year built
crew members
278.3 feet
51 feet
18.08 feet
cruising speed
12 knots
Union of Comoros
ice class
INSB Ice class C

The 90-guest Ushuaia is one of the smallest ships operating in Antarctica. Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the ice-strengthened polar vessel is very well appointed with ample deck space and an open bridge policy that invites guests to observe the navigational operations of the ship. A full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible Antarctic coastline to help maximize her passengers’ time on land.

Ushuaia Review

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Ushuaia review includes a detailed description of the small ship including deck plans and a photo gallery. Our Antarctica experts have been aboard nearly every first-class vessel in Antarctica. Please read our Ushuaia review below then contact our experts to compare the Ushuaia with other Antarctica ships, ice-class expedition ships offering Antarctica cruises.

Choose the Ushuaia ship for her small size, cabin sharing options, excellent expedition staff, ample on-land time and no frills atmosphere. With a low passenger count all guests can disembark at the same time, allowing for longer landings and shore excursions. The Ushuaia is competitively priced and offers cabin sharing options without single supplements, giving single travelers a more economical option.

Sustainability Aboard Ushuaia

Ushuaia operates within the parameters of the Antarctic Treaty System, including the Antarctic Treaty and the Protocol on the Environment and Annexes and IAATO guidelines. In this context, the protection of Antarctic wildlife as well as the respect for scientific research and the wish to keep Antarctica pristine are of utmost importance on Ushuaia voyages. 

Part of the ship’s effort is dedicated to enhance the awareness and concern for the conservation of the Antarctic environment and its associated ecosystems by giving lectures and informal talks on board prior to arrival. Once ashore, passengers are accompanied by chosen scientists and guides, who love to share their knowledge. By offering her passengers the opportunity to experience the continent firsthand, Ushuaia creates a corps of ambassadors for the continued protection of Antarctica.

Common Areas Aboard Ushuaia

There are public outdoor viewing areas on multiple levels of the ship, most notable is the Panorama Deck, a large open deck providing the perfect place for wildlife and landscape viewing. The indoor public areas feature a large dining room accommodating all guests in a single seating. The open-plan observation lounge/lecture room shares views and utilizes modern multimedia equipment. Also found here is a gift shop, bar and a well-stocked library with books and games. A changing room and a small infirmary are aboard as well. Ushuaia is equipped with the INMARSAT system, which allows direct communication with the ship by telephone from any location in the world. There are also computers for guest use. Costs will be charged to guests’ cabins to be paid at the end of the voyage. Emails without attachments can be sent and received at a charge, while emails with attachments, digital photos, etc. can be sent, but charges may be significant. Smoking permitted on exterior decks only.

Dining Aboard Ushuaia

Onboard chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties, and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits. Breakfast includes a continental and American breakfast buffet, lunch is plated or buffet style and dinners are plated three-course meals. Coffee and tea are offered throughout the day. Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated (with the exception of Kosher meals), with prior notification. Casual expedition attire is the accepted apparel for the voyage and meals.

Crew & Guides Aboard Ushuaia

Ushuaia’s expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love for nature. A specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers are all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment. All of Ushuaia’s expedition staff speak English and Spanish fluently and lead daily briefings to summarize the experiences ashore. To ensure that the best qualified staff and field personnel are employed, Ushuaia continues to train and educate her guides and naturalists, requiring online field assessment and annual evaluations for all expedition leaders and assistants.

Activities Aboard Ushuaia

Each day, guides aim to make at least two landings with a duration of about three hours each, with longer walks available. With a full complement of inflatable landing craft, the Zodiac cruises are highlights of the trip, as these small vessels allow for a more intimate look at the landscape and wildlife. Each trip also plans to visit at least one of the scientific stations to get an inside look into the research taking place in Antarctica.

Each evening, the daily program for the next day will be presented by the expedition leader. Included in the program is information about the next day’s activities, events, landing times, meal times and lecturers and informative Antarctic themed movies are often shown en route to new locations. Rubber boots are provided on board free of charge, from size 35 (US 4) up to size 45 (US 11). Jackets and other gear are not provided.

Cabins & Deck Plan Aboard Ushuaia

Ushuaia has 46 comfortable cabins and suites, with ample storage space to accommodate 90 passengers. Both private and semi-private facilities, with hairdryers provided, are available depending upon cabin category. The Ushuaia is unique for her cabin sharing options without single supplements, giving single travelers a more economical option. The ship is fully climate controlled with individual temperature controls in each cabin. Cabins are fitted with multi-type sockets suitable for several international plugs; the electrical current on board is 110 V/60 Hz.