Summary : This spectacular journey combines the rugged beauty of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. As the days grow longer, the mountains shed their snowy mantle, king penguins shuffle eggs on their feet, elephant seals pup and fur seals are rambunctious. The nearby bays are home to literally hundreds of thousands of king, macaroni and rock hopper penguins. Currents of krill sweep up from the Weddell Sea, providing food for one of the greatest wildlife concentrations on the planet. Immerse yourself in a wildlife expedition including whaling history, a visit to Shackleton’s grave and trace his route in reverse to Elephant Island. Finish off by exploring spectacular Antarctic Peninsula, photographing penguins, seals, whales and historic sites.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$14,300 to $24,800
Board your included flight from Punta Arenas or Santiago, Chile to Stanley in the Falkland Islands. Enjoy a guided tour of Stanley prior to embarking the ship for introductions and safety briefings.
Get to know fellow passengers and take time to explore the ship. Keep watch for seabirds from the deck as you cross the Scotia Sea on your way to South Georgia. Expedition team members present Zodiac and environmental briefings, and enlightening talks on the journey to come.
Spring brings an explosion of life to South Georgia with time to explore the island’s spectacular northern coast. We visit wildlife havens that include the world’s largest king penguin rookeries, majestic albatross nests and beaches cluttered with basking elephant seals, feisty fur seals and penguins. Inspired by Shackleton’s epic, we hope to retrace the expedition’s final steps from Fortuna Bay to Stromness.
Following in Shackleton’s wake, cross the Scotia Sea. Watch for seabirds, your first icebergs and whales including blues, fin and sei. Enjoy time to reflect on South Georgia and prepare for Antarctica, the next leg of your adventure.
Conditions permitting, approach Cape Wild, a bleak, rocky spit along Elephant Island’s dramatic north coast. If conditions allow, cruise by Zodiac and possibly even step ashore to pay tribute to Shackleton’s 22 men who survived 4 months here.
Awaken to the thrill of Antarctica, with plans to visit busy penguin rookeries, historic sites and make a continental landing amidst amazing ice sculptures in changing shades of blue.
Keep watch for wildlife as you cross the Drake Passage, entertained and informed by your expert naturalist and historian. Reflect on your time in Antarctica and swap stories with fellow passengers as the ship heads towards Puerto Williams.
Bid farewell to the ship and crew. Enjoy an included tour of Puerto Williams before transferring to the airport for your included flight to Punta Arenas.
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 emergency medical evacuation travel insurance coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The policy provider, policy number and emergency contact phone number must be provided prior to departure date. 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.
Photography Departure: 11/19/2016 only
Joined by professional polar photographers, capture the region's magical and untouched beauty through your lens. Featuring a comprehensive program of workshops and lectures, this exclusive Photographer's First Light voyage is your chance to take your photography skills to the next level, whether you're an advanced or novice photographer.
Sea Kayaking Option: All departures
If you wish to take this option, please advise us when you make your booking as numbers are limited. Please note, some sea kayaking experience is necessary.
Flight from Punta Arenas or Santiago to Stanley (no reduced fare for starting in Punta Arenas); transfer from Stanley airport to ship, including tour of Stanley; transfer from ship to Puerto Williams airport, including Puerto Williams tour; flight from Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas; cabin accommodation on the ship; meals, snacks, tea and coffee onboard; lectures and guide services; gumboots (for loan onboard); polar expedition jacket (to keep); daily cabin service; access to onboard medical doctor and basic medical services; voyage journal (one per booking); port taxes and charges; entry fees to historic landings sites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare except flight from Punta Arenas or Santiago to Stanley and flight from Puerto Williams to Punta Arenas; accommodation, meals and transfers before or after the cruise not mentioned in the itinerary; visa, passport, and vaccination charges; airport arrival or departure taxes; fuel surcharge may apply; optional sea kayaking; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; items of a personal nature including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and phone charges; internet charges; travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.