Summary : Celebrating one of the greatest survival stories in Antarctic exploration, this voyage takes you into the Weddell Sea, where Ernest Shackleton planned to start a daring feat – the first crossing of Antarctica. Follow in his wake, from the comfort and safety of your ship, to Elephant Island and South Georgia, shining a light on his heroic voyage. The Weddell Sea offers huge glaciers that pour down between the mountains from the polar plateau, and plates of ice the size of city blocks cover the ocean’s surface. Attempt to visit fossil-rich islands, wildlife havens, remnants of historic explorers’ huts, and even land on the Antarctic continent itself. Visit South Georgia, home to millions of fur seals and penguins, wallows of elephant seals and nesting albatross. Experience all Antarctica has to offer on this epic adventure.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
Fly from Punta Arenas to Puerto Williams, enjoy a lovely tour of this scenic port town, before stepping aboard the ship to a warm welcome, as well as safety and introductory briefings, before setting off down the Beagle Channel.
While crossing the Drake Passage, keep watch for giant petrels, wandering and black-browed albatross and our first icebergs. Fur seals and penguins pepper the sea surface on the approach to your first landing in the South Shetland Islands.
An autumn dawn greets you in spectacular Antarctic Sound where you may stop at towering Brown Bluff before pushing on into the Weddell Sea. There’s a strong fossil focus this time of year, as the pack ice movement may allow a continental landing and the world-renowned fossil beds of Seymour, Vega and James Ross Islands, and Nordenskjold’s Hut on Snow Hill Island.
So exposed is Cape Wild on Elephant Island that landings are rare, but we’ll try. Pay tribute to the man whose leadership kept Shackleton’s men alive for four months while awaiting rescue. Watch for whales while sailing to South Georgia, with a possible detour to the remote South Orkney Islands.
Enter King Haakon Bay and attempt a ceremonial landing at Cave Cove, Shackleton’s first landfall before continuing up past Peggotty Bluff, where Shackleton, Worsley and Crean set off to cross the island.
Immerse yourself into one of the world’s greatest wildlife arenas. King penguin rookeries half-million strong, chinstrap, gentoo and macaroni penguin colonies, albatross on nests, beaches thick with elephant and fur seals. Walk the final leg of Shackleton’s epic, from Fortuna Bay to Stromness, before visiting “The Boss’s” grave and whaling museum in Grytviken.
Cross the Scotia Sea, watch for whales and enjoy entertaining talks by expedition team.
In Stanley, beautiful Falkland Islands’ capital, enjoy its excellent museum, post office, picturesque houses, welcoming shops and pubs. Sea Lion Island is home to extraordinarily diverse wildlife – from steamer ducks to magellenic and rockhopper penguins, ruddy-headed geese and cormorants to elephant seals and sea lions.
Magnificent seabirds accompany us as we pass Isla de los Estados and sail up the Beagle Channel to dock in Ushuaia at dawn.
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.
Special Guest Historian:
Travel with Alasdair McGregor, world authority on Frank Hurley, Shackleton’s photographer. Experience an onboard floating exhibition of Frank Hurley's Endurance photographs bringing Shackleton's perilous journey and subsequent rescue of all of his men to life.
Kayaking Option: $1,295 per person
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, Chile to Puerto Williams, Chile; transfer from Puerto Williams airport to ship, including tour of Puerto Williams; cabin accommodation on the ship; all meals onboard; all shore excursions; lectures and guide services; boots (for loan onboard); polar expedition jacket (to keep); hard cover photo book; medical service of the resident medical officer onboard; port taxes and service charges. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; accommodation or transfers before or after the cruise; visa, passport, and vaccination charges and airport departure taxes; fuel surcharge may apply; optional sea kayaking, items of a personal nature; internet charges; travel insurance; and gratuity to the ship's crew is at your discretion.