Summary : Set sail on an extraordinary luxury expedition ship for the best of the Southern Ocean, exploring epic Antarctica, the majestic Falkland Islands and wildlife-packed South Georgia with its rookeries of king penguins. Meet penguins in person, aim to step foot on the White Continent, and hear the crackle of sea ice on this epic otherworldly adventure! Exploring the modern traveler’s final frontier, you’ll discover the iconic sights and sounds that make Antarctica one of the Earth’s most pristine, unforgettable, and coveted destinations.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
$12,990 to $21,990
Arrive in Ushuaia and transfer from the airport to your included hotel.
Enjoy a group transfer from your hotel to the pier for embarkation in the late afternoon.
Once onboard, enjoy your first taste of life at sea and a welcome dinner. The air is likely to be filled with anticipation, as after you leave the Beagle Channel your next view of land will be of Antarctica - the White Continent.
Crossing the Drake is a rite of passage that signifies your journey to the White Continent has begun! As you sail from the southern tip of South America to the Antarctic Peninsula, enjoy time on deck in the cool salt breeze as you spot sea birds gracefully soaring in the wind. Attend engaging presentations, enjoy the ship’s amenities, and get to know your fellow traveling companions as excitement builds in anticipation of your first excursion. The first iceberg will flash into sight as you near the South Shetlands Islands, and you may even see penguins swimming!
As you navigate historic waterways and visit prime sites along the Antarctic Peninsula and neighboring South Shetland Islands, the goal is to attempt 1-2 excursions per day. Your Captain and Expedition Leader continually monitor weather and ice conditions, working together to insure you experience the best of Antarctica whether you’re exploring Paradise Bay, the Lemaire Channel, Port Lockroy, Deception Island, or the many other locations available for landings and Zodiac cruising in the region.
Sailing in the wake of the 19th century’s great explorers—Sir Ernest Shackleton, Adrien de Gerlache, Robert Falcon Scott, and Roald Amundsen (to name just a few)—you’ll photograph the same towering mountain peaks they saw, hear raucous penguin colonies as you go ashore, see dazzling shades of blue and white as you navigate bays with impressive ice sculptures, and gain a new perspective of what it takes for wildlife—from penguins and giant petrels to elephant seals and humpback whales—to thrive in the beauty of this environment.
Leaving the Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands behind, chart a course for historic Elephant Island. The crew of Shackleton’s Trans Antarctic Expedition (1914-17) took refuge on Elephant Island following the loss of their ship. The Endurance was crushed by pack ice in the Weddell Sea. They camped at Point Wild and waited there whilst Shackleton sailed with 5 other men in the James Laird lifeboat to South Georgia. The legendary rescue took four and a half months, and must be one of the most incredible adventure stories and most heroic survival stories of all times.
If possible, attempt to take the Zodiacs to Point Wild, to see the site where Shackleton’s expedition team managed to survive against the odds in this harsh and inhospitable environment.
As you voyage northeast towards South Georgia, watch for whales from the ship’s bridge, listen to engaging talks by the Expedition Team, take in the expansive views from the observation lounge, or maybe treat yourself to a spa. If weather conditions are favorable, the hope is to make landfall on South Georgia by late evening on
Often referred to as the ‘Serengeti of the Southern Ocean’, South Georgia is one of the planet’s most significant biological hotspots. Imagine tens of thousands of King penguins—stretching as far as the eye can see from the ocean to the base of alpine peaks—and going ashore at pivotal historic sites from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration. It is simply spectacular and not to be missed.
Landing sites on South Georgia are varied and are largely determined by the weather and sea conditions on your voyage. Whatever sites you visit—such as Grytviken, Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbor, Fortuna Bay, and Stromness—you’ll have wildlife encounters unrivaled anywhere else on earth.
Leaving South Georgia in your wake, head west towards the isolated, ruggedly beautiful and sparsely populated archipelago of the Falkland Islands. Attend lectures and presentation by your onboard experts, unwind in the sauna and spa and take advantage of all the other amenities on board.
This remote collection of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean is home to remarkable bird life and marine mammals as well as stunning landscapes. You may hike to the largest black-browed albatross colony in the world, spot Peale’s dolphins and Commerson’s dolphins in the surrounding waters, or watch penguins in the surf as they prepare to come ashore on an expansive sandy beach.
In Port Stanley, capital of the Falklands and the center of its culture, you’ll be treated to a charming mix of colorful Victorian-era homes, well-tended gardens, and English-style pubs.
This morning depart the Falklands, and set a course for Puerto Madryn. Your final day at sea gives one last chance to view the marine life of these southern waters. Golfo Nuevo is renowned for its visiting southern right whales, so there is a good chance of spotting one as you sail towards Puerto Madryn.
Toast the end of your epic voyage at a farewell dinner tonight on board the ship.
Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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 on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance. The medical insurance must be able to cover all existing health issues the passenger might have. It must also cover medical treatment and medical evacuation in any of the areas traveled. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. 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.
Paddling in small groups, you’ll glide between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs dotted with wildlife. Previous kayaking experience is required. It is recommended to have been in a kayak at least three times before. You will need to verify your travel and medical insurance prior to commencing kayaking. Kayakers should be aged 14 or over.
Optional Photography Private Workshop:
Includes workshops prior to arrival in Antarctica, critiquing sessions while in Antarctica and editing workshops on the return journey. Some Zodiac excursions will be on forward-facing Zodiacs with your photography guide at your side on landings too.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Ushuaia with breakfast; transfer from Ushuaia airport to hotel on Day 1; transfer from Ushuaia hotel to pier; transfer from ship to Puerto Madryn airport on disembarkation day; shipboard accommodations; gear to keep (wind and water resisten jacket); gear on loan (rubber boots, hiking poles); onboard yoga; all meals onboard ship; soft drinks at meal times. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; accommodations other than those mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses if applicable; optional adventure and photography programs and activities; alcohol; Wi-Fi; communication charges; all items of a personal nature; laundry; required travel insurance; gratuities; excess baggage charges; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: The Ocean Endeavour Company; ExpeditionTrips