Summary : Embark on a voyage featuring the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands and South Georgia, including classic sites of historic and scientific interest. As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands every summer, representing five of the world’s seventeen species – king, gentoo, rockhopper, Magellanic and macaroni. Observe abandoned whaling stations, and operational research stations. Encounter humpback, orca and minke whales; albatross and herons; as well as elephant, fur and weddell seals. Along the journey, your team of experienced guides and lecturers will bring to life the region's remarkable history. In Antarctica, the silence is so perfect that every breath taken is triumphant!
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$12,595 to $27,595
Arrive in Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Make your way to your hotel and enjoy a leisurely evening.
Arrive at the ship in the afternoon where you will be greeted by the expedition team and ship's officers at a safety and orientation briefing followed by the captain's welcome dinner. After dinner, relax and take in the mountainous scenery on an early evening sail down the Beagle Channel past penguins, cormorants, and sea lion colonies.
At sea, in the westerlies, the ship is followed by several species of albatrosses, storm petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels. Observe them from the bridge or decks and keep an eye out for whales.
The Falkland Islands are a small country of moors and rugged coastlines carved by the South Atlantic, where the wildlife and plant life form a link between Patagonia and Antarctica. On the island beaches, elephant seals are a spectacular sight, whether they are battling to establish territories at the start of the breeding season or simply relaxing by the sea. Sea lions and fur seals are also easily seen around the islands. As many as a million penguins nest in the Falklands every summer, representing five of the world’s seventeen species – king, gentoo, rockhopper, Magellanic and macaroni. What’s more, for the gentoo, the Falklands are home to the largest population on Earth.
Port Stanley, the capital of the Falklands. is the southernmost British outpost. With many reminders of its British heritage such as red phone boxes and English pubs, the town boasts more intriguing sights like a whalebone arch and remains of coastal shipwrecks.
At sea, on the way to South Georgia, you will cross the Antarctic Convergence. The temperature of Antarctic waters drops as much as 18°F within only a few hours. Near the Convergence, see a multitude of southern seabirds near the ship such as albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, prions and skuas.
Experience South Georgia’s magnificent mountain scenery, glaciers, rugged coastline punctuated with icebergs, rich historical tapestry, and its astounding array of wildlife. Around half the world's population of macaroni penguins, along with 100,000 pairs of Gentoo penguins and about 6,000 breeding pairs of Chinstrap penguins live here. Marvel at vast King penguin colonies, around 400,000 breeding pairs, with their vibrant orange-yellow crowns. Watch for several whale species – southern right whales, humpbacks, fin whales, sperm whales, killer whales orcas, and southern bottlenose whales. Discover four seal species – southern elephant seal, Antarctic fur seal, Weddell seal, and leopard seal. Spot grey headed albatrosses, northern giant petrels, white chinned petrels, and blue-eyed shags. Visit the historic settlement of Grytviken with its whaling era remnants.
Heading farther south through the Scotia Sea, watch as icebergs become more and more plentiful. Keep your eye to the sky as the ship will again be followed by a multitude of impressive seabirds.
The expedition leader and captain create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. The route will take in the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal haul-outs, bird colonies and whale feeding areas as well as historic and scientific sites. Adelie, chinstrap and gentoo penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater, elephant seals and the predatory leopard seal are often found. Minke and humpback whales are frequent visitors and orca sightings are also common.
Farther south, on the Antarctic Peninsula, the vast Gerlache Strait area contains sheltered bays, accessible wildlife, and stunning scenery. Places with names like Paradise Bay are the epitome of everything Antarctic: glaciated mountains, towering icebergs, feeding whales, seals on ice floes, and bustling penguin colonies.
At the southern end of Gerlache Strait is the famous Lemaire Channel, also known as “Kodak Gap” because of the photogenic way the mountainous sides of the narrow channel are reflected in calm waters strewn with icebergs.
Followed by a great selection of seabirds, cross the 400-mile long Drake Passage which bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake.
Arrive in Ushuaia in the morning and disembark. Transfer to the airport for your return journey home.
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.
Bilingual Departure: English/Chinese
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage including medical, evacuation, cancellation and trip interruption. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Kayaking: $850 per person
Space is limited. Sign up at the time of booking to secure your spot. You must book your spot before you join the vessel for your voyage. Weather permitting, sea kayakers will have the opportunity to paddle through tranquil waters filled with glittering icebergs and porpoising penguins while surrounded by magnificent glaciers and mountains. Participants must be at least 18 years old, in good health, have appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience.
Photography Program: Included in price
Learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional. An expert Photographer will be on hand to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of on-board lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting, with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.
Group transfers from airport to Ushuaia hotel on the day prior to departure; 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia (if a single traveler reserves a shared cabin aboard the ship, they will automatically receive shared hotel accommodations on the pre-cruise night at the hotel); group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation; group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia; shipboard accommodations; scheduled landings/excursions; meals on board ship; coffee/tea station 24 hours on ship; welcome and farewell cocktail on ship; a pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings; expedition parka (yours to keep); port fees; digital Voyage Log. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; visa and passport fees (if applicable); luggage, medical and trip cancellation insurance; excess baggage charges; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; kayaking; personal expenses such as laundry, and onboard communications (telephone calls, faxes, and e-mail service); gratuities to shipboard personnel; fuel surcharge may apply; emergency evacuation insurance; pre- or post-cruise travel.
Photos © Poseidon Expeditions