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   M/V Ushuaia Cruise
An expedition to Antarctica on the M/V Ushuaia is an opportunity for unsurpassed wildlife watching in one of the most remote and pristine places in the world. The Ushuaia was originally built for oceanographic research and is still equipped for research and logistical cruises. Since its renovation in 2002, the Ushuaia can accommodate 70 passengers and 30 crew members safely and comfortably. This 255-foot Ice Class ship is steel-hulled and ice-strengthened, with five decks and 33 cabins, including both semi-private and private cabins and suites. Equipped with Zodiacs (rubber motorized boats), the Ushuaia can make landings for further exploring of the continent.

Travelers who wish to get as close as possible to Antarctica don't have to spend a fortune when they choose the M/V Ushuaia. A more economical choice than a luxury expedition ship, this former research vessel delivers all the standard amenities necessary for a comfortable excursion. There are even cabin-share programs in which single travelers can reduce their rates significantly by sharing with another single passenger of the same gender. Independent and adventurous travelers who hope to make ice climbing, helicopter sightseeing, or scuba diving a part of their itinerary will find the Ushuaia an excellent venue. Tourists interested in oceanographic research will be delighted by a tour of the equipment and research facilities onboard.

Most voyages last between 8 and 15 days. While each itinerary is similar, Antarctica's wildly dynamic landscape makes every trip unique. Floating icebergs, calving glaciers, and migrating wildlife transform the scenery from week to week. The austral summer runs from November to March, giving explorers the advantage of endless days filled with bright sunny skies.

Day 1:
Depart Ushuaia. Sail the famous Beagle Channel and scenic Mackinlay Pass.

Day 2 & 3:
Cross the Drake Passage across the Antarctic Convergence, the northern limit of many seabirds. Attend lectures by onboard naturalists on seabirds during the crossing. From here, first sightings of the snow-capped mountains and glaciers of the South Shetland Islands are possible. A shore landing by Zodiac is possible on Day 3.

Day 4 to 8:
Reach the South Shetland Island Islands, a vast wildlife mecca. You can expect to see huge penguin rookeries, Antarctica fur seals and Southern elephant seals here. Kelp gulls, blue-eyed cormorants, Antarctic terns, and Southern Giant petrels abound.

Visit Deception Island, the Pendulum Cove hot springs, King George Island, Livingston Island, and the Antarctica peninsula itself.

At the Antarctic Peninsula, you'll see Weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals lounging on the ice, and minke, humpback, and orca whales frolicking in the sea.

Depending on conditions, the itinerary may include a sailing through Gerlache Strait, through the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels, and landings at Paradise Bay or Paulet Island.

Day 9 & 10:
At sea, returning to Ushuaia across the Drake Passage. Wildlife experts will lead searches for seabirds and whales enroute and give final lectures on their natural history.

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