Not Your Typical Icebreaker
Since the Soviet Union’s demise, Ushuaia has become the main jumping-off point for Antarctic excursions on Russian icebreakers that, despite being chartered under U.S. officers, sometimes still show the hammer and sickle on their bows. For travelers with flexible schedules, it has been possible to make last-minute arrangements at huge discounts — no ship wants to sail with empty berths — but heavy demand has made it difficult to pay anything less than about US$4,000 for 9–14 days, including several days’ transit across the stormy Drake Passage (sea-sickness medication advised).
On the waterfront Muelle Comercial, Ushuaia’s Oficina Antártida Infuetur (tel. 02901/43-0015, antartida [at] tierradelfuego [dot] org [dot] ar) has the latest information on Antarctic cruises. At present, even last-minute arrangements go through Ushuaia travel agencies for the mid-November–mid-March season.
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Argentina, 3rd edition