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, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
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.
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.
Legendary for its high winds and rolling seas, you may get lucky and have surprisingly calm seas. Spend your time in the lounge or chatting with your fellow travelers. As you develop your sea legs during the crossing, our Expedition Team will begin their series of presentations to help you for your upcoming Zodiac and land excursions. You officially enter Antarctica when the ship crosses the Antarctic Convergence, a biological boundary that fluctuates around 60° south.
Spellbound, shocked and awe-inspired are common reactions to arriving in Antarctica. The indescribable feeling of stepping foot on this untouched, unique environment is something you’ll remember forever. Antarctica is a land of extremes; at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, at the next moment you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into the sea or a penguin unwittingly provides comic relief as it waddles by.
Your camera will constantly be fixated on Adélie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Minke and humpback whales are also commonly sighted in the clear Antarctic waters.
When it comes time for an animal break, the Expedition Team will take you on guided hikes to glaciers, research stations and snowy mountains, to help you appreciate the landscape and what it takes to live in such an extreme environment.
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.
With a rich history of exploration in the Antarctic, South Georgia has many stories to tell. You’ll learn that the original inhabitants here arrived to hunt whales, fur and elephant seals to perilously low levels, but thankfully populations have rebounded and whaling and sealing ceases to exist her today. You will also see many remnants of the days gone by; including several whaling stations and other abandoned outposts.
Perhaps the most historic and famous site on the island is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to a museum, small gift shop, church and an active scientific research station.
After that history lesson, you’ll surely be ready for some wildlife encounters. South Georgia is sometimes called the Galapagos of the Poles as it is home to a captivating number of inquisitive and curious creatures. Indeed, the number of animals you’ll see here will rival that of all the other days of your voyage combined.
Each landing you make on South Georgia will open your eyes to a new wonder of wildlife; one day may be a beach filled with a hundred thousand pairs of king penguins, the next may present some close encounters with massive elephant seals or the smaller fur seals. Different penguin and bird species utilize the island landscape in their own unique way, making it a fascinating destination teeming with wildlife from the shoreline to the top of the highest grassy hills.
The next few days at sea can be as busy or as relaxing as you desire. Go on deck to spot whales and sea birds flying overhead, or attend lectures from our on-board specialists. Whatever you choose, remember to take a moment to reflect on the amazing creatures you’ve met so far.
You will spend these days in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), renowned for their amazing wildlife. 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 will also explore Stanley, the charming capital of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). Don't miss the chance to visit the small, but interesting museum.
It is always a bittersweet moment to turn the ship away from the penguins and icebergs and towards Buenos Aires. As the magical silence of Antarctica fades away, enjoy some final chats with your new friends on the ship and celebrate your successful journey to a land like no other.
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 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 (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 transfers from the ship to the local airport on disembarkation; 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; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; 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*. 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; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, 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.