Summary : Enjoy a voyage of exploration and discovery to the farthest reaches of the globe. Your journey from the Falkland Islands and South Georgia to the White Continent of Antarctica will be filled with sightings of elephant and fur seals, minke whales, many of the world's 17 species of penguins and large flocks of seabirds. Highlights en route include lectures on Antarctic history, biology, and geology, as well as Zodiac landings for advantageous, close-up looks at penguin colonies, research facilities, and historical sites. Marvel at breathtaking landscapes from Fram's unique Passenger Bridge.
Activities : Birding, Camping, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking
$9,738 to $28,021
Your journey starts in the romantic city of Buenos Aires. Enjoy exploring this dynamic Argentinian capital before returning to your included hotel – the Emperador Hotel Buenos Aires.
Your voyage starts in Ushuaia, where the Andes meet the Southern Ocean. After embarkation, set out to explore and experience the wonders of this remote and fascinating part of the world. The Captain and Expedition Leader will align the itinerary with current weather and ice conditions. Final decisions on will be made on a day-by-day basis.
Acquaint yourself with the ship and fellow travelers, follow the on board lecture series, enjoy fresh air out on deck or simply relax in the panorama lounge while the vessel makes its way south.
Thanks to a unique Sub-Antarctic ecosystem, more than 70 animal and bird species live on these islands. The landscape is a majestic mix of craggy cliffs and gentle beaches, while the settlements themselves have a distinctly British feel to them. First settled in the early 1840’s, Stanley’s current population is around 2,000 residents who are very warm and welcoming. The town is easy enough to discover in a day on foot as most shops and services are centered on the port. Enjoy taking in the museum, post-office and plenty of shops with locally made wool items, and perhaps most importantly Stanley’s lively pubs.
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. Depending on the final decision on landing sites, there will be a hike offered. One of the options could be an easy hike to a cliff with black browed albatross, a rockhopper colony and a cormorant colony if landing at New Island.
As you voyage towards South Georgia, you will have a chance to learn more about the history and the spectacular wildlife of the island known as the “Serengeti of the Southern Ocean.” The expedition team is well versed in every facet of South Georgia, from its geology and glaciology to the mating rituals of sooty albatross and king penguins, to the legends of the Norwegian whalers.
The island of South Georgia, with its alpine peaks, has a variety and density of wildlife that will captivate all visitors. There is nowhere, in any latitude, quite like it; magnificent mountain scenery with glaciers galore and beaches teeming with wildlife. Its unique position inside the Antarctic ecosystem, yet outside the limit of the yearly sea ice makes this 3,755 square kilometer (1,500 sq mi) island home to tens of millions of breeding penguins, seals and seabirds.The largest king penguin colonies in the world are flanked by large groups of fur and elephant seals, while all around, the history of South Georgia is very much in evidence.
You will discover a heritage steeped in whaling and exploration, with long abandoned whaling stations sharing the island with the grave of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, which for many is the highlight of the visit. If weather conditions permit, hike the last part of the route that Sir Ernest Shackleton took on his brave journey: crossing the island’s rugged mountains to find help to save his 22 men left on isolated Elephant Island.
En route towards the South Orkneys you will start feeling the cool, crisp Antarctic air on your face long before you arrive. The majestic wandering albatross follow in your wake, using the strong thermals around the ship to glide through the southern skies. There is also a good chance of spotting whales during this portion of the voyage.
First discovered in 1821, the remote South Orkneys provide you with a rare opportunity to visit these isolated islands. Discovered by American and British sealers in 1821, the islands later served as a base for Scottish, French and Argentine sealing and scientific expeditions.
Set sail for the southernmost continent, learning more en route about this fascinating white land through a series of exciting lectures and talks.
When you think you have seen it all, Antarctica turns around and shatters those beliefs. The last great wilderness left on Earth, with its crisp air, towering icebergs and endless white mountain ranges. Dedicated to scientific research and with no permanent inhabitants, Antarctica is home to millions of penguins and its seas provide sustenance to thousands of whales. Simple words cannot truly capture the feeling of being here, looking upon the vast emptiness of the great White Continent. The ice, wind and weather dictate life in Antarctica, as well as your route. Every voyage is unique and the experienced crew endeavor to make each one an experience of a lifetime. The final choice of landings will be made in the course of the voyage.
With the bow pointed north and an unforgettable collection of images and experiences safely stored in your memories, head back towards the South American mainland with a new understanding of the Antarctic continent. Over the next two days, the Fram safely steers a course back across the legendary waters of the Drake Passage.
After a spectacular voyage with countless stories to share, dock at the world’s southernmost town to disembark after breakfast. Meet your included transfer to the airport, where you will board an included charter flight to 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.
Multilingual Departures: English/Norwegian/German (All Departures)
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for camping during the voyage. Gear and all cold-weather needs supplied – except pajamas. Due to popular demand, campers are chosen by lottery as there is a set limit as to the number of guests allowed to sleep onshore. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for deck camping during the voyage. Spend the night on deck and enjoy a magnificent view of the landscape and sky. Included: Sleeping bags, a welcome drink, and a fresh pastry and coffee in the morning. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for hiking during the voyage. Included: Water bottle, snack bar, and lunch pack (if hike is during lunch time). Physical fitness is essential. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. The duration of each excursion is 2-4 hours. Due to popular demand, kayakers are chosen by a lottery system. Kayaking is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Basic kayak experience required. Includes kayaking gear. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Taught by two professional photography instructors, this pre-bookable photography school program covers basic image editing, wildlife and landscape photography, and DSLR video instruction. This program is designed for proficient beginners to experienced photographers. Included: photography booklet, designated work station with software provided, priority access to the Photo Optics test center equipment, and a Zeiss Lens cleaning kit. Min/max participants: 2-10 guests. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Small Boat Cruising:
Depending on the weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for small boat ‘Polarcirkel’ cruising excursions during the voyage. The duration of each excursion is 1-2 hours. Included: Survival float suit, and a hot drink upon return. Small boat cruising is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Max. capacity: 21 passengers. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for snowshoeing during the voyage. Due to popular demand, snowshoers are chosen by lottery as there is a set limit to the number of guests allowed to go onshore at one time. Snowshoeing is not pre-bookable or guaranteed. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Round-trip charter flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia; one pre-cruise hotel night at the Emparador Hotel (or similar) in Buenos Aires; pre- and post-cruise transfers between the hotel, airport, and ship; free coffee and tea onboard; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; landings and activities onboard and ashore; professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities; complimentary tea and coffee; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots); and a wind- and water-resistant jacket. Expedition Suites (M + MG) include a cabin kit with a bathrobe, slippers, and other beauty articles. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers; passport and visa fees; Argentinian Reciprocity Fee; travel insurance; luggage handling; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; mini bar replenishment; optional excursions and gratuities; items of a personal nature such as laundry; walking sticks and binoculars can be rented for an additional charge; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Nick Cobbing, Dominic Barrington and Marsel van Oosten