Summary : Enjoy all of the best Antarctic highlights in one voyage, with spectacular landing sites on the Antarctic Peninsula, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia. This voyage includes four days on South Georgia – one of the most beautiful places on Earth. South Georgia adds another dimension to your Antarctic adventure. This historic island offers superb photographic opportunities, vast king penguin colonies, fur and elephant seals, and the chance to follow in the wake of one of the great heroes of Antarctic exploration: Sir Ernest Shackleton, who is buried in Grytviken at the foot of South Georgia’s mountain range. On the Falkland Islands, spend time leisurely hiking to penguin rookeries and other unspoiled wildlife habitats, or perhaps stroll the village streets of Port Stanley.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking
$13,200 to $20,800
Embark in the afternoon in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world located at the Beagle Channel and sail through this scenic waterway for the rest of the evening.
At sea, in the westerlies the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels.
In the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), plan to spend the whole day on the fascinating western side of the archipelago. A hike along the Shore of Carcass Island will give you views of Magellanic and Gentoo-Penguins, as well as close encounters with water fowl and Night herons and passerines. On Saunders you will be able to observe four species of breeding penguins (Gentoo, King, Magellanic and Rockhopper), Black-browed Albatrosses and King Cormorants.
In Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, you can experience Falkland culture, which has some South American characteristics as well as Victorian charm. In Stanley and the surrounding area we can see quite an important number of stranded clippers from a century ago. All passengers are free to wander around on their own. Consider a visit to the local church and museum (admission fees not included).
On your way to South Georgia you will cross the Antarctic Convergence. Entering Antarctic waters, the temperature may drop significantly in the time span of only a few hours. Near the Convergence we will see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship; several species of Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Petrels, Prions and Skuas.
In the early afternoon of Day 7 you will arrive at your first landing site in South Georgia. You might visit the Bay of Elsehul, with its very active fur seal breeding beach, and then set course to Right Whale Bay, Salisbury Plain, Godthul, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour, Cooper Bay and Drygalski Fjord to give you a good opportunity to see a wide spectrum of landscapes and wildlife, like the Elephant seals, Fur seals, King, and Macaroni Penguins.One of the highlights might be our visit to Prion Island, where you will witness the breeding efforts of the huge Wandering Albatross and enjoy watching their displays (the island is closed for visitors during breeding season from 20 Nov – 07 January). At Fortuna Bay you might try to follow in the footsteps of the great British Explorer Ernest Shackleton and hike over to Stromness Bay. There and at Grytviken you’ll see an abandoned whaling village, where King Penguins now walk in the streets and seals have taken over the buildings. At Grytviken you’ll also have the chance visit to the Whaling History Museum as well as to Shackleton´s grave nearby. You will depart from South Georgia in the afternoon of Day 10.
Enjoy time at sea followed by a multitude of seabirds. At some point the ship may encounter sea-ice, and it is at this ice-edge where you might have a chance to see some high-Antarctic species like the McCormick Skua and Snow Petrel.
Visit Orcadas Station, an Argentinean base located in the South Orkney Islands. The friendly base personnel will give you a tour of their facilities while you enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding glaciers.
Enroute to the Antarctic Peninsula.
If the ice permits you will sail into the Weddell Sea through the ice-clogged Antarctic Sound. Huge tabular icebergs will announce your arrival to the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The plan is to visit Paulet Island with a huge number of Adélie penguins and Brown Bluff where you may set foot on the Continent. In good sailing conditions you may decide to extend your time in the Weddell Sea. The volcanic islands of the South Shetlands are windswept and often shrouded in mist, but do offer subtle pleasures. There is a nice variety of flora (mosses, lichens and flowering grasses) and fauna, such as Gentoo Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins and Southern Giant Petrels. On Half Moon Island you will find Chinstrap Penguins and Weddell Seals often haul out on the beach near the Argentinean station Camara. In Deception Island your ship braves into the entrance of the crater through the spectacular Neptune’s Bellows. Deception itself is a sub-ducted crater which opens into the sea creating a natural harbour for the ship. Here you find hot springs, an abandoned whaling station, thousands of Cape Petrels and many Kelp Gulls, Brown and South Polar Skuas and Antarctic Terns. Wilson’s Storm Petrels and Black-bellied Storm Petrels nest in the ruins of the whaling station in Whalers Bay.
Heading north, you’ll again be followed by a great selection of seabirds while crossing the infamous Drake Passage.
Arrive in the morning in Ushuaia, disembark and transfer to the airport.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase insurance including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance. 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.
Polar Diving: 2/16/2019
Dive under shallow water, down along walls, from the beach, or from a Zodiac. You will reach a maximum of 60 feet. Unlike no other dive – the combination of water, sunlight, and ice formations creates an ever-shifting spectacle of colors. Space is limited; request at time of booking. Participants will dive in group of eight divers per guide, with a maximum of 24 divers per excursion. Compressors and weights are provided. Participants must bring their own dry suit with hood and additional equipment. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for a complete list. This activity is available for experienced divers. Participants are required to present their internationally accepted diver certificate, diver's logbook, and a statement from their doctor (not older than two years) that demonstrates they are in a good state of physical health allowing them to scuba dive. Experience with both cold water diving and dry suit diving (at least 30 dives) is required. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Enjoy walking excursions of 2-3 hours with knowledgable, experienced guides. Sturdy, knee-high boots are provided. Groups of 10-20 passengers per excursion.
Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; free use of rubber boots and snowshoes on loan; pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation in Ushuaia; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; comprehensive pre-departure material. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; travel insurance; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for the ship's crew; fuel surcharge may apply.