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 a visit to scientific research station and allow plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of icy waterways, glaciers, and icebergs. Passengers electing to participate can take part in yoga and stretching classes, enjoy healthy meals, a fresh juice bar, indulge in a massage therapy session or take advantage of the sauna or gym in addition to experiencing great daily expedition activities.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
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$11,995 to $26,995
Upon your arrival in this splendid city, known for its rich architecture and European heritage, you will independently transfer to the group hotel.
After breakfast, your cohort will transfer to the airport and board a charter flight to Ushuaia, Argentina. Upon arrival, enjoy a little time to explore this quaint port town before heading to the pier.
Embarkation will occur in the late afternoon, after which your vessel will sail down the historic Beagle Channel. This famous channel transects the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the extreme south of South America. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart—the next time you see land you’ll be in the world’s most southern continent!
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 visual presentations by the Expedition Team. They will prepare you for the shore landings and Zodiac cruising that are to come.
Upon arrival in this archipelago your cameras will get their first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and the rugged feel of the Falklands (Malvinas). The archipelago contains two main islands—East and West to explore by Zodiac excursions and daily landings. Port Stanley is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel, complete with a bit of an eclectic charm. You’ll be free to explore the town, grab a pint at the local pub, or visit numerous churches and museums.
In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! You can expect to see blackbrowed albatross and two endemic bird species; Cobb’s wren and the Falkland’s flightless steamer duck.
Sailing south, you’ll officially enter Antarctic waters by crossing the invisible biological boundary called the Antarctic Convergence. Encircling the continent, cold Antarctic waters meet and mix with the warmer waters of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, creating an abundance of krill and marine life that attracts whales and seals to this part of the world. Expedition staff will be sure to keep you posted when you cross this invisible, yet important line.
This remote outpost was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and elephant and fur seals. Today, South Georgia Island wildlife populations have rebounded, but you’ll still see remnants of those old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts. One significant and historic site that will be of interest 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 an old whaling station, a museum, gift shop, church and a small research station.
While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, it is the wildlife that you and your shipmates will likely find most captivating. South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on South Georgia will leave you in awe. One day you may see rookeries with a 100,000 pairs of king penguins waddling on the beach; the next you may visit a beach with thousands of fur or elephant seals. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different bird and animal species. Your Expedition Team will be happy to share their knowledge of how these vulnerable relationships all play out on the island.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations, lectures and workshops from your Expedition Team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will be greeting you upon your arrival in Antarctica. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
If conditions allow, an attempt may be made to land on the South Orkney Islands, your first official stop in 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, as few places are as untouched, unique and enduring as Antarctica. You will discover that 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 brilliant blue sea or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are trekking up a glacier, visiting a research station or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Curious whales, such as minkes, are often attracted to our Zodiacs, giving you a chance to get within reaching distance of these majestic animals. Each day and every landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera shutter busy.
Crossing the Drake Passage is your unofficial rite of passage, which will complete your Antarctic adventure.
Enjoy some final moments mingling with your fellow travelers. Savor the sea as long as you can.
Arrive in Ushuaia in the morning after breakfast. After disembarkation, sample a bit of Patagonia by touring Tierra del Fuego National Park before transferring to the airport for your charter flight back to Buenos Aires.
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.
Camping Option: (11/15/2016)
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.
Cross-Country Skiing Option: (11/23/2017)
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking. With journeys taking a few hours, it is imperative to be in good physical shape. Ideally, you’ll have cross-country skiing experience to partake in this activity, however exceptions may be made for those deemed physically capable. Skis, poles, and all safety equipment provided.
Mountaineering Option: (11/23/2017)
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. Space is limited; request at time of booking. The program is for adventurers with above average physical fitness and mental stamina. Each mountaineering adventure can last up to 5 hours. Axes, ropes, crampons, and all safety equipment are provided. Requires a fitness waiver to be completed in order to participate.
Sea Kayaking Option: Available all departures
Not included in cruise rate. Must be pre-booked prior to the departure. Taken in small groups of 16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. Minimum age 16 years. It is recommended you have some prior kayaking experience,
including the capability to do a wet exit. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding: 11/23/2017, 1/6/2018
Not included in cruise rate. Must be pre-booked prior to the departure. Taken in small groups in good weather conditions on a calm bay or harbor, with Zodiac accompaniment. Prior experience is necessary. One session per person.
Included in the price. Whether you own a serious SLR or a simple point-and-shoot, the on-board photography expert will provide you with hands-on instruction and technical tips to ensure that you capture the best of your Antarctica experience.
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; 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 to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; mandatory Transfer Package; arrival transfer in Buenos Aires from airport to hotel on Day 1; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes, Argentina's Reciprocity Fee; meals ashore; kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, massage and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; gratuity for shipboard staff and crew; 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.