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Antarctica, Falklands, and South Georgia

AFSG Cruise Information

Summary : Discover the Antarctic Peninsula, Falkland Islands, and South Georgia on this ultimate wildlife expedition filled with breathtaking scenery and stunning wildlife. Explore the polar wilderness of Antarctica, where lofty serrated mountain ranges, all-encompassing glaciers, icebergs of every size, and robust populations of penguins, seals, and whales are found. In the Falkland Islands, where birdlife abounds, discover easily accessible albatross and penguin rookeries on idyllic island farmsteads. In South Georgia, amidst the dramatic Southern Ocean seascape, find world-famous wildlife beaches thronged with jousting elephant seals, raucous fur seals, and stately king penguins.

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

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ushuaia, Argentina

The small city of Ushuaia is the perfect starting point for your expedition cruise to Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. Located near the southern tip of South America, it boasts beautiful views of the Andres Mountains and the Beagle Channel. Stroll the lively main street of cafes, shops and outfitters, perhaps picking up a last-minute item for your voyage, or enjoying a typical Argentine grill entrée at one of the many casual restaurants. If you arrive early, you will want to visit beautiful Tierra del Fuego National Park.

Day 2
Embarkation

You will embark in the afternoon today and set sail down the scenic Beagle Channel.

Day 3 – 4
Drake Passage

Through presentations and informal conversations, your team of experts on Antarctic wildlife, history and geology will enlighten you about what to expect to see in the days ahead. Keep a sharp eye out as you cross the Antarctic Convergence, where ocean dynamics create a unique zone of marine life and activity. In the early evening of the fourth day, weather and sea conditions permitting, plan to have your first landing in the South Shetland Islands.

Day 5 – 8
The Antarctic Continent / South Shetland Islands

In the region of the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula you will get a great variety of opportunities to actively explore the unique wildlife and breathtaking scenery. With nearly 200 recognized sites here your expedition team will draw from their experience to offer you the best places and ways to explore the enchanting world of the Sixth Continent. A flexible planning is a key to successful expedition. Your Captain and Expedition Leader will do their best to show you all the faces of Antarctica. Hopefully you will tick off the 5 penguin, 6 seal, several whale species in Antarctic checklist. While cruising along narrow Antarctic waterways admire huge icebergs of different shapes, sizes and colors. Visit scientific stations representing several different countries and learn about Antarctic scientific researches straight from the source. Of course setting foot on the actual Antarctic Continent is also on agenda.

Day 9 – 10
Scotia Sea

More informative presentations are in store today, as you head northeast toward South Georgia.

Day 11 – 15
South Georgia

For many, South Georgia is a not-to-be-missed destination within the Antarctic region. These sub-Antarctic islands are mountain peaks emerging from the Scotia Arc, an underwater mountain chain that extends from the Andes to the White Continent. Shaped like a long and narrow whalebone, the islands are home to: Four seal species—southern elephant seal, Antarctic fur seal, Weddell seal, and leopard seal. Several whale species—southern right whales, humpbacks, fin whales, sperm whales, killer whales orcas, and southern bottlenose whales. Antarctic seabirds, about 46% of the world's breeding population of grey headed albatrosses; northern giant petrels, white chinned petrels and Antarctic prions. Most of the world's population of the South Georgia blue eyed shags live there, some 7,500 pairs. Penguins—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. The most attractive residents of the South Georgia are King penguins with their orange-yellow crowns. The total number of King penguins is around 400,000 breeding pairs. You will spend three days among the alpine landscapes and penguins colonies. You will also visit to the historic settlement of Grytviken. With its whaling-era remnants and Earnest Shackleton’s gravesite, the one-time whaling town is one of the highlights of South Georgia.

Day 16 – 17
At Sea

From South Georgia head west toward the Falkland Islands. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent.

Day 18 – 19
Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands offer an unforgettable vista 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 beaches, elephant seals are a spectacular sight when battling among themselves to establish territories or just simply relaxing. Sea lions and fur seals are also common sights. 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. Look for black-browed albatrosses nesting on grassy hillsides overlooking the sea. The capital of the Falklands Port Stanley is the southernmost British outpost in the world. With many reminders of its British heritage such as red phone booths and English pubs, the town boasts other unusual sights like a whalebone arch and shipwrecks along the coast.

Day 20 – 22
Southern Ocean

Reality begins to set in during this final sea passage separating the magic world you’ve just explored from the rest of the world you’ll soon be rejoining. Refresh your memories through a photo exchange with newfound friends, and bid farewell to seabirds and whales that you can identify more easily now.

Day 23
Montevideo, Uruguay

Morning disembarkation in Montevideo. Right after the disembarkation we provide group transfer to the Montevideo airport or the city center.

Notes

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.

Bilingual Departure: English/German

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 U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.

Kayaking:
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:
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.

Included:
Group transfers from airport to 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; pre-departure materials; digital Voyage Log. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
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

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