Summary : South Georgia adds another dimension to your luxury Antarctic expedition. This historic island offers superb photographic opportunities, vast king penguin colonies, fur and elephant seals, and the chance to follow in the wake of one of the great heroes of Antarctic exploration: Sir Ernest Shackleton, who is buried in Grytviken at the foot of South Georgia’s mountain range. On the Falkland Islands, spend time leisurely hiking to penguin rookeries and other unspoiled wildlife habitats, or perhaps stroll the village streets of Stanley.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Arrive in Argentina’s capital city, where immediate check-in has been arranged. With its wide boulevards and classical buildings, romantic Buenos Aires boasts an energy all its own. Relax before this afternoon’s tour of the city’s highlights, including the Plaza de Mayo, the stately Casa Rosada, the Cabildo and the Metropolitan Cathedral. You may drive past the colorful La Boca District or San Telmo, the birthplace of tango. Get to know your fellow guests this evening at a welcome cocktail party. Meals: B
Fly to the charming seaside town of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world (flight not included). On arrival, enjoy lunch at the Arakur resort and — time and weather permitting — the opportunity to take a guided trek in the Cerro Alarken Nature Reserve or simply relax with a cappuccino and enjoy the scenic views of Ushuaia and the Beagle Channel. This afternoon, arrive at your ship and settle in for your first night on board. Wander the decks to become acquainted with the ship, relax in the lounge and mingle with fellow guests in anticipation of your voyage. On departure, enjoy cruising through the beautiful Beagle Channel before heading out to sea. Meals: B L D
As you sail east toward the Falkland Islands, your expert lecturers begin their informal series of enlightening, daily discussions on the flora, fauna, geology and history of the region. In the past, lectures have covered diverse topics such as seabirds and penguins of the Southern Ocean, the formation of sea ice over thousands of years, and personal accounts of living and working in Antarctica. The cool waters in these parts are rich in krill, making them a favorite with local wildlife searching for food. Alongside your naturalist guides, spot various species of whales and seabirds from the ship's deck.
Arrive at the remote Falkland Islands. Disembark to visit Port Stanley, the tiny, quaint capital with its small shops, brightly painted houses and friendly locals. Choose from one of several sightseeing excursions of Stanley, including a city highlights tour, a nature trek or an excursion to visit a gentoo penguin colony. History buffs may prefer a tour that visits some of the Falkland battlefields as well as the memorials to those who lost their lives in the conflict between Britain and Argentina in 1982.
As you approach South Georgia, deck-side sightings of whales and other wildlife become more frequent. Time spent cruising is once again filled with informative lectures and casual talks with your guides. Scan the seas to spot marine mammals and seabirds, as the ship cruises the nutrient-rich waters past the islands of Shag Rocks.
South Georgia is a nearly submerged continuation of the Andes mountain range, and your days here are spent exploring its glacier-carved coves and rugged shores. Visit Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay or Gold Harbour, all home to vast colonies of king penguins as well as fur and Southern elephant seals. You also have the opportunity to retrace part of the route taken by Ernest Shackleton during his historic crossing of South Georgia in 1916. Weather permitting, you may visit his gravesite in Grytviken alongside your onboard historian, an expert on the great explorer’s life.
During your time cruising the Scotia Sea — rich with marine mammals and fish — your expert lecturers recap your adventures in South Georgia. They also share more enriching lectures, revealing more of what is to come on the Seventh Continent, from the terrain to the hardy wildlife that inhabits this dramatic environment.
The ship’s itinerary calls for landings on the Antarctic Peninsula and a number of South Shetland Islands, which may include Half Moon, Penguin and Deception. Other possible island visits may include Cuverville, Paulet and Goudier. There are also plans to sail through Paradise Bay and the Lemaire Channel, the latter often referred to as “Kodak Alley” for its breathtaking, picture-perfect beauty. Additional opportunities for exploration include a stop at a scientific research station.
Bid farewell to Antarctica as you cruise back to Ushuaia through the Drake Passage, where you find more opportunities to observe marine and birdlife. Reflect on your incredible journey with fellow guests and new friends.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return flight to Buenos Aires (flight not included).
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:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $50,000. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. 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 U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Family Holiday Departure: 12/12/2017
Features a Young Explorers Guide with special pricing available for children 7-18 (see rates section). Full curriculum based exploratory program. A fantastic learning experience for kids. Two designated educators join voyage on board and deliver exciting and engaging programs based on age. Features a Young Explorers Guide with special pricing available for children 7-18. See rates section. Young Explorers attend hands-on workshops including wildlife identification on deck, special bridge visits with the captain, and nautical knot-making. There's also time for art and entertainment—from making Japanese fish prints to photography lessons to snowball fights in Antarctica!
Photographic Expedition: 1/16/2018
Join onboard resident photo coach, Richard Harker, who will help take your photos to the next level. Richard is a professional photographer whose work has appeared in countless publications. Designed for all levels of skill and equipment preferences, enjoy a comprehensive and structured photography program led by Richard and joined by an additional wildlife photographer. Together these polar experts will teach you to shoot like a pro with workshops and hands-on tutorials, both onboard and in the field!
One-night pre-cruise hotel in Buenos Aires; accommodation and meals on the ship; arrival transfer to the starting hotel; transfer to the airport on the day of debarkation; complimentary standard bar drinks, beer, house wine, soft drinks, coffee drinks, juices and bottled water (excluding premium wines, spirits, liquors and Champagnes) while on board; hotel taxes; cabin categories 5-9 include butler service; on loan - boots, walking poles and pants; parka and backpack to keep; and onboard gratuities for the ship’s crew and Expedition Staff. Subject to change without notice.
International airfare; round-trip charter flight between Buenos Aires/Ushuaia; passport and visa expenses; laundry; meals not specified as included; premium wines, spirits, liquors and champagnes; communication charges and internet access; all items of a personal nature; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © A&K Image Library