shoeing or mountaineering, just some of the included excursions.

Boat Dwarfed by Mountains, Antarctica 3

Pro Photography

Sail with pro photographers and learn to capture the continent’s bleak beauty.

Birding, Antarctica 4

The Drake Passage

Earn your stripes by crossing the iconic Drake Passage – whether the “lake” or the “shake”!

Why we like it

Specifically suited to those with their sights set on making the most of their time in Antarctica, the basecamp voyage is an adventure-filled trip that bypasses lengthy sailings in favour of amplifying time spent partaking in on-shore and watertop explorations of the continent. After following the path of the great polar explorers through the notorious Drake Passage, the vessel becomes more akin to a floating hotel than a means of transportation – when not eating or sleeping, venture out on to the Great White Continent for longer, more adrenaline-packed days on the ice, and have the extraordinary opportunity to study the daily fluctuations of a familiar Antarctic landscape.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
    Ushuaia
  • Days 2-3
    Crossing the Drake Passage
  • Days 4-9
    Antarctica
  • Days 10-11
    Crossing the Drake Passage
  • Day 12
    Ushuaia

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Plancius £££££

  • Spitsbergen

Built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy she was fully refurbished after her decommission to become a very comfortable, but not luxurious, 108 passenger expedition vessel. The cabins all have television screens that alert passengers to wildlife sightings, and there is a superb observation lounge along with a bar that offer spectacular views. Equipped with kayaks, ten zodiacs and eight expedition leaders, guests can embark on anything from show shoeing expeditions and mountaineering trips.

View Boat

Ortelius £££££

  • Spitsbergen

Originally built in Poland in 1989 as an ice-strengthened passenger vessel, the 298-foot-long Ortelius spent many years plying the frozen waters of the Arctic and Northern Pacific before being totally refurbished in 2005. Sleeping a total of 108 passengers, the vessel provides comfortable (but not luxurious) cabins that range from quads to suites, each with a private bathroom. She carries a fleet of zodiacs for landings, and on some Antarctic departures helicopters are even used.

View Boat

Camping on the Ice, Antarctica
Camping on the Ice, Antarctica

White Wilderness Camping

On the Great White Continent, you can camp like you have never camped before – against a backdrop of pristine white wilderness, snuggle inside a bivouac for a memorable nights’ sleep. With luck and 24-hour daylight, you might even see a curious passing penguin in the middle of the ‘night’. Enveloped by either serene silence or the sounds of a nearby penguin colony, wake to an Antarctic sunrise before boarding a zodiac to travel back to the vessel for breakfast.

Snowy Landscape, Antarctica
Snowy Landscape, Antarctica

Glaciers & Wind-Shaped Snow

In the company of expert polar guides who specialise in subjects such as marine biology, geology, glaciology, ornithology and history, push yourself away from the polar shorelines and towards the snow-covered interior of the peninsula for a try at snowshoeing or mountaineering. Traversing challenging terrains of powdery snow and icy hills that are otherwise impassable on foot, venture through unspoiled wilderness to hidden penguin rookeries and remarkable vantage points. From casual strolls over untrodden snow to vertical crampon climbs around glacier crevasses, there are options to suit most abilities and experience levels.

Whale Photography, Antarctica
Whale Photography, Antarctica

Aperture in Antarctica

Thriving amongst towers of blue-white ice, snow-capped mountains and glacial waters live thousands-strong populations of endemic wildlife. Yet, while dazzling, the landscape and its inhabitants can be tricky to capture. Select sailing basecamp voyages are accompanied by pros who can guide you on everything from aperture to shutter speed during both on-board theory classes and land-based workshops. With time, the falling snow and curious lighting might just work in your favour when photographing these nomadic creatures. Amongst others, expect to see gentoo and Adelie penguins, humpback and minke whales, and crabeater and leopard seals.

Kayaking, Antarctica
Kayaking, Antarctica

Polar Kayaking & Expert Diving

Explore the ocean and get close to marine life while paddling kayaks through gentle waters and around immaculate untouched shorelines. Donning a drysuit, seek out the sweet spots where icebergs turn the waters to a brilliant blue. Since this is one of the most intimate ways to discover the region, take a break from gliding through the serene waterways in favour of quietly observing penguins – with luck, a whale might even breach beside you.

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Or send us a quick email below and start your next journey.

Call us

Sue's in-depth knowledge of Antarctica, the route options and each of the vessels was invaluable in our preparation for the trip and was a strong differentiator when we were choosing a travel agent. When talking with Sue, we quickly got an honest perspective.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Both telephone and e-mail responses were excellent and all of Sue's expert advice was very much appreciated. She was prompt, supportive and engaging throughout and our expedition to Antarctica was spectacular.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Sue’s extensive first-hand knowledge of Antarctica was so apparent from our first phone call. She was able to help us select the ideal route and vessel for our needs, and with her guidance we were able to see the emperor penguins!

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Sue forewarned us that there would be no words to describe South Georgia and that our photos wouldn’t do it justice, and how right she was. All we can say is “see for yourself”. Thank you, Sue, for your indispensable advice.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

We were blown away by Sue’s in-depth knowledge of everything from endemic species to the history of Shackleton and his men. No question we had went unanswered, and no little detail was missed.

Destination: Antarctica
Travel Expert: Sue

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?


Why Steppes

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