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Setting sail from Ushuaia
Ushuaia is sometimes described as 'the city at the end of the world', though its rugged beauty is far from apocalyptic. Perched on the ragged southern edge of Argentina, where the snow-capped Andes fall away into the churning sea, the city has a frontier town feel to it, and serves as the base for expeditions into the icy waters of Antarctica. There are also plenty of outdoor pursuits on offer here, including hiking, skiing and fishing, and the Tierra del Fuego National Park is home to spectacular scenery and wildlife including penguins, guanacos, sea lions and condors.
What can we say? You can’t miss anything in the town, it’s so small!
Falkland Islands: Saunders Island
Saunders Island is graced with some of the most dramatic scenery in the Falklands, including the sandy isthmus known as The Neck. The island also supports an incredible bird population, with species including black-browed albatross, black-necked swans and four different types of penguin.
Falkland Islands: Carcass Island
Falkland Islands: Stanley
The rugged and windswept Falkland Islands make for a fascinating stop on the way to or from Antarctica. Over 80% of the population lives in the capital, Stanley, though humans are far outnumbered by other creatures, including penguins, sea lions and albatrosses.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands: Fortuna Bay (South Georgia), Stromness, Godthul (South Georgia)
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands: Grytviken (South Georgia)
Grytviken is a former whaling station and home of the fascinating South Georgia Museum. The great Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton is buried here, and this was also where Argentinian soldiers disguised as scrap metal merchants seized control of South Georgia during the opening stages of the Falklands War.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands: St Andrews Bay
Coming ashore at St Andrews Bay is surely one of the most overwhelming and unforgettable wildlife experiences on the planet. A seething, smelly, noisy mass of some 300,000 king penguins stretches along the beach, the biggest colony in South Georgia. It’s also a key site for elephant seals, with up to 6,000 females on the beach at the height of the breeding season.
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands: Gold Harbour
Antarctica: Signy Island (South Orkney Islands)
Antarctica: Elephant Island
Named after the elephant seals that live along the coast, Elephant Island is synonymous with the early days of Antarctic exploration. It was here that Ernest Shackleton and his men were stranded for four months, and a monument to their bravery now stands on the island, often surrounded by Gentoo penguins.
Antarctica: Brown Bluff
Antarctica: Paulet Island
Antarctica: Barrientos Island
Antarctica: Deception Island
Part of the South Shetland archipelago, Deception Island is a flooded volcanic caldera that forms one of the largest natural harbours in the world. The island was once a whaling station, and it’s also an active volcano - the British Antarctic Survey base here was abandoned in 1969 following an eruption.
Antarctica: Cuverville Island
The rocky slopes of Cuverville Island provide a home for some 6,500 pairs of gentoo penguins, the largest colony on the Antarctic Peninsula. Other bird species nesting on the island include skuas, southern giant petrels and Antarctic shags.
Antarctica: Neko Harbour
Neko Harbour, situated on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, is a spectacular bay surrounded by glaciers that regularly calve into the icy waters. Gentoo penguins and Weddell seals are a common sight here, and the only sign of human activity is a small unmanned refuge hut belonging to Argentina.
Antarctica: Almirante Brown
Antarctica: Port Lockroy
Port Lockroy was the site of the first permanent British base in the Antarctic, established in 1944 as part of a wartime mission known as Operation Tabarin. Today the former ‘Base A’ houses a museum and souvenir shop, as well as the world’s most southerly post office, which means you can send a postcard home from Antarctica!
Antarctica: Pléneau Island
Located at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel, Pléneau Island is the site of some spectacular iceberg scenery, and is also home to species including Gentoo penguins, Antarctic terns, south polar skuas and southern elephant seals.
Antarctica: Petermann Island
Petermann Island lies at the southern end of the Lemaire Channel, and is home to the world’s southernmost colony of gentoo penguins. Adélie penguins and blue-eyed shags also nest on the island, and there are signs of past human activity too, including a memorial to three British Antarctic Survey workers who died here in 1982.
Arriving in Ushuaia
You can finish off your cold weather shopping here, they have all the best stuff.
Your home from home
This purpose-built ice class expedition vessel is perfectly kitted out for polar exploration, with zodiacs and expert lecturers on board, and accommodates 318 guests in comfortable cabins.
What we love
Fram emerges in 2020 from an extensive refurbishment, with upgraded cabins, suites and public areas. Designed for polar cruising, she regularly visits the Arctic and Antarctic, with an ice-strengthened hull and a wealth of technological gizmos on board. Cabins are simple but comfortable, and the observation lounge and restaurant are designed to provide wonderful views of the ever-changing landscape outside. If you're feeling brave there are even outdoor Jacuzzis to keep you warm as the icebergs float past!
|Capacity||318 Guests (200 in Antarctica)|
|Style||A Hurtigruten voyage is all about the destination, with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere on board.|
Tailor-make your trip
Where to stay in Ushuaia
Los Cauquenes Resort and Spa is your best option, if you have time to stay.
Tours from Ushuaia
What you choose to do on tour will need to supplement whatever cruise you are taking. So if you are heading to Antarctica, whilst here you will want to go to the Tierra del Fuego National Park.