Antarctica, Falklands and South Georgia

Antarctica Cruise

  • Ocean Diamond
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 189 Capacity
  • 20 Days
  • 2014 View Departure>
    • 2014
    • Nov 14 Fri Offer
  • Price from
  • $12,995

Summary : This voyage combines the comfortable adventure cruises of Classic Antarctica with visits to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) and spectacular South Georgia. Many of the wildlife (penguins, whales, seabirds and seals) and scenic highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are included as well as the best of these two wildlife-rich sub-Antarctic islands. These expeditions are designed to include as much wildlife viewing as possible, but also include visits to scientific bases and allow plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of icy waterways, glaciers, and icebergs.

Activities : Birding, Camping, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ushuaia, Argentina

Due to the size of the continent, Antarctica’s diversity is best appreciated on longer voyages, where greater distances can be covered. This extended expedition encompasses the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, the remote Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) as well as the extraordinary beauty of the Peninsula. Overnight at a hotel in Ushuaia.

Day 2
Ushuaia / Embark

Prior to the afternoon embarkation in Ushuaia, visitors can explore the southernmost city in the world. The former prison for hardened criminals and political dissidents has been converted to a museum. The shops and cafés will be open for last-minute purchases or for a moment of relaxation.

Day 3
At Sea

There are many activities to keep you engaged while you are at sea. You could learn to identify the seabirds that glide alongside the ship, or attend the illustrated presentations by the Expedition Team. They will prepare you for the shore landings and Zodiac cruising that are to come.

Day 4 – 5
Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

Renowned for its amazing wildlife, the archipelago highlights include Flightless Steamer Ducks, Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins and a colony of the rare Black-crowned Night Herons. Peale's and Commerson's dolphins are often seen along the coast. Nearby New Island boasts fantastic Rockhopper Penguin rookeries, along with Black-browed Albatrosses and Blue-eyed Shags. You may also explore Stanley, the charming capital of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Don't miss the chance to visit the small, but interesting museum.

Day 6 – 7
Southern Ocean

Continuing east, marine mammals and seabirds lure you to the decks as you cross the Antarctic Convergence, a biological barrier where cold polar waters sink beneath the warmer waters of the more temperate zones. Keep your eye out for whales and seals.

Day 8 – 11
South Georgia

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.

Day 12 – 13
At Sea

Two days at sea to relax, as well as to review your adventures in South Georgia. The first icebergs appear on the horizon as you head south to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Day 14 – 17
South Shetland Islands & Antarctic Peninsula

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 sailing through the narrow passage into its huge, flooded caldera if possible with be 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. 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 and 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, but it can be choked with icebergs and pack ice.

Day 18 – 19
Drake Passage

After more than two weeks of endless wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your unofficial rite of passage, which will complete your Antarctic adventure.

Enjoy some final moments mingling with your fellow travelers. The noisy, busy, populated world awaits your return, so savor the silence of the sea as long as you can.

Day 20
Ushuaia, Argentina

After breakfast aboard, you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.

Notes

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.

Camping Option:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking. No camping experience is necessary to participate in this program. Sleeping bags and all safety equipment are provided.

Sea Kayaking & Camping Package:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking.

Mountaineering Option:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking. The program is for adventurers with above average physical fitness and mental stamina who want to challenge one or more of the remote Antarctic peaks. Each climbing adventure can last up to 10 hours, based on local conditions. Axes, ropes, crampons, and all safety equipment are provided.

Cross-Country Skiing Option:
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking. The program requires a moderate level of physical fitness, but novice cross-country skiers are invited to participate. Skis, poles, and all safety equipment provided.

Snowshoeing Option:
Included in cruise rate. Anyone can take part, no previous experience necessary. Snowshoes available free of charge for excursions when conditions permit.

Photography Program:
Included in cruise rate. Available to everyone on board who wishes to participate. There is no need to register ahead of time for the course. The course includes the services of a resident photography instructor; a program of lectures on photography and digital image manipulation; and photography focused excursions at landing sites with hands-on instruction.

Included:
Group transfers in Ushuaia from the airport to local hotel for passengers arriving on Day 1 of the program or one day prior only; one night pre-expedition hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia as indicated in the itinerary. (The number of guests per room is the same as cabin occupancy on the ship. Due to limited availability, travelers who reserve a suite on board are accommodated in standard rooms at the hotel); group transfers from a designated location in Ushuaia to the 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; all breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage. (Please inform of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals); all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled; photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an official parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock; a flat-screen television and DVD player in every cabin; hair dryer and bathrobes; comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic Reader; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard ship; emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person; access to a large collection of polar books and DVD’s in many languages; yoga classes.

Not Included:
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; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for those mentioned as included, except for those mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, massage and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; supplements for adventure options; 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.