Summary : Experience the trip of a lifetime and follow in the footsteps of brave explorers, the likes of Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton. A frosted wilderness of glistening white as far as the eye can see, dominated by natural ice sculptures like enormous works of avant-garde art, await you. Hear the cries of penguins multiplied by the thousands, watch leopard seals and sea lions perfectly at ease in the company of visitors, feel the unspeakable magnificence of a whale breaching from beneath cold ocean waters. Experience the wonders of the Antarctic while taking full advantage of the luxurious all-inclusive lifestyle and uncompromising service, including spacious suites and comfortable common areas.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Departing from Buenos Aires, fly to Ushuaia and transfer to the port. Embark the vessel and meet the Expedition Leaders.
The Expedition Team’s expert lecturers will present ornithological and historical insights into the Falkland Islands, your first destination. Hear about the early European explorers and the different attempts at settling the Falkland Islands/Malvinas. Get introduced to the birdlife expected to be seen by the on-board ornithologist.
Tonight, you are invited to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party hosted by the Captain, who will introduce his senior officers.
Today’s adventure introduces you to the remarkable beauty of the remote Falkland Islands. Watch for Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin as Silver Explorer approaches West Point Island. Upon arrival, photographic opportunities are everywhere as you walk across rolling moorland and admire colonies of Black-browed Albatrosses that nest side-by-side with feisty Rockhopper Penguins. Learn about the island’s unique vegetation. The hospitable island owners are always happy to answer your questions and share their stories.
Stanley is the capital of the remote Falkland Islands, and has a distinct British ambiance and feel. Stroll through the charming streets of this colorful little town, lined with quaint cottages and a variety of traditional pubs. Visit a 19th-century Anglican cathedral, wander through the small local museum, and see the lingering reminders of the 1986 Falklands War.
As you begin to venture further south, take full advantage of spectacular midnight sunsets on deck, or bring your camera and binoculars to capture the entirety of nature’s splendor. It is very possible to witness humpback and killer whales in their native habitats, and perhaps even catch a glimpse of the wandering albatross, easily recognized by its black wingtips and large wingspan.
This breathtaking destination of towering snow-covered mountains, mighty glaciers, and low-lying grasslands attracts an astounding concentration of wildlife: Southern fur seals, Southern elephant seals and a variety of albatross species including black-browed, light-mantled sooty, grey-headed and the spectacular wandering albatross, plus thousands of king and macaroni penguins. South Georgia is also linked to many early Antarctic explorers. Captain James Cook first stepped ashore in 1775, but perhaps more famous is the 1916 arrival of Ernest Shackleton to the island following the sinking of his infamous ship, the Endurance. Visit Shackleton’s grave and the whaling museum at Grytviken.
Participate in onboard activities, relax in one of the lounges, or peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library. Tonight, before turning in, take a stroll on deck and enjoy the solitude and splendor of the vast sea and sky.
Awesome glaciers flecked with pink algae surround you as your ship approaches Elephant Island – so named for its abundance of elephant seals. When Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, was enveloped by pack ice in the Weddell Sea during his infamous 1916 voyage, the crew was stranded here for 105 days. Elephant Island is home to several chinstrap penguin rookeries, as well as 2,000-year old moss colonies. Weddell seals, gentoo, and macaroni penguins can also be found on the spit of land Shackleton’s men named ‘Point Wild’.
Past the furthest reaches of Tierra del Fuego and beyond your wildest imagination lies the last great frontier – Antarctica’s vast white wilderness. Landscapes formed by the harshest wrath of mother nature, yet blessed by an isolated independence and tranquility await. A place where remarkable natural beauty and wildlife species exist and, in fact thrive despite the harsh climate.
Witness the dramatic splendor of spectacular iceberg sculptures, marvel at calving glaciers and experience up-close encounters with marine mammals. Watch for seals sunbathing on slow-moving ice floes and for humpback, minke, and orca whales breaching from below the frigid waters. Each day you will have the opportunity to partake in Zodiac departures, and, if conditions permit, will visit a variety of penguin rookeries and scientific research stations. Perhaps a Zodiac cruise among colorful icebergs or an excursion with your naturalist will be the highlight of your day’s agenda.
The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flowing northward and warmer equatorial water moving southward mix. When they meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Spend some time on deck watching the horizon and the variety of seabirds that float in the air currents of the ship’s wake such as the black-browed albatross, sooty shearwaters and white-chinned petrels. As you return to Ushuaia, take advantage of the opportunity to listen to additional presentations offered by onboard specialists and swap prized photos with new found friends.
Disembark the vessel and transfer to the airport for your return charter flight to Buenos Aires.
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.
Birding Expedition: 2/2/2016 only
Join the Expedition Team on this highly immersive Birding Expedition voyage for an experience like no other, and one that will stay with you long after you’ve returned home. Together with passionate ornithologists, you can enjoy onboard lectures to discover and study a large variety of faraway bird species.
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Onboard accommodation; onboard meals; butler service; complimentary beverages served throughout the ship (an assortment of complimentary wines, champagne and spirits); all onboard gratuities (except spa); expedition parka and backpack; port charges and handling fees; Silver, Medallion, Grand and Owner's Suite guests receive laundry service and dinner at Officer's table; 1 hour of internet access per guest/per day for passengers booked in Adventurer, Explorer, View, Vista, and Veranda Suites (starting Jan 1, 2016); unlimited internet access for passengers booked in Expedition, Medallion, Silver, Grand, and Owner’s Suites (starting Jan 1, 2016). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; travel insurance; government fees and taxes; visa and passport expenses; gifts and items of a personal nature such as laundry and spa options, fuel surcharge may apply.