Summary : If you desire to ‘do it all’ on your Antarctic adventure, then this is the voyage for you. Not only will you cross the Antarctic Circle and travel further south than traditional Antarctic cruises, you’ll also visit the wildlife playgrounds of the Falklands and South Georgia. Discover the wildlife paradise of South Georgia with four penguin species including hundreds of thousands of king penguins, followed by the Antarctic Peninsula with Adelie, gentoo and chinstrap penguins. This is the journey for anyone who appreciates a wide variety of landscapes, unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities and a healthy mix of historic landing sites.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$13,995 to $27,695
Nestled within the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Ushuaia offers a surprising number of shops, museums, cafes and restaurants.
Arrive in Ushuaia, a small town at the "end of the world" surrounded by rugged peaks and glaciers, and transfer independently to your conveniently located hotel.
As you embark, the anticipation and excitement grow for what lies ahead. As every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your Expedition Team as it is for you. They’re onboard to ensure your comfort and safety, as well as help make your wildlife dreams come true.
There are many activities to keep you engaged while you're at sea. Take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, spend time at the bar chatting to other travelers or out on deck, admiring the sea. Your Expedition Team will also conduct a series of presentations to familiarize you with how to prepare for Zodiac cruises and shore landings.
The Falkland archipelago contains two main islands - East and West, which you will explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings. These rugged islands have a frontier type feel to them, especially at Port Stanley - the largest settlement on the islands. It’s an interesting British outpost, where you may just as easily wander into a pub as you will a church or museum.
With your camera at hand, your wildlife sightings in the Falklands should include at least three species of penguins and two endemic bird species - Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists will educate you on the local flora and fauna so that you get the most out of a memorable time in the Falklands.
En-route to South Georgia you’ll cross the invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica – the Antarctic Convergence. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans, such as humpback whales.
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.
Antarctica awaits, along with its own penguin and seal species. While you’re at sea, you can enjoy some quiet time or take in presentations by the Expedition Team, which will cover everything from the history and geology of Antarctica to tips on identifying different species and what makes them each unique. With good weather conditions, a landing at the South Orkney Islands may mark your official landing on Antarctica.
The most common reaction to arriving at the white continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes: at one moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete silence and loneliness, the next you’ll be laughing at the comical antics of a curious penguin.
Glacier hikes, visits to research bases and, of course, communing with the seals and penguins are sure to keep you smiling each and every day. Perhaps you’ll catch sight of the fearless penguin-eater, the leopard seal, or come eye-to-eye with a curious minke whale while out on a Zodiac ride. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy.
If you find yourself wanting more, then perhaps you’ll treat yourself by booking our sea-kayaking adventure option (reserve in advance when booking your trip) or, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of Antarctica, perhaps a little shock therapy courtesy of a Polar plunge might be what you need!
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Peninsula do not come close to reaching this far south.
With a toast to the first explorers who ventured here, you can raise a glass of champagne and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world still visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home to the midnight sun, with potential for some fantastic iceberg sightings.
If you haven’t had your fill of Antarctic wildlife and icebergs by now, you’ll surely be satisfied by the time you return to the Drake Passage. You'll continue to journey onto land and out by Zodiac twice daily. Your Expedition Team will also be on the lookout for any species of penguins, seals and whales that may have eluded you on the journey south.
After too numerous of memorable wildlife encounters to count, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake Passage is your rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.
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 prior experience. It is recommended that you take kayaking lessons for a minimum of three hours in preparation for your expedition. To maximize your enjoyment and overall experience, it is of utmost importance that you be comfortable while kayaking. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
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. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Shipboard accommodation and meals on board the ship; daily housekeeping; shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced expedition leader; Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by expedition team and special guests as scheduled; a photographic journal documenting the expedition; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; official expedition parka to keep; complimentary coffee, tea, and cocoa available 24/7; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an informative Antarctic reader; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; luggage handling aboard the ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person*; group transfer in Ushuaia from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel on Day 1; one night's pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Ushuaia, with breakfast; group transfer from the hotel to the ship on embarkation day; group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the local airport.
International airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes, Argentina's Reciprocity Fee; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; optional kayaking; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; excess-baggage fees on international flights, cancellation and medical travel insurance; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; gratuity for shipboard staff and crew; additional overnight accommodation; 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.