Summary : If you desire to ‘do it all’ on your Antarctic adventure, then this is the voyage for you. Not only will you cross the Antarctic Circle and travel further south than traditional Antarctic cruises, you’ll also visit the wildlife playgrounds of the Falklands and South Georgia. Discover the wildlife paradise of South Georgia with four penguin species including hundreds of thousands of king penguins, followed by the Antarctic Peninsula with Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins. This is the journey for anyone who appreciates a wide variety of landscapes, unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities and a healthy mix of historic landing sites.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia offers a surprising number of shops, museums, cafes and restaurants.
Arrive in Ushuaia, a small town at the "end of the world" surrounded by rugged peaks and glaciers, and transfer to your hotel.
As you embark, the anticipation and excitement grow for what lies ahead. As every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. They’re onboard to ensure your comfort and safety, as well as help make your wildlife dreams come true.
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you're at sea. Take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, spend time at the bar chatting to other travelers or out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize you with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.
The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands - East and West, which you will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier type feel to them, especially at Port Stanley - the largest settlement on the islands. It’s an interesting British outpost, where you may just as easily wander into a pub as you will a church or museum.
With your camera at hand, your wildlife sightings in the Falklands should include at least three species of penguins and two endemic bird species - Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists will educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most out of a memorable time in the Falklands.
En-route to South Georgia you’ll cross the invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica – the Antarctic Convergence. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales.
Sharing many of the biological characteristics of Antarctica, South Georgia has awe-inspiring scenery with towering, 7,000-foot mountains and mighty glaciers, but also low-lying, grassy areas, deep fjords and beaches. First sighted by Captain James Cook in 1775, the island attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife and is viewed by many as one of the most inspiring places on earth.
Thousands of King Penguins greet you at Salisbury Plain. Wandering Albatrosses nest at Prion Island, where luxurious tussock grass provides a habitat for a variety of seabirds - and camouflage for thousands of breeding fur seals. Huge elephant seals, King and Gentoo penguins crowd the beaches along the coast at places such as Gold Harbor, while Light-mantled and Sooty Albatrosses nest in the cliffs behind. The island also played a significant role in the story of Shackleton's epic journey after the sinking of his ship, the 'Endurance.' It was here, at the whaling station of Stromness, that he finally arrived after a harrowing voyage in a small boat from Elephant Island across the Scotia Sea and over the never-before-climbed mountain range of South Georgia. Visit his grave at Grytviken, a once-active whaling station.
Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy some quiet time or take in presentations by the Expedition Team, which will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes them each unique. With good weather conditions, a landing at the South Orkney Islands may mark your official landing on Antarctica.
Approaching the rugged South Shetland Islands, your first landfall could be Elephant Island where Shackleton's men found refuge during the epic 'Endurance' expedition. Places such as King George Island and Livingston Island support huge numbers of nesting penguins while seabirds nest in the cliffs and elephant seals wallow along the shores. Deception Island is still considered an active volcano and a possible sail through the narrow passage into its huge, flooded caldera is a thrilling experience. Sailing around the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, you navigate the Antarctic Sound, often referred to as ‘iceberg alley.’ Huge tabular icebergs drift north from the Antarctic continent.
Your plans may also include a landing at Port Lockroy where bleached whale bones commemorate its time as a favorite anchorage of the whalers. Or perhaps sail into Paradise Harbor on the Danco Coast where a series of huge glaciers flow into quiet waters. Zodiacs take you along rugged cliffs with nesting Cape Petrels, Blue-eyed Shags and Kelp Gulls. Keep watch for humpback whales and groups of crabeater seals on the ice. You may land at Almirante Brown, an Argentine research station located on the continent. Lemaire Channel is another narrow passage between towering rock faces and stunning glaciers. This channel is one of the highlights of a visit to the Antarctic Peninsula, however it can be choked with icebergs and pack ice.
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.
With a toast to the first explorers who ventured here, you can raise a glass of champagne and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home to the midnight sun, with potential for some fantastic iceberg sightings.
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to the Drake Passage. You'll continue to journey onto land and out by Zodiac twice daily. Your Expedition Team will also be on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.
After too numerous of memorable wildlife encounters to count, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.
After breakfast aboard, you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.
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:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. 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. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Sea Kayaking Option:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Group transfer from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on day 1 of the itinerary (or 1 day prior); one night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia; group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day; group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport only for passengers with departing flights before noon; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board ship; shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac cruising per the daily program; photographic Journal on DVD; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes, Argentina's Reciprocity Fee; any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation; supplements for adventure options; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, beverage massage and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.