Summary : Explore the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Shetland Islands, and the Antarctic Peninsula. Each of these destinations is legendary for abundant marine mammals, exceptional subantarctic birdlife, spectacular scenery, and fascinating history. 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. In the South Shetland Islands, explore a pristine polar wilderness of singular beauty, complete with bustling penguin colonies, dauntless seals, and voracious whales. On this ultimate wildlife expedition, each destination is more amazing than the last.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
$12,995 to $28,495
Welcome to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. The name of the city can be translated as "fair winds" but it is also referred to as the "Paris of South America". This is an exuberant brew of traditions, languages and different types of cultures. Upon your arrival at the airport, a transfer to your hotel is provided. The hotel is included in the price of the voyage. For the rest of the day you are free to explore this welcoming city.
A group transfer to the pier is provided. You'll be welcomed aboard the ship. Explore and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Antarctic dreams coming true as the ship slips her moorings and sails toward a true wilderness where wildlife abounds.
Sailing south through the South Atlantic Ocean toward the Falkland Islands, keep a lookout for dolphins and whales. Presentations and workshops as well as a range of onboard recreation facilities ensure that these days at sea are not idly spent.
The remote and sparsely populated Falkland Islands are a birders’ paradise. Anticipate visiting one or more of the isolated outer islands where large colonies of penguins and albatross are easily accessible. The Falklands are also a great place to observe marine mammals. Fur seals and elephant seals can be found on sandy beaches while the waters in and around the archipelago are home to various whale and dolphin species. The route and exploration opportunities are dependent on the weather in these windswept islands.
You may also visit Stanley, the charmingly British capital of the Falkland Islands. Attractions within pleasant walking distance along the waterfront promenade include the Falkland Islands Museum, the governor’s house, a cathedral with an impressive whalebone arch outside, a war memorial, quality gift shops, pubs, and views of shipwrecks in the harbor.
From the Falkland Islands head east toward South Georgia, passing the remote, seabird-covered pinnacles known as Shag Rocks on the way. You'll also cross the Antarctic Convergence, the biological boundary of the Southern Ocean. Briefings, bio-security procedures, and lectures will prepare you for arrival in South Georgia.
South Georgia is a premier destination for sub-antarctic wildlife viewing in a supremely scenic wilderness environment. The islands are said to host upwards of 100 million seabirds, including numerous species of albatross, penguins, prions, petrels, and terns. On beaches such as those at Salisbury Plain and St. Andrews Bay, over 100,000 elephant seals and three million fur seals jostle for space among innumerable penguins including stately king penguins and sprightly macaroni penguins. A recently completed rat eradication program is sure to make this wilderness even more pristine and rich with birdlife.
The bountiful waters surrounding South Georgia are also inhabited by an increasing number of whales. The historical whaling station of Grytviken is now home to the excellent South Georgia Museum managed by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. This is also the final resting place of Ernest Shackleton, the legendary polar explorer.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. The route and exploration opportunities in South Georgia are heavily dependent on the weather conditions encountered. Your experienced captain and expedition leader will decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to you by nature in this wild and remote corner of the world. You will take every safe opportunity to go ashore in this amazing place.
Your days in South Georgia are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations, and enough incredible scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
After a memorable time in amazing South Georgia you'll proceed southwest toward the Antarctic Peninsula. Pelagic seabirds including the majestic wandering albatross are common in these waters and can readily be viewed from panoramic open decks or from exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
The Antarctic Peninsula region contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities. Ice-strewn bays and channels are surrounded by towering mountain peaks covered in permanent snow and immense glaciers. Icebergs of every size and description complete an image of incomparable beauty. Waters rich with krill are home to a variety of whale and seal species. The whole area is alive with penguins foraging at sea and forming large nesting colonies at special places on land. Antarctic research stations of various nationalities can also be found here.
The South Shetland Islands are the northernmost islands in Antarctica. This wild and beautiful island chain contains numerous landing sites rich with wildlife, fascinating geology, and historical significance. Your first encounter with Antarctica will likely be Elephant Island, where men from Shackleton’s famous Endurance expedition spent the winter. You may also visit Deception Island, a flooded but still active volcanic caldera containing the remains of a derelict whaling station.
The Antarctic Peninsula itself contains sheltered bays, abundant wildlife, and fantastic vistas of mountains and glaciers. Weather and ice permitting, plan to spend a day in the vicinity of the peninsula with the hope of making a landing on the continent of Antarctica.
Antarctica is a true wilderness and is subject to unpredictable weather and ever-changing ice conditions, which dictate the route and exploration opportunities. This is a real expedition—the captain and crew will exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, amazing scenery, and Zodiac excursions.
From Antarctica you'll head north through the Drake Passage toward South America, always on the lookout for marine mammals and rare seabirds. Finally the ship will enter the famous Beagle Channel between the Argentine and Chilean sides of Tierra del Fuego.
After breakfast, say farewell in the city of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. A group transfer is provided to the airport or to the town center if you wish to spend more time here. As you look back on your wonderful experience in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica, you may already be looking forward to your next incredible adventure to the ice!
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 Departures: All voyages are conducted in English and German.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to carry adequate travel insurance that must contain medical, evacuation and repatriation coverage. Passengers must ensure that their purchased insurance includes cruise travel in the polar regions, and has evacuation and repatriation coverage of no less than $200,000 per person. 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.
Pre-booking required; space is limited. Weather permitting, experience the thrill and tranquility of sea kayaking in the polar regions as part of a guided paddling group. Participants must be at least 16 years old at the time of their voyage, in good health with appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience. Children who are 16 to 18 years of age at the time of their voyage are allowed to participate if they are accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.
Photography Program: Included
Learn and practice your photography skills alongside an experienced professional. An expert photographer will be available to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of onboard 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.
One pre-voyage hotel night in Buenos Aires; group transfer from the airport to the hotel on the day prior to departure; group transfer to the ship on embarkation day; group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation; shipboard accommodations; scheduled landings/excursions; photography program; digital voyage log; gear to keep (complimentary expedition parka); gear on loan (rubber boots); meals on board ship; 24-hour coffee/tea station on board ship; welcome and farewell cocktail on board ship; port fees. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers from the airport to the hotel if arriving prior to Day 1 of the program; visa and passport fees (if applicable); emergency evacuation insurance to a minimum benefit of $200,000 (required); luggage and trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended); excess baggage charges; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; kayaking; personal expenses such as laundry and onboard communications such as telephone calls; gratuities; pre- or post-cruise travel expenses; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos © Poseidon Expeditions