Summary : Starting in the Chilean fjords, set sail south and spend five full days exploring the highlights of Antarctica, where you will greet the hatching penguins and arriving seals and whales. This 18-day wildlife expedition continues to the Falkland Islands, Cape Horn, and back to the wild fjords of Chile before ending in Punta Arenas. Depending on your departure date, you could celebrate Christmas Eve on Cape Horn and the New Year in Antarctica!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$7,728 to $24,811
Arrive in Santiago, explore the city at your leisure and spend the night at your included hotel.
Fly to Punta Arenas, and transfer to the ship to embark the vessel. Later, enjoy a welcome dinner and meet fellow travelers.
Start you journey with a visit to Isla Tucker, famous for its colony of Magellanic penguins, birds, dolphins, and sea lions. The captain and his crew show their navigation skills as you sail through the narrow Canal Gabriel. Gazing will be your favorite activity in the Chilean fjords. They are extremely deep, and surrounded by very high mountains. You might not see a single person on shore, just endless wilderness. Journey deeper into the fjord by small boat for a closer look at the region's amazing nature and wildlife.
When ranking all the mythical places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous, rocky island in order to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. If the weather is favorable, attempt to go ashore on Cape Horn. However, this area is known for high seas and challenging conditions.
Once across the Antarctic Convergence the air becomes crisper and colder. Close your eyes and take a deep, rejuvenating breath of sea air. From deck you will start to see Antarctic penguins and icebergs, and maybe even whales too!
Welcome to one of the most remote areas of the world. From deck, whale watching opportunities abound. Enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, and old whaling stations and their relics. Among the places you will experience are the South Shetlands and Cuverville Island, home to a large colony of Chinstrap penguins. Neko Harbor is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay and Paradise Harbor got its descriptive name from the whalers during the last century. Wilhelmina Bay has spectacular scenery and is often called ‘Whale-mina Bay’ because of the large numbers of humpback whales spotted here. Go ashore with the expedition team and get close to seals and thousands of penguins. Enjoy hiking, kayaking (additional fee applies), and visiting the most stunning landscapes. On board, there will be exciting lectures and ‘scientific experiments’ for the Young Explorers of Antarctica.
Having just been in Antarctica it might seem a bit surreal to arrive in Stanley, a quaint historic town that looks like a miniature England, with red phone booths, red buses, and English pubs. Stanley is the capital on the Falkland Islands. Roam the city streets or join one of the optional excursions to explore the wilderness and wildlife. Arrive at Carcass Island, a birders paradise with a rich variety of ducks, geese, penguins, albatross, caracaras, and wrens. It is also one of the few islands in this region with trees. Explore by small boat, go ashore for hiking, or join a group for birding opportunities.
As you complete the loop of the Magellan Strait, recap everything you have explored, seen, and discovered on this trip. Celebrate your new experiences, friendships, and knowledge gained on a fabulous great expedition together at the farewell dinner and party.
Reach Punta Arenas, on the edge of the Strait of Magellan. Say goodbye to your new friends and the crew. Your journey home continues with an included flight to Santiago.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Multilingual Departures: English/Norwegian/German (All Departures)
Basic Kayaking Certification Program: $995 per person
Learn how to effectively maneuver a kayak and perform simple, practical kayaking exercises and drills, as well as basic kayaking safety procedures. This course is up to 16 hours in duration over two non-consecutive days. Kayaking excursions on the water will be 2-4 hours in length. Graduates of the class will receive a basic kayaking certification from the Norwegian Paddle Association: Norsk Padleforbunds. The program is led by two professional kayaking guides, with a maximum of 8 participants. No previous paddling experience is necessary. The program is conducted in English. All equipment, including a dry suit, is provided for participants. Good physical fitness is essential. Children 13 years and older may participate on request. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Explorer Photography School program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Explorer Photography School: $995 per person
Participate in three photography workshops: Workshop #1: Basic Image Editing (2 hours, divided into two sessions or more); Workshop #2: Wildlife and Landscape Photography; Workshop #3: DSLR Video Instruction. The program is taught by two professional photographers, with a maximum of 10 participants. It is conducted in English and intended for advanced beginners to experienced photographers. Included: photography booklet, designated workstation with photo editing software, priority access to the photo and optics test center equipment, and a Zeiss Lens Cleaning kit. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Basic Kayak Certification program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for hiking during the voyage. The duration of the hike depends on the tour. Hiking is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. Please Note: Kayaking excursions are based on a lottery system and are not guaranteed. Those interested in a guaranteed, pre-bookable kayaking option are advised to consider the Basic Kayaking Certification Program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Photography Program: Included
Join onboard photography lectures about still photography, video photography, and wildlife photography. Lectures are included in the price of the voyage. Those interested in a more in-depth photography expedition are encouraged to consider to optional, pre-bookable Explorer Photography School program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Science Center: Included
'Hands-on' science program where guests can perform their own science experiments with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists. Featuring ten Leica DM500 biological microscopes and ten Leica EZ4 geological microscopes, groups of 2-3 guests per microscope will work with a trained biologist or geologist. Occasionally, scientists invite guests along to sample biomaterial for use in the science center. There is also a large screen connected to the scientist's microscope for viewing during every session.
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for snowshoeing during the voyage. Due to popular demand, snowshoers are chosen by lottery as there is a set limit to the number of guests allowed to go onshore at one time. Snowshoeing is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Young Explorers Program: Included
Designed for children traveling with adults to magnificent destinations where the focus is on education, fun, and participation. A dedicated staff member will lead age-appropriate lectures and field research with your Young Explorer on topics ranging from science, polar history, photography, and navigation. Activities and learning are designed for children between the ages of 7-13 (although all ages can join in!)
Round-trip charter flight between Punta Arenas and Santiago; one pre-cruise hotel night in Santiago at the Sheraton (or equivalent); transfer from the hotel to the airport in Santiago; transfer from the airport to the ship in Punta Arenas, including orientation tour; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; one landing (approx. 60-90 min.) per day; one small boat cruise (approx. 60-90 min.) per day; onboard science center; Young Explorers program for children; complimentary coffee and tea; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots); and a wind- and water-resistant jacket. Expedition Suites (Q, M, MG, MX) include a soft drink package; a wine package; an Arctic Pure amenity kit (bathroom); a fleece blanket/throw; a cabin kit (bathrobe and slippers); an Espresso maker; a kettle with premium tea/coffee; sweets and snacks with sparkling wine on embarkation day; a separate check-in with sparkling wine; a suite breakfast. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except as mentioned as included; transfers except as mentioned as included; passport and visa fees; travel insurance; luggage handling; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned as included; kayaking; optional excursions and gratuities; items of a personal nature such as laundry; walking sticks and binoculars can be rented for an additional charge; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Dominic Barrington; © Tori Hogan; © Dietmar Schiemer; © Manuel Marin; © Franz Gingele; © Marsel van Oosten; © Gunter Krause; © Pauli Araneva