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Antarctic Peninsula and the Falkland Islands

Antarctica Cruise

  • Silver Cloud (Polar Voyages)
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • approx. 240 Capacity
  • 19 Days
  • 2021 View Departure>
    • 2021
    • Mar 1 Mon Offer
  • Price from
  • $21,300
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Summary : From the end of the world to the city of fair winds, travel on one of life’s greatest adventures. With each destination more interesting than the last, enjoy the staggering beauty of Antarctica, the marine wildlife of the Falkland Islands and the vibrancy and sheer enormity of Patagonia. Breathtaking, spellbinding and unforgettable, if you can only do one trip this year, make sure that this is it.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ushuaia, Argentina

Arrive in Ushuaia and embark the ship.

Day 2 – 3
Drake Passage

The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funneling effect of the passage. The Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward, is within the Drake Passage. When these two currents meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels glide in the air currents alongside and in the wake of the ship.

Day 4 – 8
Antarctic Sound / Antarctic Peninsula / South Shetland Islands

The Antarctic Sound is a stretch of water named after the first ship to have passed through this body of water from the Bransfield Strait to the Weddell Sea in 1902. The Antarctic eventually sank and crew and scientists had to spend quite some time in this area before they could be rescued. Sites that have to do with this story - like Hope Bay or Paulet Island - are sometimes visited. At Paulet, Hope Bay and Brown Bluff Adelie and Gentoo Penguins breed, as do Kelp Gulls and Cape Petrels, Snow Petrels and Skuas. The Sound’s main attractions are the spectacular tabular icebergs that come from the Larsen Ice Shelf further south.

Remote and otherworldly, Antarctica is irresistible for its spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers, and for the possibility of up-close encounters with marine mammals and the iconic penguins. The Antarctic Peninsula – the main peninsula closest to South America – has a human history of almost 200 years, with explorers, sealers, whalers, and scientists who have come to work, and eventually intrepid visitors coming to enjoy this pristine and remote wilderness. It is a region of protected bays, unscaled snow-capped mountains, vast glaciers and a few places where whalers or scientists have worked. Just as irresistible are the many Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguin colonies, the seals basking on ice floes, the whales and orcas.

Some 770 kilometers (478 miles) south of Cape Horn, the South Shetland Islands are usually the first land seen in Antarctica. Separated from the Antarctic Peninsula by the Bransfield Strait, nine major islands make up the group. The region was the first to be exploited by sealers in the early 19th century, and because of its proximity to South America, it still is the most visited by scientists and tourists. Chinstrap, Adelie, Gentoo and Macaroni Penguins all breed here. In addition, because it is the warmest part of the continent, large moss beds as well as orange, black, grey and green lichens grow –even hair grass and pearlwort manage to survive. Leopard seals, Weddell seals, crabeater seals, Southern elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals can be seen in the water and on the beaches.

Day 9 – 10
Drake Passage

The Drake Passage has a notorious reputation for its turbulent seas due to the westerly winds and the funneling effect of the passage. The Antarctic Convergence, a natural boundary where cold polar water flows northward and warmer equatorial water moves southward, is within the Drake Passage. When these two currents meet, nutrients are pushed to the surface, often attracting a multitude of seabirds and whales. Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwaters and White-chinned Petrels glide in the air currents alongside and in the wake of the ship.

Day 11 – 12
Falkland Islands

Tiny Stanley, capital of the Falklands, seems in many ways like a British village fallen out of the sky. Many homes are painted in bright colors, adding visual appeal to this distant outpost. Not far offshore, the wreck of the Lady Elizabeth, is one of the many vessels remaining as a silent testimonial to the region's frequent harsh weather conditions. The islands, also known by their Spanish name of Islas Malvinas, are home to arguably more tuxedo-clad inhabitants of the penguin variety than human residents. Various species, such as Gentoo, Magellanic and the more elusive King penguins, either live here permanently or use the Falklands as a stopover on their migration route. Darwin found the islands' flora and fauna fascinating - no doubt you will, too.

The remarkable beauty of the remote Falkland Islands can best be seen on New Island. The westernmost of the inhabited islands of the archipelago, it is a wildlife and nature reserve, and an environmental conservation group protects its many birds and animals. There are rookeries where Rockhopper Penguins and Blue-eyed Shags share the same nesting area. Black-browed Albatrosses can be seen going about their daily routines and it is easy to spot Upland Geese. More than 40 species of birds breed on the island. Near the landing site is ‘Barnard’s barn’ — a restored stone structure going back to the early 19th century. Lying in the sandy shallows in front of the barn is the wreck of Protector III, an old minesweeper used for seal hunting.

Located slightly northwest of West Falkland, West Point Island is used for sheep farming and nature observations. Peale’s dolphins and the distinctive black and white markings of the Commerson’s dolphin can usually be seen in the waters around West Point Island. Rolling moorland and steep cliffs make for great photographic opportunities, but the main attraction is the Devil’s Nose, a cliffside colony of Black-browed Albatrosses nesting side-by-side with feisty Rockhopper Penguins. Magellanic Penguins and Magellanic Cormorants can also be found on the island.

Day 13
At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge or writing home to your loved ones, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 14
Puerto Deseado / Isla Pinguino

Puerto Deseado (Port Desire) is a city and fishing port located along the estuary of the Deseado River in the Patagonia region of Argentina. The estuary is a natural reserve and was visited in 1833 by Darwin, who described the area as one of the most secluded places he had ever seen, a “rocky crevice in the wild plain.” Puerto Deseado has a population of 15,000, with an economy based primarily on the fishing and tourism industries. Tourists come to Puerto Deseado mostly to view the estuary’s diverse fauna. Among other sea birds, there are two types of penguins (Magellanic and Rockhopper) as well as the incredible black and white Commerson’s dolphins that may be spotted jumping out of the water during mating season. The port is also a spot from which Isla Pinguino (the Island of Penguins) can be easily reached, just over 12 miles south/southeast from Puerto Deseado. On land, visitors can visit the rail museum (Estacio?n del Ferrocarril Patago?nico) or study the examples of Spanish and English architecture and sailing artifacts that remain from both countries attempting to settle here in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Isla Pinguino (Penguin Island) is a tiny island less than a mile across located off the coastline of Santa Cruz province in Argentina. The island was previously known as an “island of the Kings” for ships traveling on their way to the Magellan Strait; from the 16th to the mid-19th century, sailors and travelers knew this location was a supply point of food. While several bird species live on this island, none are so numerous and distinctive as the southern rockhopper penguins, with their yellow-plumed eyes and squat stature. The island used to house an Argentinian naval station, and a lighthouse from this installment is still in service on the island, powered by solar energy.

Day 15
Camarones, Argentina

Cute penguins waddle and skip in the waves that roll ashore near the sleepy, unspoiled town of Camarones. Life here is lived well and truly in the slow lane, but this fishing village has plenty of joy to offer intrepid visitors. ‘Camarones’ translates as ‘prawns’ and, as the name suggests, this is a great place for seafood – with the octopuses and clams that are scooped from the city's waters proving to be some of the most mouth-wateringly delicious available.

You'll be welcomed in to restaurants, like the Indalo Inn, like long lost friends, before sitting down to dine on delicious slabs of salmon, and wine pressed from the grapes of the renowned Río Negro region of Patagonia. February's Salmon Festival provides a particular treat for seafood lovers, if you happen to be in town for it.

The Cabo Dos Bahías nature reserve is a glorious expanse of sweeping coastline and the place to see the colony of 30,000 Magellanic penguins, who play and fish in the waves, wandering ashore as the sun begins to set. With a vast array of wildlife on full display, you can enjoy walks along the frothing, broody shoreline, cowering as waves clatter ashore along wide, open beaches. Punta Tombo Reserve is another spot to find some of nature's cutest birds. Visit to perch on a rocky outcrop, and watch as penguins dash in and out of the waves that fizz ashore on the scenic sands. From the harbour, head out across the water on excursions to find curious dolphins and whales breaching the surface of the ocean. Or, Plaza San Martin offers a small square to relax in and catch some shade. The small Museo de la Familia Peron gives an interesting insight into the area's wool heritage, meanwhile.

Day 16
Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Approaching from Ruta 3, it's hard to believe that the horizon line of buildings perched just beyond the windswept dunes and badlands is the most successful of all coastal Patagonia settlements. But once you get past the outskirts of town and onto the wide coastal road known as the Rambla, the picture begins to change. Ranged along the clear and tranquil Golfo Nuevo are restaurants, cafés, dive shops, and hotels, all busy—but not yet overcrowded—with tourists from around the world.Puerto Madryn is more a base for visiting nearby wildlife-watching sites like Península Valdés and Punta Tombo than a destination in its own right. The town's architecture is unremarkable, and beyond a walk along the coast there isn't much to do. Indeed, even the few museums serve mainly to introduce you to the fauna you'll see elsewhere. The exception is the beginning of whale season (May through July), when the huge animals cavort right in the bay before heading north—you can even walk out alongside them on the pier. During these months it's worth the extra expense for a room with a sea view.The many tour agencies and rental-car companies here make excursion planning easy. Aim to spend most of your time here on one- or two-day trips exploring the surroundings. Note that competition is fierce between tourism operators in destinations such as Puerto Madryn and Puerto Pirámides on Península Valdés. Take information that tour operators and even the tourism office give you about these with a grain of salt: they often exaggerate Madryn's virtues and other areas' flaws.

Day 17 – 18
At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 19
Buenos Aires, Argentina

After breakfast, disembark the ship.

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. 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 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.

Photography Academy:
Utilize the ship's new Photo Studio as a hub for the multifaceted enrichment program. With both private and group lessons, guests can learn to master the art of digital photography through the Academy, which provides an array of specialty workshops for both beginners and pros. 

Kayaking:
Kayaking will be offered complimentary and will run on a lottery system. Guests cannot pre book the kayak tours. Participation requires good physical condition and right of participation is reserved. The kayak guides will make the final determination if a guest is fit to participate. Kayaking will be weather dependent. Minimum age 16. Guests should know how to use a rudder on a kayak.

Included:
Shipboard accommodations; Wi-Fi onboard ship (1x device per guest for Vista-Deluxe Veranda; 2x devices per guest for Medallion-Owner's suites); kayaking; parka; backpack; most meals onboard ship; butler service; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship (except spa). Royal, Grand, and Owner’s Suites: receive laundry service throughout the voyage, 1x dinner for two in La Dame, and two hours of worldwide phone use from your suite. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; meals onboard at La Dame Restaurant unless mentioned above as included; some alcoholic premium beverages; travel insurance; government fees and taxes; boot rental; visa and passport expenses; gifts and items of a personal nature such as laundry (unless mentioned as included) and spa options; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos ©: Creative Services at Silversea Cruises, Richard Sidey (two penguins, passenger walking), Ray Stranagan (landscape, penguins and
Zodiac)

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