Summary : Embark on an expedition to South America, Patagonia, Falkland Islands—and Antarctica. Experience the dynamic South American city of Montevideo, see sheep grazing next to penguins in the Falkland Islands, then cross the Drake Passage to the remote white wilderness of Antarctica. Enjoy full expedition days with optional activities such as kayaking, then return to the ship for activities such as science lectures and a Young Explorers children's program.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$8,689 to $15,049
Enjoy an overnight stay in Montevideo, the vibrant capital of Uruguay, before you explore the city the following day. Montevideo boasts colorful cultural diversity, with a picturesque blend of colonial Spanish, Italian, and Art Deco architectural styles. Long considered one of South America's most interesting cities, you can visit the Ciudad Vieja (Old Town) 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 before embarking your ship.
Enjoy your first day onboard. Your expedition team will start with a lecture program covering history and the great explorers, marine biology, wildlife, oceanography, and climate change. Spend some time on deck, enjoy the sun, and look out for wildlife as the ship makes its way south.
The first highlight on this expedition is your visit to the Valdez Peninsula. This is a nature reserve that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated on Argentina's barren eastern Patagonian coast, this oddly shaped peninsula is home to some of the country's most dramatic wildlife habitats, with elephant seals, Magellan penguins, the southern right whale, and a great variety of birds. Puerto Madryn is known as the gateway to whales, penguins, and Welsh traditions. Founded by Welsh immigrants in 1865, it is now one of the most vibrant cities in Patagonia, with a beautiful coastal avenue overlooking the huge natural amphitheater of Nuevo Gulf. Enjoy a wide variety of optional excursions like horseback riding, snorkeling with sea lions, kayaking with sea lions, whale watching, or visit Estancia San Lorenzo where you will see wildlife including rheas (flightless, ostrich-like birds), guanacos (related to alpacas and llamas), and elephant seals.
Enjoy a day at sea by sharing experiences and exchanging stories, photos, and videos with your fellow adventurers.
When you arrive in the Falkland Islands, you will experience everything from red buses and English pubs in the capital of Stanley, to penguins, hikes, and kayaking clear waters. New Island is a lovely inlet with sandy white beaches and turquoise waters. It could easily be mistaken for a Caribbean island if it was a little warmer. You will pass an old shipwreck on your way ashore to enjoy a day among penguins and seals. While you are here, you can join several optional excursions like history tours, bird watching tours, nature walks, and even a scenic plane tour where you can discover the Falklands by air in a classic island-hopping aircraft.
Today you will set sail for Antarctica. Once you have crossed the Antarctic Convergence, you will notice that the air becomes crisper and colder. From deck, you might start seeing icebergs in the water; maybe whales as well.
Antarctica is sure to overwhelm you. Endless white horizons, an ocean full of glorious icebergs, and whales. Maybe even more awe-inspiring will be your meeting with huge colonies of penguins. They are not afraid of humans, so you can look forward to true close encounters with this most charming of bird species. Go ashore to explore the impressive Antarctic scenery. You'll enjoy close encounters with wildlife and glaciers, and an old whaling station and its relics. There are great opportunities to spot whales from the deck.
You are now in one of the most remote areas of the world. Land several times for unforgettable experiences as weather and ice conditions allow. Among the locations you may visit are Half Moon Island, Yankee Harbor, and Cuverville Island, home to a large colony of gentoo penguins. Neko Harbor is beautifully located in the innermost part of Andvord Bay, and Paradise Harbor got its descriptive name from the whalers who came here long ago: When the storms were at their worst, this is where they came to seek shelter. The high glacier walls in Wilhelmina Bay convey the mighty power of ice, from calving glacier fronts to floating bergy bits.
After exhilarating days in Antarctica and the Falklands, the final days on board are spent crossing the Drake Passage. Spend time with family, old friends, new friends, and your expedition team. Enjoy a farewell dinner on the last evening.
When you arrive in Ushuaia, it’s time to say goodbye. Enjoy an included transfer to the airport for your included flight to Buenos Aires. Optional post-cruise tours are available to continue your adventure.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
This shipping company recommends that all passengers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment from unexpected events such as cancellations, delays, and medical emergencies. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for polar trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage, and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Medical Declaration Form:
All travelers must complete a confidential medical declaration form, signed by a doctor, stating that they are fit to travel. Boarding may be denied if this form is not presented at the time of embarkation.
Multilingual Departures: English/German (All Departures)
Explorer Science Program: Included
Participate in lectures and activities to cultivate greater knowledge about the regions explored; conduct experiments or examine specimens in the Science Center with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists; or choose to assist with current research.
Young Explorers Program: Included
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. The focus is on education, fun, and participation. Designed for ages 7–13 (although all ages can join in!).
From Explorer Photography School to Basic Kayaking Certification, there are several supplemented activities to choose from. Some are pre-bookable. Most are booked once on board. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and rates.
Economy flight from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires; one pre-cruise hotel night in Montevideo, including breakfast; transfer from the hotel to the pier in Montevideo; post-cruise transfer between ship and airport in Ushuaia; shipboard accommodations; Young Explorers program for children; introductory photography lecture; onboard science center; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots); a wind- and water-resistant parka; all meals onboard the ship; complimentary water, tea, and coffee. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Expedition Suites include a separate check-in; welcome package on embarkation day; suite breakfast; soft drink and wine packages; fleece blanket/throw; cabin kit with a bathrobe, slippers, and other beauty articles; espresso maker; Wi-Fi; turn-down service; and laundry service. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare not detailed in the inclusions; transfers not detailed in the inclusions; passport and visa fees; travel insurance; luggage handling; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; optional excursions and gratuities; items of a personal nature such as laundry except as mentioned; fuel surcharge may apply.
SELECT PHOTOS: © Andrea Kalvig Anderson, © Hurtigruten