Summary : Experience vast penguin rookeries and seal colonies on this awe-inspiring voyage to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands. This 21-day voyage illuminates the legendary Ernest Shackleton and recounts his courageous exploration of Antarctica. Visit the historical sites of past explorers as well as Shackleton’s final resting place—the wildlife-rich island of South Georgia. Antarctica is beyond comprehension and sure to amaze any traveler seeking a true adventure to the world’s most remote wilderness.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$15,999 to $29,999
Arrive in Ushuaia at any time. Arrival transfer included. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the world's most southerly city.
Enjoy a free morning in Ushuaia. Do any last-minute shopping, explore the town or visit the surrounding countryside. Embarkation on the Expedition begins in the afternoon at the port in Ushuaia. Enjoy the evening sailing through the Beagle Channel.
As the Expedition makes passage east, become acquainted with the ship. Visit the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall and meet the guides, ship’s crew, and lecturers.
Begin lectures and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.
The Falkland Islands provide a rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity and extraordinary scenery of the southern islands. Penguins are abundant here, and the Falklands have the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world. In Stanley, meet the hardy local inhabitants whose colorful houses provide contrast to the long, dark winters.
Catch your first glimpses of penguins, including Magellanic, rockhopper, gentoo, and king penguins. With a little luck, spot elephant seals, sea lions, king cormorants, black-browed albatrosses, skuas, night herons, giant petrels, striated caracaras, and sheep.
Sailing east, set course for South Georgia. Days at sea are filled with lectures to prepare for landings. Watch for the many whales that inhabit these waters.
Home to many interesting sights (including the grave of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton), South Georgia has several former whaling stations and boasts plenty of wildlife. Visiting a huge colony of king penguins is a major highlight of this part of the journey. Look out for wandering albatrosses in their nesting grounds on nearby islands. Weather permitting, spend four full days exploring.
Sail for two days, retracing Shackleton's route backwards on course toward Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula.
These waters are rich with nutrients and the long summer days provide the ingredient that is missing most of the year. The result is a complex food chain topped by several species of whales, seals, and seabirds.
Finally a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Experience some of the most unique wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery in the world. Attempt two shore landings per day (weather permitting) and encounter gentoo, chinstrap, and Adélie penguin rookeries; Weddell, crabeater, and leopard seals; and orca, humpback, and minke whales in the cold Antarctic waters. The daily schedule will be based on local weather and ice conditions.
Over the next four days, the Expedition will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and on to the Antarctic Peninsula.
The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands abound with wildlife activity. You may visit scientists working in modern research bases. You'll have plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers, and rugged snow-capped mountains.
The peninsula also has a remarkable history. During the voyage, opt to learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world.
Reflect on a memorable adventure in between bird watching, whale watching, and enjoying some final lectures by expedition staff. This is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia.
Remember, the best way to experience the wildlife of the Drake Passage is on deck, scouting for albatrosses, prions, and whales!
Have a final breakfast on the ship and say your goodbyes before disembarking in Ushuaia in the morning.
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:
As a requirement of participation with this shipping company, all passengers must purchase travel insurance with a minimum medical, evacuation, and repatriation coverage of $200,000 and this insurance must cover personal injury and emergency medical expenses. Passengers must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. Passengers are responsible for advising their insurer of the type of travel, destination(s), and activities included in their booking so that the insurer may provide appropriate coverage. It is the passenger's responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient coverage and comply with the terms of the applicable insurance plans. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that all passengers also purchase comprehensive travel protection that includes cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Overnight camping is an opportunity for passengers to participate in a unique adventure while on their Antarctic trip. No prior experience needed. Spend one night sleeping onshore with a group of up to 60 fellow campers to experience the sights, sounds, and isolation of the coldest, driest, windiest continent on the planet. A mandatory waiver must be signed by participants, indicating that they are aware of and accept the increased risks that are associated with being off the ship overnight. Booking in advance is highly recommended. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Limited availability; advance booking is highly recommended. Restricted to 20 kayakers and two guides per outing. Venture out to sheltered bays and areas known for calmer waters on small group kayaking excursions led by expert kayaking guides. Passengers who participate in the sea kayak program should have a working knowledge of sea kayaking strokes, entries, and exits (including a “wet exit”). Outings last approximately 2-4 hours and are guided and supervised by professional kayak guides who have experience in cold-water regions paddling near ice and marine mammals. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Tierra del Fuego National Park:
Explore this stunning coastal national park extending 391 square miles. Pass Valle Rio Pipo on the way to Austral Fueguino train station. Opt to take the End of the World train before visiting Lago Roca and Bahía Lapataia. Keep an eye out for a variety of birdlife and observe spectacular colors in the fall. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and to book in advance.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Ushuaia; arrival and departure transfers; shipboard accommodations; shore excursions and Zodiac cruises; services of the Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; gear to keep (expedition parka); gear on loan (waterproof boots supplied for US sizes 4-16); all meals onboard the ship; coffee, tea, and water. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; mandatory travel insurance; passport and visa fees; discretionary gratuities; items of a personal nature including laundry, Wi-Fi, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages except coffee, tea and water; kayaking; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Gary Arndt (Antarctica Penguins), © Daniel Sendecki (Vernadsky Mountains), © Leo Tamburri (Salisbury Plains Penguins), © G Adventures (Camping, Kayakers, Zodiac, Penguins on Hillside, Sunset)