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Antarctica, Falkland Islands & Coastal Patagonia

Patagonia Cruise Information

Summary : With its incredibly rich fauna, the Southern Ocean is a drama on a grand scale. Explore Puerto Madryn and the Falkland Islands and go ashore for hikes, birdwatching safaris on the small islands and a visit Stanley, the capital of the Falklands. This unending, white wilderness of a continent is full of fantastic landscapes and incredible wildlife. There are more penguins, and penguin species, here than anywhere else on earth. Elephant and fur seals, minke whales, large flocks of sea birds—not forgetting the wandering albatross—give life to this surreal and beautiful landscape. On board the comfortable ship, listen to presentations by experts in Antarctica’s rich history, so that you can get even more out of what you will experience along the way. 

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography

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Itinerary
Day 1 – 2
Montevideo, Uruguay

Start your adventure with an included overnight stay in Montevideo. Visit the Ciudad Vieja with its 18th century buildings, the vibrant Mercado del Puerto, the bustling Avenida 18 de Julio with its numerous theaters, museums, and art galleries, and the stretch of white, sandy beaches surrounding the city.

After breakfast the following morning, embark the vessel as your voyage begins!

Day 3
At Sea

Spend a day at sea so you can get to know your fellow adventurers, have fun in the Explorer Room, or just enjoy the views from deck.

Day 4 – 5
Peninsula Valdes

Welcome to the Valdés Peninsula! A spectacular fauna reservation, Valdés has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated on Argentina's eastern Patagonian coast, this interestingly-shaped peninsula is home to some of the country's richest wildlife, with elephant seals, Magellanic penguins, the southern right whale, and a great variety of birds.

Day 6
At Sea

Spend a relaxing day at sea as you make your way to the at once wild and remote Falkland Islands.

Day 7 – 9
Falkland Islands

The Falklands Islands consist of two large islands and approximately 700 smaller islands, with an estimated 3,000 inhabitants. As you reach the westernmost settled outposts in the Falklands, you will see remote farms that have been family-owned for six or seven generations. The sheep graze alongside immense colonies of albatross and rockhopper penguins while predatory striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese forage at the water’s edge. Visit a local farming family and enjoy cakes and refreshments.

Day 10
At Sea

Tomorrow you'll be in Antarctica! Attend informative sessions that give you the best possible ‘canvas’ on which to paint your experiences. A curated polar film festival will continue in the lecture hall.

Day 11 – 14
Antarctic Peninsula

Today you will arrive in one of the most remote areas of the world! Visit research stations, places that were used in the old whaling days, landings with great surroundings, and celebrate theme days on board.

Among the places you may see are Cuverville Island, home to one of the largest known colonies of Gentoo penguins, and Neko Harbour, which is beautifully located in the inner part of Andvord Bay. Paradise Harbor got its descriptive name from whalers during the last century. Wilhelmina Bay has spectacular scenery. The Antarctic Sound offers an astounding assortment of floating ice. Brown Bluff is recognizable by the cliffs that dominate the landscape, soaring more than 2,400 feet high.

Come ashore and join the Expedition Team to see penguins and seals up close, and enjoy field days, kayak, or explore the water and ice in small boats. After exploring this incredible continent, set course for South America again.

Day 15
Drake Passage

The Drake Passage was notorious among the early polar explorers and is a unique voyage which only a few have had the opportunity to experience. You can spend this day at sea recapping your Antarctica experiences or simply relaxing on deck.

Day 16
Cape Horn and Chilean Fjords

Of all the mythical places on Earth, Cape Horn is high on the list. Before the Panama Canal, seafarers had to pass this infamous rocky island in order to cross from one side of the Americas to the other. Weather permitting, an attempt will be made to land on Cape Horn – however, this is an area known for high seas and challenging conditions.

Day 17
Chilean Fjords

Set course for Punta Arenas, as you sail through some of the wildest and most impressive landscapes on earth. The Chilean fjords are deep, with high mountains and glaciers that calve into the sea. Enjoy the amazing views from deck, or come ashore to explore the area like Darwin did more than 180 years ago.

Day 18
Punta Arenas / Santiago, Chile

Reach Punta Arenas, on the edge of the Strait of Magellan. Say goodbye to your new friends and the crew. Your journey home continues with an included flight to Santiago.

Notes

The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Travel Insurance:

Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, 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.

Multilingual Departures:
English/Norwegian/German (All Departures)

Basic Kayaking Certification Program:
$995 per person
Learn how to effectively maneuver a kayak and perform simple, practical kayaking exercises and drills, as well as basic kayaking safety procedures. This course is up to 16 hours in duration over two non-consecutive days. Kayaking excursions on the water will be 2-4 hours in length. Graduates of the class will receive a basic kayaking certification from the Norwegian Paddle Association: Norsk Padleforbunds. The program is led by two professional kayaking guides, with a maximum of 8 participants. No previous paddling experience is necessary. The program is conducted in English. All equipment, including a dry suit, is provided for participants. Good physical fitness is essential. Children 13 years and older may participate on request. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Explorer Photography School program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.

Explorer Photography School:
$995 per person
Participate in three photography workshops: Workshop #1: Basic Image Editing (2 hours, divided into two sessions or more); Workshop #2: Wildlife and Landscape Photography; Workshop #3: DSLR Video Instruction. The program is taught by two professional photographers, with a maximum of 10 participants. It is conducted in English and intended for advanced beginners to experienced photographers. Included: photography booklet, designated workstation with photo editing software, priority access to the photo and optics test center equipment, and a Zeiss Lens Cleaning kit. Please Note: This program is not combinable with the Basic Kayak Certification program. Pre-bookable (recommended) or bookable onboard, subject to availability. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and booking information.

Hiking:

Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for hiking during the voyage. The duration of the hike depends on the tour. Hiking is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Kayaking:

Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. Please Note: Kayaking excursions are based on a lottery system and are not guaranteed. Those interested in a guaranteed, pre-bookable kayaking option are advised to consider the Basic Kayaking Certification Program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Photography Program:
Included
Join onboard photography lectures about still photography, video photography, and wildlife photography. Lectures are included in the price of the voyage. Those interested in a more in-depth photography expedition are encouraged to consider to optional, pre-bookable Explorer Photography School program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Science Center:
Included
'Hands-on' science program where guests can perform their own science experiments with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists. Featuring ten Leica DM500 biological microscopes and ten Leica EZ4 geological microscopes, groups of 2-3 guests per microscope will work with a trained biologist or geologist. Occasionally, scientists invite guests along to sample biomaterial for use in the science center. There is also a large screen connected to the scientist's microscope for viewing during every session.

Snowshoeing:

Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for snowshoeing during the voyage. Due to popular demand, snowshoers are chosen by lottery as there is a set limit to the number of guests allowed to go onshore at one time. Snowshoeing is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Young Explorers Program:
Included
Designed for children traveling with adults to magnificent destinations where the focus is on education, fun, and participation. A dedicated staff member will lead age-appropriate lectures and field research with your Young Explorer on topics ranging from science, polar history, photography, and navigation. Activities and learning are designed for children between the ages of 7-13 (although all ages can join in!)

Included:

Charter flight from Punta Arenas to Santiago; one pre-cruise hotel night at the NH Montevideo Columbia hotel (or equivalent); Montevideo city tour with transfer; post-cruise transfer from the ship to the airport in Punta Arenas; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; complimentary coffee and tea; one landing (approx. 60-90 min.) per day; one small boat cruise (approx. 60-90 min.) per day; onboard science center; Young Explorers program for children; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots); and a wind- and water-resistant jacket. Expedition Suites (Q, M, MG, MX): a soft drink package; a wine package; an Arctic Pure amenity kit (bathroom); a fleece blanket/throw; a cabin kit (bathrobe and slippers); an Espresso maker; a kettle with premium tea/coffee; sweets and snacks with sparkling wine on embarkation day; a separate check-in with sparkling wine; a suite breakfast.Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

Airfare except as mentioned as included; transfers except as mentioned as included; passport and visa fees; travel insurance; luggage handling; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned as included; kayaking; optional excursions and gratuities; items of a personal nature such as laundry; walking sticks and binoculars can be rented for an additional charge; fuel surcharge may apply.

PHOTOS:© Dominic Barrington, Tori Hogan, Dietmar Schiemer, Manuel Marin, Franz Gingele, Marsel van Oosten, Gunter Krause, Pauli Araneva

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