Antarctica Polar Expedition 2026 - Bluewater Dive Travel

Antarctica Polar Expedition 2026

Scenery in Antarctica's polar landscape
Leopard Seal in Antarctica
Polar plunge Antarctica
Penguins in Antarctica
Scuba diver under iceberg in Antarctica
Scenery in Antarctica's polar landscape
Boat ready for scuba diving in Antarctica
Leopard seal in antartica seen while scuba diving
Divers getting ready to scuba dive in Antarctica
Leopard Seal in Antarctica
Scenery in Antarctica's polar landscape
Leopard Seal in Antarctica


Antarctica Polar Expedition 2026

Join Bluewater Travel for a unique and thrilling Antarctic expedition with exciting topside adventures, and the opportunity to experience polar diving, this trip will be enjoyed by divers and non-divers alike.

March 9 - 23, 2026

Trip Leader: Mark Hatter

Itinerary: Antarctica - Elephant Island - Weddell Sea - Polar Circle

$11,200 per person for a co-ed quad cabin with two portholes

$13,700 per person for a twin cabin with two portholes

$14,300 per person for a twin cabin with two windows

$15,600 per person for a twin deluxe with two windows

$16,650 per person for a superior cabin with two windows

Optional Add-on:

$1,075 for diving activity.

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Prices listed are per person


  • Explore the most untouched and unspoiled territory in the world
  • Includes a program of lectures led by renowned naturalists
  • Travel aboard the M/V Plancius, designed for exploring remote locations and navigating through ice


Trip Overview

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Antarctica's pristine landscapes and encounter a diverse array of wildlife, from humpback whales to penguins. Our expedition cruise offers exhilarating activities such as hiking, whale watching, and even polar plunging for the adventurous at heart. Immerse yourself in the stunning ice wildernesses, explore colossal glacier fronts and dazzling berg-filled bays, and marvel at the towering snow-swept mountains that surround the shoreline. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to explore one of the last remote areas of wilderness on earth!

This trip is perfect for divers and non-divers! 

Note to divers: Polar diving is not for beginners. Polar diving is meant for experienced divers who are familiar with cold-water, dry-suit diving. Divers must have logged at least 30 dry-suit dives in cold water to participate. More info on polar diving, including gear requirements can be found here:

Check out some of Antarctica's wildlife.

Check out this footage from our latest trip to Antartica - and read the full trip report here: Antartica Trip Recap March 2023.



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Marine Life to Photograph

Antarctica's marine life offers a unique and rewarding diving experience for those who are up to the challenge. Some of the species you might encounter include colorful Nudibranchs, crabs, and shrimp, swaying sea anemones capturing plankton, colorful sea stars clinging to rocks, large fish such as the 1.5m-long Antarctic cod, and Giant kelp growing in dense forests in shallow water. In addition you may encounter leopard seals, penguins, and even whales. On land, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of birds such as albatross and elder ducks, along with the popular emperor, gentoo, chinstrap, macaroni, and adelie penguins. The region is also home to bearded seals, elephant seals, fur seals, and other fascinating wildlife.

Read more about scuba diving in Antarctica here.

Facing a leopard seal, like any predator, is exciting. Leopard seals, however, are mostly curious about their underwater visitors, as shown in this video:


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  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation, in Ushuaia.
  • Pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.



  • Any airfare, government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard.

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This trip is a group trip, not a photography workshop. It will be led by an experienced Bluewater trip leader who will manage the trip logistics and ensure your needs are met throughout. While this trip is designed to optimize your photography opportunities, it is not led by one of our photo instructors and so meaningful photography advice from your trip leader should not be expected.

  • What to expect from our Group Trips

    • Meet like-minded travelers - Our Group Trips are perfect for solo travelers who enjoy meeting other divers or photographers and enjoy the support of a pre-arranged itinerary. Your trip leader will arrange group activities such as meals or game nights to ensure everyone feels part of the Bluewater family.
    • Problems solved - Your trip leader will be on hand to assist with any issues you may have. From delayed or canceled flights, to lost room keys and dietary requirements. We have dealt with it all before and will ensure that your trip runs smoothly. 

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  • Antarctica Polar Expedition 2026
  • Day 1: End of the world, start of a journey
  • Your voyage begins where the world drops off. Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, is located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego, nicknamed “The End of the World,” and sail the mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the remainder of the evening.
  • Day 2 – 3: Path of the polar explorers
  • Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you enjoy some of the same experiences encountered by the great polar explorers who first charted these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling seas, maybe even a fin whale spouting up sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer sub-Antarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone.
  • Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too. Wandering albatrosses, grey-headed albatrosses, black-browed albatrosses, light-mantled sooty albatrosses, cape pigeons, southern fulmars, Wilson’s storm petrels, blue petrels, and Antarctic petrels are a few of the birds you might see.
  • Day 4: From Point Wild to the Weddell Sea
  • We will arrive early to the famous Point Wild, Elephant Island, where Shackleton’s crew made their first landing after the loss of their ship, Endurance. This inhospitable spit of land is a favorite among our guests, and if conditions permit, we will offer activities around the point before setting off for the Weddell Sea.
  • Day 5: Weddell Sea Devil Island
  • Today you enter the wondrous Weddell Sea, a relatively unvisited area in which we hope to carry out activities in Erebus and Terror Gulf. We may also visit such places such as Beak Island and Devil Island, which boast some stunning scenery as well as the pack ice for which the Weddell Sea is famous.
  • Day 6: Exploring the most remote regions
  • As we continue to explore the area of Erebus and Terror Gulf, we look for new opportunities for activities. You may also visit Vega Island, experiencing the wilderness of Antarctica in its most remote places.
  • Day 7: Orléans Strait whale search
  • Now we sail down the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula, entering the Orleans Strait. Here we hope to see humpback and orca whales as we sail toward Mikklesen Harbor for our afternoon activities.
  • Day 8: Port monuments and island wildlife
  • Passing the Lemaire Channel, you next arrive in the area of Port Charcot, where there is a cairn that was erected by the French Antarctic Expedition of 1903 – 05. In the afternoon, we head to Petermann Island to see a great variety of birdlife. You might also enjoy Zodiac cruises among icebergs that are highly popular with leopard seals and crabeater seals. Minke whales, humpbacks, and gentoo penguins can also be found here.
  • Day 9 - 10: Detaille Island’s historic station
  • Today we reach Crystal Sound, viewing the area’s beautiful ice formations and wildlife before landing at Detaille Island. This remote island was once home to a British research station that is now an historic monument.
  • Day 11: Amazing Argentine islands
  • Next you arrive at the Yalour Islands, a small archipelago composed mostly of isolated rocks and one principal island that offers us a rewarding landing. Home to Adélie penguins and some of the most southerly gentoos in the world, Yalour also has small patches of bearded and crustose lichen, including xanthoria, buellia, caloplaca, and usnea. Extensive moss beds and some Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia antarctica) can be seen as well.
  • Day 12: Farewell to Antarctica
  • We have our farewell to Antarctica in the Melchior Islands for our final activities before heading towards the Drake Passage.
  • Day 13 – 14: Familiar seas, familiar friends
  • Your return voyage is far from lonely. While crossing the Drake, you’re again greeted by the vast array of seabirds remembered from the passage south. But they seem a little more familiar to you now, and you to them.
  • Day 15: There and back again
  • Every adventure, no matter how great, must eventually come to an end. It’s now time to disembark in Ushuaia, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next journey leads.



Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual

Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual 

Polar Expedition Manual Polar Expedition Manual


About the m/v plancius

This Oceanwide Expeditions ice-strengthened vessel offers safety and comfort for adventure seekers traveling into Antarctica. With the highest ice-class notation, it is ideal for exploring remote locations and navigating through ice, while maintaining high standards of guest service and amenities.

MV Plancius MV Plancius

M/V Plancius accommodates 108 passengers in 52 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 11 twin porthole cabins, 25 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins (ca. 12,5 square meters), and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

MV Plancius MV Plancius

Quadruple Porthole & Twin Window Cabins

MV Plancius MV Plancius

Twin Deluxe & Superior Cabins 

Read more about the M/V Plancius here.

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Mark Hatter is an accomplished photojournalist who has had nearly one hundred feature articles with many hundreds of images published in more than two dozen fly fishing and diving publications over the last two decades.  His most recent destination features have appeared in Alert Diver and Diver (UK) magazines. 

Mark has traveled the world in pursuit of new underwater photography challenges, including cold-water destinations such as British Columbia and even Antarctica in January 2018.  

“Of course, I love shooting in tropical locations but I think cold water diving is a great forcing function to hone one’s photography skills as the environment and equipment are much more demanding of a diver.  Good image capture in cold water is particularly rewarding.” Mark tells us. 

Mark has been shooting underwater since the early 1980s and has worked in both film and digital mediums in his photojournalism pursuits.  In 35 years of diving, Mark has logged over 2000 hours, much of it doing underwater photography.  Currently, he teaches underwater photography classes locally at Seminole Scuba in Lake Mary, Florida. More about Mark here.

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Flight Information

This trip departs from Ushuaia, Argentina (USH). Guests coming from the USA will typically fly via Buenos Aires (flight time approximately 9 - 13 hours), where there are several options for connecting flights to Ushuaia (flight time approximately 3 hours). We strongly advise planning to arrive at least 1 day prior to embarkation. Guests should be in Ushuaia on 9 March ready to drop their luggage for transfer to the boat between 8 and 11.30am. Embarkation is between 4 and 5pm. 

At the end of the trip (23 March) a bus transfer will take guests from the pier to the airport. The bus leaves between 8.30 and 9am and guests should book a return flight after 12pm.

NOTE: We recommend arriving into Ushuaia 2-3 days early and we will arrange 1-2 days of diving in the Beagle Channel to check that all your gear is in good working order before we depart for Antarctica. The expedition vessel does not carry spare diving equipment.


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Payment Schedule  

Deposit: $1,000

Payment 2: $3,000 due March 10, 2025

Payment 3: $3,000 due September 10, 2025

Balance: due December 10, 2025

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Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 or email us

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Photo Gallery 

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Photos by Tim Yeo from Previous Trips 

Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023

Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023


Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023   

Antarctica trip 2023 Antarctica trip 2023

Antarctica Polar Expedition Antarctica trip 2023

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