- Polar Pioneer
- Research Ship
- 54 Capacity
- 19 Days
- Price from
Summary : This spectacular journey combines the rugged beauty of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkney Islands and the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. South Georgia’s remote, untamed landscape is simply stunning. Scattered across the mighty Southern Ocean, the tiny arc of windswept islands and harbours are some of the world’s greatest wildlife sanctuaries. Famed for its abandoned whaling stations and Shackleton’s heroic journey, South Georgia is home to literally millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals, and nesting albatross. In Stromness, Leith and Grytviken Harbours, the well-preserved remains of vast whaling factories sit quietly at the base of 3000-meter high mountains. The nearby bays are home to king, macaroni and rock hopper penguins.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking
$11,440 to $17,735
Expeditioners have the option of arriving in the Falkland Islands today and being transferred directly to the ship or arriving into the Falkland Islands earlier and exploring this British outpost, making your own way to the pier.
Your days in the Falkands will be spent exploring the seldom visited outer most islands. If the weather is on your side, you’ll travel down the Falkland Sound, where the spectacular cliffs of the island are home to an abundance of breeding birds. Making the most of your Zodiacs, you’ll explore the rich natural history of this remote archipelago by sea and land. You may visit sites such as Saunders Islands, the breeding grounds of four penguin species (gentoo, king, rock hopper and magellanic), the white sands of Volunteer Point, one of the best spots to observe penguins entering and leaving the ocean, or West Point Island, home to black-browed albatross and rock hopper penguins. As you depart the Falkland Islands, your lecture series commences.
During your sea passage, learn about the wildlife, geology, history and geography of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula. Stand at the stern deck to observe the many seabirds, including majestic albatrosses and giant petrels, that follow in your wake. Join the whale watchers on the bridge, or simply relax with a book.
South Georgia, a tiny island in the South Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Visit the sandy black beaches of St. Andrews Bay, where hundreds of elephant seals haul themselves ashore. Behind the beach are the amazing sights and sounds of tens of thousands of king penguins in various stages of their breeding cycle. The glacial river is alive with penguin chicks and seal pups testing their aquatic skills. Look up to see the snow-capped peaks of the spectacular mountains that trace the spine of this long narrow island. Clamber through the tussock grass at Godthul to a plateau that offers a magnificent view of the island and surrounding waters. Your descent leads you to a magnificent Macaroni penguin rookery. As you explore the ruins of a now abandoned whaling station at Grytviken, step carefully over the sleeping elephant seals that inhabit the area.
Leaving South Georgia, you will head across the Scotia Sea in a south-westerly direction towards the South Orkneys, a stunning group of remote and isolated islands.
Set course for the Antarctic Peninsula. Attend educational lectures and prepare for the busy days ahead. Attempt a landing on historic Elephant Island at the outer limits of the South Shetlands where Shackelton’s men set up camp beneath two upturned boats. The western side of the Antarctic Peninsula is yours to explore and your experienced expedition leaders will expertly design your voyage from day to day, taking advantage of the wildlife opportunities, weather, and ice conditions.
Arriving in the waters of the Branfield and Gerlache Straits, you’ll make Zodiac excursions two to three times a day. Cruise along the spectacular ice cliffs, or follows the whales that are feeding near the surface. You may visit Half Moon Island, where a chinstrap rookery is tucked in between basaltic turrets, colored yellow and orange by lichens. At one end of the island is a large colony of nesting blue-eyed shags, at the other, a small station where scientists conduct penguin research. You may explore the other worldly landscape of Deception Island, a flooded crater virtually devoid of life, where steam rises from the shore, indicating the water is warm enough for a swim, for those who dare. The magnificent peaks and spectacular glaciers of Paradise Harbor are surrounded by rocky cliffs that provide the perfect nesting sites for blue-eyed shags, terns and gulls. Keep your eyes open for humpback, orcas and minkes as you explore by Zodiac. The possibilities for exploration are numerous and each visit to the Antarctic Peninsula is unique.
Head to Tierra Del Fuego with lectures and videos to complete your Antarctic education. Reflect on your Antarctic adventure with your fellow ship mates and the discuss the sights and sounds of the voyage. Approaching South America, you may sail close to the legendary Cape Horn.
Cruise up the Beagle Channel in the early morning and dock in Ushuaia. Say farewell to your crew and fellow passengers.
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.
Optional Flights: $660 per person (11/23/2013). Optional flight from Punta Arenas, Chile to the Falkland Islands. Please note, your flight from Punta Arenas to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands is not included in the cost of your voyage. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage, including coverage for emergency medical evacuation. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The policy provider, policy number and emergency contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Sea Kayaking Option:
$1,295 per person (11/23/2013). Traveling in these sturdy, easy-handling, reliable kayaks is an exciting, low impact way to explore the stunning bays and wildlife breeding grounds of Antarctica. If you wish to take this option, please advise us when you make your booking as numbers are limited. Please note, some sea kayaking experience is necessary.
Cabin accommodation on the ship; all meals onboard; all shore excursions; lectures and guide services; boots (for loan onboard); medical services of the resident medical officer onboard; port taxes and service charges.
Airfare; optional flights from Punta Arenas to the Falkland Islands: $660 per person (11/23/2013); accommodation or transfers before or after the cruise; fuel surcharge may apply; optional sea kayaking activities, items of a personal nature; travel insurance; and gratuity to the ship's crew is at your discretion.