Summary : An immersive and diverse expedition, this voyage offers a comprehensive Antarctic and Southern Ocean experience. 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, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Ushuaia offers you a small-town feel with many shops, museums, cafes and restaurants to enjoy before your voyage. Overnight at your hotel in Ushuaia.
Embark and meet your fellow travelers and get acquainted with the ship. As every Antarctic adventure presents new opportunities and experiences, embarkation day is just as exciting for your expedition team as it is for you. They’re onboard to ensure your comfort and safety, as well as to help make your wildlife dreams come true.
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 illustrated presentations by the expedition team. They will prepare you for the shore landings and Zodiac cruises that are to come.
Welcome to the Falklands! The archipelago contains two main islands – East Falkland and West Falkland – which you will explore during Zodiac excursions and daily landings. Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel, complete with eclectic charm. You'll be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub, or visit numerous churches and museums.
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 black-browed albatross, plus 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 attract whales and seals to this part of the world. Your 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 upon reaching 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. One moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete desolation and silence, the next 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.
After breakfast aboard, you will be transferred to the airport.
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.
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.
Included in cruise rate. Anyone can take part, no previous experience necessary. Snowshoes available free of charge for excursions when conditions permit.
Group transfer from the airport to the pre-voyage hotel in Ushuaia on Day 1; one night pre-voyage hotel with breakfast in Ushuaia; group transfer from hotel to ship in Ushuaia; group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day; group transfer on disembarkation day from ship to local airport in Ushuaia; 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 for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 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; meals ashore except those mentioned as included; kayaking; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, beverage 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 $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, 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.