Summary : This comprehensive, adventure-packed voyage includes major Antarctic highlights, from South Georgia to the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) to the Antarctic Peninsula. Venture to the Falklands, reminiscent of both sandy Cape Cod and the English moors; home to seals, sea lions, and five species of penguins. From there, sail on to South Georgia to witness over 100,000 king penguins, seabirds, and seals. Then explore the stunning Antarctica Peninsula, crossing the Antarctic Circle—a significant milestone for any world traveler.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins, Antarctic Circle
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$16,195 to $28,695
Arrive in Ushuaia and enjoy a group transfer to your included hotel.
As the ships sets sail in the late afternoon, you will begin your journey, passing through the Beagle Channel. Named after the famed ship on which Charles Darwin voyaged, the channel presents great photo opportunities of landscapes and seabirds. Expect an air of anticipation as you depart!
There are many activities to keep you engaged while we’re at sea. You can take advantage of the library of books available on your ship, chat with your shipmates at the bar, or spend time out on deck, admiring the sea.
Upon your arrival in the Falklands (Malvinas), your camera will get its first real workout capturing the abundant wildlife and rugged feel of this sub-Antarctic region. The archipelago contains two main islands, East Falkland and West Falkland, which you will explore during daily Zodiac excursions and landings.
Stanley, also known as Port Stanley, is often a favored landing site, as the town offers a unique British outpost feel, complete with eclectic charm. You’ll be free to explore, grab a pint at the local pub or visit numerous churches and museums.
In terms of wildlife, the archipelago is home to Magellanic, gentoo and rockhopper penguins. If you’re lucky, you may even spot king penguins here as well! You can expect to see blackbrowed albatross, plus two endemic bird species—Cobb’s wren and the flightless Falkland steamer duck. Your team of lecturers and specialists will be sure to educate you on the local flora and fauna, making the most out of your time in the Falklands.
En route to South Georgia, you’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence, an invisible biological boundary unique to Antarctica. This meeting of oceans is what creates the abundance of krill and marine life that attracts large cetaceans to the area such as humpback whales.
This remote outpost was a popular stop for many historic Antarctic expeditions and was once a haven for hunting whales and elephant and fur seals. Today, South Georgia Island wildlife populations have rebounded, but you’ll still see remnants of those old whaling stations and other abandoned outposts. One significant and historic site that will be of interest is the grave of the great explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton. You can visit his grave at the settlement of Grytviken, which is also home to an old whaling station, a museum, gift shop, church and a small research station.
While South Georgia’s history is an important attraction to the islands, the wildlife may be most captivating to you. South Georgia contains an exceptional quantity of wildlife. Each landing you make on South Georgia will leave you in awe. One day you may see a rookery with over 100,000 king penguins waddling on the beach; the next you may visit a beach with hundreds of fur or elephant seals. The grasses, mountains and beaches of South Georgia all play an important role in the breeding and survival of different species on the island. This fragile and interwoven relationship is something your Expedition Team will explain to you during your time here.
Say goodbye to the king penguins, as your next destination is Antarctica! Your days at sea are filled with presentations, lectures and workshops from your expedition team, who will prepare you for the wildlife that will be greeting you upon your arrival in Antarctica. In between presentations, spend time chatting with your shipmates over a drink at the bar.
The most common reaction upon reaching the White Continent is a sense of reverence and awe. The experience is hard to put into words, as few places are as untouched, unique and endearing as Antarctica. You will discover that Antarctica is a land of extremes. One moment you’ll be overcome with a feeling of complete remoteness, the next you’ll be inspired by nature as a calving glacier crashes into the brilliant blue sea or a penguin comes waddling by to inspect your footwear.
Your Expedition Team will take care of you at each landing, whether you are Zodiac cruising, visiting a historical site or consorting with penguin colonies. Chinstrap, Adélie and gentoo penguins are found here, along with Weddell, fur, crabeater and leopard seals. Keep a lookout for curious whales, such as minkes, while on a Zodiac cruise, giving you a chance for an intimate experience with these majestic animals. Each day and each landing will present a new collection of creatures to entertain you and keep your camera busy. As exciting as the Zodiac excursions and landings are, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an extra-special Antarctic experience by partaking in an optional kayaking excursion (extra cost) or going for a plunge in Antarctic waters!
Crossing the Antarctic Circle is an impressive achievement, as most expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula do not reach this far south. If conditions allow us to cross this famed line, you and your shipmates will celebrate in style with a well-earned glass of sparkling wine! Make a toast and take pride in knowing you’ve made it to a part of the world visited by very few people. This is raw Antarctica, home of the midnight sun, penguins and some of the most awe-inspiring ice formations you’ll see anywhere on earth.
By now, your knowledge of penguins will be matched by your ability to differentiate between seals; and terms like ‘bergy bits’ and 'pancake ice' will seem normal. As you head north, Zodiac excursions will continue to fill your days, and your Expedition Team will continue offering presentations and looking out for more species of penguins, seals and whales.
After days of memorable wildlife encounters, your journey home begins. Crossing the Drake is your unofficial rite of passage, putting a final stamp of approval on your Antarctic adventure.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer with your group to the airport.
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.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. 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. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
A small group of kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage instead of shore landings. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will only be conducted during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required for you to feel comfortable on the water, and you must have the capability to do a wet exit to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the Paddling Excursion described below.
If you’re interested in kayaking and would like to try something less in-depth than kayaking, you can still enjoy the benefits of adding an on-water experience to your expedition with a Paddling Excursion. Sign up for a one-time paddle on sit-on-top kayaks, which are stable and unencumbered—perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. Passengers are taken out in rotating groups on calm days with expert guides to connect with the sea. Space is limited. Pre-booking required.
This is one of the best ways to experience Antarctica in an intimate manner, and take your expedition to the next level. A camping safety briefing onboard gets you fully prepped and ready for a night sleeping under the stars. Dress warmly and eat a hearty meal before you head out, as no meals are allowed on land. All equipment and instruction is provided, no tent required. This popular camping option has limited availability, so book early.
Group transfer from the airport to the pre-voyage hotel on Day 1; one night pre-voyage hotel accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia; group transfer from hotel to ship on embarkation day; group transfer upon disembarkation in Ushuaia from the ship to the airport; shipboard accommodation; meals onboard ship; house wine, non-premium domestic beer during dinner aboard ship; soft drinks aboard the ship; use of walking poles; photographic journal; boots on loan; parka to keep; coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock onboard ship; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; emergency Evacuation Insurance* to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore unless specified; adventure options; alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, except for ones mentioned as included; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, beverage, massage, and other personal charges; phone and Internet charges; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.