Summary : This epic expedition sails to the isolated Falkland Islands, where sheep graze next to penguins, then visits stunning South Georgia (aptly named "The Serengeti of the Southern Ocean") before exploring highlights of the Antarctic Peninsula. Witness vast king penguin colonies, pay your respects at Sir Ernest Shackleton's grave, and experience historic sites from the days of explorers and whaling. Ice-cruise, hike, and scout for a variety of whales, seals, and penguins. Optional activities such as kayaking and camping are available.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$13,365 to $24,706
Your expedition starts with an included overnight stay in Buenos Aires, the bustling capital of Argentina. Take an optional city tour in the afternoon. Spend the evening at your leisure. Discover the 'Paris of South America' and the birthplace of the tango for yourself.
Start your day with an included breakfast at the hotel before meeting your included transfer to the airport for an included flight to Ushuaia. Your included transfer in Ushuaia will be waiting to take you to the ship for an evening embarkation. When you arrive in Ushuaia, you may choose to join an optional Tierra del Fuego National Park excursion before embarking your ship. In the evening, sail through the scenic Beagle Channel.
Today you will cross the open sea en route to the Falkland Islands. Enjoy lectures from your expedition team and keep an eye out for wildlife from deck.
The Falklands Islands are teeming with wonders of wildlife and nature, and offer fantastically clear blue skies, seamless horizons, vast open spaces, and stunning white beaches. Here the sheep graze alongside immense colonies of albatross and rockhopper, king, and macaroni penguins, while predatory striated caracaras patrol overhead and upland geese forage at the water’s edge.
In the Falklands, penguins waddle close to take a look at you, then continue on their way, giving you some great photo opportunities. Stanley, the capital of the Falklands, makes a wonderful starting point for various optional excursions offered in the area. The town is easy to navigate on foot, as most shops and services are centrally located.
Spend two days cruising southward to beautiful South Georgia. En route you can participate in a number of presentations about the area’s wildlife, as well as whaling and polar history. Your expedition team is well-versed in every facet of South Georgia, from its geology and glaciology to the mating rituals of the sooty albatross and the legends of the Norwegian whalers. Hear fascinating stories about Sir Ernest Shackleton, the men of the ill-fated Endurance, and their amazing feats of bravery.
On this expedition, you will have ample time to explore the unique beauty and wildlife of South Georgia. The rich history of exploration and whaling lends a great backdrop to its rugged scenery with glaciers and bustling wildlife. It is known as the 'Serengeti of the Southern Ocean', and is a favored place for wildlife photographers. South Georgia’s unique position inside the Antarctic ecosystem – yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice – makes it home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals, and seabirds. You will plan to visit Fortuna Bay and some of South Georgia’s abandoned whaling stations. During your stay here, you will see elephant seals lounge on the sand, fur seal pups race in and out of the water, albatross soar overhead, and thousands of king penguins. Another highlight is exploring Gold Harbor. Enjoy the sight of hanging glaciers and cliffs, the lagoons, and a large king penguin colony. You will also see a whaling museum, the Norwegian seaman’s church, and the tiny graveyard where you can pay your respects to the great Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. South Georgia offers some good hiking options, including walking the last part of the route that Shackleton took on his brave journey across the island’s rugged mountains to find help for the 22 remaining men on isolated Elephant Island.
As you continue toward the great white continent, learn more about the history, environment, and wildlife of Antarctica. You will cruise by Washington Strait and Coronation Island before setting course toward Elephant Island and Antarctica.
As you navigate historic waterways and visit prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring South Shetland Islands, the goal is to attempt 1-2 excursions per day. Your Captain and Expedition Leader continually monitor weather and ice conditions, working together to insure you experience the best of Antarctica whether you’re exploring Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Deception Island, or the many other locations available for landings and Zodiac cruising in the region.
Sailing in the wake of the 19th century’s great explorers—Sir Ernest Shackleton, Adrien de Gerlache, Robert Falcon Scott, and Roald Amundsen (to name just a few)—you’ll photograph the same towering mountain peaks they saw, hear raucous penguin colonies as you go ashore, see dazzling shades of blue and white as you navigate bays with impressive ice sculptures, and gain a new perspective of what it takes for wildlife—from penguins and giant petrels to elephant seals and humpback whales—to thrive in the beauty of this environment.
The forecast for conditions across the Drake Passage will determine when you’ll say a fond farewell to Antarctica and sail back to South America. Enjoy the ship’s amenities as the coastline drifts out of view, take time for bird watching and searching the horizon for whales, and enjoy final presentations by the expedition staff as you relax and reflect upon your Antarctic adventure.
Today you will make landfall in Tierra del Fuego. Your voyage ends in the world’s southernmost town, Ushuaia, and your journey back continues with an included return flight to lively Buenos Aires.
*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.
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. 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. This form will be available in advance of travel, and must be filled out, brought on board, and personally delivered to the doctor upon embarkation. Boarding may be denied if this form is not presented at the time of embarkation.
Multilingual Departures: English/German (All Departures)
Photography Program: Included
Join onboard lectures about still photography, video photography, and wildlife photography. Those interested in a more in-depth photography expedition are encouraged to consider the optional, pre-bookable Explorer Photography School program. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
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.
From Explorer Photography School to Camping 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.
Round-trip economy flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia; one pre-cruise hotel night in Buenos Aires, including breakfast; pre-cruise transfer from the hotel to the airport in Buenos Aires; pre- and post-cruise transfers in Ushuaia between the airport and the ship; shipboard accommodations; introductory photography lecture; onboard science center and Explorer Science program; expedition logbook; Wi-Fi; complimentary wind- and water-resistant parka; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities); most meals onboard the ship; early riser and afternoon treats; house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water in all restaurants; complimentary tea and coffee. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Expedition Suites include a separate check-in; welcome package on embarkation day; suite breakfast and a la carte meals; minibar replenishment; fleece blanket/throw; espresso maker; turn-down service; and laundry service. Subject to change without notice.
International flights; transfers not detailed in the inclusions; passport and visa fees; travel protection plan; luggage handling; a la carte menu selections not detailed in the inclusions; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; minibar replenishment (except for suites); optional excursions and small-group adventures such as camping and kayaking; optional small-group Explorer Photo program; items of a personal nature, such as laundry (laundry included for suites); gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Jesper Neilsen; © Havard Jensen; © Marsel van Oosten, © Andreas Kalvig Anderson, © Hurtigruten