Summary : An immersive and diverse expedition, this voyage offers a comprehensive Antarctic and Southern Ocean experience in significantly less time without having to sail the Drake Passage. You’ll take a short three-hour flight to the white continent to see all the highlights, visit the wildlife paradise of South Georgia, as well as the distinct culture and charm of the remote Falkland Islands. Exploring extremes is the hallmark of this voyage, which offers unprecedented pristine landscapes and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
Your journey begins in Punta Arenas. This port city is situated at the southern tip of Chile, on the north bank of the Strait of Magellan. Once a Chilean penal colony, Punta Arenas has transformed into a vibrant city offering you plenty of attractions to explore on your own including historic sites and museums. Explore the city by day, and then join fellow travelers in the evening. Stay overnight at an included hotel.
Today you board your chartered flight to Antarctica. The journey over the Drake Passage will take you less than four hours, instead of two days for those who make the journey by sea. Your first glimpse of Antarctica comes into view shortly before the aircraft descends towards King George Island—if skies are clear, you can appreciate the vastness of this great continent! Enjoy some free time to photograph parts of the island and stretch your legs before joining the ship. Once aboard, you’ll have experienced your first trip in a Zodiac and begin your exploration of the Antarctic region.
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.
Enjoy your days at sea out on deck or take in presentations by the Expedition Team.
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.
Upon arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), you’ll be greeted by a feeling of rugged remoteness. Port Stanley is a unique outpost with a British country-charm to it. There are plenty of churches and museums to explore, as well as some friendly locals willing to chat over a drink at the pub.
Disembark in Stanley and board a charter flight to Punta Arenas, Chile. Overnight at included hotel.
After breakfast, make your own way to the airport for your 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 transfer from the airport to the pre-expedition hotel in Punta Arenas on day 1 of the itinerary; one night pre-expedition hotel with breakfast in Punta Arenas; group transfer from Punta Arenas hotel to airport; flight from Punta Arenas to King George Island; group transfer from ship to airport in Stanley; flight from Stanley to Santiago; group transfer from airport in Santiago to hotel; one night post-expedition hotel and breakfast in Santiago; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board ship; shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac cruising per the daily program; photographic Journal on DVD; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; 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 unless specified in itinerary; transfer from hotel to airport at end of expedition; 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; supplements for adventure options; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, beverage massage and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; fuel surcharge may apply.
Every effort will be made to ensure the program takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and on rare occasions not possible. For this reason, we strongly recommend that all expedition travelers purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance in case of weather. In the unlikely event that the charter flight is unable to fly on day 2 or day 3 due to weather delays, hotel accommodation in Punta Arenas will be provided. On day 4, should the charter flight not be able to take off by 1400hrs, the voyage will be officially cancelled.] Passengers will not be offered a refund by the shipping company in the event of trip cancellation, nor will they offer passengers compensation in the event of delay. The shipping company will make every effort to assist passengers with rebooking hotels or flights, but this will be at the cost of the passengers. Passengers on board the ship during a delay will remain on board with no additional cost until the time in which the charter flight is able to arrange transport. Passengers are advised to book changeable airlines tickets and have flexible travel arrangements upon disembarkation of the voyage in case delays arise. The shipping company and ExpeditionTrips will not be held responsible for any change/cancellations fees due to weather related delays or any other delays arising from force majeure.
*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.