Summary : Experience the wonders of the Antarctic Peninsula and the amazing wildlife of South Georgia. Explore Buenos Aires, ‘Paris of the Americas’, enjoy lectures and information sessions from expert expedition staff, explore abandoned whaling stations and visit Shackleton’s grave, visit king penguin colonies of over a million birds, watch the mating rituals of mammoth elephant seals, explore the South Shetland Islands as they thaw for the summer, and encounter stunning glaciers and mighty icebergs.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking
AARP Discount: Members of AARP save $100 per person. Not combinable with other discounts.
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive at any time and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the city at your leisure. The capital city of Argentina, Buenos Aires is the ultimate cosmopolitan city. Travellers find that it has much in common with the cities of Europe, comprised of a number of distinct neighborhoods, some of which have become top tourist draws. For many, the highlight of their time in the capital is a visit to San Telmo for the weekend antiques market and street artist displays. After exploring, enjoy a drink in one of the many sidewalk cafes and restaurants. In the early evening, meet with your group to discuss the plans for your upcoming expedition.
The morning is free to do any last minute shopping or visit one of the colorful Buenos Aires neighborhoods. Leave the hotel in the early afternoon to embark on your ship. Spend the evening onboard the ship sailing southwards towards the Falkland Islands, as your Expedition Leader provides an expedition overview.
Make your passage south, and become acquainted with the ship and your onboard staff and crew. Spend time on deck spotting wildlife including albatross and always keeping an eye out for whales and dolphins. Begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.
The Falkland Islands provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity and extraordinary scenery of the southern islands. The Falklands are home to numerous animal species, including elephant seals and several varieties of penguins, as well as the largest Black Browed albatross colony in the world. Port Stanley provides an opportunity to meet the local inhabitants whose colorful houses provide contrast to the long dark winters.
Sailing east, set course for South Georgia Island. Days at sea provide time for learning about the region with educational lectures to prepare for landings, getting to know your shipmates and relaxing. Spend time on deck identifying the abundant sea birds of the south ocean, while keeping your eyes peeled for the many whales that inhabit these waters.
South Georgia is home to many marvels, including Shackleton’s Grave, several former whaling stations and prolific wildlife. Visit a huge colony of King Penguins, one of the many highlights of the journey. Weather permitting, you will have four full days to explore the island. The Island’s wildlife is extraordinary, not only in its variety, but also for its sheer abundance. South Georgia is home to roughly 300,000 elephant seals, 3 million fur seals, and 25 species of breeding birds, including wandering albatross.
Turn south, retracing Shackleton's route backwards as you head towards Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. The nutrient rich waters provide for a complex food chain topped by several species of whales, seals, and seabirds.
Experience some of the most unique wildlife viewing and inspiring scenery in the world as you set foot on the Antarctic continent. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather conditions permitting), and encounter gentoo, chinstrap and Adélie penguin rookeries, Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals, and orca, humpback and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. As well as magnificent natural history, the peninsula also has a remarkable human history. During the voyage, learn about the important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.
The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife activity. Penguins gather with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and beaches, and numerous seabirds trail in the ship’s wake. Enjoy the sheer beauty and the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. As you thread your way along the continent, keep a lookout from the Bridge or the deck of the ship, feeling the same sense of excitement as many of the early explorers. The coastal areas you visit have some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the continent. Antarctica is one of the largest and last true wilderness areas left on earth – largely unchanged since the first sealers, whalers, and early explorers first landed on its shores less than two centuries ago.
Turning north, embark upon the crossing of the Drake Passage. Your ship is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean. Cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water south. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters, where the mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. Wandering, Black-browed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Prion's and Cape Petrels are among some of the species of seabirds that may join in your journey back towards the South American continent.
Have a final breakfast on the expedition ship before saying goodbyes. Disembark in Ushuaia in the morning. You are free to fly out of Ushuaia anytime from noon onwards.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on the Expedition, all passengers must purchase medical and emergency evacuation insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $200,000 USD and this insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Kayaking Supplement: $659 per person
Limited to just 10 people per cruise, you'll venture out to sheltered bays and areas known for calmer waters and take part in group kayaking trips led by experienced and skilled leaders. Space is limited, however, so be certain to book in advance. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
All meals onboard the ship (excluding drinks other than coffee, tea and water); shore excursions and Zodiac cruises; services of Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; accommodation aboard the Expedition; one-night accommodation with breakfast in Buenos Aires; complimentary waterproof boots onboard; hotel to ship transfer; Ushuaia airport transfer depending on your departure flight details; and an Antarctica destination guidebook.
Airfare; travel insurance (required); passport and visa fees; departure taxes; gratuities are at your discretion; items of a personal nature including laundry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except coffee, tea and water); optional excursions; kayaking ($659 per person).